CLE ELUM — Team ropers and steer wrestlers didn’t see any change at the top, while the barrel racing leaderboard completely flip-flopped and one, lone bull rider left with all the money as the Cle Elum Roundup closed its second season as a professional rodeo on Saturday.

As the Washington State Horse Park played host to another packed crowd, the barrel racing crew of ladies rewrote the top three in the go-round. Sabrina Lay’s 16.33-second pattern from Friday quickly fell to Ellensburg’s Christina Bloxham and her 16.29 Saturday evening. But Bloxham suffered the same fate as eventual winner Amy Sullivan ran a 16.11, immediately followed by reigning Columbia River Circuit champion Cheyenne Allen’s 16.18. Okanogan’s Sullivan finished with $549 with the win. Allen earned $478 with Bloxham leaving with $406.

Similar to barrels, tie-down roping spotlighted a new pace setter as well on Saturday. Preston Pederson’s 8.6-second calf led the event after Friday’s perf, and that looked like it would hold tough as five of the first six ropers on Saturday suffered no-times. But Caldwell, Idaho’s Bo Pickett changed all that with an 8.4-second calf for the win.

This was the second or third time these calves had been roped, but his calf tonight was new to Pickett.

“They were in Elgin (Ore.), but I didn’t go to Elgin and I didn’t see it in Union (Ore.), so I didn’t really know what to expect tonight. I knew she ran but I haven’t been to as many circuit rodeos as I’ve wanted to this year so I haven’t seen much.”

Despite not getting to many circuit rodeos in the spring, Pickett had earned nearly $5,000 in the Columbia River. His $714 in Cle Elum adds to total.

“These rodeos like Cle Elum are easy to get to and when you get here it’s mostly circuit guys and you have a good chance to win,” he said. “I came here once when it was an amateur and I broke the barrier to win it. I decided to come back here and have a chance to win it. It was redemption absolutely. No one likes breaking the barrier and no one likes messing up. It was fun to come back here, I haven’t been here in a few years.”

Pederson finished second in the event for $536. He also finished fourth in steer wrestling (9.8 seconds) for $136, giving him the All-Around crown.

While Pederson didn’t win the steer wrestling, that went to Colin Wolfe and his 5.9-second run from Friday. Wolfe’s time earned the Wenatchee bulldogger $545. Wolfe’s only challenger was Matt Mundell’s 8.2-second pin on Saturday. Mundell split second with Travis Taruscio for $341 each.

Just as steer wrestling held on to its Friday leader for the win, the team roping did the same, yet there were no qualified runs at all in Saturday’s doubles event. All three teams up on Saturday missed their steers, therefore Tyler Smith and Andy Carlson’s 6.0-second run on Friday won the event and $846. Ellensburg ropers Jack Fischer/Joey Bergevin (11.8, $635) and Jordan Tye/Jason Minor (12.9, $423) rounded out the top three.

Bull riding dealt with plenty of no-scores on Friday, and Saturday was shaping up for much of the same until Eden, Idaho’s Montana Barlow covered Summit Pro Rodeo’s One Shot for 45 points. The bull ran into the chute gate, the fences around the chute and the wall of the arena, which qualified the 28-year-old cowboy for a re-ride, but with one rider left, the worst Barlow could do was second, and he kept the score. Soap Lake’s Caleb McMillan bucked off his bull around the seven-second mark and Barlow not only won the rodeo, but the entire pot of cash of ground money since he was the lone qualified ride.

Barlow felt the crash into the fence and wall but tried not to let it faze him.

“You realize where you are, but it’s one of those things where you can’t let an obstacle interfere, if you do, you look at it and you go where you look,” he said. “Yeah, it hurts, I’ll feel it tomorrow, but I also won however much they give the only guy that rode tonight.”

Well, that was $2,553 in total money.

“A paycheck like that definitely eases the pain quite a bit,” he said, cracking a smile.

If Ryan Verling is sore today, his paycheck might be the medicine he needs as well. The Stanfield, Ore., bronc rider rode Summit’s Spanish Nights to a 79.5-point score, winning the saddle bronc and supplanting former co-leaders Calvin Shaffer and Clay Stremler (74 points) in the process.

Ellensburg’s Kevin Lusk won the bareback riding on Friday for $1,011. With just three bareback riders in the competition, all rode on Friday.

Cle Elum paid out nearly $17,800 this year. It’s part of the PRCA’s Columbia River Circuit. Dollars earned in Cle Elum and the circuit’s 34 other rodeos go toward the season standings to qualify for the annual circuit finals in January at the Yakima SunDome.


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.