I’d like to thank all those who congratulated (I should say laughed at) me for my 1.3-second bull ride atop a bull resembling Bodacious a week and a half ago. But enough about me, my career looks to be over. Let’s talk about some real rodeo athletes.

The ProWest Rodeo Association finals took place at the end of September and a handful of county residents and those with ties to the county came away with season-ending money and championships.

It was all Kyle Sloan and Kass Kayser in the tie-down as Sloan placed second both performances and Kayser went third/first on his calves. Sloan’s consistency won him the average and Kayser was right behind him. Sloan earned $1,997 on the weekend, with Kayser finishing with $1,799. But Jordan Tye won the year-end title, with Kayser second, Jason Minor third and Sloan finishing fifth.

Speaking of Tye, his year-round consistency in tie-down and team roping earned him the All-Around title, just ahead of Minor with Kayser fifth and Wade Kane in sixth. Tye also finished first in the team roping header standings. His heeler for much of the season was Minor, who was third.

The ladies All-Around champ was another Ellensburg resident as Jordan Minor not only won the All-Around, she picked up the year-end barrel racing title as well, both times edging out her sister Jade Crossley. Third in the All-Around race was newcomer Kaycie Teague, who won the rookie All-Around race after finishing the year sixth in barrel racing. Annie Minor was third as a rookie.

Bailey Patterson won the breakaway title, just ahead of Jordan Minor. Annie Minor was 14th in the standings.

Kane won the association’s year-end saddle bronc championship. He won the first performance at the finals with an 82 on Brown Bomber for $474 and finished fifth in the two-day average. His consistency for the year earned him the overall title.

Other local competitors finished in the top 15th in their respective events.

Tony Martinez and Owen Salcito went 13th and 14th in the year-end steer wrestling standings, with Martinez placing sixth in the finale’s average. Coleson Mellergaard was 11th in bareback riding and Evan Olinger was the 12th-best heeler.

I also want to send a shout out to our solid contingent of high school and middle school rodeo athletes. By my count (really, it’s Gena McNeil’s count, I’m just taking the credit for her hard work) we have three middle schoolers and 11 high schoolers who have competed at the fall rodeo stops and who now wait a few months before the spring season starts. Big props to sixth grader Kassidy Bremner who won both Friday and Saturday’s barrel racings at Walla Walla earlier this month. What about Kittitas County high schoolers during Walla Walla as well? Kaylee Winter placed third in goat tying and Rian and Ellie Dyk were fifth and eighth during that Friday performance. Annie Minor was just out of the top 10 that day but placed fifth during Saturday’s perf.

Here’s my annual plea to get a high school and middle school rodeo stop in Ellensburg. After too many years of not having a stop here, I’ve heard rumblings that it might come to fruition. Wishful thinking on my part? Not sure yet, but don’t make me a liar.

Jon Guddat covers rodeo — from the kids to the kids at heart — with a weekly rodeo column in the Daily Record. Contact Jon with story ideas at jonguddat@yahoo.com.

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