Hastings rodew wraps up: Minn. bareback rider one step closer to National Finals | TheFencePost.com

Hastings rodew wraps up: Minn. bareback rider one step closer to National Finals

Ruth Nicolaus
for The Fence Post

Jake Finlay, originally from Queensland, Australia, and now a resident of Goodwell, Okla., won the saddle bronc riding at the 27th annual Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings, Neb. The rodeo concluded on Aug. 26.

HASTINGS, NEB. – Tanner Aus is trying to make up for lost time.

The Granite Falls, Minn. man scored 84 points in the bareback riding during the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings, Neb., this weekend to win the rodeo and inch a bit closer to the top 15 bareback riders in the world.

He was aboard a Korkow Rodeos' horse named Ol' One Eye, a horse that was ridden for the 2017 bareback riding title, and the ride was good. The bronc was "real snappy," Aus said. "He stepped out pretty smooth, had a pretty snappy jump, then went right around to the right. It was a fight to stay ahead of him."

Much of Aus' season has been a fight. The 28-year-old cowboy tore ligaments in his knee on June 2, which kept him out of competition for a month and a half, during part of the busy rodeo season. His world rankings slipped as he was home, rehabbing.

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But there was a silver lining to his injury. While at home recovering, he was able to spend time with he and his wife Lonissa's newborn daughter, born in May.

Aus has competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), pro rodeo's "super bowl" four times (2011-12, 2015-16) and hopes to make it a fifth time. The rodeo season ends on Sept. 30; by that date, cowboys must be in the top 15 in their event, in the world standings, to make it to the WNFR. Aus will ride at five more rodeos this week, hoping to move from 21 place to the top 15. He knows it'll be a fight. "It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of luck."

There is a gap of more than $18,000 in earnings between Aus' spot at 21 and the number 15 man, and he is realistic that he may not win that much in the next five weeks. "After Labor Day weekend, I'll have a little clearer picture," he said. If he continues to win, he will chase another WNFR qualification. If not, he'll rodeo closer to home and focus on next year.

AUSSIE WINNER

In the saddle bronc riding, an Australian took home the title of 2018 Oregon Trail Rodeo champion.

Jake Finlay scored 83.5 points on Korkow Rodeos' Anger Management, a horse he'd been wanting to ride for a while. "My buddy (Kash Deal) won some money on him at Dickinson (N.D.)," he said. "I called Kash and got the run down (on how the horse bucked) and it all worked out."

Finlay, a native of Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia, came to the U.S. four years ago after being recruited by Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla., for their rodeo team. His mother was happy he moved to the U.S., not because she wasn't going to miss him, but because he was going to college. "I probably wouldn't have gone to school if it wasn't for rodeo." He graduated this past May with a degree in animal science nutrition and production.

Finlay was the 2018 National Intercollegiate Rodeo saddle bronc riding champion and helped his college rodeo team win the men's title for the second consecutive year.

This was Finlay's fourth trip to the Hastings rodeo. He is rodeoing full time, with the goal of making the WNFR, beginning next year.

Other champions at the 27th annual rodeo include tie-down roper Cody McCartney, Ottawa Lake, Mich. (9.9 seconds); steer wrestler Bridger Anderson, Carrington, N.D. (3.4 seconds); team ropers Dylan Gordon, Comanche, Okla. (header) and Gage Williams, Foster, Okla. (heeler) (5.3 seconds); barrel racer Tiany Schuster, Krum, Texas (15.82) and bull riders Laramie Mosley, Satanta, Kan. and Trey Kimzey, Strong City, Kan. (81 points each).

The 2018 Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo queen was crowned during the Sunday performance.

Halee Kometscher, Lawrence, Neb., won the title. She is the 18-year-old daughter of Duane and the late Laurie Kohmetscher, and is a freshman at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. Her older sister, Kristin Kohmetscher, was the 2010 Miss Oregon Trail Rodeo Queen and is the reigning Miss Rodeo Nebraska.

Next year's Oregon Trail Rodeo will take place Aug. 23-25, 2019. For more information, visit the fairgrounds website at AdamsCountyFairgrounds.com. For complete results, visit ProRodeo.com.

Results, 2018 Oregon Trail Rodeo, Hastings, Nebraska:

Bareback riding

1. Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. 84 points on Korkow Rodeo's Ol One Eye; 2. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 80; 3. Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb. 79; 4. Jesse Pope, Marshall, Mo. 78; 5. (tie) Blake Smith, Zap, N.D. and Logan Patterson, Kim, Colo. 77.5 each.

Tie-down roping

1. Cody McCartney, Ottawa Lake, Mich. 9.9 seconds; 2. Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla. 10.0; 3. (tie) Kyle Dickens, Loveland, Colo. and Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla. 10.1 each; 5. Cody Rieker, Lexington, Neb. 10.4; 6. Austin Hurlburt, Cheyenne, Wyo. 11.2.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Jake Finlay, Goondiwindi, Australia 83.5 points on Korkow Rodeo's Anger Management; 2. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 82; 3. Tyrel Larsen, Weatherford, Okla. 80; 4. Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D. 79.5; 5. Preston Kafka, Wagner, S.D. 78; 6. Roper Kiesner, Ripley, Okla. 76.5.

Steer wrestling

1. Bridger Anderson, Carrington, N.D. 3.4 seconds; 2. Jacob Edler, Dacoma, Okla. 3.7; 3. Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb. 3.8; 4. (tie) Tom Littell, Elm Creek, Neb. and Jake Kraupie, Gering, Neb. 4.2 each; 6. Jace Melvin, Ft Pierre, S.D.4.4; 7. Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D. 4.5; 8. Cody Devers, Alva, Okla. 4.6.

Team roping

1. Dylan Gordon, Comanche, Okla./Gage Williams, Foster, Okla. 5.3 seconds; 2. Brett Christensen, Alva, Okla./Chase Boekhaus, Rolla, Kan. 5.5; 3. Adam Rose, Willard, Mo./JW Beck, Moville, Iowa 7.1; 4. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb./Dustin Harris, O'Neill, Neb. 7.8; 5. Nick Becker, Garden City, Kan./Toby Mentzer, Ensign, Kan. 10.6; 6. Curry Kirchner, Ames, Okla./Daniel Reed, Guthrie, Okla. 11.7.

Barrel racing

1. Tiany Schuster, Krum, Texas 15.82 seconds; 2. Jacie Etbauer, Edmond, Okla. 15.97; 3. Callie Gray, Stillwater, Okla. 15.98; 4. Hollie Etbauer, Edmond, Okla. 16.13; 5. Jamie Molesworth, Burwell, Neb. 16.24; 6. Robin Beck, Moville, Iowa 16.26; 7. Fallon Taylor, Collinsville, Texas 16.28; 8. Sandi Brandli, Mauston, Wisc. 16.29; 9. Kara Posch, Holdingford, Minn. 16.30; 10. Deb Cox, Mullen, Neb.16.38.

Bull riding

1. (tie) Laramie Mosley, Satanta, Kan. 81 points on Korkow Rodeos' Channel Cat, and Trey Kimzey, Strong City, Kan. 81 points on Korkow Rodeos' The Iceman; 3. Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, S.D. 78.5; 4. (tie) Dillon Adolph, Manhattan, Kan. and Clayton Appelhans, Colby, Kan. 77 each; 6. Wyatt Edwards, Sulphur, Okla. 76.5.

All-around champion:

Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. – bareback riding and saddle bronc riding