OMAHA, Neb. – Tie-down roper Cade Swor hasn’t had the best time in the month of September, but his win Friday night is an omen for big things to come in the next few months.
Swor finished third in the first round with a time of 7.4 seconds, then outdid himself with a run of 7.1 to win the four-man finals and his first Justin Boots Championships title.
“The last month has been terrible,” Swor said of his rodeo luck. “It’s been real slow and I haven’t drawn well in the month of September. So to have some momentum and to feel like I roped at the top of my game here is huge. I made the final four here in 2004 and my calf got up, so this is a cool rodeo to win.”
Swor earned a total of $4,939, which will boost his spot in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. He entered the week 12th in the standings, and while that was a somewhat comfortable spot to be, he still wanted to put an exclamation point at the end of his regular season.
“A guy never wants to be looking behind him, and he always wants to be looking forward,” Swor said. “The goal is to be trying to get as close to the top of the standings as you can, and my goal this week was to rope for position and try to catch some of the guys in front of me and give myself a chance (for a world title) heading into the NFR.”
Swor, 32, says it was extremely important for him to get back to the WNFR again this season. All of the extra money in the purse in Las Vegas can help a cowboy out – especially one with a big, expensive life event upcoming.
“I’m getting married to my fiancée, Sarah, in October, so I figured I better make the NFR and have a good Christmas bonus,” Swor said with a laugh. “When you rodeo for a living, everything you win is very important, and when you’re getting married that’s even more true.
“Sarah was here to watch me tonight, and that means a lot. She helped to put the fun back into rodeo for me, and if she can’t go to a rodeo, then sometimes I won’t go.”
The electric atmosphere in the CenturyLink Arena Friday night reminded Swor of the place he’s headed Dec. 3-12.
“Tonight, I was practicing for the NFR a bit, and I was trying to focus on getting a great start and going as fast as I could,” he said. “Being at a place like Omaha that has a big crowd and has a lot of noise and energy helps. There are a lot of similarities between here and Las Vegas, and you’re roping against the same top guys you’ll see in Vegas.”
While Swor improved his spot in the world standings, another big story in the tie-down roping Friday night was 2013 World Champion Shane Hanchey.
The Sulphur, La., cowboy entered the week 19th in the world, but was only $1,957 behind 15th-place Clint Robinson.
Hanchey went for broke, and it paid off in a huge way. His 7.3-second run was good enough to split the first-round title with Trevor Brazile, and he posted a 7.6 in the finals to finish second behind Swor. In all, he totaled $6,041 Friday night and put himself in a great position to make it to his six straight WNFR.
“Doing well at this rodeo was going to be the only way I was going to have a shot to get into Vegas,” Hanchey said. “There are so many guys here who rope so well, and Cade let me ride his horse, Floyd, in the first round. That horse is always awesome for me.”
When the chips were down and Hanchey had to make one of his best runs of the season, he came through in a big way. He uncharacteristically threw his hat in the air and was noticeably excited when he got back onto his horse.
“There was pressure on me, and this has been stressful and I never knew a 25-year-old could stress this much,” he said. “Showing that emotion wasn’t my personality, but it was a release of the stress that I had maintained over the last three months.”
The other winners at the $172,863 rodeo were bareback rider Steven Peebles (84 points on Three Hills Rodeo’s Rocky), steer wrestler Bray Armes (4.2 seconds), team ropers Colby Lovell and Kory Koontz (4.7 seconds), saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter (84 points on J Bar J’s Julia), barrel racer Cassidy Kruse (14.82 seconds) and bull rider Parker Breding (87 points on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Black Diamond).
