We might have a Wright in the lead for a championship buckle after this afternoon’s performance and it will be one that is competing here for the first time. Stetson Wright took the lead in the rookie saddle bronc riding yesterday with a hard fought for 74.5 points. He rode on Friday at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, then made the trip to Cheyenne with his parents and younger sister. His father, Cody Wright, had a horse fall and roll over on him at Moab, Utah, June 1 st so he isn’t competing here, but he was behind the chutes with Stetson yesterday offering encouragement and helping his third son. Then the family loaded up and went back to Rock Springs to ride for the championship there. His second horse of the day gave him a second-place finish in the NHSFR final round. Stetson bought his PRCA permit as soon as he turned 18, and the day couldn’t come soon enough for him to join his two older brothers Rusty and Ryder on the circuit. While the other brothers travel together, Stetson also rides bulls and because of that his schedule doesn’t always coincide with the rest of the crew. The saddle bronc riders had a bit of a struggle yesterday with some of the best guys in the business stubbing their toes. So today, they will be going for broke trying to improve their position or get a good score in the second round and have a chance at that prize money. Hawkins Boyce bested yesterdays field with an 80 and has a good opportunity to be the overall leader with a good score today. Boyce competed at the College National Finals Rodeo last June for Odessa (Texas) College. He has always wanted to ride bucking horses and started his career as a bareback rider, but after a getting kicked in the face and nearly losing his life and vision in one eye, he decided never to get on another bareback horse. He now rides with 7 titanium mesh plates in his face and even though he has 20-20 vision, he still has problems with depth perception. There were only three bull riders who lasted 8 seconds and if that trend continues we will see qualifiers for the Championship Finals who just rode one bull. Elijah Mora, Clayton Savage and Garrett Smith will all be trying to be the first rider to be successful on two bulls. Savage was 33 rd in the world standings and Smith was 36 th prior to CFD’s rodeo so getting money here would help them move up in the world standings and put them closer to qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo next December where world
championships are determined.
Today’s bareback riding might seem a little light. Traveling partner’s Wyatt Denny and Clayton Biglow qualified for the final round at Salinas, so they will get to try their luck here again on Monday. Also in the mix is Jake Brown. Denny had the highest score in the first round here at 82 points. Biglow was 75.5 and Brown was a no score. Of the three, Denny has the best opportunity to ride for two of the most prestigious buckles in rodeo in a week’s time span. He also needs the money the most to move up in the PRCA world standings. He is currently in 14 th , Biglow is in 6 th and Brown is in 4 th.
Jacob Edler has come a long way since competing at his first rodeo in his home state of Iowa when he was in the 8 th grade. Edler, who now lives in Oklahoma, started college there and qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo twice. Edler put himself in position to make a trip back to Cheyenne one week from today for the Championship Finals yesterday. He has been at the finals here before, but on the hazing side. He traveled with J.D. Struxness in 2016. Struxness was the college champ that year and Edler won reserve. They rode the same horses and hazed for each other. That worked so well, that they did the same
thing at Cheyenne that year when Struxness won the championship. Edler moved into second place in the first round yesterday with a 6.5-second run. If he’s solid today, we are likely to see him again next Sunday.
What a team roping run Ty Bach and Trey Johnson made yesterday. Johnson is a veteran who has had success here in the past. Bach is the son of a four-time world champion who is making a name for himself. After Bach got his rope around the steer’s horns, it was Johnson that roped two feet. The clock stopped at 7 seconds and the duo couldn’t quit smiling. Johnson who has a ministry and teaches faith-based roping schools has also written two books. He put the skills he wrote about in his first one “Focus” to good use yesterday.
Tim Pharr was the most successful tie-down roper here yesterday stopping the clock in 13.0 seconds. Pharr is a veteran\ roper from Resaca, Georgia who had some success here last year. The best part about this event is the equine athletes that are involved. The highly-trained animals do 80 percent of their jobs without a cowboy on their back. Pharr has been riding a mare that his family raised and that he trained. She is patient, important over the long start here, and will wait for him to signal here to run after the calf. Then she stops quickly, backs up while he is dismounting and again patiently waits for him to get the calf tied, all while keeping the rope tight. She is an invaluable part of his team and family. The American Quarter Horse mare whose name is Zanna Frost is 9 years old.
Trell Etbauer didn’t have any luck yesterday in the tie-down roping or steer wrestling. He had a no-time in tie-down and struggled to get his steer down finishing the job in 18.2 seconds. However, with success today he still could win his second CFD all- around title. That championship is the most prestigious one awarded and goes to the contestant that wins the most money while competing in more than one event. If Etbauer would place high enough in the second round in both of his events, his name would
move to the top of the list for the championship.