By Johna Cravens
For Cheyenne Frontier Days
Winning the championship at Cheyenne Frontier Days is a childhood dream for almost every rodeo contestant. For 10 of them, that dream became a first-time reality on Sunday at the 119th “Daddy of ‘em All.”
None of the winners was happier than saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter of Loranger, La. Harter has been riding at Cheyenne since 2001 and finished second three times by a single point -- in 2006, 2011 and 2014.
“My dad competed here from 1973 until he retired. This is his favorite rodeo and he’s been here to cheer me on every time I’ve made the final round,” Harter said, adding that this is the first year his father Ted did not make the trip to Cheyenne.
“I’d love to wear the Cheyenne buckle,” he said, “but I’ve promised it to my dad. This is a dream come true. After finishing second three times, you begin to think it will never happen.”
Harter entered the final round in third place, but drew the horse he wanted – Stace Smith Rodeo’s Resistol’s Top Hat. After his 85-point ride which tied for fourth in the final round, he still had to watch Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) champion Cort Sheer and former world champion Jesse Wright ride. Plus three other cowboys had re-rides and were still to compete.
“That was the longest five minutes of my life,” he said, but when it was over Harter had won more than $10,000.
“This is the biggest and best rodeo in the world. I’ll remember this day forever,” he said.
Bareback rider Tanner Aus and bull rider Aaron Pass led for Frontier Days titles from the opening set of riders. Both competed on July 18 and 19 and had to wait a full week to see if they would still be leading on the final day.
Aus, who lives in Granite Falls, Minn., was tied with Wyoming’s Seth Hardwick, but made an 85-point ride on J Bar J Rodeo’s Dirty Rags to finish second in the final round and win the overall championship by two points. Aus admitted he was nervous all week and kept checking the standings. He was still nervous on Sunday.
“I usually jump around to pump up before I ride, but today the adrenaline was going. I had to take a deep breath and calm down,” he said. Aus won nearly $14,000 and that should help him qualify for his first NFR.
Pass, who lives in Dallas, Texas, scored 83 points on both his first and second-round bulls. He came into the finals leading the overall standings by two points. The trick in the bull riding was making a qualified ride. When Pass, the final cowboy of the rodeo, got on his bull, only two others had ridden their bulls for the required eight seconds.
His bull was a familiar foe – Dakota Rodeo’s Brown Sugar. Pass had won two other rodeos on Brown Sugar, including one he had to win to qualify for his first NFR. “Some days he’s fun to get on,” Pass said, “but today he bucked tougher and was harder to ride.”
He scored 79 points which gave him second in the final round and a 10-point lead to win the overall championship and $16,384.
Tie-down roping champion Marty Yates came into the finals in second place and was just thrilled to be roping on Sunday. Yates’ grandfather and father both competed here, but Marty was the first to win a championship. He earned $19,554.
Nick Guy of Sparta, Wis., won the steer wrestling championship with a total of 29.3. Guy had made the final round here four times and finished as high as third. He rides a 20-year-old horse that works well in the big arena at Cheyenne. The steers at this rodeo also fit the former hockey player’s style so well that he won more than $14,000.
Lisa Lockhart, the leader for the 2015 world championship, earned her first Cheyenne barrel racing championship with a total of 52.54. Lockhart, who has now won three of the biggest rodeos in North America this year including $18,093 in Cheyenne, was thrilled. And, less than 24 hours earlier, her daughter Alyssa won the barrel racing championship at the National Little Britches Rodeo Finals in Pueblo, Colo.
Team roping champions Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn were in fourth place overall when the day began. They were competing after a sleepless night driving from the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City where they won the championship with a time of 3.4 seconds. The different arena size in Cheyenne meant Brown changed to a horse that would run faster. The outcome was just as good as they took fourth in the final round and won the championship by three-tenths of a second. They each won $10,302.