Justin Boots Championships
Omaha, Neb., Sept. 24-25
Bareback riding: First round: 1. Jake Brown, 88 points on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock's Four Socks, $6,570; 2. Tanner Aus, 85, $5,037; 3. (tie) David Peebles and Steven Peebles, 84, $3,066 each; 5. (tie) Clint Laye, Orin Larsen and Evan Jayne, 83, $1,168 each; 8. (tie) Jessy Davis, Richmond Champion, Winn Ratliff, Austin Foss, R.C. Landingham and George Gillespie IV, 82, $110 each. Finals: 1. Steven Peebles, 84 points on Three Hills Rodeo's Rocky, $1,600; 2. Jake Brown, 77, $1,200; 3. Tanner Aus, 75, $800; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. (tie) Bray Armes, Nick Guy, Ty Erickson and Joshua Clark, 3.6 seconds, $4,718 each; 5. Clayton Hass, 3.7, $2,805; 6. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Stockton Graves, 4.0, $1,658 each; 8. Tyler Waguespack, 4.3, $510. Finals: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Joshua Clark, 4.2 seconds, $350 each; 3. Nick Guy, 13.8, $200; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: First round: 1. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.1 seconds, $2,933 each; 2. Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn, 4.3, $2,550; 3. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 4.4, $2,168; 4. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 4.5, $1,785; 5. (tie) Riley Minor/Brady Minor and Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7, $1,211 each; 7. David Key/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 5.3, $638; 8. Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper, 7.4, $255. Finals: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 4.7 seconds, $400 each; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Wade Sundell, 86 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls' Shining Mountain, $5,670; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 85, $4,347; 3. Jesse James Kirby, 81, $3,213; 4. (tie) Clay Elliott, Joe Lufkin, Bradley Harter and Tyrel Larsen, 80, $1,276 each; 8. (tie) Heith DeMoss and Cort Scheer, 79, $284 each. Finals: 1. Bradley Harter, 84 points on J Bar J's Julia, $1,600; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 82, $1,200; 3. Wade Sundell, 79, $800; 4. Jesse James Kirby, 74, $400.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Shane Hanchey, 7.3 seconds, $5,741 each; 3. Cade Swor, 7.4, $4,539; 4. (tie) Tyson Durfey and Cory Solomon, 7.6, $3,338 each; 6. Marty Yates, 7.9, $2,136; 7. Timber Moore, 8.1, $1,335; 8. (tie) Hunter Herrin and Reese Riemer, 8.3, $267 each. Finals: 1. Cade Swor, 7.1 seconds, $400; 2. Shane Hanchey, 7.6, $300; 3. Tyson Durfey, 8.8, $200; 4. Cory Solomon, 9.5, $100.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Jana Bean, 14.93 seconds, $2,493; 2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 14.95, $2,137; 3. Mary Walker, 14.96, $1,781; 4. Cassidy Kruse, 14.97, $1,543; 5. Megan Swint, 15.08, $1,187; 6. (tie) Layna Kight and Deb Guelly, 15.10, $831 each; 8. Carmel Wright, 15.12, $475; 9. Alexa Lake, 15.16, $356; 10. Taylor Jacob, 15.17, $237. Finals: 1. Cassidy Kruse, 14.82 seconds, $1,055; 2. Jana Bean, 14.92, $791; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 14.96, $528; 4. Mary Walker, 16.09, $264.
Bull riding: First round: 1. Jacob O'Mara, 88 points on J Bar J's Twisted Tea, $4,950; 2. Parker Breding, 84, $3,795; 3. (tie) Jeff Askey and Kody DeShon, 81, $2,310 each; 5. Joe Frost, 79, $1,555; 6. Scottie Knapp, 78, $825; 7. Guthrie Murray, 74, $660; no other qualified rides. Finals: 1. Parker Breding, 87 points on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock's Black Diamond, $1,600; 2. Joe Frost, 84, $1,200; no other qualified rides.
Total payoff: $172,863. Stock contractor: Cervi Championship Rodeo. Sub-contractors: Korkow Rodeos, Rafter H Rodeo Livestock, Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls, Sutton Rodeos, Three Hills Rodeo, J Bar J, The Cervi Brothers and Summit Pro Rodeo
For complete coverage of the Justin Boots Championships, check out the Oct. 9 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.