Well, it was a difficult start for our CWU contingent of ropers at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Yesterday’s first round slack wasn’t too kind as Trey Recanzone in tie-down roping and team ropers Riley Eres/Chance Gleave and Wade Bruemmer/Dillon Bahem (Lewis and Clark State) all roped no-times. Insurmountable? No, but making Saturday’s short go will take a lot of good luck for CWU’s quartet and a little bit of bad luck for others.

In tie-down roping, Recanzone was one of 13 ropers in the first round who didn’t make a qualified run, while 27 teams missed their steer in team roping.

But all is not lost as Recanzone and both local teams were up in today’s round two of slack (results weren’t available by press time). Hopefully we’ll see the best way to get over a poor start is stopping the clock quickly in the second round.

Moving on to the professionals where a few local cowboys again made the pay window. Brady and Riley Minor continue to hold their spot in the top four of their respective team roping standings and splitting second at Sisters, Ore., and second in Rocky Mountain Home, Alberta, will do that. They made $3,572 in Oregon and then $1,194 up north for a $4,766 weekend. Both have crossed $60,000 in earnings and at this pace will have the NFR wrapped up by the Fourth of July run.

Three other guys have a little bit more work to do to get back to the NFR and for Jake Pratt, if he has more weekends like he did in Sisters, his summer will be just fine. Pratt, who dealt with injuries this spring, looks to be back in shape — or at least the paychecks numb the pain — as he split the average win and $5,278 in Sisters. Pratt’s 8.4-second calf won the first round and his 10.9 was good enough for a fifth-place check. Pratt and Westyn Hughes were both 19.3 on two. Pratt is less than a grand out of the top 15 with $31,808, which is about $22,000 behind the pace he set in last year’s NFR run. Lots of rodeo to go before NFR is set, shoot there’s too much rodeo to go before the Fourth of July. Leave it to me to bring up stats that don’t matter.

Garrett Rogers and Jake Minor won $800 and change in Rocky Mountain Home, Alberta.

With the way the calendar shapes up this year, Reno’s $550,000 in riches is another week and a half away. That being said, there aren’t any headline-producing rodeos that will garner national attention like a Reno.

Let’s take a quick look at the standings where we see bronc rider Ryder Wright dominating the world. Wright — the 2017 world champion — has $145,000-plus in the bank and leads 2016 champ Zeke Thurston by nearly $40,000. Wright is one of four family members in the top 10. Keeping with roughstock, some guy named Sage Kimzey crossed $100,000 in season bull riding earnings over the weekend and leads the world. I’m going to go out on a limb and say with five straight Gold Buckles, this guy might be good.

How about three more names for you? Michael Otero, Ty Blasingame and Kyle Lockett. I’ve watched Otero’s slow progression in climbing the tie-down standings. This year is different and winning RodeoHoston has certainly helped. Otero has $81,434 and sits atop the standings. The next three guys? World champions Tyson Durfey, Tuf Cooper and Shane Hanchey. How about Blasingame and Lockett? The team ropers also won Houston and both are No. 1 in the header/heeler list. Lockett hasn’t been to the NFR since 2005 and until his close call in 2017 (19th in the world), the heeler hasn’t sniffed and NFR bid in a long while. Blasingame’s last trip to the NFR chutes was nine years ago. It looks like they will be back.

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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