Shay Good of Midland, Texas, won the steer roping. Good was third overall and roped the championship with the fastest time of the final round, 16.7 seconds. His total winnings were $10,610.
“You don’t know how many times I ran that steer in the backyard as a kid,” he said. “I finally did it as a big kid – this is the rodeo all steer ropers want to win.”
JoJo LeMond of Andrews, Texas, was the only cowboy to qualify for the final round in more than one event. LeMond made the most of his opportunity. First, he and partner Dakota Kirchenschlager won the final round of team roping with a 7.8 which put them second overall. LeMond’s time of 19.5 took second place in the final round of steer roping and he finished fourth in that event. The veteran cowboy won the all-around title and more than $21,000.
Senior steer roping champion C.A. Lauer, from Buffalo, Okla., has been competing at Cheyenne since 1976 and finally won a title. He shared in the more than $1 million in prize money and awards presented to winning contestants at the 2015 edition of Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was on hand for the final performance and the awards presentations afterward.
“In Wyoming, rodeo is still king,” he said. “We absolutely love it.”
Plans are underway for the 120th annual celebration of the western lifestyle. It will be held July 22 – 31 2016.
2015 Cheyenne Frontier Days Champions
Bareback Riding -- Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 248 points, $13,957
Tie-Down Roping – Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 32.4 seconds, $19,554
Team Roping Header – Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas, 28.7 seconds, $10,302
Team Roping Heeler – Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., 28.7 seconds, $10,302
Saddle Bronc Riding – Bradley Harter, Loranger, La., 246 points, $10,018
Barrel Racing – Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 52.54 seconds, $18,093
Steer Roping – Shay Good, Midland, Texas, 16.7 seconds, $10,610
Bull Riding – Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 245 points, $16,384
All-Around – JoJo Lemond, Andrews, Texas, $21,171 won in team roping and steer roping
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 25, 2015) --- Unofficial winners at the the 119th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo:
Bareback riding: (final round winners) 1, Matt Bright, Fort Worth, Texas, 86 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlett Fever, $1,650. 2, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 85, $1,250. 3, (tie) Casey Breuer, Mandan, N.D.; Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, and Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 84, $617 each. 6, Seth Harwick, Laramie, Wyo., 83, $250. (overall winners) 1, Aus, 248, $8,198. 2, (tie) Bright, Cannon and Harwick, 246, $4,645 each. 5, Laye, 239, $1,913. 6, (tie) Breuer and Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 238, $1,230 each. 8, Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La., 236, $820.
Tie-down roping: (final round winners) 1, Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 10.7 seconds, $1,668. 2, Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 11.2, $1,450. 3, Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 11.7, $1,233. 4, Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 12.3, $1,015. 5, Stran Smith, Childress, Texas, $798. 6, Robert Mathis, Mart, Texas, 13.8, $580. 7, Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, 14.2, $363. 8, Justin Macha, Needville, Texas, 23.7, $145. (overall winners) 1, Yates, 32.4, $9,536. 2, Pruitt, 33.3, $8,292. 3, Jarrett, 34.0, $7,048. 4, Robinson, 35.3, $5,804. 5, Smith, 37.4, $4,560. 6, Mathis, 37.7, $3,317. 7, Costa, 37.8, $2,073. 8, Macha, 46.3, $829.
Saddle bronc riding: (final round winners) 1,(tie) Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Hickok, and Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., on Stace Smith Rodeo’s Going South, 87 points, $1,450 each. 3, Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., $900. 4, (tie) Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas; Wade Sundell, Coleman, Okla., and Bradley Harter, Loranger, La., 85, $400 each. (overall winners) 1, Harter, 246, $7,213. 2, Dent, 245, $5,530. 3, Crawley, 243, $4,087. 4, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 242, $2,645. 5, Cort Sheer, Elsmere, Neb., 241, $1,683. 6, (tie) DeMoss and Sundell, 240, $1,082. 8, Diaz, 239, $721.
