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July 22-31, 2022

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Championship Sunday Notes

  • 2018 CFD Champions who will be defending their titles today include bareback rider Will Lowe, bull rider Ruger Piva, saddle bronc rider Brody Cress, team ropers Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison and barrel racer Nellie Miller.
  • Today’s field also includes 11 former CFD champions: four more in bareback riding – Richmond Champion (2014), Tanner Aus (2015), Orin Larsen (2016); two in saddle bronc – Wade Sundell (2013) and Jacobs Crawley (2016); team roper Cesar de la Cruz (2010); senior steer roper Dan Fisher ( 2013); three barrel racers – Brittany Pozzi-Tonnozzi (2007), Lisa Lockhart (2015) and Stevi Hillman (2017); and all-around cowboy Trell Etbauer (2014).
  • Will Lowe could win CFD for the fourth time in bareback riding, a feat no other cowboy has managed since bareback riding began here in 1936. He won here in 2009, 2012 and 2018.
  • Local favorite Brody Cress could also set a CFD record should he win the saddle bronc riding championship for the third consecutive year. Since saddle bronc riding began here in 1897, no one has won the title three times in a row. Cress still would trail Earl Thode, who won the event four times between 1927 and 1934.
  • Chad Masters has a chance for his own CFD records. If he and Harrison win first, they would be the first back-to-back champs here in team roping. Masters would become the first team roper to win this rodeo three times since the team roping was first offered in 2000.
  • Three sets of Texan siblings will compete against each other today. Rylea and Jordan Jo Fabrizio in breakaway roping; Jacobs and Sterling Crawley in saddle bronc riding and Vin Fisher, Jr., and J. Tom Fisher in steer roping. The Fishers will also be competing against their father, Dan Fisher, meaning that one-fourth of the steer roping field are members of the Fisher family.
  • The husband-wife duo of Garrett Tonnozzi (team roping) and Brittany Pozzi-Tonnozzi (barrel racing) will be aiming to take home a pair of CFD titles today.
  • While breakaway roper KL Spratt may be listed from Arizona on the daysheet, she grew up in Lysite, Wyoming. That means every event today will have at least one Wyoming connection.
  • Two college rodeo coaches will compete today. Linsay Sumpter in breakaway roping is the head coach for both men and women at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado. Beau Clark, former head coach for Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, now is the head coach at the University of Wyoming.
  • Two people named Cheyenne will be trying to win a championship at Frontier Park today – tie-down roper Cheyenne Stanley from Oklahoma and barrel racer Cheyenne Wimberly from Texas. Wimberly last competed here in 1999.
  • Two men named Stetson will be aiming for CFD titles today. Stetson Vest competes in tie-down roping. Stetson Wright is the only cowboy we will see twice today as he qualified for Championship Sunday in both saddle bronc riding and bull riding and is a favorite to win the all-around title.

Brody Cress Makes History at the 122nd Cheyenne Frontier Days

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — July 29, 2018 — It’s been 86 years since a saddle bronc rider won back-to-back championships at Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), but local favorite Brody Cress was not intimidated by history.

The 22-year-old from nearby Hillsdale won his hometown rodeo in 2017, an accomplishment that fueled the rest of his season and helped him win his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo championship last December. Cress is sponsored by CFD and proudly wears the legendary rodeo’s iconic arrowhead logo on his chaps and his shirts. “There’s no other rodeo I’d want to represent,” he said.

Last year he came into Championship Sunday in second place and had to ride two broncs after being awarded a re-ride. He won the title by half a point. This year he came in with the overall lead and had to wait on Texan Wyatt Casper’s re-ride to see if his lead would hold for his second, record-setting CFD Championship. The crowd of 12,401 erupted with cheers and were on their feet when Cress took his victory lap around the arena.

The biggest money winner at the 122nd “Daddy of ‘em All” was steer wrestler Levi Rudd. The Chelsea, Oklahoma, cowboy earned $21,396. When the day began he had already collected more than $11,000 in the first and second rounds. He added nearly $900 for fourth place in the final round and about $9,500 for winning the overall championship by 1.1 second.

Rudd had competed at CFD twice in the past but had never done well. “I was happy after I won the first round since I’d never done any good here,” he said. Rudd started the week ranked 50th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) steer wrestling standings. He more than doubled his season earnings after his win here and jumped about 20 spots in the standings.

Three-time world champion bareback rider Will Lowe started the day in sixth place, but an 88-point ride on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Black Tie earned the Canyon, Texas, cowboy his third CFD championship and nearly $16,000. He previously won here in 2009 and 2012. Lowe, who has qualified for 14 National Finals Rodeos (NFR) is grateful to still be riding at the highest level 10 years after winning his first title in Frontier Park.

