Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding
If you think the rough stock events at Cheyenne Frontier Days have been exciting so far, pull down your hat. The fourth performance is stacked with talent, especially in the saddle bronc riding. At the top of the list is hometown favorite and three-time Frontier Days champion Brody Cress.
Add four members of the famous saddle bronc riding Wright Family and another four Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and finding the four that advance from the Quarter Finals to the Semi Finals could be a real challenge for the judges. If the fourth position finds more than one person in it, all of those that are tied will advance.
Canada will be well represented in the bareback riding again with nearly half of the competitors coming from north of the border. The lone rider from Quebec is Pascal Isabelle who is one of the few rodeo competitors who is fluent in French. Orin Larsen grew up in Manitoba and has been competing in rodeos in both countries since 2010. He also came to Twin Falls, Idaho, to junior college then transferred to Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He won college championships for both of those institutions. He won the championship in Frontier Park in 2010 and has been to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo nine times. He is coming off a big win last Sunday in Salinas, California, and hoping the momentum keeps him winning.
Kody Lamb is another College National Finals Rodeo competitor who is trying to qualify for the NFR for the first time. Lamb grew up in Alberta and when it came time to further his education chose Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, where he earned his masters’ degree. When he’s not climbing aboard bucking horses, he can be found with a guitar and writes and sings about the cowboy way of life.
Yesterday’s bull riders are making their second appearance. Eight of them got scores and those top six have secured their spot in the Semi Finals. The rest of the field will be doing their best to ride for another eight seconds and add their names to the rosters on Friday and Saturday.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
The tie-down roping is also star-studded today. The field includes former world champions Haven Meged, Monty Lewis and Shad Mayfield as well as 2023 world standings leader Riley Webb. Webb, Mayfield and Meged are ranked 1-2-3 in the current standings with Webb leading over Mayfield by nearly $80,000.
The second time that the “Daddy of ‘em All” hosted breakaway roping, a South Dakota cowgirl walked away with the title. Sawyer Gilbert won the breakaway championship in 2021 helping her qualify for the National Finals Breakaway Roping that season in second place. Then she came from behind to win the world championship and the finals championship. Reigning CFD co-champion Tiffany Schieck also competes today as does reigning Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champion Martha Angelone.
Three-time world champion heeler Jade Corkill has won four CFD team roping championships. The first one was with Chad Masters in 2009, then in 2021 with Clay Smith. In 2013, and again last year he and Clay Tryan got to take the victory laps. In the 21 years that team roping has been part of CFD, Corkill has won nearly a fifth of the heeling titles. A win this year with Cody Snow would cement his place in the CFD record books. Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins II (ranked fifth in heading and fourth in heeling respectively) have ties to Wyoming. In 2019 they married sisters who grew up in Laramie.
Arkansas barrel racer Taycie Matthews barely missed last year’s NFR and is aiming to do so this season. In June she won the college national championship for the University of West Alabama and on Sunday she took first at California Rodeo in Salinas. Lisa Lockhart, won this rodeo in 2015 aboard her great horse Louie. She’s had success here on Rosa and will likely be riding her speed demon gray gelding “Levee” here today. She is a 15-time NFR qualifier and money won in Frontier Park has helped her secure several of those qualifications.
In 2010, Canadian Curtis Cassidy won the all-around championship here roping calves and steer wrestling. It’s a favorite win of the eight-time NFR qualifier as it is the only buckle awarded that says cowboy on it. He is only entered in the steer wrestling this year and has the horse power to get him or one of his buddies the title. His horse Tyson is a two-time AQHA horse of the year. Jesse Brown, who is second in the world standings will also be riding Cassidy’s horse.
NFR qualifier Dakota Eldridge is 13th in the world standings, lower in the standings than he is comfortable with. He is a two-time NFR champion as well for having the fastest total time on 10 head. A gold buckle and a buckle from Cheyenne have eluded the talented athlete. A good run here today could change all of that.