Only two rodeos remain in summer series

The final event of each rodeo is bull riding and it is arguably the most dangerous. Cowboys get on the back of a 2,000 lb. bull, hold on with one hand, then try to ride it for eight seconds, leaving themselves exposed and vulnerable when they get bucked off. There are two rodeos left in the 2017 Meeker Summer Rodeo Series, including tonight’s rodeo, which will get underway at 7 p.m. at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds. Bobby Gutierrez photo

MEEKER | For two more Thursdays, Randy Henni will continue to be the sidekick to Moose 93.2 radio D.J. Ty Morgan in the booth at Meeker’s Summer Rodeo Series at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds. Morgan calls the rodeo while Henni supplies the music. In the booth, the two of them share the affections of Morgan’s sidekick, Macy, a chocolate lab pup. Last week Jana Farris was in the booth, too, timing the contestants.
In the arena, Kasey Rosendahl edged closer to being the summer series’ ranch bronc champion with a 63 point ride, the only cowboy who stayed in the saddle for the necessary eight seconds Aug. 17. The mutton busting crowd was fairly large again. Chloe Nay, Bryant Turner, Carson Blunt, Hattie Brennan, Jake Grieser, Tanner Woodruff, Holton Harvey, Russell Gardner and Cole Nay competed. Harvey and Brennan appeared to be the winners with scores of 95.5 and 94.5 points respectively.
The higher-ranked team roping competitors last week ran in the slack before the 7 p.m. performance. Winners were Joe Wood with Brett Watson at 5.5 seconds, Neil Brennan with Rowdy Atwood at 7.37 seconds, Wyatt Hallam with Austin Romans at 7.4 seconds, and Cody Edinger with Brett Watson at 11.2 seconds. Among the lower-ranked team ropers, Cody Edinger with Lane Anderson, Drake Groom with Lane Anderson, Cody Edinger with Zane Edinger, and Lori Ann Klinglesmith with Cody Edinger were winners with times of 6.1, 6.6, 6.8, and 8.4 seconds. In big kids dally roping, Cody Edinger with Lucas Montgomery as the runner posted a good 26 second score. Joe Wood and Dillon Burch timed-out while Edinger and Lavender Castaldo finished at 42.43 seconds.
In the breakaway roping, Lori Ann Klinglesmith, Jewell Vreeman, and Ivy Stanford succeeded with respective times of 3.28, 3.65, and 4.06 seconds. For the first time all summer, there was a tie-down calf roping contest, this one between Payson Hall and Wyatt Hallam. Hallam won with a 14.01 score over Hall’s 20.44 seconds. Hall had some trouble with the piggin’ string.
The ladies barrel racing drew 12 competitors. Times ranged from 18.75 seconds to 24.5 seconds including the five-second knock-over penalties. The top four ladies were relatively close with Kayla Pinnt at 18.75, Kristin Egger at 19.19, Devi Knutson at 19.53, and Andy Urista at 19.75 seconds.
In junior barrels, Cylee Dunsmore at 19.09, Deana Wood at 19.28, and Alexis Freeman at 19.32 seconds were the winners in a field of seven contestants. Mayor Regas Halandras kept his string of cowhide, a.k.a. “dirt sled”, race exhibition victories intact with a win over Pioneers Medical Center’s Christopher Borchard.
The junior, amateur, and big-time bulls won in every case against 12 riders. Unfortunately, Ryan Scott, 16, of Silt was hurt pretty badly in his ride, breaking his jaw when a panel on the side of the arena slipped up between his safety mask and vest, at which time he was turned upside down still holding on to the bull. The impact broke his jaw, pushing it back into its socket and his sinus cavity. As he was releasing from the bull, he also was kicked or stepped on, banging up his arm, according to his mother, Karrie Hubbard, also of Silt. After ambulance delivery to Pioneers Medical Center, he was transferred to St. Mary’s in Grand Junction where surgery was done. His jaw was put back together and wired shut.
Scott is back out of the hospital now, facing about six weeks of recovery. Hubbard said his first question when Scott got home was, “Can we go back to Meeker this Thursday?” They are planning to, she says. Scott, of course, won’t compete, but he wants to be there to watch, support the rodeo and support his competition buddies. Scott is a sophomore at Rifle High School where he hopes to continue competing in high school rodeo this year. Hubbard says they’ve been going to various rodeos all summer, but they especially like the Meeker event.
Hubbard reported that the Meeker rodeo series is about the “best run rodeo” they experience. She was also very complimentary of both Meeker EMS and Pioneers personnel, stating that their care of her son was wonderful.
Due to the time it took for an ambulance to get to the chutes at the fairgrounds, the incident caused some question regarding why a sitting and ready ambulance doesn’t accompany the rodeo performances.
There was another special story in the bull riding. Shelby Tanner Kyle from Crawford, one of last Thursday’s contestants, was competing in her last Colorado rodeo before moving to Texas. She has a new job as a trainer on an American Quarter Horse Association versatility and working cow horse ranch near Houston. She’s been one of a couple women competing on rough stock in the Meeker rodeos this summer. Morgan, the rodeo announcer, pointed out her departure to the crowd and wished her luck.
Kyle said, “As my time at the Meeker rodeo series came to an end, I was reminded that it’s not a goodbye, simply a ‘see you later.’ I was blessed enough to ride with these wonderful boys who helped me out more than I’ll ever be able to say thanks for. It was such a bittersweet night, so terribly sad to be leaving these cowboys, but I couldn’t help myself from smiling all night. I have come full circle in Colorado ranch bronc competition. My first ride was on this horse we call N114 Remington and so was my last (tonight).”
Current standings for the series championships in each event, with two rodeos to go, are as follows: bulls, Kaiden Decker; junior bulls, Caleb Gieselman and Logan Durham; amateur bulls, Garrett Salazar and Dillon Burch; ranch broncs, Kasey Rosendahl and Sheridan Harvey; No. 11 header, Cody Edinger and Joe Wood; No. 11 heeler, Brett Watson and TJ Toon; No. 8 header, Cody Edinger and Drake Groom; No. 8 heeler, Zane Edinger and Joe Wood; breakaway roping, Ellie Anderson and Lori Ann Klinglesmith; ladies barrels, Kayla Pinnt and Kelsey Tate; junior barrels, Cylee Dunsmore and Alexis Vreeman; big kid dally roper, Cody Edinger and Joe Wood; and big kid dally runner, Lucas Montgomery and Brittnee Tonille. Eligible contestants have to compete in at least 10 of the summer’s 13 rodeos.
The summer rodeo series resumes today at 7 p.m.

This week’s Herald Times features a coupon for half off tickets.