Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
The bull riders are the only contestants in the CFD Rodeo Tournament that get two opportunities to ride during the Quarter Finals. Yesterday, seven were successful and six of those are guaranteed to advance to the Semi-Finals. At the top of the list was Jeff Askey, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Athens, Texas who scored 87.5 points. Jeff will be working to add to his earnings today as he matches up with Dakota Rodeo’s Little Coat. There are six spots in the Semi-Finals up for grabs today, but if less than six get scores, Cash Toews from Canton, Kansas, will get in by virtue of his seventh place finish yesterday.
Orin Larsen is looking for his second CFD championship in the bareback riding. He is currently 13th in the world standings and any money won here will help him qualify for his 8th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas next December where world champions are crowned. Orin won two championships at the College National Finals Rodeo before embarking on his professional career. His first trip to the NFR was in 2015 and if he makes it this year, it will be his ninth consecutive. Bareback riding is the most physically demanding event in rodeo so for him to compete at rodeo’s championships consistently is a huge accomplishment.
Caleb Bennett knows a thing or two about those injuries. He has chronic wrist and elbow issues that bareback riding aggravates. The ulna bone in both of his arms is longer than normal and doctors told him they could shorten those and fix his problems. But he’d have to give up riding bucking horses, so he chose the horses. He is ninth in the world standings has qualified for the NFR nine times (not consecutive like Orin) and is hoping to make that 10 this year.
Leon Fountain and Ross Griffin are hoping to represent their home state of New Mexico well here today in saddle bronc riding. Both are in the top 30 in the PRCA world standings, looking for their first CFD title and their first trip to the NFR. Chuck Schmidt, Allen Boore and Mitch Pollock have all made that trip and are hoping to be back among the PRCA’s top 15 that qualify again. Pollock grew up in Nevada and played baseball in college until he started hanging out with the rodeo team. Kade Bruno is the saddle bronc rider that is highest in the world standings in today’s field. Prior to Cheyenne’s rodeo, he was eighth
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing:
Every person in the timed events had to compete to get to the Quarter Finals here. Just qualifying is an accomplishment. Among those that qualified are husband and wife, Ryan and Shy-Anne Jarrett. Ryan, the 2005 world champion all-around cowboy, will compete in the tie-down roping. Shy-Anne has qualified in the barrel racing. Ryan grew up on a dairy farm in Georgia and just wanted to be a cowboy.
He has 14 NFR qualifications to his credit, most in the tie-down roping. He also has been there in the steer wrestling and it was those two events that garnered is all-around buckle. Now he focuses on the tie-down roping and occasionally competes in team roping. He and Shy-Anne have a daughter Jurnee. Shy-Anne is often at home in Oklahoma carrying for their livestock while Ryan is off making money. If Shy-Anne does well here, they could be making a new game plan.
Women’s breakaway roping was added here as a non-sanctioned event in 2019 and the reserve champion was a young woman barely out of high school, Chloe Frey. She is back as a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and hoping to leave this year with the breakaway roping championship. Chloe will also be paying attention in the steer wrestling as her first-cousin Shane Frey is among the qualifiers.
Wyoming cowgirl Peggy Garman set the arena record in the breakaway roping during the wildcard round of qualification. Her 3.0-second run was her last-ditch effort to compete in front of the fans. She already has her sights set on Sundays Championship Finals, and after her success in getting here, has the confidence to back it up. Today will see if everything falls in place for her to stay on that path.
Coleman Proctor is a favorite for this year’s all-around championship in Frontier Park. He competed in the steer roping, placed in both rounds, and has qualified for the championships in that event. He already has earned $12,719 here in steer roping and team roping. He will be heading for Logan Medlin today. A fan favorite cowboy, Derrick Begay will be heading for Colter Todd who was the heading champion here in 2006 when he roped with Cesar de la Cruz. Derrick and Colter didn’t have much luck in the qualifier and finished 12th in the Wildcard, so they were the final team to get into the performances. Because everyone starts with a clean slate and the top four advance from each performance, where they started is not nearly as important as where they finish.