It’s two days later, but I’ve still got the throbbing sunburn to remind me of such a great day spent watching some good roping. I’m a pale red head, so the burn will linger, but totally worth it as Sunday’s Clem Kayser Memorial Roping was well-received and I can’t wait to see it grow in the coming years.

I talked with a few fans and ropers over the course of the day — some of the conversations drifted toward this being a good replacement of the Ellensburg 5 Header that ended a few years ago, but other conversations focused on the fact that the roping is a good way to honor Clem and to highlight some great ropers we have here in the Northwest.

The 5 Header is missed, but the Kayser Memorial is its own thing and is a great day of roping where you have ample opportunity at go-round money, average paydays and a ticket to bigger paydays. This being a Rope for the Crown qualifier as well as a qualifier for The American semifinals, a couple of breakaway and calf ropers will find themselves roping for an opportunity at serious money down the road.

One of those ropers is the open breakaway winner Jett Parke, who won close to $2,250 on Sunday. I asked her about the growing popularity of breakaway roping. I’ve always liked it, but there are more opportunities and more money, which attracts more ropers.

“There’s one usually every week that we go to during the summer, and with the WPRA making breakaway a bigger event, it helps a lot.”

More money for rodeo athletes is a good thing.

That will bring more competition into the fold though, something that the open calf roping winner, Soap Lake’s Caleb McMillan acknowledged, but also welcomed rather than worry.

“No, we’ve been doing this our whole lives and the name of the game of rodeo is handle the pressure and take advantage of it,” he said.

Speaking of McMillan, that dude is going to be busy this spring and summer — what arena athlete won’t be? — but he’s got a target on his back. The Northwest (Wyo.) College cowboy is the No. 1 All-Around cowboy in the nation and is ranked fourth in bull riding and third in calf roping (CWU’s Trey Recanzone is No. 1 in the nation). While he’s not among the nation’s leaders in saddle bronc, he’s ranked third in the Big Sky Region. He’ll be in Casper, Wyo., competing in all three of those events at the College National Finals Rodeo next month.

“I feel good going in it,” he said on Sunday. “I’m ready to go win something. Just go down there and win the All-Around and let everything else take care of itself.”

Let’s talk about taking care of oneself, shall we? County junior high rodeo contestant Kassidy Bremner left Omak last weekend with two wins in barrels, a win in breakaway, a second in pole bending and two top 10 finishes in goats.

On the high school side, Kyle Tutor (calf roping) and Annie Minor (team roping, header; breakaway) both placed in the top seven of their respective events. Brennan Maletzke won a round in saddle bronc.

Up next on the high school schedule is Ritzville this weekend and Goldendale next weekend. And speaking of the weekend, we’ve got about 10 days to go until the annual Bares and Broncs event at the arena here in town.

It’s been a good spring of local events.

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


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