Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
Cole Reiner would love nothing more than winning the rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days. The bareback rider is currently second in the world standings thanks in part to a win over the Fourth-of-July at Cody, Wyoming. A native of the Cowboy State, Cole makes his home at Buffalo. He has qualified for the NFR the past two years and finished fifth and seventh respectively. He has his eye on the gold buckle and a win here in Cheyenne would certainly help him accomplish that goal. Other bareback riders competing today that have qualified for the NFR include another Wyoming cowboy Seth Lee Hardwick, Garrett Shadbolt, Trenton Montero, Bill Tutor, Taylor Broussard and Cole Franks.
Today’s saddle bronc riding is also full of NFR qualifiers. Chet Johnson, another native of Wyoming has been a member of the PRCA for 22 years. Most of those he has competed in Frontier Park but he has never left with a championship. It would mean the world to Johnson who is on the back side of his career. He also is using his experience to help the sport of rodeo and saddle bronc riding as a member of the PRCA Board of Directors. There are two former CFD champions in the mix as well. Jacobs Crawley who won here in 2016 and Jesse Bail from 2011. Cort Scheer’s saddle bronc riding career got a jump start here when he won the rookie bronc riding in 2008. He would go down in history if he added a saddle bronc riding title from Frontier Park to his rodeo resume.
Bull riders will have one more chance to qualify for the Semifinals today with the top 6 scores advancing. Florida cowboy Ernie Courson, Jr., just missed the top 6 yesterday and will try to better himself when he matches up with Dakota Rodeo’s bull Ponotoc. Needing to put a big score on the board is former CFD and world champion Shane Proctor along with former cage fighter turned bull rider Cole Fischer of Jefferson City, Missouri, and several other cowboys. While the riders who snared a semifinal berth on Wednesday are facing less pressure, they would still like to earn a paycheck with a top four finish today, especially Minnesotan Reid Oftedahl who is currently ranked 15th and needs every dollar possible to qualify for his first NFR.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
Marty Yates has won two tie-down roping championships at the “Daddy of ‘em All,” in 2015 and again last year. He would love to have his name in the record books as a three-time winner and for getting the buckle in back-to-back years. Known for taking chances and throwing fast, Yates will need to do that today as he has CFD champions Clint Robinson (2006) and Lane Livingston (2017) to rope against. Hunter Herrin who is one of the fastest men on the ground and is an NFR qualifier along with John Douch who has led the world standings most of the season and world champion Monty Lewis are all looking to be at the top of the leaderboard.
“Rope Like a Girl,” is a campaign that began because of Lari Dee Guy who will be in today’s breakaway roping. Guy is a nine-time world champion WPRA roper and has earned those in a variety of disciplines. Like many women who want to rope, she is excited to be participating in rodeos like Cheyenne and winning a title here would not only be a special one for her, but for all the women that she has inspired in her career.
A win here would also mean the world to Coralee Spratt who is a native of Wyoming. She finished in sixth place a year ago and if she would win would be the first Wyoming cowgirl to win a CFD breakaway roping title.
The team roping is star-studded today with six world champions and multiple NFR qualifiers here. What’s even more impressive is the list of former CFD champions on the roster. Jade Corkill has won the title three times with three different partners. One of those is Clay Tryan who he is roping with today. They earned the title here in 2013, then roped with other partners and are now back together again. Erich Rogers won the heading here in 2017 with Cory Petska. NFR qualifier Payden Bray will be heeling for Rogers today. Kollin VonAhn is a world champion heeler who got the CFD win in 2015 roping with Luke Brown. Today, Kollin will be roping with his younger brother Ryan who earned the college title in 2009, the same year Kollin won the gold buckle.
Barrel racer Kelly Yates hopes to add her name to the list of family members who have won titles here. She will compete in the WPRA sanctioned barrel race. Her brother J.D. was the all-around champion in 2016. Three years later, J.D.’s son and Kelly’s nephew, Trey won the team roping title.
Kyle Irwin has qualified for five NFRs in steer wrestling. After missing rodeo’s premiere event for the past two seasons, he is back among the top 10 this season with help from a Wyoming win at Cody. A winning streak in Cheyenne would virtually guarantee him a return trip to Las Vegas in December. Laramie cowboy Ty Everson competed on the University of Wyoming’s rodeo team and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo three times finishing as high as fourth in 2019 as a junior. His favorite college course was equine nutrition because keeping horses healthy from the inside out is important to him. That course also helped him in his work as a farrier, where he shoes horses and helps their owners keep their equine partners sound.
Today’s competition completes the Quarter-Finals and will see the final list of contestants advancing to the Semi-Finals.