Who was at Puyallup last weekend, because what a heckuva stop on the schedule. It had monsoon rains, thunder and lightning, and a great Sunday final. My three girls and I took in Sunday’s semifinals and finals. It was certainly a fun day of competition in front of a solid crowd.

Let’s go through the events, shall we?

Tim O’Connell just keeps on winning. This guy has won more in three months than most people do the entire year on the bareback circuit. O’Connell won $3,669 in Puyallup and has $103,000 in the bank and has the NFR wrapped up. On the flip side is Steven Peebles who stormed out to $8,029 in Puyallup winnings. The 2015 world champion is in 16th place, less than a grand out of the top 15.

Any big ol’ bulldogger who jumps into a deep mud puddle and does a mud angel like Hunter Cure is A-OK in my book. The two-time steer wrestling world champion has another NFR wrapped up, but his $9,068 pushed him to more than six figures in earnings and second in the world.

Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan won a bit more than that — nearly $9,300 in team roping earnings — which gives them a cushion in the standings they didn’t have last week. I think they’re both safe for an NFR bid.

If NFR qualifications were based on “ride of the year” type of rides, then Stetson Wright is in. That’s not the case though. Stetson, the 18-year old brother of 20-somethings Ryder and Rusty Wright, rode Calgary Stampede’s Yesterday’s Delivery to 93.5 points in Sunday’s finale. You could immediately tell as soon as the chute gate opened that we were seeing something special. Wright knew it too as he tossed that hat high into the air in celebration before the score was tallied. He won $10,701 in Puyallup, but he’s still $13,000 behind the pack to make that 15th and final spot to the NFR. He will for sure get there in bull riding as his $151,000 on the year is second to Sage Kimzey. And he leads the All-Around standings as well.

What’s cool — part two — is the top four who made Puyallup’s final round were all Wrights: Brothers Stetson (18 years old), Ryder (21), Rusty (23) and uncle Spencer (28).

We saw what tie-down rookie Shad Mayfield can do, when he won Ellensburg’s first round with a 7.4 (one-tenth off the arena record) for $3,118. He pocketed another $5,527 in Puyallup and that helped get him to 15th in the standings. I don’t see him winning anything yet in Pendleton, Albuquerque or Abilene this week, but the week is young…and so is Shad, he’s an 18-year old.

Ivy Conrado and Amberleigh Moore did plenty to get themselves off the bubble. Conrado earned $10,488 as she and her horse JLo navigated the soupy, muddy Puyallup arena quite well. Moore and her horse Paige earned almost the same amount. I follow Conrado on Twitter and she’s funny, while also being an open book on the platform. She recently discussed how she’s going to have to enter everywhere to ensure she pockets enough money for a return to the NFR. I think she can back off on that plan a bit.

Let me take a quick break from Puyallup to give a shout out to Jody Tucker. The Ellensburg barrel racer leads the first round at Pendleton with a 28.95-second run. Pendleton’s barrels follow the same pattern as a normal race, but it’s such a long race, relatively speaking. I’ve heard the nickname “The Green Mile” because it’s twice as long as any other pattern and it’s on Pendleton’s famed grass.

Back to Puyallup where bull rider Jordan Hansen got hot when the weather wasn’t too warm on Sunday. The Alberta cowboy earned all the semifinal ground money for being the lone rider to cover. He was bucked off in the final, but judges agreed that he was fouled and Hansen’s second shot paid dividends. He won with an 89 on Bridwell Pro Rodeo’s Catfish Clinger and the $18,203 definitely gets him off the bubble as he is eighth with $114,000 in earnings, some $17,000 more than 16th place Daylon Swearingen.

I can’t wait to see how Pendleton’s riches change the landscape of the world standings by Saturday night.

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.


Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.