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Action is fierce at Roundup

Buckles and big money spots come down to final day

Pendleton, OR, Sept. 13 -- The current world leader in professional rodeo’s bareback riding event, Kaycee Feild, (spelling of name is correct) took the win in Friday’s event of the 103rd Pendleton Round-Up, as he moved on to the short go (finals) on Saturday.

The Payson, UT, native, who at 36 has competed in pro rodeo for only six years but won over $1 million and captured two world titles, took the usual cowboy route, praising his horse. That’s only right, since half the scoring in the event is for the horse’s performance. On this ride Feild’s horse, Satin Sheets, provided 39 of Feild’s 82 points.

A hot ride is appropriate given the hottest Round-Up weather in years, hitting 92 today. Before complimenting his horse Feild noted that “it’s like an oven back there” behind the bucking chutes.

“I had a real good horse today, Satin Sheets . . . Satin Sheets is a little grey horse, it was the usual thing, started off a little bit left but started a really good ride, but about 6 seconds in my hand started to come out. But I made her back.” Asked about his prospects in the short go, Feild commented nonchalantly, “Never won a speck here. My dad had a lotta luck here. I wish it would rub off on me a little bit.” He’ll find out Saturday.

Behind Feild were George Gillespie IV, Placerville, CA, with 81 and Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, TX, 79. Gillespie, 32-years-old and 32nd in the national bareback event standings, like Feild joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2007 but has won about $100,000 in his six years. He has performed very well this year, winning 13 rodeos up until the Pendleton Round-Up. He grew up in nearby Elgin, Oregon.

All three of these men will join the field of 13 hopefuls in Saturday’s short go (finals) for the championship in bareback riding. The highest score going into the short go belonged to an Oregonian, Steven Peebles of Redmond, with 87.

Tie down Roping

Once again ropers proved how difficult these events can be, with only three of nine competitors on Friday coming up with a time in the tie down roping event, where a cowboy on a galloping horse pursues a calf, ropes it, then ties its feet and hopes they stay tied long enough for the judges to give him a time.

Roger Nonella, Klamath Falls, OR, took first with a time of 11.5 seconds, far from the arena record of 7.7 seconds. He was followed by Matt Nauman, New Plymouth, ID, 12.9, and by local, Aaron Marts, Hermiston, OR, 29.7. Nonella, 36, has rodeoed professionally for six years and won $82,701 in the sport. He calls the Pendleton Round-Up his favorite rodeo.

Nonella will compete in Saturday’s short go, along with a number of the top names in tie down roping, who qualified earlier in the week. He’ll be one of two Oregonians in the event, along with Seth Hopper of nearby Hermiston. At the top, after two go rounds, is Erich Rogers, Round Rock, AZ, with 21.2 seconds for the two go rounds. Rogers, 27, has competed professionally for seven years, following in the footsteps of family members. He has won six rodeos this year and is ranked 16th in world standings for tie down roping and #2 for team roping.

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Saddle Bronc

Isaac Diaz gave himself an early birthday present Friday, capturing first in the saddle bronc event to give him the 12th spot in Saturday’s 12-competitor short go (final). The Desdemona, TX, native turns 37 on Sunday and may just wake up after winning Saturday’s saddle bronc title. But he’s got tough competition. While Diaz currently holds the #13 spot in the event in the PRCA, he will face #3, #5, #7, and #11, not to mention #21, #26 and #30. It may just come down to the best horse. Behind him in Friday’s competition were Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD, and Louie Brunson, Interior, SD, tied at 83, and Taos Muncy, Corona, NM, at 81. All three made the cut to Saturday’s final 12.

Steer Wrestling

Steer wrestling’s tough too. Only three of the field of 12 on Friday completed the event for a time. Jordan Holland, Dillon, MT, completed the job in 7.2 seconds. Right behind him were Travis Reay, Mayerthorpe, AB, in 7.4, and Joe Buffington, Wheatland, WY, 7.5. None of the times moved them into Saturday’s short go. Leading Saturday’s 12 wrestlers will be Stan Branco, Chowcilla, CA, with 11.3 seconds total in two go rounds through Friday. Branco, 26 and a six-year PRCA rodeo competitor, comes from five generations of rodeo competitors, including several world champions. Although ranked #16 in the PRCA he’ll face tough competitors such as Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE, ranked #3, and Dakota Eldridge, Elko, NV, ranked #10.

