The Pendleton Round-Up wrapped up its 107th annual rodeo with a surprising All Around Champion, first time winner Clayton Hass who just beat out fellow Texan Trevor Brazile for the title. Hass accumulated the most winnings over the six days of competition in two events, steer wrestling and team roping, the second one considered Brazile’s specialty.
Trevor Brazile, sometimes referred to as the King of the Cowboys, has won more money by far than any other rodeo competitor in history. He first won the All Around title at the Pendleton Round-Up in 1999, then won every year between 2012 and 2015. Expectations that he might repeat in 2016 were nullified when he and a number of other top competitors created an elite rodeo competition organization, so were banned from the major rodeos organized under the wing of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. However, the elite group failed to attract the expected audiences, and most were back in the PRCA in 2017, including Brazile a 23-time world champion.
Hass, 33, from Weatherford, TX, is ranked 21st in the steer wrestling world standings, an event ignored by Brazile, 40, from just up the road in Decatur, TX, who competes in all three roping events. But in team roping, an event formerly dominated by Brazile, Hass is ranked 28th while Brazile is ranked 48th. Hass has qualified for the WNFR three times, Brazile 48, more than any other rodeo competitor ever.
Hass was thrilled to win.
Asked how he intended to pack home all of the award loot, saddles, buckles, trophies, etc. from his big win at Round-Up, he expressed uncertainty.
“I’m actually flying home,” he said. “Tomorrow’s my wife’s birthday so I’m flying home at 6 o’clock in the morning. Yeah, I don’t know how I’m going to get all this home. To get a saddle from legendary saddle maker and all this stuff, it’s pretty awesome.”
“I knew I had a chance,” he continued. “I had a good short round and Trevor, he was unfortunate. He didn’t get a very good steer today and he took a no time. It feels pretty good to do well against a guy like that. He’s pretty smart and a good businessman and he does the job well. Day in and day out it’s a good battle with that guy.”
Although Brazile took a no time on Saturday in the steer roping event, it was won by Will Gasperson, a neighbor of Brazile’s in Decatur, TX.
The All Around title is based on total winnings. Hass had $13,053 compared to Brazile’s total of $12,185. The next highest candidate for the title, roper Tuf Cooper, had $6,897.
In the Round-Up’s only PRCA women’s event, barrel racing, Kimmie Wall, Roosevelt, UT, carried through with her lead from early in the week and won the rodeo with her time of 28.78 seconds on Saturday giving her a combined total of 57.32 for the week. Wall, 37, consistently gives the credit for her victories to her horse Foxy. She and her husband, Travis, raise and train barrel horses, and they’ve had Foxy since she was born. But Wall expressed concern for Foxy after her victory on Saturday.
“We’ve had a few more struggles this year. Foxy’s not been as healthy as she’s been in years past so for her to come back and win any rodeo, especially the Pendleton Round-Up and to make two runs on the Green Mile, shows just how much heart she has so it makes it a little sweeter.”
The Round-Up is the only major rodeo with a grass infield. At Pendleton it’s surrounded by a dirt track. To allow the horses to turn in the dirt around the three barrels that define the course, the length is nearly double that of other barrel racing venues, leading to the nickname, the Green Mile.
Wall first won the barrel racing event at the Round-Up in 2015 with a time of 28.66. She said it was better this time.
“It’s amazing to be back. This is our fourth time to be back in Pendleton and our second time to win it. I’m just truly blessed today. We did flip a little on the third barrel but there’s no quit in Foxy and I just feel so blessed to be here today with my family all here so it makes the win a little more special. (Comparing this title to the previous one.) I think this one’s a little sweeter. Pendleton is always so much fun for me because I do get to come here and enjoy the week. It’s such a fun place.”
With her win Wall is close to joining the ranks of the top 15 competitors, providing eligibility for the WNPR in December.
