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Jason Minor won the All-Around, his cousins and a local fellow tie-down roper won season-ending buckles and Ellensburg was well-represented and successful at the Columbia River Circuit Finals rodeo at the SunDome in Yakima.

Minor narrowly edged Caleb McMillan in the season-ending race by less than $300. By winning money in both tie-down and bull riding McMillan won the All-Around buckle for the weekend’s finals, yet it was Minor who came away with the All-Around season earnings title with his work in tie-down and team roping this year.

While Minor and team roping partner, Jordan Tye, suffered three no-times on the weekend, it was Minor’s consistency in the tie-down roping that helped him secure the buckle. He was prepared, but still had a few nerves.

“Oh, a little bit, I knew I had to take care of business and win that money in the average,” he said, while acknowledging he could have won more money during Sunday’s third and final round. “I wish I could have capitalized in the (third) round a little bit better. The calf was weak and started slower so I made sure to get out on the barrier. I didn’t do a good enough job turning him around and he went down and I had to pull him up and that ate up the time a little bit.”

Minor placed second in the first round, split second in the second round and secured second in the average behind Bo Pickett for $4,224 on the weekend.

McMillan didn’t have the greatest weekend in tie-down but won money in bull riding both Friday and Sunday, while placing third in the average.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” Minor said of McMillan’s final ride in Sunday’s bull riding. “I knew Caleb was going to give it his all and he did.”

More Ellensburg winners

Minor’s cousins, team roping brothers Riley and Brady Minor completed a weekend sweep on Sunday, winning the three-head average as well as the season-ending title. The brothers placed second on Friday night — behind winners Garrett Rogers and Jake Minor — as well as Saturday. The two came into the third round with a 14-second lead, so they made a businessman’s run of 6.2 to secure the average. In all they earned $5,069. Average winners as well as season standings leaders in each event earn a trip to the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in late March in Kissimmee, Fla. Winners there commonly earn $20,000-plus.

Joining them will be fellow Ellensburg roper Jake Pratt. Pratt, who flew up from his current home in Stephenville, Texas, for the event certainly made the trip worth it as the tall tie-down roper picked up $3,591. The roper split third in the first round with Tye and won the final round with an 8.7-second calf for third in the aggregate.

Take away a no-time in the second round by Rogers and Jake Minor and the team could have swept through the entire weekend based on their first and third rounds. The team won Friday and Sunday’s rounds with 5.2- and 4.2-second runs for $1,690 each round. They ended up the fastest on two head for third in the average and $4,647 for the weekend.

The Ellensburg team of Jack Fischer and Joey Bergevin split third on Sunday with a 5-second steer for $634. That was the same amount Tye won for splitting third with Pratt in Friday’s first round of tie-down.

Bareback rider Kevin Lusk was fourth in Friday’s opening round for $408. Ellensburg barrel racer Jody Tucker ran all three days but didn’t make the top four needed for a paycheck.

The Columbia River Circuit’s 2020 schedule begins with the High Desert Stampede in Redmond, Ore., in late March. Following Redmond is mid-May’s Bares & Broncs in Ellensburg which is now a PRCA-sanctioned event.


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