Team Roping

In the only team sport at the rodeo, where the first cowboy, the header, ropes the head of a running steer from his horse, followed by the heeler who ropes the hind feet, it can be as difficult to get it done as it is to leap aboard the steer from a galloping horse. That was demonstrated again Friday when only four of 12 competing teams could do it.

First on Friday went to the team of Chant DeForest/C.J. DeForest, Jr., both of Wheatland, CA, with a time of 6.0 seconds, an outstanding time but not good enough to make Saturday’s short go. That event will feature the winningest roper ever, Trevor Brazile, Decatur, TX, and his roping partner, Patrick Smith, Lipan, TX. Although Brazile is a favorite to win any competition he joins he is currently 22nd in team roping in the PRCA and will face #5, local favorite Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, OR, partnered with #4 heeler, Jim Ross Cooper, Monument, NM; and he’ll also face #12, Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, AZ with #13 heeler, Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, AZ.

Beers, 27, is the son of famed roper Mike Beers, who won both the steer and calf roping titles at the Pendleton Round-Up and who is watching his son compete this week. The younger Beers has won $373,441 since joining the PRCA in 2005 and has won five rodeos in 2013. His partner, Jim Ross Cooper, 29, Monument, NM, won the tie down roping event at the Round-Up in 2010. A professional competitor since 2005, his total winnings are $453,880 and he has won seven rodeos this year.

Bull Riding

The bull riding event’s top three finishers on Friday went 88, 87, 86, with Jordan Wacey Spears, Redding, CA, taking first, Brett Stall, Detroit lakes, MN, second, and Joe Frost, Randlett, UT in third. All were outstanding rides, placing all three cowboys in the short go’s field of 11 competitors on Saturday. The competition will feature the PRCA’s #4, #6, #11, #12, #17 and #18 (Frost) bull riders.

Both #4 and #6 started rodeo careers early. #4, Cody Campbell, is an Oregon favorite because he grew up here, at Summerville, and won two state high school rodeo championships. The 26-year-old just began competing in the PRCA last year but says he rode his first bull at 13 while attending a bible camp. One of the seven rodeos he has won this year was the nearby Hermiston, Oregon, Farm-City Pro Rodeo. Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, TX, #6 in the PRCA standings, started at rodeo by riding broncs at age 10. Bownds, 22, began PRCA competition two years ago and has qualified for one NFR. He was the rookie of the year when he joined in 2011. Both will have a chance at another title on Saturday.

Steer Roping

A local cowboy, Tom Sorey of Pendleton, had the best time in Friday’s steer roping event, 16.9. He was followed by son and dad from Keenesburg, CO, Cole Glover, with 17.2, and Chris Glover,17.5. Chris Glover demonstrates the fact that ropers last longer in rodeo. He marked birthday # 53 last week. He’s been a PRCA competitor for 22 years, as long as many of the rough stock riders have been around. Chris also names the Pendleton Round-Up as his favorite rodeo.

He and son Cole will be up against tough competition, including perennial winner, Trevor Brazile, Decatur, TX, who won the second go round. The best time for the two go rounds went to Tom Fisher, Andrews, TX, 28.7/2, who will compete in the 12th position on Saturday. The Round-Up arena record for this event for one steer is 10.1 seconds.

Barrel Racing

The scoreboard carried the number while 11 barrel racers attempted to beat it on Friday. It noted that a time of 29.44 would be needed to move to the short go (finals) on Saturday. And one rider made it. Randi Timmons, Elizabeth, CO, the first rider up, finished in 29.25. Deanne Bain, Culver, OR, would have joined her, with a time of 29.29, but she knocked down a barrel, earning a five second penalty. Five seconds is an eternity in this event, where Friday’s top and bottom times differed by 1.44 seconds. Kristy Yerrington, Carey, ID, came in second with 29.67 seconds, followed by local favorite, Britni Carlson of nearby Hermiston, OR, 29.88.

On Saturday the favorite might be Christy Loflin, Franktown, CO. She won the event here in 2012 and she had the best time through Friday, 28.62. She’s currently at #6 in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) with nearly $90,000 in winnings for the year. Two local favorites competing Saturday will be cousins from Hermiston, Mary Shae Hays and Jade Crossley. Also competing will be the WPRA #7, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, TX, #15, Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, NM, and #16, Shada Brazile, Decatur, TX.

Barrel racing is the Round-Up’s only event for women. The course is run around three barrels set in a triangular pattern, with a straight run down the arena field after rounding the third barrel.

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