Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
The field has been narrowed in each of our events, from 72 in bareback and saddle bronc riding to 24 and from 60 in the bull riding down to 30. The top six in each of these events will advance from today directly to Sunday’s Championship Finals.
That’s good for Seth Lee Hardwick, who hopes to be the first contestant that calls Wyoming home to win the bareback riding championship in the last six decades. Seth’s success here came yesterday and while he wasn’t first, he was among the top four to advance to the Semi-Finals. Today, he is getting on Sankey Pro Rodeo and Phenom Genetic’s horse named South Land’s Mental Illness, a bucker that could easily get him into the 80-point range. There are two former CFD champions competing today, Orin Larsen who got the title here in 2016 and Will Lowe who is a three-time winner (2009, 2012 and 2018). Today could be a turning point for Waylon Bourgeois. The rising star is second in the PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year standings and 21st in the world.
Saddle bronc riding will see a whole slate of riders trying to get their first Cheyenne buckle. Among them is two-time world champion Zeke Thurston and Wyatt Casper who is currently third in the world standings and will be headed to his third NFR in December. Wyatt won the rodeo yesterday, won first and is hoping to keep his momentum rolling. Zeke is one of four Canadians competing today. The odds are in their favor that at least one of them will advance to Sunday’s Championship Finals. If they do and finish at the top of the board, they would be the first Canadian to win a saddle bronc riding title in Frontier Park in nearly 20 years.
Trevor Reiste comes into today’s bull riding as a favorite, as the only bull rider that won both rounds of his competition. He is hoping to make it three in a row today and be in contention for a CFD buckle. There are three men that have older brothers that have competed here and missed getting a championship. Trey Kimzey’s older brother Sage is a seven-time world champion. Tyler Bingham’s brother Tim as well as Josh Frost’s brother Joe each won college championships and have multiple NFR qualifications to their credit. If any of the younger brothers win, it will be the first for their families.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
The top six in each of these events today will advance to Sunday’s Championship Finals.
There’s a big difference between the arena at CFD and the Thomas and Mack where the NFR is held, but eight of today’s tie-down ropers have shown that they are competitive in any situation. Mike Johnson will be a crowd favorite. The 23-time NFR qualifier also won championships here in 1997 and 2003. He is the veteran of the field at 58 years old. Today’s competition could be a game changer for Quade Hiatt. The rising star is the grandson of world champion Butch Myers and Butch’s son Rope is his uncle. If Quade advances and is at the top of the board on Sunday, he would be the first member of his family to win a CFD title. His uncle Cash Myers is among the steer roping qualifiers for Championship Sunday.
There’s a good chance for Wyoming in today’s team roping. Clayton Van Aken, who is a UW graduate will be heading for Jayden Johnson from Casper. Jayden’s cousins and two-time college champions Kellan and Carson Johnson are also roping today. Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill who both have world and CFD titles to their credits had the fastest time yesterday and will hope to build on their success today.
Eli Lord won the steer wrestling here the first time the rodeo featured a tournament-style format in 2019. He is in the mix today and will be competing with NFR qualifier Rowdy Parrott who moved in on Wednesday. Parrott is highest in the world standings at 15. Talon Roseland is 20th and Eli is 24th. Today’s competition could move them up in the world standings. Talon and Eli are looking for their first trip to Las Vegas to compete at the NFR. This would be Rowdy’s third.
The fan favorite breakaway roping features two of the top three women in the WPRA standings. Erin Johnson is highest at number one. Johnson, 42, has been a member of the WPRA since 2007 and has three world titles on her resume. She’s experienced the rapid recent growth of her event and qualified for the first National Finals Breakaway Roping (NFBR) in 2020 and again in 2021. The ranch-raised mother of two rides a horse her father trained. Martha Angelone is ranked third in the world standings, about $9,000 behind Johnson. The Virginia native knew she needed to move to Texas if she wanted to become a world-class roper and she accomplished that goal. She finished as the reserve world champion in 2020 after winning the average at the inaugural NFBR and finished fifth last season. Emma Charleston won her quarter-final with a time of 3.1 seconds, just one-tenth of a second off the arena record. She’s a two-event cowgirl who is currently ranked 12 in the barrel racing world standings.
