SHERIDAN — The Pony Punishers not only scored the highest in the wild pony races, but also set a new arena record during Saturday’s Sheridan WYO Rodeo.
The Pony Punishers’ record time Saturday was 4.9 seconds and the team’s rodeo average was 16.9 seconds, which was earned on two runs.
The team is made up of Hazen Camino, 11, Nick Albrecht, 12 and Cooper Justus, 10.
Team Rope Burners, made up of Colter Hanft, Colton Powers and Gabe Purdum followed in second with an average of 30.2 on two runs. Team WYO Ponies, made up of Cael Hamrick, Britton Brownell and Tanner Hamrick came in third with 9.2 on one run.
“It feels good, we worked real hard at it,” Albrecht said of his team’s victory.
While the team pulled off a rare accomplishment, the outlook wasn’t so bright going into Saturday’s event.
The Pony Punishers were only able to get one other time down before Saturday, and were behind team Rope Burners who went into Saturday’s event with two times down.
But the team members said they were still aiming for victory.
“We wanted to win,” Camino said. “And once we saw the team that had two times down already, once they got a no time, we were on the hunt.”
Team Rope Burners scored a no time on Saturday and the WYO Ponies scored their only time Saturday night.
Albrecht said Saturday the boys really worked as a team and overall the event went a little smoother than the other nights had. He said once the pony was out of the gate everything fell into place.
“When that pony came out he just sort of went out there and stood there,” Albrecht said. “And then I knew that we were gonna have a good time.”
Though the team wrangled the pony like professionals, the boys said none of them have been competing that long.
This year is the second year Albrecht and Justus have competed in the wild pony races and Camino’s first year practicing.
“So we’re pretty much all rookies,” Albrecht said.
This is also the boys’ first year working together. They said next year they don’t know if they’ll be teamed up together or not because the teams change every year. But they all plan on continuing with the pony races.
While Albrecht said part of the fun for him is how the crowd reacts, Camino and Justus said their enjoyment has to do with the excitement.
“Just the adrenaline running through yourself whenever you feel the pony pull the slack out of that rope,” Justus said.
Camino added, “and the rush…I’m still kind of shaking.”