O’Connell takes early bareback lead at Cody Stampede | TheFencePost.com

O’Connell takes early bareback lead at Cody Stampede

-Cody Stampede

CODY, Wyo. — Competing at the first performance of the Cody Stampede Rodeo has worked out pretty well for bareback rider Tim O'Connell.

Last year, the Zwingle, Iowa, native took the early lead after scoring 85.5 points during the first performance of the rodeo. Through the next three nights of competition only one rider was able to best that. O'Connell finished in second place earning $6,688. That helped him secure his second-consecutive world championship last December at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

O'Connell once again took the lead at Stampede Park at the first performance of the 99th annual rodeo on Sunday night. He scored 85 points on Burch Rodeo's Maria Bartimoro.

"There are still a lot of great bareback riders and horses to go," O'Connell said. "I'm blessed to get to do this for a living and Cody has been good to me in the past. Now it's time to see where the chips fall."

The Cody Stampede is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women's Professional Rodeo Association. It is traditionally one of the highest-paying rodeos over the Fourth of July run known on the circuit as "Cowboy Christmas."

One reason the contestants like the rodeo that lies at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, is because they only compete one time. It is known as the richest one header on the circuit. This gives them the opportunity to win big checks here and compete at many of the other rodeos going on over the holiday.

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The early leader in the saddle bronc riding is South Dakota's Troy Crowser. Crowser, from Whitewood rode another horse from the Burch string, Strawberry Rocket. His 8-second effort added up to 78 points which is unlikely to remain at the top of the leaderboard but could get him a good check.

Competition at Stampede Park continues Monday night at 8 p.m. Steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping slack started at 9 a.m.

The following are unofficial results from the 99th annual Cody Stampede.

First Performance:

Bareback Riding: 1, Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 85.5 points on Burch Rodeo's Maria Bartimoro. 2, Blake Smith, Zap, N.D., 83.5. 3, Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, 83. 4, Ty Fast Taypotat, Regina, Saskatchewan, 81.5.

Steer Wrestling: (two times) 1, Trevin Fox, Browning, Mont., 5.5 seconds. 2, Coltin J. Hill, Blackfoot, Idaho, 6.0.

Team Roping: (1, Paul Beckett, Laramie, Wyo., and Chad Wahlert, Kersey, Colo., 7.9 seconds. 2, Cy Eames, Gooding, Idaho and Charlie Putnam, Jackson Hole, Wyo., 11.6. 3, Clayton Van Aken, Descanso, Calif., 15.3. 4, Kolton Schmidt, Barrhead, Alberta, and Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas, 19.5.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Troy Crowser, Whitewood, S.D., 78 points on Burch Rodeo's Strawberry Rocket. 2, J.J. Elshere, Hereford, S.D., 77.5. 3, Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D., 77. 4, Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 76.5.

Tie-Down Roping: 1, Cy Eames, Gooding, Idaho, 11.5. 2, Caleb Bullock, Boise City, Okla., 14.8. 3, Kade Kinghorn, Buffalo, Wyo., 16.7. 4, Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont., 18.5.

Women's Barrel Racing: 1, Katie Jolly, Deer Trail, Colo., 17.05. 2, Aimee kay, Bluff Dale, Texas, 17.51. 3, Joanne Fisher, Millsap, Texas, 17.60. 4, Tiffani Sonnier, Boling, Texas, 18.25.

Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Parker breeding, Edgar, Mont., 78 points on Summit Pro Rodeo's Lady Luck. 2, Aaron Williams, Pismo Beach, Calif., 75. 3, Trevor Reiste, Linden, Iowa, 69.5.

Current leaders – In team roping, steer wrestling and tie-down roping

Steer Wrestling: 1, Sterling Lambert, Fallon, Nev., 4.0 seconds. 2, Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Idaho, 4.2. 3, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 4.7. 4, (tie) Stan Branco, Chowchilla, Calif., and Jacob Tallley, Keatchie, La., 4.9 each. 6, John Green, LaGrande, Ore., 5.0.

Team Roping: 1, Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz., and Trey Yates, Pueblo, Colo., 4.1 seconds. 2, Lane Ivy, and Blaine Vick, Dublin, Texas, 5.0. 3, (tie) Matt Sherwood, Pima, Arizona, and Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas; and Garett Chick, Salado, Texas, and J.W. Borego, Weston, Colo., 5.1. 5, Cole Cooper, Sheridan, Wyo., and Mesa Arizon., 5.4. 6, Hayes Smith, Central Point, Ore., and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Calif., 5.5.

Tie-Down Roping: 1, Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla., 8.1 seconds. 2, (tie) Cimarron Boardman, Stephenville, Texas, and clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 8.4. 4, Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla., 8.5. 5, (tie) Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas, and Trent Creager, Stillwater, Okla., 9.2.