Format of Cinch Shootout continues to impress Cheyenne Frontier Days fans |

Format of Cinch Shootout continues to impress Cheyenne Frontier Days fans

Cyenne Frontier Days is officially open as the the Leap Frogs, the US Navy parachure team, lands in the arena with the American flag to open the Cinch Shootout, the first event of Frontier Days.
Tony Bruguiere |

The Cinch Shootout is in its third year at Cheyenne Frontier Days. This year was an invite-only event to bring the best-of-the-best to compete against each other on the best stock in a two-round event with a winner-take-all purse of $10,000.

There were five events for some of the best bareback riders, barrel racers, saddle bronc riders, steer wrestlers and bull riders. Teams were formed by a draw to represent local charities and money would go to the charities based on the aggregate total of the team. The charity aspect would not affect the $10,000 winner-take-all format.

Since the Cinch Shootout isn’t a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event, members of the Elite Rodeo Association were able to compete. That meant Frontier Days fans saw five-time world champion Luke Branquinho compete in the steer wrestling event.

The eight contestants in each event compete in the first round, called the First Go. Then the top four moved on to the championship round. The top three of each event split up $5,000 in prize money. Total payout for the Cinch Shootout is $100,000.

Mary Burger and her buckskin gelding, Mo, are a hard-to-beat team in any arena, and that was certainly true at Frontier Park July 22. In the first round Burger had the fastest run of the day at 17.047 seconds and in the final round Burger and Mo again dominated with a 17.114 second run to win the $10,000 first prize.

Burger, like the other contestants, is a fan of the format.

“It is pretty tough for the barrel racers because they have to have their horses prepared and ready to go again with very little time to catch their breath and come back,” Burger said. “But that’s the way it is and it’s that way for everybody. And to win $10,000 — yeah I like it.”

The bull riders had a tough time the first round. The top quality of the bulls put all of them in the dirt. In the spirit of competition, the four riders that lasted the longest moved on to the final round. Matt Stall was one of the four.

“My bull for the First Go was Burch Rodeo’s Brown Eyes who bucked me off,” Stall said. “Luckily they went off of time and let me get another one.”

Lucky for sure because Stall went on to score 87 points on Burch Rodeo’s Smoking Good in the final round and win the $10,000.

“I had seen him before, and I knew that he was the one to have out of the three bulls in the finals,” he said. “The good Lord just blessed me with that bull and I did my part of the job.”

Stall said he liked the format because the odds when competing in a group of eight is high.

Cheyenne Frontier Days has always been good to saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss from Heflin, La. He has three gold buckles from Frontier Days and he can add to that the winning of the third annual CFD Cinch Shootout. DeMoss dominated the Saddle Bronc event with 86 points on Burch Rodeo’s Angel Sings in the First Go and 85.5 points on Burch Rodeo’s Iron Maiden in the final round to win the $10,000.

“Iron Maiden was really good and just let me spur him,” DeMoss said. “There were a few things in my ride that were out of tune a little bit. But I think there is always room for improvement. It felt good and I’m ready to go ride some more bucking horses.”

DeMoss echoed the opinions of other competitors in his unqualified support of the Shootout format.

“The Cinch deals are the way to go,” he said. “They screened the stock so you are only getting on good ones and you got a chance. You only have to beat seven guys and as long as you don’t beat yourself, you’ve got a chance in the event. Just spur your bronc and do the best you can and more than likely you’ll make it back.” ❖

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