First performance of Pro Rodeo kicks off at National Western
DENVER — Even though the National Western Stock Show is well underway with nearly a week as history, the Pro Rodeo in the Denver Coliseum is just getting started.
The first performance kicked off on Thursday night with 10 contestants in each of the standard events hoping for success. As the first major rodeo of the 2022 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, the National Western can set a rodeo contestant up for success.
Leon Fountain from Socorro, N.M., is one of those contestants hoping for that success. Fountain has primarily competed in saddle bronc riding at rodeos close to his home since he joined the PRCA in 2016. He is currently fifth in the world standings and judging by the success he had here on Thursday night, he could better his position.
Fountain had an outstanding 84-point effort on Showtime, a shiny black horse owned by Hurst & TNT Pro Rodeo. That was his first of two rides that he will make here. The second will happen at the Friday matinee. Then he will wait and see if he is among the top 24 competitors who will advance to the semifinals Jan. 22.
Taylor Santos is also making a bid for another trip to Denver. Santos, from Creston, Calif., is coming off of his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification in the tie-down roping. His success here came in the form of an 8.1-second run. The next fastest time on Thursday was made by Garrett Jacobs from Bosque Farms, N.M., with an 8.4. They will be roping again at the Friday matinee performance and will be hoping to stop the clock in less than 9 seconds. That would likely get them another trip back here.
There are two performances in the Denver Coliseum on Friday. The matinee will finish the first group of contestant’s preliminary competition. The evening performance will see new contestants trying to add their names to the leaderboard. Rodeo action gets underway at 1:30 and 7:30.
The following are results from the PRCA and WPRA rodeo at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
Bareback Riding: 1, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 81.5 points on Hurst & TNT Pro Rodeo’s Gold Digger. 2, Seth Lee Hardwick, Ranchester, Wyo., 80.5. 3, Coop Cook, Victor, Idaho, 79. 4, Chad Rutherford, Hillsboro, Texas, 76.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Don Payne, Stephenville, Texas, 4.7 seconds. 2, Riley Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb., 4.9. 3, Dylan Schroeder, Waller, Texas, 5.5. 4, Seth Cooper Peterson, Wellington, Colo., 5.6.
Team Roping: 1, Tate Kirchenschlager, Yuma, Colo., and Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas, 6.1 seconds. 2, Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, and Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta, 6.4. 3, Bubba Buckaloo, Kingston, Okla., and Joseph Harrison, Marietta, Okla., 10.8. 4, Landon Koehn, Manhattan, Kan., and Corey Renn Larsen, Whitman, Neb., 11.0.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Leon Fountain, Socorro, N.M., 84 points on Hurst & TNT Pro Rodeo’s Showtime. 2, Cauy Pennington, Kowa, Colo., 77.5. 3, Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., 71. 4, Jesse James Kirby, Cheney, Wash., 68.
Tie-Down Roping: 1, Taylor Santos, Creston, Calif., 8.1 seconds. 2, Garrett Jacobs, Bosque Farms, N.M., 8.4. 3, Trenton Smith, Bigfoot, Texas, 10.7. 4, Ty Harris, San Angelo, Texas, 10.8.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, Michelle Alley, Madisonville, Texas, 15.24. 2, Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 15.30. 3, (tie) Michelle Darling, Medford, Okla., and Kellie Collier, Hereford, Texas, 15.37 each.
Bull Riding: (two qualified rides) 1, Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, 84 points on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Line Drive. 2, Shad Winn, Nephi, Utah, 80.5.
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