Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding
The cream has definitely risen to the top at the 127th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and it’s only going to get better. The top six contestants in each of the events from the Semi Finals will advance to Sunday’s Championship Finals. Today’s bareback riding features contestants who have won 10 gold buckles. Kaycee Feild has the most at six, but he has yet to win a championship at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Will Lowe is on the roster too. He has three gold buckles and three championships at Frontier Park. Clayton Biglow won the championship here in 2019, the same year that he earned his world title. There are three men that are in contention for the Rookie of the Year title that want to add their names to the history books here, Kade Sonnier, Jacek Lane Frost and Donny Proffit. Proffit hails from the Cowboy State and a win here in his rookie season would really be special. Cole Reiner has come one step closer to his goal of winning the biggest rodeo in his home state when he qualified for the Semi Finals.
Saddle bronc is a full circle moment for the Hay family today. Not only are brothers Dawson and Logan competing, the horse that Dawson is getting on, Pin Cup owned by New Star Pro Rodeo was actually raised by their father Rod in Wildwood, Alberta. Rod won the saddle bronc riding here in 2000 and along with his sons, his nephew Ben Anderson, is also competing today. If any of today’s saddle bronc riders advance and win the title it will be a first-time on the champions podium for them.
There are 14 bull riders that are vying for six spots in Sunday’s championships. Highlighting today are Sage Kimzey and Stetson Wright who went one and two on Wednesday. Stetson is in the lead of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings and Sage is hot on his tail. Sage has won 7 world titles and needs one more to tie for the most gold buckles in that event. Surprisingly, he has yet to win a buckle at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Shane Proctor won this rodeo in 2011 and went on to win a gold buckle. The bull riding veteran grew up in Washington. He started his college career at Northwest College in Powell and did a lot of fine tuning on his rodeo career at the Cody Nite Rodeo, so even though he now lives in Oklahoma, he has a lot of ties to the cowboy state.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
Shane Hanchey is the only tie-down roper in the field to have a CFD buckle in his trophy collection, but there are several other competitors that have had a lot of success here. Shad Mayfield came here in 2019 after winning the title at the National High School Finals Rodeo and the money he earned here helped him qualify for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Marcos Costa came to the U.S. from Brazil and competed here while traveling with world champion Stran Smith. He’s never gotten the title but come close on a couple of occasions. He is known for his horsemanship and that is truly an asset in this big arena. Marcos is the 2017 world champion and was the first Brazilian to win a gold buckle in a single event.
Fellow countryman Junior Nogueira won the world all-around title in 2016 roping calves and team roping. He is one of the best heelers ever and has two gold buckles to prove it. He won both of those heeling for Kaleb Driggers who will be on the head end today. They are one of the most exciting teams to watch and if they do well today, expect Junior to ride out of the arena with his trademark smile just like he did during the Quarter Finals. Team roping has been part of the rodeo here since 2001 and the only one of today’s competitors that has made a victory lap as a champion at “the Daddy” is Erich Rogers who won it with Corey Petska in 2017. Today, he is roping with world champion heeler Paul Eaves.
There are two college rodeo coaches competing in steer wrestling today. Kyle Whitaker is the coach at Montana State University and Cameron Moreman recently took a position as the assistant coach at Dickinson State University in North Dakota. Tyler Waguespack has four world titles to his credit but has yet to win a title here.
Wenda Johnson stopped the clock in 17.20 seconds here on Thursday in the women’s barrel racing, one of the fastest times here so far. To make conditions better for barrel racers and their horses, the committee is working the arena after every six runs. Times are expected to be faster after the tractor and equipment come out. Johnson was the sixth out yesterday and will be the second after the tractor today so her time today could be even better.
Taycie Matthews might want to buy land in Wyoming. She won the College National Finals Rodeo in June, then rodeos in Cody and Casper before coming here. She won her Quarter Finals and is looking to add to her winnings in the Cowboy state today.
Today’s breakaway roping promises to be exciting today as well with veterans and seasoned competitors doing their best to stop the clock in under six seconds. Winning runs here have been around four-seconds and we expect to see that in Frontier Park again.