Steer wrestling: (final round winners) 1, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 9.0 seconds, $1771. 2, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 9.5, $1,540. 3, Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, S.D., 9.7, $1,309. 4, K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas, 10.8, $1,078. 5, Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas, 6$154. (overall winners) 1, Guy, 29.3, $9,132. 2, Eldridge, 29.4, $7,941. 3, Jones, 29.8, $6,750. 4, Knowles, 30.8, $5,559. 5, Melvin, 30.9, $4,368. 6, Cure, 32.9, $3,176. 7, Pearson, 36.0, $1,985. 8, Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, $794.
Team roping: (final round winners) 1, JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas, and Dakota Kirchenschlager, Morgan Mill, Texas, 7.8 seconds, $2,016 each. 2, Monty Wood, Quanah, Texas, and Boogie Ray, Mabank, Texas, 9.3, $1,668 each. 3, Travis Warren, Mullen, Neb., and Ty Reynolds, Tribune, Kan., 9.9, $1,321 each. 4, Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas, and Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., 10.1. $973 each. 5, Jack Fischer, Ellensburg, Wash., and Brent Falon, Yakima, Wash., 10.7, $973 each. 6, Adam Rose, Willard, Mo., and Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas, 11.0, $348 each. (overall winners) 1, Brown and VonAhn, 28.7, $9,329 each. 2, Lemond and Kirchenschlager, 29.0, $8,112 each. 3, Warren and Reynolds, 29.5, $6,895 each. 4, Wood and Ray, 29.7, $5,678 each. 5, Rose and Woodard, 30.0, $4,462 each. 6, Fischer and Falon, 30.8, $3,245 each. 7, Jay Tittel, Pueblo, Colo., and T.J. Watts, Eads, Colo., 31.6, $2,028 each. 8, Tory Shaffer, Fort Lupton, Colo., and Lance Allen, Orchard, Colo., 33.7, $811 each.
Barrel Racing: (final round winners) 1, Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 17.51 seconds, $4,239. 2, Megan Swint, Lithia, Fla., 17.52, $3,180. 3, Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 17.53, $2,120. 4, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.58, $1,060. (overall winners) 1, Lockhart, 52.54, $8,585. 2, Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 52.90, $7,358. 3, Walker, 52.93, $6,123. 4, Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 52.95, $5,314. 5, Elaine Hollings, Pavillion, Wyo., 52.99, $4,088. 6, Callie DuPerier, Boerne, Texas, 53.07, $3,270. 7, Swint, 53.14, $2,453. 8, Rachel Dice, Livermore, Calif., 53.29, $1,635. 9, Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 53.35, $1,226. 10, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 54.52, $817.
Steer roping: (final round winners) 1, Shay Good, Midland, Texas, 16.7, $1,798. 2, JoJo Lemond, Andrews, Texas, 19.5, $1,488. 3, C.A. Lauer, Buffalo, Okla., 20.3, $1,178. 4, Scott Snedecor, Fredericksburg, Texas, 20.8, $868. 5, Bobby Joe hill, Mexia, Texas, 21.4, $558. 6, Paul Tierney, Oral, S.D., 21.8, $310. (overall winners) 1, Good, 52.3, $8,812. 2, Snedecor, 56.6, $7663. 3, Lauer, 56.6, $6,513. 4, LeMond, 58.0, $5,364. 5, Tierney, 61.4, $4,214. 6, Hill, 63.4, $3,065. 7, Worm Shipley, Copan, Okla., 67.2, $1,916. 8, Brian Garr, Belle Fourche, S.D., 69.5, $766.
Bull riding: (final round winners) three rides – 1, News Brasfield, Lane, Okla., 83 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Amplified Howdy, $1,650. 2, Aaron Pass, Dallas, Texas, 79, $1,240. 3, Caleb Sanderson, Hallettsville, Texas, 78, $900. (overall winners) 1, Pass, 245, $6,724. 2, Brasfield, 235, $6,688. 3, Sanderson, 217, $4,943. (on two) 4, Tim Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, 164, $3,199. 5, Codrick Murphy, Houston, Texas, 157, $2,035. 6, Sage Steele Kimzey, 154, $1,454. 7, Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont., 153, $1,163. 8, (tie) Kody Peirce, Keenesburg, Colo., and Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Okla., 152, $436.