“That was always the goal and always the plan. We’re gonna just keep our fingers crossed for another trip to Vegas and let the chips fall where they do but I would love to be in Vegas in December.”
Wall, with $4,850 in winnings, was followed by Teri Bangart, Olympia, WA, who won the event on Friday here and finished with $4,157, and who was followed by Jackie Ganter, Abilene, TX, with $3,233.
Two Peebles, Steven and brother David of Redmond, OR, were competing in the bareback event today, both having earned their spots in the top 15 finishers over the week to join Saturday’s lineup. And it was the elder Peebles who won the top prize, capturing it atop a horse named Mucho Dinero, very appropriate considering the prize money paid at the Pendleton Round-Up. Steven Peebles, 28, won with a score of 89.5 on Saturday, also giving him the combined score win and beating the Round-Up record of 89 points set in 1979.
Steven Peebles, a nine-year veteran of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, did not compete in the sport last year, after winning the world title in the event in 2015 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the world series of rodeo, held every December in Las Vegas.
And he’s unlikely to repeat that title this year, given his current position of 24th in the world standings, with over $55,000 won this year, because the WNFR allows in only the top 15 competitors in each event. But over his career he has winnings of more than $1.1 million and an admirable seven qualifications for the WNFR, running from 2009 -2015. The win must have felt perfect, given his statement that the Pendleton Round-Up is his favorite rodeo. Just a few weeks ago he won in Kennewick, WA, at the Horse Heaven Round-Up, where he earned his first ever Tough Enough To Wear Pink buckle. Younger brother, David, 23, is currently ranked 30th in the event’s world standings.
Behind Steven Peebles in second place for the Round-Up finals was Jake Vold, Ponoka, AB, riding Harry’s Girl. Vold, at #10 in the world standings, will be in the WNFR this December. Vold won first place on Wednesday, the first day of Round-Up with an 85 and came close Saturday with 82 for a total of 167, just short of Peeble’s total of 168.5. In rough stock (bucking) events judges give half the theoretical total of 100 points to the horse and half to the rider. The theoretical total is never given but 85 is about as good as it gets, very rarely topping 90.
In third on Saturday was another Canadian, Orin Larsen, Inglis, MB, who at #12 in the world standings is also likely to be at the WNFR in December, assuming he can maintain his spot within the top 15. Larsen won Thursday’s competition at the Round-Up with 82.5, which, with his 83.5 on Saturday put him at a combined 166, a point behind Vold.
These wins at the Round-Up, one of the last major rodeos of the season, can give a big boost to a cowboy’s chances of making it to the WNFR. That rodeo not only gives winners a chance at bragging rights but it also pays better than most rodeos, ensuring a strong financial finish for the competitors.
Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, LA, put down the best time of the day in roping his calf, 8.4 seconds, to give him a combined time for the week of 27.8 and the championship in the 2017 Pendleton Round-Up’s calf roping event. Hanchey had won the Wednesday competition at the Round-Up, with a time of 9.5, besting two of the best know ropers, Texans Tuf Cooper and Trevor Brazile, neither of whom performed that well this year at the Round-Up. Cooper’s currently ranked #1 in the world standings and Brazile’s at #6 while Hanchey is at #4 so all three will appear at the WNFR.
Hanchey, 27, has qualified for the WNFR every year 2010 to 2016, finishing 8th last year with earnings of over $180,000, but he had not won an event at the Pendleton Round-Up. He was followed on Saturday by two men in a tie, at a combined time of 32.1 for three appearances here this year, local favorite Brad Goodrich of nearby Hermiston, OR, and Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, ID. Goodrich had a time of 9.1 seconds on Saturday and Shiozawa, 9.2. Goodrich did not make it into the PRCA’s world standings’ top 50 this year but Shiozawa is ranked #12, which may get him a spot in the WNFR. Goodrich, 49, has appeared at the WNFR six times, the last in 2004, while the 37-year-old Shiozawa has been there nine times, as recently as last year.
