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SHERIDAN — Riding Saturday night at the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo is a rush for any cowboy or cowgirl who loves a packed grandstand of avid rodeo-goers who will whoop and holler until that last bull has stamped its way out of the arena. For a local kid, that Saturday night Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo ride is a dream come true.
“I got drawn out here in Sheridan, so I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride. Then they gave me a call a week before and said I got in Saturday night,” bareback rider Devan Reilly said. “That’s been one of my biggest dreams, to ride here in Sheridan Saturday night. I grew up in Sheridan, so I grew up with this rodeo, and it’s been a dream come true. I had a blast on the horse, and the crowd really got into it, and that just makes it fun.”
Reilly was known for his work on the gridiron and the wrestling mat at Sheridan High School, but even then, he wanted to ride bareback. He was Chris LeDoux fan and wanted to rodeo, but his dad encouraged him to let his body mature first.
On Saturday, Reilly posted a score of 74 on Polar Game, a 16-year-old horse that’s been to a few rodeo finals, Reilly said. He knew he had a good horse when he straddled her in the chutes and she stood nice and still.
“You can tell when you get a more mature horse in the chutes. She just kind of stands there and stays kind of still and knows that what her job is she’s getting ready to buck. If you get a colt, it kind of fishes around. She stood still in the chute, which got me really excited,” Reilly said.
This is Reilly’s third year rodeoing. After graduating from Sheridan High School, he called Casper College and asked if he could be on the team. He redshirted his freshman year, riding the spur board and practicing as much as he could. His sophomore year, he rode for Casper and ended up eighth in the region.
After graduating from Casper with a fire science degree in 2012, he hit a bunch of amateur rodeos that summer then began attending Gillette College to study to become an industrial electrician. He rode for Gillette and ended up third in the region this year, which qualified him for the College National Finals Rodeo.
At CNFR, Reilly got two re-rides and ended up riding six horses. He scored an 81 in the short go, the second highest score, and finished CNFR seventh in the nation.
“It’s been a real blessed year,” Reilly said. “I’m just having fun and thank my family and friends for supporting me. It’s just been awesome.”
Saturday night at the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo was kind to some and not-so-kind to others, proving to be an action-packed culmination of a rodeo that drew a more than a few of top competitors throughout the week.
Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo Board President Zane Garstad credited those quality athletes as one reason for this year’s rodeo growing yet again. The total payout for the 83rd go of rodeo in Sheridan was $290,500, up from about $279,000 last year, as the board continues to add more prize money.
“It was an awesome rodeo,” Garstad said, thanking the community for supporting Sheridan’s biggest event, pleased with how things went all the way from the four performances to the Native American powwow downtown Friday. “We had the star players in pro rodeo here in town and we can’t ask for more than that,” he said.
The rodeo sold out, as it usually does, Friday and Saturday. A bigger than usual crowd enjoyed a good show Wednesday, with a slightly smaller crowd Thursday. Garstad said final attendance numbers will be available later this week.
The competition was as good as ever, with high-octane, high-score bull rides Thursday and Friday.
“When the crowd boos an 81, that tells you how good a rodeo you’re having,” Garstad said.
Saturday evening began with a tribute to the heart and soul of rodeo: horses. A herd of horses pranced around the arena, soliciting the admiration of the crowd and setting the tone for the night. The respected saddle bronc horse, Turtle Dove, took his last lap around the arena as a rodeo horse, entering into retirement before a full Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo crowd. Turtle Dove qualified for six national finals in his storied career.
The much loved World Champion Indian Relay Race kicked off the rodeo with three consolation rounds and a championship race. Curly Relay out of Garryowen, Mont., took the third consolation race, with jockey Clyde Jefferson pulling into a seven-length lead early in the relay. Coup Counter of the Crow Nation took first in the second consolation race, and DDXpress won the first consolation race.
The championship race pitted three Crow Nation teams against a Northern Cheyenne and Ogallala Lakota team. Early in the relay, Lynwood His Bad Horse pulled into the lead, making it appear that the Northern Cheyenne may get its first Indian Relay win on His Bad Horse’s 16th birthday. But by the third lap, Charges Strong out of Garryowen, Mont., had snuck into the lead to win the race and take home the biggest portion of the $30,000 purse.
