Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
Kaycee Field has been touted as one of the greatest bareback riders of all time and has the resume to prove it. However, even with four world championships and eight Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifications, Feild has yet to add Cheyenne Frontier Days to his list of career wins. He is the son of late Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Lewis Feild, who was a five-time PRCA world champion that never earned a Cheyenne buckle.
The 2015 world champion Steven Peebles is currently among the top 25in the world standings. A Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) win could make his eighth NFR qualification a reality. He will be matched against United ProRodeo’s Pow Wow Nights. The horse took Jake Vold to an 85-point score in the first round here. Peebles has struggled with chronic injuries and is hoping for at least one more NFR before he has to hang up his rigging. Tilden Hooper, ranked 10th, has four NFR qualifications. He has struggled with persistent neck issues but seems to have found the magic formula that enables him to keep riding. Both of these men will keep the Justin Sportsmedicine Team busy.
Brody Cress, last year’s champion saddle bronc rider here, will be defending his title. The local cowboy represents CFD with every spur stroke at rodeos across North America as he proudly wears the iconic arrowhead on his chaps. Third in the world standings, Cress is aiming for his second NFR. Should he repeat his “Daddy of ‘em all” win, he would join the short list of only two other cowboys (Earl Thode 1931-1932, Turk Greenough 1935-1936) who have won this rodeo in back-to-back years.
Reigning world champion Ryder Wright is having a phenomenal year. Since June he has added wins and big money to his pockets at rodeos like Cody, Wyoming; Pecos, Texas; Belle Fourche, South Dakota; Sisters and Molalla, Oregon. Just last week he Nampa, Idaho and Salinas, California. He also added a big win at the Calgary Stampede in July, and while the money didn’t count in the world standings, it will certainly help Ryder provide for his family. Dawson Hay is another second-generation bronc rider hoping to take home a CFD title. His dad, Rod Hay, was the 2000 CFD champion and qualified for 20 NFRs. Hay is attending Oklahoma Panhandle State University under the coaching of two-time world champion Robert Etbauer and 9-time NFR qualifier Craig Latham.
Reigning College National Finals Rodeo All-Around Champion Will Centoni will be competing in the Rookie Saddle Bronc Riding. Centoni also competes in bull riding and team roping but is not entered in those events here. The saddle that he earned last month in Casper for the title was donated by Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Four-time and reigning world champion Sage Kimzey will face Dakota Rodeo’s Blue Stone. Owner Chad Berger was excited about the match-up and expects Kimzey to ride the bull for a high score. While Kimzey has won nearly everything under the sun, he hopes to add the 122nd CFD to his resume. Former CFD champions Steve Woolsey (2008) and Roscoe Jarboe (2016) will also be in the field. Jarboe is 16th in the world standings. A big win here could help him earn a berth at his third NFR. Young gun Brett Custer is third in the bull riding rookie standings. His dad Cody Custer is a former world champion, was the 1999 champion bull rider here and has been inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
Reigning world champion and current standings leader Tyler Pearson will compete in steer wrestling today along with former world champion Tyler Waguespack and NFR veterans Ty Erickson, Trevor Knowles, Blake Knowles and Kyle Irwin.
Each of these men has yet to win a buckle here.
Two steer wrestlers with local ties will also compete today. Aaron Vosler of Cheyenne has done well here in the past and Beau Clark, the former rodeo coach at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, is the new rodeo coach at the University of Wyoming and doing his part to uphold U-Dub’s new slogan “The World Needs More Cowboys”. Clark will be riding one of Tyler Waguespack’s horses.
The Navajo Nation is well-represented in team roping with a pair of world champion headers, Erich Rogers and Aaron Tsinigine competing today. Rogers earned the title here last year roping with Cory Petska which helped them qualify for the NFR and earn world titles. Tsinigine is currently 3rd in the world standings and is roping with young gun Trey Yates. Yates is a third-generation roper whose father, J.D. Yates won the steer roping here in 1994 and was the all-around champion in 2016. Former CFD champion and team roping legend Clay O’Brien Cooper will heel for Spencer Mitchell.
Former college champion Logan Medlin is currently 21st in the heeling standings. A win here could boost his bid for the NFR. Two sets of brothers are roping today – Oklahomans Andrew and Reagan Ward and Floridians Joshua and Jonathan Torres.
Today’s field of tie-down ropers is star-studded. Everyone in the field is ranked 38th or higher in the world standings. Former world champ and current #1 Tyson Durfey starts the competition. A pair of CFD champs – Marty Yates (2015) and Trevor Brazile (2014) are in the field along with fellow NFR veterans Matt Shiozawa, Cory Solomon, Randall Carlisle and Shane Hanchey. Hanchey will be riding Si, the 2016 AQHA/PRCA Tie-Down Roping Horse of the Year.
In the barrel racing, keep your eye on two-time world champion and former CFD champ Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi. She’s currently ranked eighth in the world standings, headed to her 12th NFR and trying to keep up with her 18-month-old daughter Tinlee. Former NFR cowgirls Jolee Lautaret-Jordan and Kelly Yates also compete today along with up-and-comers KL Spratt and Morgan Breaux. Yates is the sister of J.D. Yates and will be cheering for her nephew during the team roping.
All of today’s contestants are in their first round of competition, except the barrel racers who are in their second round.