The iconic Pendleton Round-Up logo portrays a bronc rider at the height of the horse’s leap so this event means much to the local rodeo supporters, especially since it was the main event when the Round-Up began in 1910. Brody Cress, Hillsdale, WY, won the event this year, riding Stampede Warrior to a score of 85 Saturday for a combined total of 168 in two appearances. That put him just half a point ahead of second place finished CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, UT, at 167.5, with an 86 point ride on Saturday aboard Kitty Whistle. In third place riding Weekend Departure was Hardy Braden, Welch OK, who entered Saturday’s finals with the best score of the week, an 85, the scored 82 on Saturday.
Although the famous Wright rodeo family had put six members into this event just Friday only one, the youngest—19-year-old Ryder—made it to Saturday’s finals with the week’s second best score of 84.5. The outstanding rookie—he made it to the WNFR last year, his first year of professional rodeo competition—failed to score on Saturday, leaving him out of the running. He is currently ranked 12th in the world standings, just one position behind Cress, meaning both should compete against each other again in December at the WNFR. Bradshaw is ranked #5 and Braden #6 in the world standings so they’ll definitely be in Las Vegas in December.
An Oregonian was one member of the team that won team roping’s finals on Saturday, sure to please the crowd in Pendleton, Oregon. Steven Duby, Melba ID, and partner Trevor McCoin, Terrebonne, OR, won the event with a stupendous 5.9 second ride for a total time of 22.7 for the week. Team roping’s a special challenge. The only team event in the rodeo, it requires two cowboys to rope a steer, one catches the head, the other both heels, in that order. The two were followed by Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, TN/Travis Graves, Jay, OK, with a time of 9.1 for the day and 23.3 combined and they were followed by Jesse Northrup, Fields, OR/Kurtis Barry, Wilder, ID, with a time of 8.5 for the day and 23.7 combined.
The first team won $6,440 for each partner, the second received $5,600 each and the third $4,760 each. Masters/Graves are ranked 15th and 8th in the event’s world standings so may be qualified for the WNPR with their additional winnings at this year’s Round-Up.
Ruger Piva, Challis, ID, is only at #43 in the top 50 PRCA standings but he managed to hang on for a win in the bull riding event in the Round-Up finals on Saturday. With a strong showing in two appearances he posted a combined score of 169, just ahead of two competitors at 168, Ty Wallace, 23, Collbran, CO, and Steve Woolsey, 30, Payson, UT. Wallace, however, is ranked #3 in the world standings while Woolsey, who finished at 174th last year, is well below the top 50. Wallace has qualified for the WNFR twice, in 2014-15 while Woolsey has qualified seven times, most recently in 2013.
As recently as June of this year Piva was competing as a junior for Montana Western in the College Rodeo National Finals and the next month was competing in the PRCA and in August was featured on a bull riding video on the Wranglers Rodeo channel. Later in August he won the bull riding title at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in nearby Hermiston, OR, with an 86.5 ride. In an article from that appearance he said, “I love it here in Oregon. The bulls buck good, a lot of good money to be won, and shoot you know I love my whiskey.”
Will Gasperson, Decatur, TX, won the steer roping title with a combined time of 49.0 seconds in three appearances at the Round-Up over the week, culminating with Saturday’s win with a time of 15.8 seconds and winning a total of $5,653 for the Texas cowboy. He was followed by Todd Dickson, Madras, OR, with a combined time of 54.3/$4,915; and Scott Stickley, Whitesboro, TX 60.0, $4,178.
The 52-year-old Gasperson has competed in professional rodeo since 1999 without ever qualifying for the WNFR. Gasperson, who doesn’t appear in the PRCA standings top 50 competitors for the event, nonetheless beat several cowboys who do, including Tuf Cooper, Trevor Brazile, Chris Glover, #14, Shay Good, #15, and Vin Fisher Jr., #2.