Going into the third lap, Ashton Old Elk, rider for Old Elk Relay out of Lodge Grass, Mont., sustained the most serious injury of the night. He was trampled by a competitor’s horse and taken from the arena by ambulance. No information was available this morning regarding his condition.
Fast on the heels of the awards ceremony for the Indian Relay Race came bareback riding, with Sheridan’s Reilly coming out of the shoot first.
Tilden Hooper out of Carthage, Texas, posted the top score of the night, but it wasn’t enough to put him in the winnings with the highest score of the week being an 86 from Thursday.
Steer wrestling saw a couple Wyoming competitors with Payden Kime McIntyre out of Douglas and Dennis Hepp out of Kaycee making a go at getting their steers to the ground. Again, scores earlier in the week would take the top marks.
Steer roping Saturday was dominated entirely by Wyoming cowboys. Jay Pixley, who was born in Sheridan and now resides in Sundance, posted a 36.9 in three runs. Trent and Travis Mills out of Gillette brought a little sibling rivalry to the competition, with Trent scoring a time of 15.2 for a total of 63 over four rides. Travis posted a 12.21 for the run but his calf got loose, so he walked out with a no score.
It was thought that the saddle bronc competition may see a change in the leaderboard with its all-star lineup of several top 20 competitors, but a high score of 84 on Thursday couldn’t be beat. Isaac Diaz out of Desdemona, Texas, and Taos Muncy out of Corona, N.M., tied for first Saturday with scores of 82. Muncy credited his score to drawing a good horse in Sacred Mountain.
“I was glad I got him rode. Every time you come to a nice rodeo, you have the chance to get on some good horses and a chance to win. I think I might have won some money, so it’s not a bad day,” Muncy said.
A time of 5.8 took first in team roping, but Miles Kobold from Big Horn and his partner Doug Cox out of Gillette were close behind with a time of 5.9. They finished fifth in the average and high on the payout list. Seth Hopper out of Stanfield, Ore., took the tie-down roping event in Saturday’s go with a time of 8.9. The cowgirls in the barrel racing wowed the crowds with a tight race in the 17 to 18 second range. Shelby Frasier out of Dublin, Texas, rode to the top with a time of 17.36 seconds.
The last night of the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo swelled to a climax with bull riding. The twelve competitors had some tough scores to beat, though, with the highs of 89 posted Thursday and Friday. It proved an impossible task, but the event still wowed as two riders tied with a score of 85 for the night: Cody Campbell from Summerville, Ore., and Elliot Jacoby from Fredricksburg, Texas, both rode hard and were rewarded in their first time at the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo.
“I felt great,” Campbell said. “The bull I got on was really nice. He stayed hooked the whole time around the left and just was a really good bull to have. This is a great rodeo; it’s a lot of fun. The crowd is great. It seems like the committee is great. Everybody is behind the rodeo, which always helps. There’s a lot of support, so it just makes it a great rodeo.”
Campbell is eighth in the race for the world title right now, and Jacoby is sitting at fourth in the world and was named rookie of the year this year.
With bull riding wrapped up, the crowds left the stands satisfied with another great night of Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo. For the cowboys and cowgirls, though, there’s always another rodeo down the road.
“I just need to do what I did today: stay on, keep staying on bulls, and just take it day by day,” Campbell said as he sat behind the chutes changing after his ride. He pulled out a clean pair of socks, unrolled them, and out came his wedding ring and Professional Bull Riders finals ring. He put his rings on his fingers, pulled on his socks and boots and walked away for another rodeo another day.