“It’s so awesome to be able to still be here, riding with these guys and still be competitive,“ he said. The win here should help his quest for a 15th NFR berth.

Lowe joins three legendary cowboys – Jim Shoulders, Joe Alexander and Clint Corey – as the only ones to win three bareback riding championships here.

Idaho bull rider Ruger Piva has accomplished something in the past year that many bull riders never will in their entire careers. Last September Piva, now 23, won the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon. This week he competed for the first time at CFD, rode all three of his bulls and left with more than $10,000 in prize money and a Cheyenne Frontier Days title. The 23-year-old former high school and college wrestler can now claim wins at two of the most historic and prestigious rodeos in North America.

“If you had told me two years ago that I would win Pendleton and Cheyenne within a year, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Piva said. “Cheyenne felt a lot bigger than I expected. I hid in the ready room and watched the action on the tv screen.

He received congratulations from four-time world champion J.W. Harris, who finished second. As Harris walked away, Piva asked Harris for an autograph. “He’s one of my heroes,” Piva explained.

For the second year, weather affected the Championship Sunday  competition. Last year it rained, but this year a tornado warning issued during the rodeo resulted in a weather delay of about 20 minutes. When competition resumed, rain and hail came down, particularly during the barrel racing.

World champion Nellie Miller and her horse Rafter W Minnie Reba, that she calls “Sister,” were on the course during some of the worst of the weather, but the California duo made a solid run. Although they did not win money in the final round, their total time of 53.21 seconds earned Miller the championship. She won $19,530 and helped boost her lead in the 2018 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) standings. Miller and her father, Sam Williams, raised and trained Sister, who got her name because she is a half-sister to the horse Miller rode to her first NFR in 2010.

Second-generation rodeo athlete Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Oklahoma, came into Championship Sunday ranked fifth in steer roping. It was the first time he qualified for Championship Sunday in seven years of trying.

Poppino won the final round by nearly six seconds, riding his 22-year-old horse named Shaggy, a full brother to the horse his mother, Tana Poppino, rode to qualify for the NFR in barrel racing. “He stays in the pasture most of the year and about a month before we start legging him up for Cheyenne,” Poppino said.

“This is one of the most prestigious, one of the oldest rodeos in the world. It’s called “The Daddy” for a reason,“ he said. “Everybody wants to win this one. It’s a dream come true.”

Tie-down roper Shane Hanchey credits his horse Si, the 2017 horse of the year, for helping him come from seventh place to win his first CFD title. The former world champion and eight-time NFR qualifier had the second-fastest time on Sunday. Although he did not place in the first two rounds, he earned more than $13,000.

“I never really dreamed of winning this rodeo,” he said. “I weigh 140 pounds. All I’ve ever heard since I was about four years old is how big the calves were and how little people didn’t fare very well (at Cheyenne). I don’t show emotions very much, but this win’s got me shook up.”

Coming from the middle of the field to take the title was a trend in the roping events. Tennessee’s Chad Masters and Oklahoma’s Joseph Harrison were sixth in team roping when the day began, but out-paced the rest to win the final round. Their total time of 26.4 earned Masters his second CFD title (his first was in 2009) and Harrison his first.

Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, won his eighth CFD championship when he took home the all-around title for the fourth time. He has also won a team roping and three steer roping championships at CFD.

2018 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Champions
  • Bareback Riding – Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 253.5 points, $15,808
  • Steer Wrestling – Levi Rudd, Chelsea, Oklahoma, 24.0 seconds, $21,396
  • Team Roping – (header) Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tennessee, 26.4 seconds, $10,752 (heeler) Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, Okla., $10,752
  • Saddle Bronc Riding – Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyoming, 252.5 points, $13,123
  • Tie-Down Roping – Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, Louisiana, 34.9 seconds, $11,345
  • Barrel Racing – Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, California, 53.21 seconds $19,530
  • Bull Riding – Ruger Piva, Challis, Idaho, 252 points, $10,281
  • Steer Roping – Brody Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 46.4 seconds, $10,801
  • All-Around – Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, $6,486 competing in tie-down, team and steer roping

