The Pendleton Round-Up, one of America’s premier rodeos, wraps up the 106th staging of the four-day celebration on Saturday, Sept. 17 in Pendleton, Oregon. Winners of the events Friday came from California, Alberta, South Dakota, Idaho and New Mexico. On Saturday the championship for each of eight events will be awarded, as well as the title of All Around Champion.
For a listing of every Friday competitor, with scores and times, visit http://www.pendletonroundup.com/p/events/2016-round-up-results/305.
In Friday’s bareback event R.C. Landingham, Hat Creek, CA, and formerly from Pendleton, Oregon, had the best score, 83.5, to move him to the finals on Saturday, the final day of the four-day rodeo. The 26-year-old competitor has done well in competition this year, winning eight rodeos and nearly $100,000 to take 5th place in the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) world standings.
Placing that high in the standings means he can count on making it to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
“It’s way less pressure on me,” said Landingham Friday. “I’ve done a lot here in the past but for the last few years I’ve been sorta just making the NFR so to come here and just get on and have fun and not have to worry about that, it’s been real nice.”
In fact, Landingham, known for his riding skills more than roping skills, said he signed up to rope at the Round-Up.
“One of my travelin’ partners, another bareback rider, we entered the team roping so we’ve just been hanging out all week and now we’re going to go saddle a horse and rope, or try to rope.”
Speaking of his high scoring experience Friday, Landingham expressed gratitude for a good horse.
“They got really good horses here,” he said. “I got a really good horse, Bambino Vold. I saw him before. I thought he might stall out and not get onto the grass but he barely made it to the grass and then started to cover some ground. My hand was coming out of my rigging the whole time so I was glad when he weakened a little bit.”
Just a point and a half behind Landingham, Tyler Scales, Severance, CO, scored 82 on Tootsie Roll. Scales currently ranks 37 in the PRCA standings. In third was JR Vezain, Cowley, WY, with 81.5. Vezain, 24, and a 5-year veteran of the PRCA, ranks 12th in the PRCA. All three competitors will appear among the 10 finalists on Saturday.
Taylor Santos, Creston, CA, with a time of 10.6 seconds, took first place in Friday’s tie-down roping event. Currently ranked 36th in PRCA world standings, Santos will be one of 12 finalists competing for the tie-down title on Saturday. However, neither Jayce Johnson, Hempstead, TX, who finished second to Santos on Friday with 12.7, or Logan Bird, Nanton, AB, in third at 20.5 will return on Saturday.
Santos owns a national championship, winning the 2014 tie-down roping title at the College National Finals Rodeo as a freshman.
A six-year veteran of professional rodeo, Luke Butterfield, Ponoka, AB, scored 82 points in the saddle bronc event Friday to take first for the day and qualify to be one of ten cowboys to compete in Saturday’s finals for the saddle bronc title. Butterfield, 32, finished 2015 in 354th place in the professional standings and won only $1,253. But he’s moved up, currently ranked 29 with nearly $40,000 in winnings plus whatever he’ll take home from the Round-up.
Behind Butterfield was a tie for second at 81 points between Ryder Wright, Milford, UT, and Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, AB. At third was Dalton Davis, Holcomb, KS, 79.5. Of these three, Wright and Thurston will be able to return for Saturday’s finals. The Round-Up’s 2015 champ in this event also competed Friday, but Spencer Wright’s 74 was not enough to put him in the finals. Nonetheless, the Wright clan will be well represented with Ryder, Jake and Jesse Wright, all of Milford, competing for the saddle bronc title on Saturday.
Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, SD, completed Friday’s steer wrestling event with an exceptional time of 5.8 seconds but it was unfortunately not enough to push him into Saturday’s finals, given his time of 9.2 in the slack event on Tuesday for a total of 15 seconds for two events. The last qualifying time for Saturday was 14 seconds, leaving Melvin one second too far. Like many of the competitors the 24-year-old Melvin comes from a ranching family with extensive sibling and parental rodeo participation, including sister Jessica, former Miss Rodeo South Dakota. Melvin has dropped from 33rd to 34th place in the national standings 2015 to 2016.