119th Annual Cheyenne Frontier Days another success
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (July 26, 2015) --- With 119 years of history to build upon, Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) always has a lot to live up to and with the support of fans, volunteers and sponsors, this year’s celebration was a huge success.
Ten days of activities have become a tradition with multiple generations participating. From contestants to volunteers, people are following in their parent’s and grandparent’s footsteps, putting the last full week of July on the calendar. This year’s CFD was held July 17 – 26. To accommodate over 1,200 competitors, rodeo competition started with slack on July 14 and concluded with the championship finals on July 26, with nearly $1 million in cash and prizes paid to winners.
The heart and soul of CFD is the more than 2,500 volunteers who make all activities happen. Total attendance this year was 266,030 compared to 250,264 last year. It was the second largest crowd ever. Additionally, the first Saturday rodeo attendance was the third biggest Saturday in history. Monday’s rodeo crowd was the second largest and Wednesday was the third largest for those days of the week. The final Sunday had 13,385 fans watch ten champions crowned, the largest crowd since 2000. Total rodeo attendance was 98,246 up from 87,310 in 2014.
Old Frontier Town was once again a great attraction with 101,209 people participating in activities there. Frontier Nights® saw 120,215 attending concerts and the Championship Bull Riding World Finals which was held July 20 and 21 where Cody Teel won a $100,000 bonus for being crowned the year-end champion. Miranda Lambert on the first Saturday night had the biggest crowd of 19,451, the second largest audience for a female star in Frontier Nights’ history. Attendance at this year’s CBR World Finals was a new record with over 12,000.
The Indian Village had 51,295 visitors. Off-site activities included three pancake breakfasts that fed 25,190 and four Grand Parades with an estimated 100,000 spectators. Always popular, the free Behind the Chutes Tours gave 3,825 fans an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at rodeo and learn about the events and animals.
This year’s celebration kicked off with the Cinch Shootout, featuring bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, women’s barrel race and bull riding and $100,000 in prize money. Contestants were invited to compete representing one of eight of the largest rodeos in North America. Along with Cheyenne; Reno Rodeo; Calgary Stampede; National Western Stock Show Rodeo; San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo; Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; Rodeo Austin and Rodeo Houston participated. Each event paid four places with the winner getting a $10,000 prize. A bonus was also given to the high-point team, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo team also got a bonus.
“From start to finish, there has been an energy around the park that has been incredible,” said Darin Westby, general chairman. “Our volunteers have created that energy and I don’t know how they sustain it through all of the activities. It’s been an awesome year with a great sense of teamwork between our 10 committees and all of the people involved. We are very grateful to everyone.”
Animals are a mainstay of every CFD celebration with over 6,000 involved in the activities. Over three-fourths of them appeared in rodeo competition. A team of veterinarians inspected all animals at least twice daily. Comprehensive reports showed that 34 animals were examined and treated for illness or injury, less than half as many as in 2014. All but four of them were treated and released or found to be injury free -- a 50% reduction from last year. Westby attributed the reduction to a focus on animal care and safety that CFD has been implementing for years.
The Justin Sportsmedicine Team, which included local volunteers, was on site for all of the rodeo athletes. They went through cases of tape, used lots of ice and heat to keep contestants at their best and had no serious injuries.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbird Arial Demonstration held at Laramie County Community College had 16,846 people on site. Fort D.A Russell Days at Warren Air Force Base saw an increase of 2,000 people from last year with 23,896 in attendance.
“It certainly takes a team to have an event like this,” Westby added. “Every person that volunteered, attended, competed or participated in any way is appreciated. We believe in the traditions of Cheyenne Frontier Days and hope to celebrate for many years to come.”