Results

CHEYENNE, Wyo., July 29, 2018 — The following are final round and overall Cheyenne Frontier Days results.
Bareback Riding: (final round winners) 1, (tie) Shane O’Connell, Rapid City, S.D., on J Bar J Rodeo’s Beyond Bugs, and Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Black Tie, 88 points, $1,450 each. 3, Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., 86.5, $900. 4, Lane McGehee, Victoria, Texas, 86, $600. 5, (tie) Seth Lee Hardwick, Ranchester, Wyo., and Bill Tutor, Huntsville, Texas, 82.5, $300 each. (overall winners) 1, Lowe, 253.5 points, $8,615. 2, McGehee, 252, $6,605. 3, O’Connell, 251.5, $4,882. 4, (tie) Breuer and Tutor, 250, $2,584 each. 6, Hardwick, 249, $1,436. 7, Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 247.5, $1,149. 8, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 247, $861.
Steer Wrestling: (final round winners) 1, (tie) Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla., and Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 8.3 seconds, $1,752 each. 3, Dru Melvin, Hebron, Neb., 8.8, $1,386. 4, Tom Lewis, Lehi, Utah, 9.8, $1,141. 5, Levi Rudd, Chelsea, Okla., 9.9, $897. 6, Stetson Jorgensen, Blackfoot, Idaho, 10.1, $652. 7, Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, 10.4, $408. 8, Jacob Edler, Dacoma, Okla., 10.5, $163. (overall winners) 1, Rudd, 24 seconds, $9,493. 2, Guy, 25.1, $8,255. 3, Dru Melvin, 27, $7,017. 4, Cassidy, 27.1, $5,778. 5, Mindemann, 27.4, $4,540. 6, Lewis, 28.1, $3,302. 7, Jorgensen, 29.2, $2,064. 8, Edler, 29.3, $825.
Tie-Down Roping: (final round winners) 1, Ryan Watkins, Morgan Mill, Texas, 10.9 seconds, $1,737. 2, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., $1,510. 3, John Douch, Huntsville, Texas, 11.5, $1,284. 4, Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, 12.1, $1,057. 5, Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas, 13.8, $831. 6, Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 14.1, $604. 7, Ty Harris, San Angelo, Texas, 14.5, $378. 8, Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 16.1, $151. (overall winners) 1, Hanchey, 34.9 seconds, $9,835. 2, Watkins, 36, $8,552. 3, (tie) Kormos and Smith, 36.6, $6,628 each. 5, Douch, 37, $4,704. 6, Cooper, 37.4, $3,421. 7, Harris, 37.7, $2,138. 8, Gray, 39, $855.
Saddle Bronc Riding: (final round winners) 1, (tie) Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Marquee and Wyatt Casper, Pampa, Texas, on Stace Smith ProRodeo’s Resistols Top Hat, 87 points, $1,450 each. 3, Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo., 86, $900. 4, (tie) Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah, and Dawson Hay, Wildwood, Alberta, 85.5, $475 each. 6, (tie) Joey Sonnier III, New Iberia, La., and Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 85, $125 each. (overall winners) 1, Cress, 252.5 points, $7,334. 2, (tie) Casper and Diaz, 250, $4,889. 4, Scheer, 247, $2,689. 5, Sonnier III, 246.5, $1,711. 6, Hay, 245, $1,222. 7, Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 244, $978. 8, Wright, 243.5, $733.
Team Roping: (final round winners) 1, Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn., and Joseph Harrison, Overbrook, Okla., 7.6 seconds, $1,813 each. 2, Dustin Egusquiza, Mariana, Fla., and Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas, 9.2, $1,500. 3, Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Clint Summers, Lake City, Fla., 9.3, $1,188. 4, Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prude, Brazil, 9.5, $875. 5, Turner Harris, Killdeer, N.D., and Ross Carson, Grassy Butte, N.D., 10.1, $563. 6, Shay Carroll, Hico, Texas, and Jason Duby, Klamath Falls, Ore., 12.5, $313. (overall winners) 1, Masters and Harrison, 26.4 seconds, $8,939. 2, Driggers and Nogueira, 28.1, $7,773. 3, Egusquiza and Koontz, 28.5, $6,607. 4, Harris and Carson, 29.2, $5,441. 5, Rogers and Summers, 29.5, $4,275. 6, Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 32.4, $3,109. 7, Carroll and Duby, 32.7, $1,943. 8, Ty Bach, Mt. Vernon, Texas, and Trey Johnson, Weatherford, Texas, 33.1, $777.
Barrel Racing: (final round winners) 1, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 17.66 seconds, $4,940. 2, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.70, $3,705. 3, Shali Lord, Lamar, Colo., 17.85, $2,470. 4, Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 17.87, $1,235. (overall winners) 1, Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, Calif., 53.21 seconds, $10,003. 2, Hillman, 53.26, $8,574. 3, Lockhart, 53.28, $7,145. 4, Ganter, 53.54, $6,192. 5, Lord, 53.81, $4,763. 6, Lacinda Rose, Willard, Mo., 53.90, $3,811. 7, Michelle Darling, Medford, Okla., 53.92, $2,858. 8, Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 53.99, $1,905. 9, Kelly Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 54.09, $1,429. 10, Laura Lambert, Wiggins, Colo., 54.33, $953.
Bull Riding: (final round winners) (only four rides) 1, Eli Vastbinder, Athens, Texas, 89 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Soup in a Group, $1, 800. 2, Ruger Piva, Challis, Idaho, 85.5, $1,400. 3, J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas, 82, $1,050. 4, Trevor Kastner, Roff, Okla., 81, $750. (overall winners) 1, Piva, 252 points, $8,881. 2, Harris, 250, $6,809. 3, Kastner, 238.5, $5,032. 4, (on two) Vastbinder, 176.5, $3,256. 5, Koby Radley, Montpelier, La., 173.5, $2,072. 6, Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas, 168, $1,480. 7, Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont., 166, $1,184. 8, Gray Essary III, 165.5, $888.
Steer Roping: (final round winners) (only three times) 1, Brodie Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 13.9 seconds, $2,415. 2, Kenyon Burns, Lovington, N.M., 19.7, $2,100. 3, Cody Scheck, Kiowa, Kan., 20.2, $1,785. (overall winners) 1, Poppino, 46.4 seconds, $8,974. 2, Burns, 51.1, $7,803. 3, Scheck, 57.5, $6,633. 4, (on two) Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 29.7, $5,462. 5, Bryce Davis, Ovalo, Texas, 32, $4,291. 6, Quay Howard, Canyon, Texas, 32.3, $3,121. 7, (tie) Jim Locke, Miami, Texas, and Jarrett Blessing, Paradise, Texas, 33.1, $1,366 each.
Wild Horse Race: (final round winners) 1, Bobcat of the Rockies, $848. 2, Mo Green, $636. 3, BMC Construction, $424. 4, Davis Dental, $212.  (overall winners) 1, Bobcat of the Rockies, $7,949. 2, Mo Green, $6,076. 3, Dizzy Heifer Cattle Co., $4,388. 4, BMC Construction, $2,542.