Calder Johnston, Elm Springs, SD, finished second on Friday with a time of 6.9, followed by Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, ID, at 7.4. Tavenner, 26, and a six-year PRCA veteran, moved from 27th place in the national standings last year to 22 so far in 2016.
Of Friday’s top three finishing duos in team roping only the second place team of Coleman Proctor, Pryor, OK and Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, OK, with a time of 6.5 seconds, will compete in Saturday’s finals. First place finishers Spencer Mitchell, Williams, CA and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, CA, at 6.0 on Friday, failed to rope their steer in their first attempt earlier in the week. Max Kuttler, American Falls, ID and Kyle Lockett, Visalia, CA, had a time of 8.0 seconds Friday to take third.
The best time over two events this week was recorded by the team of Jake Stanley, Hermiston, OR, and Bucky Campbell, Benton City, WA, 12.2 seconds, meaning they’ll be the last team to compete in Saturday’s finals. They’ll attempt to replicate their title winning 2014 performance here, when they had an average time of 6.4 seconds.
Bull riding is hard to accomplish, as shown on Friday when 17 bull riders competed and only four stayed aboard the required eight seconds to earn a score. At the top was Garrett Smith, Rexburg, ID, riding Dam Straight to 86 points, which tied the best performance this year in the Round-Up, by Chase Robbins of Marsing, ID. The two will face off on Saturday. They’ll be joined by 10 other bull riders, including Ednei Caminhas, Denton, TX, who had a re-ride on Friday and made it good with 79.5 points.
The Round-Up’s bull riding title holder from 2015, Sage Steele Kimzey, Strong City, OK, will also mount a bull for Saturday’s finals, after scoring an 83 in earlier competition.
Garrett Smith, 21, with two years experience in professional rodeo, has already won nine rodeos in 2016, moving him from barely present in the 2015 national standings to #11 this year with nearly $100,000 in prize money. Smith actually made it to the NFR the year he turned pro in 2014, but not as a competitor. He was hazing for his older brother, Wyatt, who appeared in the NFR that year as a steer wrestler. Smith the younger also competes as a steer wrestler when not riding a bull. He won in Oregon earlier this year at the St. Paul Rodeo.
Caminhas, originally from Brazil, has competed for a number of years in the Professional Bull Riders circuit. He was the 2002 PBR world champion.
In third place on Friday was Cody Miller, Parma, ID, with 77.5. He also will compete on Saturday.
Brent Lewis, Pinon, NM, logged a time of 11.5 seconds Friday to take first place for the day in steer roping. He has the best combined time for two appearances in steer roping at this year’s Round-Up so he’ll show up at Saturday’s finals as the last roper to compete in this event.
Of the other two top finishers in steer roping on Friday, Quay Howard, Canyon, TX, with 12.2 seconds and Will McBride, Ogallala, NE, 14.1, only McBride will appear on Saturday together with 11 other steer ropers vying for the 2016 title.
Lewis, 46, and a 25 year PRCA veteran with career winnings of over $1.5 million, won this event at last year’s Round-Up.
Tanya Robinson, Caldwell, ID, had the fastest time in Friday’s barrel racing event, 30.84 seconds, followed by Cara Dugan, Spanaway, WA 32.05 and Stephenie Brady, Delta, CO 32.39. However, none of these times were fast enough to put them in Saturday’s finals, where the slowest qualifying time this week was 30.48 seconds.
Over the 16 years of barrel racing at the Round-Up no one has won the annual title with a time over 29 seconds. Currently none of the finalists have completed a run under 29 seconds, not surprising since the Round-Up Association this year has slightly enlarged the course, already the longest of any rodeo. Last year’s winner, Kimmie Wall, Roosevelt, UT, won with an average time of 28.66 in 2015, more than a second less than her qualifying time this year. But she’ll give it another try on Saturday.