Andrea Busby may call Brock, Texas, home now, but her Wyoming roots are as deep as Cheyenne Frontier Days. She grew up near Lusk on a ranch that her family began in 1910. Busby had one of the fastest times of the quarterfinal competition. Two of today’s barrel racers have qualified for the WNFR and are poised to do so again. Cheyenne Wimberly has five NFR qualifications. Her first two came in 1997-1998. She took a break from professional rodeo for two decades, next making the field in Las Vegas in 2019. This season she’s ranked 9th. Jimmie Smith-Tew of McDade, Texas, just got married in May. She is ranked 15th in the standings and every penny she wins here can help her return to the NFR after missing last year. Sarah Rose Waguespack is another former NFR barrel racer. She made a big splash a few years ago as Sarah Rose McDonald riding a roan mare called Bling. She married world champion steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack and is back barrel racing at the highest level on a grandson of Bling.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 23, 2022) – Cheyenne Frontier Days will provide a timely consolation prize for cowboys and cowgirls who fail to advance from the first round of the rodeo’s tournament style competition – a $100 gas credit at Sinclair stations. Funded by the sponsorship of Buckeye Ranch, CFD, Resistol, Sinclair Oil, and Wrangler.
“Professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls earn their living by traveling along highways and backroads to rodeos in towns all across the country,” said Tom Hirsig, Cheyenne Frontier Days CEO. “The price of gas at the pump is high for all of us. Even more so when you are hauling a horse trailer and driving a big pick up. We are so fortunate these hard-working athletes travel to Cheyenne and we thank them.”
CFD expects 432 competitors will benefit from the gas reward. The program begins with the first performance of the Daddy of ‘em All. July 23 is also recognized as the “National Day of the Cowboy.” Cheyenne is not the first rodeo to offer a gas reward program, but Hirsig indicated the $100 amount is the largest thus far, and the total number of recipients will be the largest in the country.
“Cowboys and Cowgirls are heroes here in Cheyenne. We are excited to give them just a little extra cash for the journey,” Hirsig concluded.
As Cheyenne Frontier Days looks ahead to celebrating its 125th anniversary in July, the organization released its 2020 Report to the Community, which looks back at how CFD’s volunteers and staff turned their focus toward supporting the community after the coronavirus pandemic forced the historic cancellation of the iconic western festival in 2020.
“We were all pretty deflated after the cancellation, but we decided to look at it as an opportunity to use the downtime to do what we could to help our community,” said Tom Hirsig, Cheyenne Frontier Days CEO.
The report recaps how CFD donated its facilities and volunteer manpower to help a variety of community organizations in Wyoming.
“We are grateful for the chance to give something back to the community,” continued Hirsig. “It was important for our staff, volunteers and sponsors that we made good use of our time and facilities during the summer instead of letting them sit idle.”
The General Committee spent some time on what would’ve been the final Saturday of Cheyenne Frontier Days™ visiting downtown businesses and thanking them for making Cheyenne Legendary
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Applications are now being accepted for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Youth Volunteer Program. Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2020.
Completed applications due by March 10:
Cheyenne Frontier Days Headquarters
Youth Volunteer Director | George Geyer
PO Box 2477
Cheyenne, WY 82003
The program is open to youth between the ages of 13 -18. Applicants must be at least 13 years of age by July 1, 2020.
Volunteers will participate in scheduled Saturday work days and a workshop guided by mentors from each CFD Committee with the intention of finding a committee that best fits the goals of each volunteer once they meet the age requirements of the chosen committee.
Attendance and hours worked will be recorded. A volunteer dress code will require a cowboy hat, a long sleeve shirt, blue denim jeans and boots to be worn. Those who are selected will receive a picture badge, and a ten day carnival armband will be awarded to youth volunteers who attend three or more scheduled Saturday work days.
The number of youth volunteers may be limited depending on the number of applications received. An in-person interview will be scheduled for each applicant sometime in April, at a date, time and place to be determined. More information will be provided to the applicants via email at a later date.
Thank you, for your interest and feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any questions regarding the program.
Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding
Four of this year’s top bareback riders will be hoping to advance to the semifinals today. The one highest in the world standings is Ty Breuer, who is 6th. The four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) cowboy is having the best season of his career and is the proud father of a new baby boy born less than two months ago. This is he and his wife Kelly’s second child.
