Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
Reigning world champion bareback rider, Tim O’Connell, continued his winning streak with an 84.5-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Biscuit yesterday. That tied him for third in the first round and put him in contention for his first CFD title. Kelly Timberman, 41, showed the young guns how it was done with an 82-point ride. Cody Kiser has made it big in both the arena and in Hollywood. Kiser rode for 82 points yesterday and has drawn Korkow Rodeo’s Joker Poker today. Clayton Biglow rode that horse for 80.5 earlier this week. Kiser has a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Nevada-Reno and was the stunt man for Bradley Cooper in the movie “American Sniper.”
Louisiana’s Cody DeMoss is aiming for another CFD title after his 85-point ride yesterday. He tied for second in the first round. DeMoss holds the CFD arena record of 91 points, set in 2010, and has won this rodeo three times. Current world champion saddle bronc rider, Zeke Thurston, rode Rafter G Rodeo’s Orange Crush for 83 points in round one. These two have the best opportunity to advance to the finals on Sunday.
Bull riders came for the money yesterday. Clayton Foltyn rode Stace Smith Rodeo’s Tracker for 85.5 points, to place fourth in the first round. He has drawn Stace Smith’s Red Man today, a bull that is known to score high. Foltyn is also a former CFD all-around champion (2009). He won that title competing in both bareback and bull riding. Jordan Spears, ranked 9th in the world standings, scored 83.5 points on Friday. He will try Stace Smith Rodeo’s Chocolate Thunder today, a bull that has only been ridden once in eight attempts this year. Shane Proctor knows what the pay window looks like at CFD. He was the 2011 CFD champion, which helped boost him to the world title that year. Proctor scored 82 yesterday and will match up with the high-scoring bull, Tracker, of the Stace Smith herd. If he is successful his winnings could boost him into the top 15 in the world standings. So far only one cowboy has ridden bulls in both rounds, but 12 cowboys, including three-time world champ Sage Kimzey, have a chance to do so today.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
Baylor Roche’s time of 6.7 seconds won the first round of steer wrestling yesterday and earned him $6,289. Before he came to Cheyenne, he was 11th in the world standings. Roche is riding Bubba Boots” college rodeo horse, Caesar. Bubba was the all-around champion for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Associations Big Sky region this year while competing at Wyoming’s Northwest College in Powell. Lucky for Bubba, Baylor’s win earned him mount money to help pay for his college education and he could earn more if Roche does well today.
Georgia’s Tim Pharr is working his way up from 25th in the world standings after his 10.7-second run in the tie-down roping. It has been ten years since Pharr competed at CFD. His run made a warm welcome back to the legendary CFD arena, placing second in the round and winning $5,181. Pharr raises and trains his own horses, most of them are named after characters in his favorite movie, Lonesome Dove. His 15-year old mare, Maggie, was his mount of choice because in Pharr’s words, “She doesn’t mess up.”
Team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska roped in 9.0 seconds, tying them for sixth in the first round and earning $1,730 each. They are both second in the world standings. 2009 CFD champion header, Chad Masters, and his partner, Travis Graves, roped in 9.6. They are on the bubble to qualify for the WNFR, sitting 17th as a header (Masters) and 15th as a heeler (Graves.) Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, who are fourth and third respectively in the world standings, are in good shape with a 9.8 in round one.
Barrel racer Stevi Hillman is currently second in the world and has her eyes set on a CFD championship after her first-round win. With $6,573 pocketed already for that 17.48-second run, she aims to lay down another fast run in hopes of taking the overall lead. Cassidy Kruse placed second in the first round with a time of 17.60, cashing in $5,634. Winning CFD would hold a special place in the heart of this Wyoming cowgirl. Colorado’s Kim Schulze is a walking miracle. The 2011 CFD barrel racing champion experienced a near death accident in February. After being kicked by a horse, Schulze had a lacerated liver (grade 4 out of 5) and internal bleeding. She spent a week and a half in the hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, undergoing several different procedures. She is still working to recover. It’s taken cowgirl try and perseverance to get her back in the arena, as she still struggles with pain and weakness. Schulze was a 17.93 in the first round.