Cheyenne Frontier Days Championship Sunday

Three 2017 CFD Champions have a chance to defend their titles- saddle bronc rider Brody Cress, team roping header, Erich Rogers, team roping heeler, Cory Petska (Rogers and Petska are now roping with different partners)

Today’s field includes 13 more former CFD champions: Tanner Aus (bareback-2015), Will Lowe (bareback- 2009, 2012), Jacobs Crawley (saddle bronc- 2016), Nick Guy (steer wrestling- 2015), Chad Masters (team roping header- 2009), Derrick Begay (team roping header- 2010), Clint Cooper (tie-down roping- 2004), Scott Kormos (tie-down roping-2013), Sherry Cervi (1995), Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (barrel racing- 2007), Lisa Lockhart (barrel racing- 2015), Matt Herbbert (competing in steer roping, rookie saddle bronc- 2003) Jarrett Blessing (steer roping- 2016)

2008 CFD bull riding champion Steve Woolsey will not be competing. He broke his leg in Deadwood, S.D.

Wyoming will be cheering for three of their own cowboys, steer wrestler Miguel Garcia from Kaycee, bareback rider Seth Lee Hardwick who makes his home in Ranchester, and hometown hero, Brody Cress will be defending his title in saddle bronc riding.

Trevor Brazile virtually has the all-around title sewn up. None of the other contestants in the running have won money in two events.

Fourteen current or former world champions qualified for today’s finals.

Several bucking horses and bulls from different stock contractors in today’s draw were selected for the 2017 National Finals Rodeo.

None of today’s bull riders have won CFD titles.

Championship Sunday is a family affair in the team roping, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer roping and tie-down roping.
Cory Petska (team roping heeler) and his wife Sherry Cervi (barrel racing)
Brothers Jacobs and Sterling Crawley (saddle bronc)
Rusty Wright will compete against his Uncle and 2014 World Champion Spencer Wright (saddle bronc)
Brothers Tuf Cooper (steer roping) and Clint Cooper (tie-down roping), sons of Roy Cooper (eight-time world champion and six-time CFD champion)

Former world (1985 -1086) and CFD (1998 – 1999) champion steer roper Jim Davis’ son, Bryce Davis will be competing in the steer roping.

  • Championship Sunday is an international affair.
  • Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta and Straws Milan, Cochrane, Alberta (steer wrestling)
  • Layton Green, Meeting Creek, Alberta (saddle bronc)
  • Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prude, Brazil (team roping heeler)
  • Silvano Alvez, Pilar do Sul,Brazil (bull riding)