Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
At 41 years old, Kelly Timberman is one of the oldest bareback riders still on the road today. A healthy lifestyle and intense workout routine keeps him in prime shape to compete with the young guns, as bareback riding is one of the most physically demanding events in rodeo. Timberman, from Mills, Wyoming, is the 2004 world champion. Frenchman, Evan Jayne has had a highlight year with several big rodeo wins.Adding a CFD championship to that list would help him qualify for his third Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR). Jayne and his wife, Kristin, had a scare earlier this year when their four-year-old daughter, Sienna, experienced a brain aneurysm and was in a medically-induced coma. Sienna is now fully recovered. Jayne and fellow bareback rider Clint Cannon were part of a 2007 French documentary film, Ballade Pour Un Cowboy (Ballad of a Cowboy), which inspired Jayne to start his own Vlog this year. The vlog details the everyday life of a rodeo cowboy with high-quality footage and lots of good laughs. Former college champion and current world champion, Tim O’Connell, was second at the Days of 47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City, Utah, winning $25,000. He leads the world standings and hopes to continue distancing himself from the pack.
Current world champion saddle bronc rider, Zeke Thurston is sitting second in the world standings and has drawn Rafter G Rodeo’s Orange Crush. The horse provides cowboys the opportunity for high scores. That could help Thurston catch up to current world standings leader, Jacobs Crawley, who is in good shape to come back for CFDs Championship Sunday. Shade Etbauer will try his best to follow in his Uncles Dan (1996) and Billy (2009) Etbauer’s footsteps to win a CFD championship. He’s currently first in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rookie standings and 25th in the world standings, a win here could boost Shade to his first NFR qualification. Three-time CFD champion (2004, 2010, 2012), Cody DeMoss is third in the world standings and has had one of his most successful years since he joined the PRCA in 2000. DeMoss won nearly half a million dollars at The American (non-PRCA rodeo) earlier this year and just earned $50,000 at the Days of 47 Rodeo. Taos Muncy, the 2007 CFD and world champion, will also highlight the field.
Sage Kimzey likes a good challenge and setting records. He just reset the Championship Bull Riding (CBR) record by winning his third CBR World Title and is three-time consecutive PRCA world champion bull rider. CFD is one of his favorite rodeos even though he has yet to win it. He likes it because it is a “traditional rodeo that continues to preserve the Western way of life.” Kimzey has drawn Stace Smith Rodeo’s Rebelution, who has a 100% buck off rate this year. Cole Melancon, eighth and Dustin Bowen, 12th in the world standings, will both be on the hunt for a CFD win. Melancon, who just won the college bull riding title in Casper last month, has drawn Stace Smith Rodeo’s Hacksaw Ridge. The bull has been ridden once out of eight times this year. Bowen will attempt to ride Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Texas Red who can take him to the leader board if rode. Melancon rode Texas Red earlier this year for 83.5 points at an Xtreme Bulls event. Don’t be surprised if you see cowboy sportsmanship take place as Melancon will probably give Bowen pointers on Texas Red’s tricks in the arena.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
The steer wrestling will be packed with some of the top PRCA contestants in the world standings. Colorado’s Josh Peek is an all-around contender competing in steer wrestling and tie-down roping. Peek is currently 13th in the world in steer wrestling. Matt Reeves and Baylor Roche are tenth and eleventh in the world standings and will be going for the win. CFD presents a unique set up for these contestants. The steer gets a 30-foot head start before the cowboy can leave the box, or a penalty is incurred. Any competitor will tell you that CFD is an adrenaline rush as they are running at high speed while jumping from their horses’ back to wrestle large, strong steers. 2005 CFD champion and Wyoming cowboy, Seth Brockman aims to repeat his title.
The tie-down roping will be star studded as well. First in the world standings and fresh off a $50,000 win, Tuf Cooper will be trying his hand at this fresh pen of calves. His brother-in-law and 23-time world champion, Trevor Brazile, who won the tie-down roping here in 2014, will be hoping to add to his legacy. Ace Slone wants to continue his winning streak after winning California Rodeo Salinas, which boosted him to 13th in the world standings. Hunter Herrin and Tim Pharr are also working on climbing up the world standings ladder to qualify for the NFR. Herrin is 16th in the world and Pharr is 25th.
The team roping will have ten of the top 20 cowboys in the world standings competing today along with some former CFD champions. Header Chad Masters was the CFD champion in 2009, however this year he will be roping with a different partner, Travis Graves. Masters and Graves are on the bubble to qualify for the NFR, sitting 17th as a header and 15th as a heeler. Another CFD championship would boost them in the world standings. Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith are the only team to have won a CFD championship together in this group. That happened in 2012. Heeler, Cesar de la Cruz is no stranger to the prestigious CFD championship. With two different partners, he won the title in 2006 and 2010. Today, he is roping with Hayes Smith who is 23rd in the world standings.
The barrel racing should continue speeding up with tomorrow’s lineup. Hailey Kinsel and her horse Sister are on a roll this year. They won nearly half a million dollars at The American (non-PRCA/WPRA rodeo), she is the reigning college rodeo champion, and just won $50,000 dollars at Salt Lake City’s Days of 47 Rodeo. Her earnings have boosted her to seventh in the world standings, virtually qualifying her for her first NFR. 2016 CFD champion Tillar Murray is on the hunt for a repeat title. She is 8th in the world standings in spite of competing with a transverse process fracture in her back from a horse accident at WYO rodeo in Sheridan, Cowgirling up through the pain, she ran an 18.01-second run in the first round. She and her horse Commander will be doing their best to earn a spot in Sunday’s rodeo.