By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Inter-State Rodeo committee
COFFEYVILLE, Kan. – The first night of competition at the Inter-State Rodeo saw two well-known saddle bronc riders stealing the spotlight.
Cody Wright and Heith DeMoss each scored 79 points Aug. 12 to sit at the top of the pack.
Wright, a two-time world champion, rode Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Half and Half, and was simply glad he could get the horse marked out coming out of the chute.
“That’s a pretty good horse,” Wright said. “He’s been around for a long time, and that horse is kind of tough to get marked out of there, the way he leaves (the chute). He tries to foul you on the gate, and if you can get past that, he’s a good horse.”
The Milford, Utah, man was the world champion saddle bronc rider in 2008 and 2010; his son, Rusty, who was also in Coffeyville to ride, was the 2014 PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year. Rusty was disqualified from his ride when he did not mark his horse out, and Cody’s brother, Spencer, the 2014 world champion, got bucked off.
Cody, age 38, loves traveling with his son and brother. Rusty is 18, and Spencer is 23, and it’s just as satisfying for him when they win as when he wins. “It’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy it, and I hope they do, too. It’s exciting to watch them, as good as they ride. I guess I’m just honored to be able to come and help them.”
Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., said that with Dillinger, the horse he rode for 79 points, there is more than meets the eye. “He’s big, he’s strong,” DeMoss said, “and it didn’t seem like he had a whole lot of kick to him, but he was as much a man when you were sitting in the saddle. I don’t know to the naked eye if you could tell he was bucking as hard as he was. I didn’t ride him near as good as I wanted to, but we got to the pickup man and lived to play another day.”
DeMoss, who has qualified for six Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, has entered the Coffeyville rodeo for as many years as he can remember, “because it’s a Bennie (Beutler) rodeo,” he said, referring to the stock contractor and his high-reputation bucking horses.
“You’re going to get on a bucker. You’re going to get tested, that’s for sure, and win, if you’re lucky. He has bucked me off a whole lot, but I say we’re about even about 50-50. He gets me about half the time, and when I ride, I rub it in his face,” he said with a laugh.
Other leaders after the first night of rodeo were bareback riders Joel Schlegel, Burns, Colo., and Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas (77 points each); steer wrestler Zac Parrington, Hoyt, Kan. (4.1 seconds); tie-down roper Jeremy Kempker, Eugene, Mo. (12.5 seconds), team ropers Payden Emmett, Ponca, Ark., and Brye Crite, Halfway, Mo. (6.0 seconds), barrel racer Dusta Kimzey, Strong City, Okla. (17.84 seconds) and bull rider Jory Markiss, Stephenville, Texas (70 points). There were no qualified steer roping runs.
The Aug. 13 edition of the Inter-State Rodeo is Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night. Fans are asked to wear pink and voluntary donations will be picked up to benefit breast cancer patients in the area. The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the website at www.fairandrodeo.com