NAMPA, IDAHO (April 3, 2016) The Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) Premier Tour closed out Tour Stop Number 2 in Nampa, Idaho with a night that the rodeo fans are talking about.
“Hands down one of the best rodeos I’ve ever attended in my life! I’ve been going to rodeos and competing since a very young age. Very impressed with how this production was ran. I enjoyed all the aspects of being able to meet the cowboys in the arena and having the opportunity to actually get to know the competitors I’ve been watching for years,” said attendee, Amorita Anstett.
ERA’s unique concept allows fans a chance to interact with their favorite cowboy or cowgirl during the preshow meet and greet, where fans are invited onto the arena floor to take pictures, get autographs and visit with the athletes.
Of course the real draw is that each ERA Premier Tour event is Where the Biggest Names in Rodeo Come to Ride and last night in the Ford Idaho Center, fans witnessed fierce competition.
The night got kicked off with a great comeback story, as Brian Canter, a left-handed rider from Randleman, North Carolina brought the crowd to the edge of their seats with his winning ride on Perculator from Sankey ProRodeo. Canter, a star on the PBR tour experienced several injuries a few years ago including having his right knee reconstructed only to sustain a deadly infection, in which doctors were within hours of deciding to amputate his right leg just above the knee. Canter, known for his grit and determination would not accept that outcome. He sought second opinions and with surgeries and intense training he returned to the sport he loves. Last night he experienced the glow of the spotlight again with an 87-point declaration that he is a force to be reckoned with once more.
Everyone knew when “Wild Wade” Sundell drew Lunatic From Hell of Burch Rodeo Company that it was going to be a party in the Ford Idaho Center. This Iowa cowboy and legendary horse are known for their athleticism and when paired the ride was electric and ended with a well deserved 88.5 points from the judges. Fresh off his Million Dollar, Triple Crown win at The American, Sundell is the hottest name in rodeo right now. Last night’s ride pushed him to a tie for first in the ERA World Championship Standings, a spot he shares with Bradley Harter.
“When you’re going up against the best guys in the world, it’s hard to win first,” declared ERA Bareback Rider, Steven Dent, after his 86-point ride on Liar Liar from Bar T Rodeo Company. This Mullen, Nebraska cowboy didn’t receive an easy win last night. All bareback riders covered their horses and eight athletes turned in 80-point rides, which provided a high-energy event that caped the night for rodeo fans.
Stockton Graves from Marshall, Missouri struck winning gold for the second time on the tour, throwing his steer in a blistering 3.65. Graves, who won the first round in Redmond, Oregon now tops the ERA World Championship Standings. When asked about the ERA Tour, Graves said, “I am excited where the ERA is taking the sport of rodeo.”
Twenty-three Time World Champion, Trevor Brazile, turned in a fast-paced run in the Tie-Down Roping last night, stopping the clock with a 7.98. This was his second win on the ERA Premier Tour with a 7 second time. Brazile talked about how exciting it is when everything falls into place by saying, “From the stands a run looks pretty generic, but it is very rare that when I uncinch my horse after a run that I wish I hadn’t done something different. So when you complete a run where you wouldn’t do anything different that is exciting.”
The Team Ropers have more collective World Championship Titles than any other event on the tour and that level of experience and talent means that contestants have to go big or go home … without a paycheck. ERA fans have been waiting for Three-Time World Champions, Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill to break the ice and take home their first ERA win and last night their run was worth the wait. Turning in a time of 3.42, fans had the rare experience of witnessing one of the fastest team roping runs they will every see. Rodeo fans across the country will have a chance to watch this run on FOX Sports 2 when it airs on April 27th at 10:00 PM EST.
With back to back wins, Ashley Schafer from Yoder, Wyoming topped not only the leaderboard Saturday night with another 13-second run, but now has a strong lead in the ERA World Championship Standings. Riding Freckles to Fame, a 7 year-old stallion who she won big on as a four-year old futurity horse, Schafer and “Can Man” are quickly turning heads in the rodeo world. Sitting right behind her in the standings is 10-year old barrel racing phenom, Chayni Chamberlain, who has turned in consistently fast and clean runs on her grey horse, “Flo.”
Both nights of competition in Nampa paid out $100,000 each night. An athlete with a first place finish took home $3,625 last night.
The athletes head to Salt Lake City, Utah for the tour events that take place next weekend, April 8thand 9th . Fans can purchase tickets to the Utah event online at www.smithstix.com, over the phone by calling 1-801-355-SEAT or in person at the Maverik Center Box Office. The cowboys and cowgirls then take a few weeks off before they head to Albuquerque for Tour Stop No. 4, May 20thand 21st.
Fans can watch the “Elite Rodeo Championship Race to Dallas,” which will air on FOX Sports 2 every Wednesday night in April, starting with the Redmond event April 6th at 10:00 EST. The Nampa event will air April 20th and 27th at 10:00 EST.