Last year’s reserve champion and perennial all-around hand Steven Dent is matched up with Dakota Rodeo’s Chirrikawa, a horse that is equally strong whether bucking in the bareback or the saddle bronc riding. Dent is traveling with former CFD champion Tanner Aus. The fourth of the group is Jake Brown (13th).
Craig Wisehart has an usual upcoming itinerary. After he competes tomorrow, he will head a few miles south to Colorado’s Weld County Fair for the goat show later that afternoon. When he was younger, not only did he show goats in 4-H and FFA, he started a hoof trimming business that brought the enterprising youth some spending money to rodeo with.
Taygen Schuelke is a former college all-around champion who is trying to make his mark here in the saddle bronc riding. He is joined this year by his younger brother Lane Schuelke who competes today in the rookie saddle bronc riding.
Californian Tim Ditrich spent his whole life around horses, but never considered saddle bronc riding until he was in college. He saw photos of his rodeo coach and mentor, Ben Londo, riding broncs and decided to try the event. Londo loaned him a saddle and equipment and helped him learn the event.
A pair of former world champions – Jesse Wright and Jesse Kruse – are in today’s field along with former CFD champion Bradley Harter.
Two of the winningest bull riders in PRCA history will be making a bid for their first CFD championship starting today. Neither J.W. Harris, who has four world championships, nor Sage Kimzey, who has won five, have won a CFD buckle in their careers. Sage, who’s currently leading the world standings, is here along with his younger brother Trey Kimzey who is ranked 11th.
Tyler Bingham (ranked 6th) and Joe Frost are hoping to join their brothers Tim and Josh, who have already qualified for CFD’s semifinals. Another NFR bull rider in today’s field is Garrett Smith, who is ranked 10th this season.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team, Tie-Down and Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
Kyle Whitaker will highlight today’s steer wrestlers. Whitaker is a nine-time winner of professional rodeo’s ironman award – the Bill Linderman Award which is awarded to the cowboy who earns the most money in at least three rodeo events in a season. To be eligible a cowboy must win at least $1,000 in a timed event and a rough stock event, plus another $1,000 in a third event. Dean Finnerty of Wheatland, Wyoming, will be competing his either his 31st or 32nd consecutive CFD in steer wrestling.
Syerra “CY” Christensen of Kennebec, S.D., is the new CFD arena record holder in breakaway roping after winning the first qualifying round last week with 4.01 seconds. She is a four-time survivor of childhood cancer with a great perspective on life and rodeo. Linsay Sumpter, the college rodeo coach at Otero Junior College in Colorado, is a member of the famous Rosser rodeo family of California and her husband Wade is a former NFR steer wrestler. To put in perspective what it means for the breakaway ropers to compete here, her parents who are part of the Flying U Rodeo legacy caught a plane to Cheyenne to watch her compete in the preliminary rounds.
Sterling Smith of Stephenville, Texas, holds the arena record of 9.4 seconds in tie-down roping that he set last year and is looking for more success at Frontier Park. Marcos Costa, the former world champion, is back in action after sitting out for several months following knee surgery. This rodeo has been good for Costa in the past and he’s hoping that trend continues.
Team ropers Kaleb Driggers (seven NFRs) and Junior Nogueira (five) finished as runners-up for the world championships the past two years. Both are looking for their first individual event world championship. (Junior won the All-Around title in 2016.) Also, in today’s field is former world champion header Levi Simpson from Canada who is as famous for his beard as he is for his roping.
Nellie Miller, who won the CFD championship last year with a great barrel racing run in a hailstorm, is back to defend her championship. She won the preliminary round and already has won more than $8,000 in Cheyenne this year. Miller, the 2017 world champion, has been locked in a battle for the world standings lead all season with 2018 champion Hailey Kinsel.
Tennessee cowgirl Jessi Fish tied for second in the preliminary round and is primed for more success in Frontier Park. Cheyenne Wimberley retired from fulltime rodeo after back-to-back trips to the NFR in 1997-98, but could return to Las Vegas with a strong finish to the season. She’s currently ranked 19 and success at this rodeo could give a big boost to her season.