First Time jitters don’t get in the way of Cheyenne Frontier Days Steer Wrestler

By: Susan Kanode

CHEYENNE, Wyo., (July 19, 2015) – A rookie and a veteran got together to take the lead in the first round of steer wrestling at the third performance of the “Daddy of ‘em All.”

J.D. Struxness from Appleton, Minn., took the lead in the first round of competition at the 119th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo with a fast time of 7.0 seconds. The former College National Finals Rodeo qualifier is second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Rookie of the Year standings. He is also in the top 50 of the world standings.

Struxness is traveling with veteran competitor Stockton Graves and is riding Graves’ steer wrestling horse. Graves, the head rodeo coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, was riding beside Struxness hazing. This is the first time that Struxness has competed in Cheyenne which is not the average rodeo on the circuit.

Steers here are big (weighing over 600 pounds) and strong and get a 30-foot head start, known as the score line. At many rodeos, cattle get a 10 – 12 foot head start. The longer score line can create havoc as horses that are anxious to run and do their jobs have to wait for cattle to wander out into the arena. It also means that contestants have to be really patient.

“Stockton told me that I should breathe deep and try to stay calm in the box,” Struxness said. “Then I should treat this like any other rodeo. It sure worked out. I had a good steer and am glad to have that first one behind me.”

Graves is in second place in the first round with a 9.7 and while that time is significantly slower than that of Struxness, they each are in good position to qualify for the championship finals on Sunday, July 26th. They both will have their second round of competition on Tuesday which will determine their opportunity to make a trip back to Cheyenne this weekend.

Clint Robinson, from Spanish Fork, Utah, is the new leader in the first round of tie-down roping. He had a 10.4-second run in Frontier Park on Monday. The five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier won the championship here in 2006. He is 10th in the world standings and on pace to be back in Las Vegas this December for rodeo’s championship event.

Brittany Pozzi won the barrel racing title here in 2007 and may have an opportunity to ride for another. The Victoria, Texas, cowgirl stopped the clock in 17.45 seconds on Monday, the fastest time of the rodeo so far.       Pozzi was riding her five-year-old mare she calls Mona. Mona’s registered name is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and was raised and trained by Pozzi.

“I have a lot of confidence on her in a big arena like this,” Pozzi said. “She seems to do better when I can get her into the arena and get her zoned in on the barrels.”

All of Tuesday’s rodeo competitors will be in their second round of competition. The rodeo gets underway at 12:15 p.m.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 20, 2015) — The following are current leaders at Cheyenne Frontier Days:

Bareback riding: (first round) 1, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 84 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Mike Outhier. 2, George R. Gillespie IV, Hamilton, Mont., 82. 3, (tie) Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D., Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas; Mason Clements, Sandy, Utah; 79. (second round) 1, Kaycee Field, Spanish Fork, Utah, 81 points. 2, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 80 points. 3, (tie) Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., and Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alberta, 79 each. (total on two) 1, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 163 points. 2, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 159. 3, Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 156. 4, (tie) Mason Clements, Sandy, Utah, and George R. Gillespie IV, Hamilton, Mont., 155.

Tie-down roping: (first round) 1, Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 10.4 seconds. 2, (tie) Justin Macha, Needville, Texas and Chris Demasas, Boyd, Texas, 10.5 each. 43, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 10.8. (second round) 1, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 10.2. 2, Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 10.6. 3, Garrett Hale, Snyder, Texas, 10.9. 4, Don Coffell, Iredell, Texas, 10.9. (total on two) 1, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 21.0. 2, Justin Macha, Needville, Texas, 22.6. 3, Robert Mathis, Mart, Texas, 23.0. 4, Jon Peek, Berthold, N.D., 24.2.

Saddle bronc riding: (first round) 1, Justin Caylor, Sulphur Springs, Texas, 79 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Ridiculousness. 2, Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 78. 3, Audy Reed, Spearman, Texas, 77. 4, (tie) Andy Clarys, Riverton, Wyo, and Chanse Darling, Hyattville, Wyo., 76 each. (second round) 1, Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 83 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Tiger Touch. 2, Tyrel Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 81. 3. Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., 79. 4, (tie) Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, and Cody Taton, Corona, N.M., 77. (total on two) 1, (tie) Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., and Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 154 points. 3, Audy Reed, Spearman, Texas, 151. 4, Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, 146.

Steer wrestling: (first round) 1, J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Wisc., 7.0 seconds. 2, Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 9.7. 3, Jake Rinehart, Highmore, S.D., 9.8. 4. Tommy Cook, McAlester, Okla., 10.4. (second round) 1, Jacob D. Edler, State Center, Iowa, 9.5 seconds. 2, Chris Berry, Valley View, Texas, 10.6. 3, Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla., 11.9. 4, Brady Hageman, Juniata, Neb., 12.2. (total on two) 1, Jacob D. Edler, State Center, Iowa, 23.5 seconds. 2, Mitchell Gardner, Dover, Okla., 25.3. 3, Dean Stermer, Frisco, Texas, 27.4. 4, Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla., 27.6.

Rookie saddle bronc riding: (first round) 1, Tayte Augustus Clark, Meadow, S.D., 69 points. 2, Jake Finlay, Goodwell, Okla., 66. 3, Jace Lane, Morse, Texas, 48. 4, Garrett Buckley, Craig, Colo., 47 points. (second round) 1, (tie) Hawkins Shane Boyce, Malad, Idaho, and Nick Shenold, Glencoe, Okla., 64 points each.

Team roping: (first round) 1, J.B. Lord and Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D., 8.3 seconds. 2, Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Levi Tyan, Wallace, Neb., 8.8. 3, Travis Bounds, Grand Junction, Colo., and Joe Roderick, Loma, Colo., 9.2. 4, David Key and Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 9.3. (second round) 1, Rhett Anderson, Anabella, Utah, and Cole Wilson, Lake Shore, Utah, 7.6 seconds. 2, Paul Beckett, Laramie, Wyo., and Cole Cooper, Loma, Colo., 8.1. 3, Lynn Campbell, Loma, Colo., and Hank Bounds, Palisade, Colo., 10.8. 4, Corey Whinnery, Powderhorn, Colo., and Pake Younger, Grand Junction, Colo., 14.1. (total on two) 1, Rhett Anderson, Anabella, Utah, and Cole Wilson, Lake Shore, Utah, 22.9 seconds. 2, Corey Whinnery, Powderhorn, Colo., and Pake Younger, Grand Junction, Colo., 25.4. 

Barrel Racing: (second round leaders) 1, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 17.45 seconds. 2, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.48. 3, (tie) Megan Swint, Lithia, Fla., 17.52 and Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 17.52 each. (total on two leaders) 1, Lisa Lockhart, 34.96 seconds. 2, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 35.49. 3, Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 35.54. 4, Rachel Dice, Livermore, Calif., 35.60.

Bull riding: (first round) 1, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 83 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo’s Jukebox Hero. 2, Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D., 82. 3, Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, 81. 4, (tie) Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., and Rocky McDonald, Colonia Juarez, Mexico, 79. (second round-one ride) 1, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 83 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan Rodeo’s Tom Thumb. (total on two leaders) 1, Pass, 166 points.

Wild horse race: 1, Dustin Suppah, $591. 2, ABC Seemless, $443. 3, Chan Childers, $295. 4, Daniel Gilbert, $147.78.