My hat is off to the locals this past weekend. We had some great competition from those who live within Kittitas County’s borders and we also watched as the Cle Elum Roundup put together a solid weekend of local rodeo in front of two packed houses.

It was a bit breezy on Saturday, but Friday’s performance was perfect Roundup weather. Kevin Lusk picked up a grand winning the bareback, two local team roping teams positioned themselves for money to be paid out the next day and I got to chat up people behind the chutes where I enjoy taking in the rodeo.

Beyond the Roundup, Joseph, Ore., paid a good chunk of money to many locals. Team roping brothers Riley and Brady Minor picked up $4,106, winning the average in 11.9 seconds. Second place? Former CWU roper Jordan Tye with Ellensburg’s Jason Minor. They were 12.0 on two, just a tenth of a second behind and left with $3,456. Third place? Garrett Rogers and Jake Minor with a 12.2 for $2,858.

Tye won a few bucks in tie-down roping and won the All-Around with $3,766.

Jake Pratt’s second-place finish in the second round netted him a grand, Kaycie Teague’s 17.66-second barrel time briefly led the rodeo before falling in the average for $322 and Lusk earned fifth-place money in bareback for $486.

Locals won money in Cheyenne, Wyo., Helena, Mont., Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Lewistown, Mont. There exactly two months left in the regular season, that’s a lot of rodeo left, but only a couple of guys have their NFR ticket punched. The Minor brothers sit firmly at third in the team roping world standings and are a go-round check away from $90,000 on the season. On the flip side, Jake Minor is out of the top 15, but a great weekend of checks moved him from $30,000 to $39,000 and into 20th in the heeler standings. Pratt earned nearly $4,000 and jumped to 19th in the world with $49,500.

Let’s look around the world standings and we’ll see a familiar last name leading two categories. The name Wright is synonymous with saddle bronc riding, but it’s Stetson Wright who has already earned $149,000 in bull riding and — get this — leads the world standings by $400 over five-time defending champ Sage Kimzey. Don’t get me wrong, there is too much rodeo left to get excited over a $400 lead, but it just shows the talent level of Wright. The 20-year old — his birthday is today actually — also has $52,300 in the bank for saddle bronc earnings and that’s 16th in the world this year. He’s leading the All-Around standings by $36,300 over Caleb Smidt. I look forward to seeing Wright during Labor Day weekend.

While it’s a young rookie splashing onto the bull and bronc riding scene, it’s an experienced veteran on top of the bareback standings. Four-time world champion Kaycee Feild leads the event with $152,100, some $15,000 over Clayton Biglow. The 32-year old Feild hasn’t had an easy season, just four months ago he was knocked out when his face hit his riggin’ just before his horse kicked him on top of the head while Feild sprawled on the ground. He had a brain bleed, concussion, and fractures to his skull, nasal cavity and jaw. However, from an earnings stance, it’s been a great year, probably the best regular season of his career with two more months to go. Feild picked up more than $95,000 between San Antonio, the American and RodeoHouston. Even without the huge trio of checks, he’s earned nearly $60,000 which would put him in the top 12 in the world.

He’s got the NFR made, but hopefully he still feels the need to come to Ellensburg rather than rest for a while. Listen to me, that’s a completely selfish sentence, but rodeo fans like to see competitors like Feild.

The big one this week is Dodge City, Kan. It will pay out nearly $340,000, plus another $20,000 or so for it’s Xtreme Bulls one-header. Closer to home is Great Falls, Mont., and the triple your fun in Idaho: Idaho Falls, Preston and Sandpoint.

Give it another week, and I’ll announce the start of the Northwest Run. Can’t wait.

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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