Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding
To win the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, the stars have to align, and everything has to come together in a contestant’s favor. No one knows that more than Kaycee Feild. The Utah cowboy joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2007 and has been coming here nearly every year since to compete in the bareback riding.
In 2020 he became one of the greatest bareback riders of all time when he tied with Joe Alexander for the most world titles at five. The next year when he won his sixth, he became the G.O.A.T. of the event. And he is far from being done. He is currently 8th in the world standings and is very likely to qualify for his 14th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. One of the things missing from his legendary title is a win at the “Daddy of ‘Em All.” Feild will be trying to change that today.
Another of rodeo’s great bareback riders and one that is very familiar with winning here is Will Lowe. Lowe’s career includes three wins here in 2009, 2012 and 2018. And while he is on the downhill side of his career, he just won the Snake River Stampede in Nampa, Idaho, showing his young competitors what it’s like to love getting on bucking horses for the long haul. Also look for Tanner Aus who was the 2015 CFD champ.
Yesterday, seven-time world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey had an outstanding ride for the win. He is hoping for a repeat, but Stetson Wright and Ky Hamilton both want to see their names at the top of the leaderboard. Wright was also successful on Wednesday, but Hamilton, who was the 2021 champion here, needs a score to advance to the Semi Finals. So does last year’s champion Brady Portenier. They all get their second opportunity today.
A couple of college champions highlight today’s saddle bronc riders. Shea Fournier from Raceland, Louisiana won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Championship in 2022 for McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Damian Brennan from Injune, Queensland tied for the win last June to get the title for Western Texas College. Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
Breakaway Roping is definitely the fastest event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and it will be tough on Thursday. Along with many-time world champion Jackie Crawford, there are several National Finals Breakaway Roping Qualifiers. Crawford has led the charge to have breakaway a part of rodeos and has helped with the increased popularity. It’s been part of CFD three times and these women are leaving their mark here. Watch for Kelsie Domer, Cheyanne Guillory, and Danielle Lowman to all take chances to be fast.
Last year, Cheyenne’s rodeo made a big difference for Leslie Smalygo’s season and she needs that to happen again. While she didn’t win first, she earned enough at Frontier Park to secure her first NFR qualification. Fans will remember she dyed her hair red because she needed to “run like my hair was on fire.” The strategy worked and that became her trademark for the rest of the season.
Smalygo finished second behind Andrea Busby a year ago and will compete against her today. And never count out Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday “Sister.” The four-time world champion and 2021 champion here will be the final barrel racer to have an opportunity to advance to the Semi Finals.
Shane Hanchey, the 2018 CFD and former world champion, comes to Frontier Park fresh from a big win on Sunday at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City. He’s notched some big wins this summer and would love to add another Cheyenne win to his trophy case. 2017 World Champion Marcos Costa is currently just outside the top 20 in the standings and doing well here could help boost the Brazilian to his fifth NFR.
Keep your eye out for anyone named Bridger in the steer wrestling. North Dakota’s Bridger Anderson is aiming for his second NFR and is currently ranked in the top 10 while Montana’s Bridger Chambers is just outside the top 20. He’s been to two NFRs and runs a business training drug dogs with his father. Don’t overlook reigning CFD co-champion Justin Shaffer or Louisiana’s Remey Parrott, whose brother Rowdy won his Quarter Finals earlier this week.
Today’s team roping features a pair of former CFD champion headers – Eric Rogers, who won here in 2017 the same year he won his world title, and Tyler Wade who was the 2016 champ. Rogers, who’s been to 11 NFRs and is currently ranked ninth, will rope with two-time world champion heeler Paul Eaves who’s looking for his first CFD title. Wade has been to five NFRs and is ranked 23rd. He’ll rope with 2019 world champion heeler Wesley Thorp who has made seven trips to the NFR. Regional favorites Kellan and Carson Johnson of Casper won the 2022 college national championship representing Casper College’s team coached by their dad Jhett.