July 10-13, 2013 at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds
Final payout: $290,500
Score; Name; Hometown; animal name; payout
1. 89 Cole Echols; Elm Grove, La.; Thomas the Train $3,952.47
1. 89 Bobby Welsh; Gillette; Little Ears $3,952.47
3. 88 Brett Stall; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Adimus Gordan $2,535.55
4. 86 Wesley Silcox; Santaquin, Utah; RB $1,006.76
4. 86 Clayton Savage; Casper; Sharonffa, $1,006.76
4. 86 J.W. Harris; Mullin, Texas; Tinder Box, $1,006.76
4. 86 Elliot Jacoby; Fredricksburg, Texas; $1,006.76
8. 85 Cody Campbell; Summerville, Ore.; St. Patrick $447.45
Total bull riding payout: $14,915.00
1. 86 Wes Stevenson; Lubbock, Texas; Thunder Monkey $5,329.50
2. 84 Seth Hardwick; Laramie; Eagle Feathers; $4,085.95
3. 83 Clint Cannon; Waller, Texas; Home Ranch $2,487.10
3. 83 Chase Erickson; Helena, Mont.; Lone Prairie $2.487.10
5. 81 JR Vezain; Cowley, Wyo.; Indian Sign $657
5. 81 Tyler Nelson; Victor, Idaho; Sod Buster $657
5. 81 Zach Curran; Riverton; Crow Fair $657
5. 81 Jessy Davis; Power, Mont.; 9 Moons $657
5. 81 Kaycee Field, Payson, Ariz.; Out Cast $657
Total bareback riding payout: $17,765
Saddle bronc riding
1. 84 Chuck Schmidt; Keldron, S.D.
2. 82 Jeremy Ray Melancon; Huntsville, Texas
2. 82 Taos Muncy; Carona, N.M.
2. 82 Issac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas
5. 81 Brady Nicholes, Hoytsville, Utah
5. 81 Collin Stalley, Riverton
7. 80 Jacobs Crawley; Stephenville, Texas
7. 80 Ty Atchison; Jackson, Missou.
7. 80 Joaquin Real; Woody, Calif.
Total saddle bronc riding payout $14,915
Steer wrestling (top 8 on two)
1. 8.2/2 Hunter Cure; Holliday, Texas $2,439.92
2. 9.7/2 Brad McGilchrist; Marysville, Calif. $2,121.67
3. 9.9/2 Morgan Grant; New Waverly, Texas $1,803.42
4. 11.2/2 Tyler Pearson; Lousiville, Miss. $1,485.17
5. 11.3/2 Sean Santucci; Prineville, Ore. $1,166.92
6. 11.8/2 Seth Brockman; Wheatland 848.67
7. 12.1/2 Dakota Eldridge; Elko, Nev. $530.42
8. 12.5/2 Jacob Shofner; Huntsville, Texas $212.17
Total steer wrestling payout: $31,825
Number of entries: 91
Steer roping (top 6 on four)
1. 44.6/4 Rocky Patterson; Pratt, Kansas $3,737.62
2. 54.8/4 J. Tom Fisher; Andrews Texas $3,093.20
3. 59.5/4 Joe Wells; Cisco, Texas $2,448.78
4. 61.9/4 Shane Suggs; Granbury, Texas $1,482.16
4. 61.9/4 Casey Tillard; Glenrock $1,482. 16
6. 63.0/4 Trent Mills; Gillette $644.42
Aggregate prize: $12,888.33
Total payout $38.665
Number of entries: 71
Team roping (top 8 on two)
1. 10.2/2 Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, Ore./Jim Ross Cooper, Monument, N.M $3.734 apiece
2. 10.3/2 Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Jade Corkill, Fallon Nev. $3,246.97 apiece
3. 10.5/2 Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas/Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla. $2.759.92 apiece
4. 11.3/2 Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas/ Dugan Kelly, Paso Robles, Calif. $2,272.88 apiece
5. 11.4/2 Miles, Kobold, Billings, Mont./Doug Cox, Gillette $1,785.83 apiece
6. 11.6/2 Jimmy Tanner, Tifton, Ga./Shawn Harris, Searcy, Arka. $1,298.79 apiece
7. 11.8/2 Marcus Battaglia, Ramona, Calif./Jordan Ketscher, Squaw Valley, Calif. $568.22 apiece
7. 11.8/2 Justin Davis, Madisonville, Texas/Clay O’Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev. $568.22 apiece
Aggregate prize: $32,469.64
Total team roping payout: $75,762.50
Number of entries 176
Tie-down total payout: $38.237.50
Number of entries: 90
Barrel racing total payout: $24,142.75
Number of entries 107