Round 1 is in the books, but in the pregame build-up, I felt like I was punched in the gut when I heard that 2X World Champion Doggin’ Horse Tyson was feeling sore and Curtis Cassidy, Scott Guenthner and Jesse Brown would be using other horses. They said they were hopeful that Tyson could be back in action later in the rodeo; that was a relief to me.
Related subject/different event: In last night’s posting, I chose not to talk about the loss of Logan Bird’s Champion Tie-Down Horse T.J. and how it would affect Shane Hanchey’s run for the title. Tonight, we had good news. Logan had his other Champion Tie-Down Horse Peso down there (fresh from Agribition). Shane Hanchey rode him and won the round. In his round-winner interview, Shane was emotional and thanked the Bird family for everything they do for him.
Now to the Action: Last year’s NFR Bareback Riding Aggregate winner Jess Pope won the round with a 90.5. It was definitely the winning ride, but it was also a real drawing contest. That pen was extremely uneven, there was horses that GOD couldn’t have placed on, and Orin Larsen had one of them. Three or four guys could have and should had rerides, but only the season leader got one. Funny how that works, eh.
In Steer Wrestling, Riley Duvall and Dirk Tavenner split the round with runs of 4 seconds flat. Jesse Brown split 5/6 with a 4.5, Scott Guenthner was 5 flat, and Curtis Cassidy clocked a 5.6.
In Team Roping Tyler Wade & Trey Yates had a 4.0 second run. 2016 World Champion Heeler Jeremy Buhler and his partner Rhen Richard were 4.5 + 5 for one leg and no money. There was four no-times in the tandem event tonight.
2X World Champion and 2X Canadian Champion Zeke Thurston split the round with Chase Brooks with 88.5 points. Zeke’s horse threw a lot of moves at him, but he rode through it like the champion that he is. Tegan Smith was 84.5 on Outlaw Buckers 508 Lunatic Party for a split of 5/6. Kolby Wanchuk finished in the crying hole with a strong 84. Dawson Hay marked 82.5 and Layton Green was 80.5. Unfortunately, Ben Andersen bucked off what was maybe the rankest horse of the night. Wyatt Casper was bedded down early by Outlaw Buckers XW OLS Tubs Magic Carpet. I’m positive I saw Canadian legend Roddy Hay pulling the flank on Mo Betta’s 459 Sue City Sue. They bucked Wade Sundell off but it made me wonder if Roddy maybe sold that horse to Mo Betta Rodeo.
As mentioned earlier, Shane Hanchey took Peso for the victory lap on the basketball court.
Cheyenne Wimberly and Amanda Welsh shared first and second in Barrel Racing. It was close; they both clocked 13.77 and defending Champion Hailey Kinsel was 13.78.
PBR superstar J.B. Mauney and Australian Ky Hamilton both scored 87.5 points to split the win, and Parker Breding was 81.5 on Macza’s 639 Ugly Wish for no cheque.
There was quite a bit of Canadiana in the Go-round Buckle presentations.
Zeke took his daughter Lucy onstage with him, and Chase took his travelling partner Kolby Wanchuk, amongst others. The stage was fairly full with two different stock contractors and two different winners plus guests. Hopefully, it was a rehearsal for Kolby, and he gets to repay the gesture before this is done.
Shane Hanchey brought quite a crew on stage with him including Maynard, Shawna, Lakota and Logan Bird. He talked of his emotions when T.J. passed and the ensuing struggle to get his head right, but now that he’s had a run on Peso he’s back on track. (He won the NFR Average last year on T.J.) It’s really amazing how one family could have two horses of that calibre, and Shane Hanchey knows it, appreciates it and isn’t scared to talk about it.
Round 2 Draw
There’s a bit more Canadian content in this round.
Manitoba spur machine Orin Larsen has Big Stone’s 313 Mayhem and they’ve crossed paths before. Back in September, Orin rode Mayhem for 91 points to win Walla Walla, Wash. I’m really looking forward to this one.
Richie Champion has drawn Bridwell’s 374 Mary. I’ve seen her buck, and you can see Lac La Biche horse ranchers Dave and Laurie MacDonald’s brand on her hip plain as day. Mary went to the futurities, and California stock contractor Tim Bridwell bought her.
Calgary has three bareback horses in Round 2. Caleb Bennett will test W-38 Welcome Delivery, Tanner Aus has Z-16 Zig Zag Cherry, and Garrett Shadbolt will tangle with Y-92 Yippee Kibitz.
California Bareback Rider R.C. Landingham has drawn Legend Rodeo’s 232 Uptown Flash.
In the Bronc Riding, Ben Andersen will be mounted on Calgary’s B-92 Baby Kibitz. I believe Ben can shake off last night’s buck off and come a’spurring in Round 2.
Layton Green has Legend’s 23 Artificial Colours. Dr Tandy Freeman said Layton is a bit under the weather, but he gave him some stuff to hydrate him. Hopefully, Layton is feeling better.
Kolby Wanchuk will match moves with P3Z Lady Vain from Bar T Rodeo.
Dawson Hay’s mount will be 4X9 Bloomers River’s Ghost from Pete Carr.
Round 1 co-champion Zeke Thurston has drawn 445 Damaged Goods from the Big Rafter outfit.
Wyoming’s Brody Cress drew C5’s consistent 333- Kitty Whistle; it should be a good match.
Montana Bull Rider Parker Breding will try 604 Lose Your Bones from the Outlaw Buckers herd.
Round 2 goes December 3rd at 7:45 pm Maple Creek Standard Time.