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SHERIDAN — When announcer Will Rasmussen sells a night’s Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo performance as featuring nine Top-20 ranked bareback riders, it’s probably best to listen to him.
The first performance of the “Wyo” featured plenty of one-upping in the rough stock competition and a thoroughly entertaining and competitive three-plus hour rodeo event as a whole.
Through one go, Sheridan’s PRCA-sanctioned turn on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour lived up to it’s billing.
And in a competition that featured the world’s best, plenty of Wyoming cowboys left their mark.
Laramie’s Seth Hardwick topped a bareback riding field that featured five plus-80 scores. He was all smiles after winning the go-round, doing a little fist-pumping dance as he departed the arena.
“I’d say so, it’s been one of my better years,” he said. Hardwick is ranked 16th in this week’s PRCA top 20 standings with $28,911 earned.
“I started off good in the winter and spring, and it was kind of a slow Fourth (of July). But it’s picking back up.”
Riding “Eagle Feathers,” Hardwick was up against no shortage of good cowboys Wednesday. Just two of the 10 bareback riders who exited the chutes failed to record a score.
No. 6-ranked Clint Cannon of Paradise, Utah, took the early go-round lead with an 83 on “Home Ranch.” This week’s No. 5-ranked pro rodeo bareback rider JR Vezain of Cowley, Wyo., rode an 81 on “Indian Sign.” Cody DeMers of Kimberly, Idaho, and Morgan Heaton of Paradise, Utah each had 80s.
“I was here last year, I really like it,” the 24-year-old Hardwick said of the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo experience. “It’s always nice here and the Indian Relay races are fun to watch. It’s a pretty fun rodeo.”
Fun indeed, and it didn’t stop there.
Saddle bronc riders looked poised to out-do the crowd-riling performance by their rough stock counterparts.
After his horse fell down at the beginning of his first ride, Jeremy Ray Melancon of Huntsville, Texas, finished the event with his re-ride and took the Wednesday top score of 82 points. His horse led him straight across the arena toward the opposite fence in front of the grandstands, lifting the fans yet again.
Ten of 13 saddle bronc riders got on the board, with Brady Nicholes of Hoytsville, Utah, executing an attractive, high-lifting ride into the air that earned him a second-best 81. Jacobs Crawley of Stephenville, Texas, ranked ninth this week, rode a 79.
While bronc riders stole the spotlight early in the night, there was plenty more excitement in an event spattered with 2013’s unique pageantry including an eight-horse drawn carriage performance by way of the Budweiser Clydesdales and even a microphone-enhanced crowd yodeler.
Prineville, Oregon’s Sean Santucci, ranked 19th, wrestled his steer in 5.7 seconds for the top Wednesday time. Cody Lee roped his steer in 13 seconds for the best time in that event.
Team ropers Aaron Tsinigine of Tuba City, Ariz., and Jhett Johnson of Casper lassoed their steer in 5.3-seconds for the go-round win.
In tie-down roping, 2008 world champion Stran Smith of Childress, Texas, came on late in the event to score an extra-fast 8.6-second time, taking the go-round.
Barrel racer Pamela Capper of Cheney, Wash., had the event’s best time at 17.44 seconds.
Three bull riders scored last night. No 3.-ranked Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, held on as his bull, Mugshot, spun in a circle right in front of the open chute, scoring him an 82 to take the lead in the pulse-pounding night cap.
Kody Lostroh of LaSalle, Colo., had a 78, and Wheatland’s Tyler Willis (No. 13) opened things up with a 73.
The second performance of the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo starts at 7 p.m. today.
July 10-13 at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds
First Performance Wednesday
(Slack results not included)
Stran Smith 8.6
Rger Nonella 9.4
Randall Carlisle 10.7
Reese Riemer 10.8
Will W. Blomberg 12.0
Chad Finley 14.8
Josh Peek 18.3
Chase Johnson 26.9 X (barrier)
Trent Walls 32.0 X (barrier)
(go round 4 Wednesday night)
Cody Lee 13.0
Kim Ziegelgruber 13.2
Chris Glover 13.7
Joe Wells 13.8
Jarrett Blessing 14.3
J. Tom Fisher 15.7
Sean Santucci 5.7
Brad McGilchrist 6.1
Kody Woodward 6.6
Wyatt Smith 8.5
Olin Hannum 16.7
Pamela Capper 17.44
Kassidy Dennison 17.56
Jody Sheffield 17.65
Nicole Riggle 17.68
Kara Large 17.74
Kaylee Gallino 17.76
Carmel Wright 17.89
Aaron Tsinigine/Jhett Johnson 5.3
Jimmy Tanner/Shawn Harris 5.7
Seth Hardwick 84
Clint Cannon 83
JR Vezain 81
Tyler Nelson 81
Cody DeMers 80
Morgan Heaton 80
R.C. Landingham 77
Logan Hodson 76
Caleb Bennett 73
Jeremy Ray Melancon 82
Brady Nicholes 81
Jacobs Crawley 80
Andy Clarys 78
Sterling Crawley 77
Jesse Bail 77
Zachariah Phillips 73
Dusty Hausauer 71
Spencer Wright 70
Dean Wadsworth 69
Cody Teel 82
Kody Lostroh 79
Tyler Willis 73
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