It’s springtime, which around here means rodeo fans have plenty of opportunity either in our valley or within a quick drive to enjoy a little bit of competition weekend after weekend. There’s always something going on, but a few of the highlights include:

n Hell on Hooves Roughstock Rodeo, Saturday, SunDome

n College rodeo, April 19-21, Ellensburg Rodeo arena

n High school and junior high rodeo, April 27-28, Ellensburg Rodeo arena

n Clem Kayser Memorial Roping, May 5, WestStar Arena

n Bares and Broncs, May 17-18, Ellensburg Rodeo arena

It’s been a long, extended winter, and us fans looking for western entertainment will be rewarded for our long wait with a solid calendar of events.

Hell on Hooves is put on by Wild West Events and looking at some historical results, you can see plenty of familiar names who have placed at events over the past couple of months. Join me then, will you? I’ll be there as a fan. Since I won’t be working the event, I’ll even let you buy me a beer.

Soon after, CWU’s rodeo team will once again put together a weekend full of great competition as college rodeo’s Northwest Region descends upon the Kittitas Valley. As the team gets set for New Plymouth, Ore., this weekend, Trey Recanzone and Wade Bruemmer lead the Wildcats in multiple categories. Bruemmer is second in the region’s All-Around standings (fifth in tie-down and first as a header) and Recanzone leads the Northwest’s tie-down roping. For the women, four ladies are in the top 15 of the region’s barrel racing standings.

You want more standings? With $52,200 in the bank, Ellensburg’s Riley and Brady Minor are both in the top four of the PRCA’s header/heeler standings. They’ve had a great winter. Further down is Jake Minor, 39th as a heeler, but is less than $11,000 out of the top 15. You could certainly chip away at that deficit during what I like to call the California Run.

Oakdale, due east of the Bay Area, will pay out $120,000 and change this weekend. Elsewhere, Logandale, Nevada, will pay out roughly $250,000.

Once this weekend closes, the big one on the schedule is Red Bluff in Northern California (I had a chance to visit slack there a few years ago) and April wraps up with Clovis and Lakeside, with Clovis paying out close to $300,000 and Lakeside’s one-header doling out $80,000.

Those California rodeos will draw big names, but I’ve got to tip my hat to the High Desert Stampede. The rodeo paid out a hundred grand in Redmond, Ore., last month and that attracted a good mix of circuit guys around the Northwest as well as some national names as well. All event winners picked up nearly $3,000. Trevor Knowles won $4,100 (and the All-Around) by winning the steer wrestling and placing in team roping. Jason Minor’s $1,269 was for placing in tie-down. I’ve been wondering what Chase Dougherty would do this year after such an incredible 2018 NFR where he won $232,000. He won Redmond’s bull riding for $2,900 and is 14th in the standings with $32,000 in the bank.

Keeping with big names, did anyone see the barrel racing standings? It’s a “who’s who” in the top four, led by Nellie Miller’s $66,100 (3 NFRs, 2 Ellensburg average buckles, one Gold Buckle). Lisa Lockhart (12 straight NFRs) is $10,000 behind. Right behind Lockhart is 2018 world champ Hailey Kinsel (who announced her recent engagement to 2017 PBR champ Jess Lockwood). Rounding out the top four is Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, who has two Gold Buckles and 12 trips to the National Finals.

Can’t wait to see how this spring plays out locally and in arenas all over the west.

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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