RODEO DAY 2

Ty Fast Taypotat rides Cougar Country to a score of 72 during the Ellensburg Rodeo on Saturday.

Saturday had it all: A packed house, a comfortably warm day, and a bulldogging event that got the fans out of their seats.

While some event leaders held onto their positions at or near the top of the go-rounds, other events saw some major movement during day two of the Ellensburg Rodeo.

Case in point: The steer wrestling, where anything slower than a four-second run won’t make any go-round money in the second round. It appears bulldoggers were feeding off the energy in the arena.

After Cody Devers stopped his steer in 4.7, it really started getting good. Cole Edge turfed his steer in 3.9 seconds to the delight of the crowed. Two bulldoggers later veteran KC Jones stopped the clock in 4.1 seconds to supplant Bear Pascoe (8.4 seconds on two) from the top spot in the average with an 8.3 on two.

“Bear Pascoe is riding my other horse and he was coming back high call, so I moved him,” Jones said. “I was going to be here for the short round anyway. It’s just awesome. I’m lucky to get back. I’ve won this rodeo twice. I love this rodeo. The atmosphere, the fans are into it.”

However, Clayton Hass, ranked 29th in this week’s world standings, went one better with a 3.6-second round, just two-tenths off the arena record.

Hass said there was a buzz in the arena Saturday afternoon.

“You see good runs and guys feed off of it,” he said. “Good crowd here, packed house.”

Hass needs a good Ellensburg to not only move up in the world standings, but to qualify for Puyallup’s Tour Championship rodeo. Ellensburg is the last stop on the ProRodeo Tour.

“It ain’t pressure. I’ve just got to win,” he said, while adding that not much has gone right this week at other rodeos. “It’s been a back week, but this can make it good.”

Bullrider Chase Dougherty had a good, possibly great when the paydays are handed out, ride on Corey and Lange’s Gravy Train. The Canby, Ore., product rode the bull for the first time in his career to 86.5 points, moving into the long-go lead over Ty Wallace’s 85 from Friday night.

“I didn’t know too much about the bull, but I knew he was one of Mike Corey’s, so I knew he was going to be alright,” the 20-year old said.

Lon Danley nearly equaled Dougherty’s score with an 84.5 on Corey and Lange’s Rockaholic. Just as Danley’s doing in the Ellensburg average, he’s also behind Dougherty in the world standings. Dougherty is ninth in the world, inside that top 15 cutoff needed to make the National Finals Rodeo. Dougherty is 24th in the world, some $21,500 out.

Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi is in the WPRA’s top 15 world standings and she’s very much in the thick of things with Ellensburg’s average. Running a 17.23-second pattern around the barrels on a Saturday will do that for a cowgirl. Pozzi-Tonozzi’s two-round time of 35.16 is fifth in the average.

As good as Tonozzi was Tracy Nowlin was even better, blazing through the dirt in just 17.12 seconds to not only lead the second round, but also jump ahead of the field in the average. Her 34.66 is a quarter of a second faster than Ivy Conrado.

Most important for Nowlin is the standings. The Oklahoma cowgirl is 17th in the world, just $2,400 out of the 15th spot, which can be made up by winning the go-round here.

Also in 17th in their respective standings is Jeff Flenniken and Jake Minor. The team ropers helped their cause however, by stopped their steer in team roping in 6.1 seconds. It won’t win go-round money, but it will keep them alive in the standings with one more pen of steers to go before Monday’s short round is set. Five teams roped a 6.1 or better on Saturday.

“I actually don’t know how many there is tomorrow, but it got pretty tough out there today,” Minor said.

Matt Sherwood and Blaine Vick lead the average my more than a half second with a 10.4 on two. They were 5.6 on their Saturday steer.

Both the bareback riding and tie-down roping didn’t see much change at the top in the average or go-round standings. Kyle Lucas and Tyson Durfey’s 8.2-second runs in tie-down roping’s slack weren’t challenged and Ryan Jarrett’s 16.4 on two remains the time to beat.

In bareback riding, the top five remained the same, with Richmond Champion (88) and Mason Clements (87.5) taking top billing, but Clayton Bigelow’s 81.5 on Corey and Lange’s Royal Moon moved into sixth on Saturday.

Saddle bronc rider Sterling Crawley’s 84 on Flying 5’s Major Spirit threatened Isaac Diaz’s 85 from Friday but won’t knock last year’s Ellensburg average champ from the top spot. Both riders, however, will be the ones to beat when Monday’s short round comes around.

Today’s rodeo begins with the 11:45 a.m. Grand Entry.

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