Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
2015 Cheyenne Frontier Days champion bareback rider, Tanner Aus moved to the lead in the first round with an 86.5-point ride yesterday. In the past two years, he has won nearly $20,000 at CFD. Aus is a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier and is currently sitting second in the world standings. He has drawn United Pro Rodeo’s Awesome Sauce, which is a horse that can take a rider to an 80-point ride. If Aus and Awesome Sauce can both perform well today, Aus will have a chance at coming back for Sunday’s championship finals. Ponoka, Alberta’s Jake Vold did not disappoint with his 85.5-point ride yesterday. Vold is currently 20th in the world standings and a trip to the pay window would help him secure a trip to his third WNFR. Two-time Cheyenne Frontier Days Champion Will Lowe is ready to win a third CFD buckle after his 84.5-point ride on Three Hills Rodeo’s Junior Bonner on Wednesday.
Brothers, Rusty and Ryder Wright the next generation of saddle bronc riding Wrights, were among fan favorites yesterday. Rusty rode Three Hills Rodeo’s Jumbo Jet to earn 86 points and shoot him to the top of the leader board in the round. Rusty won the National High School Finals Rodeo saddle bronc championship in 2012 and 2013 and proceeded to win the Resistol PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year in 2014. His younger brother, Ryder tied for a third with Brody Cress with a score of 83.5 points. Hillsdale, Wyoming’s Cress is a three-time Wyoming state wrestling champion from Cheyenne East and attributes much of his saddle bronc riding success to the physical and mental strength he learned through wrestling.
Bayle Worden took a spin on Universal Pro Rodeo’s Sports Page in the bull riding for 87 points. That ties him for second place in the first round with Elliot Jacoby. Worden just finished riding at the Championship Bull Riding Finals and will attempt to ride Rafter G Rodeo’s The Wookie today. This bull is high on a cowboy’s wish list. Cowboys that have ridden him this year have received an average score of 86 points. Worden has an opportunity to take the lead in the aggregate if he is successful today. Brendon Averett is now tied for fifth in the first-go with a score of 83 points. Josh Frost also continued the Frost legacy with an 81.5-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Flight Plan. Frost has drawn Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Rat Race who has been bucked 10 times this year and is yet to be rode.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
Watch for Casey Martin and Scott Guenthner to make a move in steer wrestling today. They are second and third in the first round and both have an opportunity to advance to Sunday’s finals. Guenthner is currently sitting 12th in the world standings. 23-year old Dane Browning is a walking miracle. His junior year of high school he had brain surgery to remove a tumor that was causing epileptic seizures. Thursday’s performance theme is Tough Enough to Wear Pink in support of breast cancer research. Steer wrestler Dean McIntyre may be a tough cowboy, but his wife Jamie is a breast cancer survivor. After using alternative therapies to overcome the battle, she was inspired to start “Just Do What Matters,” a non-profit that helps others in similar situations.
Today’s tie-down ropers will be giving it their all for the second go-round as it will be the only opportunity for most of them to get a check. Penalties and missed opportunities kept the team ropers from cashing in yesterday. With four CFD champions in the field, who know what it takes to win here, expect to see fast times.
The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association has an intense lineup of barrel racers for the sixth performance. Currently 11th in the world, Taci Bettis will be running to hopefully continue climbing the world standings and qualify for her first WNFR. Ivy Conrado and Sherry Cervi are both running to hopefully earn a spot in the top 15 in the world standings as they are sitting 18th and 21st. Cervi was the CFD champion in 1995. Jill Welsh is a fighter. She has battled Rheumatoid Arthritis, Kidney cancer and Ovarian cancer. Her horse, Custer, was a huge help in her overcoming difficult times to live out a dream and was named the WPRA/AQHA Horse of the Year for 2015. Rachel Tiedeman is a former CNFR champion and a two-time All-American in the U.S. Girls Wrestling Association in high school and earned another All-American title in college. Wrestling taught Tiedeman a lot about the drive and determination it takes to be a champion in the arena as well.