New leaders took center stage on the first night of rodeo action with Kyle Bounds, Tristian Mahoney, Jordan Minor, Jacob Stacy, Bryan Martinet, Stevie Rae Willis and Chase and Clayton Hansen coming away as the top winners at the 50th annual Fort Dalles Days Pro-Rodeo at Milt Tumilson Arena in The Dalles.
With two days still left on the schedule, it is all a waiting game.
“It’s one of those where you do your best and hope it goes well,” said Stacy, who posted a time of 4.1 seconds in steer wrestling to jump into first place. “Sometimes we don’t find out if we got a check or not until it comes in the mail. We are always on the road to the next rodeo. I feel good about my time though. It was nice to do good here.”
After Stacy, who hails from Moses Lake, Wash., is The Dalles’ Shawn Wilkinson (4.9) and Baker City’s Jesse Brown (5.8).
Queens Creek’s Devon Burris (5.9), Hermiston’s BoDee Foster (6.0), Kennewick’s Sam Shelton (6.5) and Homedale’s Eric Knapp (6.6) rounded out the top-7.
In the bull riding, nine signed on, but could not solve the stock presented by Gold Buckle Rodeo.
Of the past two rodeos, GBR bulls have only been conquered once in 76 tries.
“We marched these bulls out tonight, and they got the better end of it,” rodeo director Jake Grossmiller said. “There are more bull riders coming, so you never know. There isn’t a bull that can’t be rode or a cowboy that can’t be thrown. So we will see.”
Minor, out of Hermiston, jumped Pendleton’s Hilary Vanderpas (2.3) Thursday with a time of 2.1 seconds in the breakaway roping event for first place.
Jamie Marts, of Homedale, is tied for second place with Vanderpas with her 2.3, and Dufur’s Brooke Brumley (2.8) is settled in fourth place ahead of Hailey Hall (2.9) and Myrtle Point’s Olivia Train (2.9).
Willis, out of Terrebonne, took control of first place in the barrel racing run with her time of 17.89, a few ticks ahead of Jessica Lewis (17.93).
Jade Crossley (17.97), Amberly Fluit (17.99), Bailey Vankoll (18.08), Trish Lulay (18.11), Jaiden Mahoney (18.14) and Jodi Goodrich (18.15) cap the top field of eight.
Bounds is ahead of the pack in bareback riding after putting up a score of 82 points, with Caldwell’s Cooper Clemens (75) in second place and Blake Anglen (69), of Prineville, hitting third place.
There were 10 cowboys competing in the tie down roping division Thursday and just three earned final marks, led by Florence’s Tristian Mahoney scoring a leading 9.3 seconds.
Colton Campbell locked into a second-place tie with Kirby Cook with a run of 9.7, and Ty Sturza is fourth with his 10.1.
Markus Hamlin (10.4), J.W. Rose (10.5), Sam Willis (10.5), Wyatt Williams (11.6), Ringo Robinson (12.5) and Brock Palmer (12.7) rounded out the top-10 heading into this weekend.
So far, Grossmiller has been impressed by what he has seen. More times could drop over the next two days.
“I don’t think there was any one performance that stood out. They were all pretty good,” Grossmiller said. “I think they will be better tomorrow night (Friday). We got a lot more contestants coming and the stock was tough. The cowboys are going to have to cowboy up.”
Payette High School graduates and twin brothers, Chase and Clayton Hansen appear to be enroute to their first top finish after posting a mark of 4.8 seconds in team roping.
They lead by .5 seconds over the team of Ryan Opie and Cully Stafford (5.3).
“We have been practicing a bunch and we have been rodeoing a lot so far this summer,” Clayton said. “We just kind of prepared ourselves for this week, coming into it knowing we got to win some money.
“We are behind in our amateur rodeo because we haven’t won much, so we came in here aggressive. I got it on him and my brother took a great shot and it worked out.”
Bryan Reay and Chad McDaniel are in third place with a 6.3, Jack Fischer and Brent Falon (6.5) are fourth, Kelsey Felton and Paul Dunn (6.7) are in fifth place, and the team of Shane Erickson and Phoenix Everno are sixth with a 7.2.
“We have both went our separate ways since high school, but we have teamed back up, trying to rodeo and trying to win,” said Clayton. “It is good to get this one down. This is the best rodeo of the weekend and to come out ahead with two days left, makes us happy.”
Martinet, of Homedale, leads the saddle bronc with his score of 85, and New Plymouth’s Nathan Duckworth is second with his 80.
Cooper Dewitt (79), of Rico, Arizona, is in third place, Stacy (77) is fourth, Cameron Craig, of McCall, Idaho is sixth after a 73 and Klamath Falls’ H.D. Tucker has his 68 for seventh place.
Second-day rodeo action starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight with ‘Tough enough to wear pink’ night.
Saturday, all military personnel will be honored.