CODY, Wyo. – Casey Martin was looking for a big win to break the recent dry spell he’d experienced in the rodeo arena. He found it Sunday night when he picked up a huge victory at the Cody Stampede Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots.
Martin won the steer wrestling title in front of a large crowd at Stampede Park with a 4.9-second run, earning $5,440.
“It was an electrifying crowd that was cheering for everyone,” Martin said. “It was a packed house, and a really fun place to compete. I’m tickled to death. Things haven’t been going the best and I hadn’t had a big win in a while, so this was nice.”
Entering the weekend, the 33-year-old Martin found himself squarely on the bubble for his fifth straight trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He sat 15th in the Aug. 10 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, but says he wasn’t concerned about his spot just yet.
“This means a whole lot because I was getting bumped down (in the standings) and the last two weeks hadn’t been great,” the Sulphur, La., cowboy said. “I know there are about 25 rodeos left for me, so I’m not that worried about it, but lately it’s been one thing or another, and I had been placing but not winning.”
Martin – who has finished in the top four in the world each of the last three seasons –won Rodeo Austin at the end of March, but since then hadn’t had a signature victory. While he was placing at many rodeos, he needed one more big win to put himself in a solid position in the top 15, and he did just that. Martin should move to just outside the top 10 in the standings.
He hopes the win in Cody will lead to more in the last month and a half of the regular season.
“All it takes is one win to start a roll and boost your confidence,” Martin said. “I keep the same strategy at these Champions Challenge events as regular rodeos and run at the barrier the same. The best guys in the world are at every big rodeo, but it’s a lot better when you can win this kind of money without having to beat a lot of other guys.”
Other winners at the $123,600 rodeo were bareback rider Kaycee Feild (87.5 points on Burch Rodeo’s Jim Dandy), team ropers Jake Barnes and Junior Nogueira (6.0 seconds), saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss (89 points on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic From Hell), tie-down ropers Tuf Cooper and Matt Shiozawa (8.3 seconds each), barrel racer Jill Welsh (17.50 seconds) and bull rider Chandler Bownds (87 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Ben Johnson).
Cody Stampede Champions Challenge
Cody, Wyo., Aug. 16
Bareback riding: 1. Kaycee Feild, 87.5 points on Burch Rodeo's Jim Dandy, $5,440; 2. Tim O'Connell, 87, $4,160; 3. Jake Vold, 86, $3,040; 4. (tie) Bobby Mote and Richmond Champion, 84.5, $1,680 each.
Steer wrestling: 1. Casey Martin, 4.9 seconds, $5,440; 2. Dakota Eldridge, 5.5, $4,160; 3. Hunter Cure, 5.6, $3,040; 4. Luke Branquinho, 5.8, $2,080; 5. (tie) Tanner Milan and Nick Guy, 6.0, $640 each.
Team roping: 1. Jake Barnes/Junior Nogueira, 6.0 seconds, $5,440 each; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Clay O'Brien Cooper, 6.7, $4,160; 3. Derrick Begay/Travis Woodard, 6.9, $3,040; 4. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 9.1, $2,080; 5. Colby Lovell/Ryan Motes, 11.3, $1,280.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody DeMoss, 89 points on Burch Rodeo's Lunatic From Hell, $3,944; 2. Zeke Thurston, 84, $3,016; 3. Rusty Wright, 82.5, $2,204; 4. Taos Muncy, 81, $1,508; 5. Jacobs Crawley, 79, $928.
Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Matt Shiozawa and Tuf Cooper, 8.3 seconds, $4,800 each; 3. Hunter Herrin, 8.4, $3,040; 4. Cade Swor, 8.6, $2,080; 5. Trevor Brazile, 9.1, $1,280.
Barrel racing: 1. Jill Welsh, 17.50 seconds, $5,440; 2. Mary Walker, 17.54, $4,160; 3. Michele McLeod, 17.56, $3,040; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.58, $2,080; 5. Callie DuPerier, 17.80, $1,280.
Bull riding: 1. Chandler Bownds, 87 points on Summit Pro Rodeo's Ben Johnson, $5,440; 2. Cody Teel, 85.5, $4,160; 3. Joe Frost, 85, $3,040; 4. Trevor Kastner, 81, $2,080; 5. Parker Breding, 78, $1,280.
Total payoff: $123,600. Stock contractors: Summit Pro Rodeo, Burch Rodeo and Mo Betta Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Penny Walton. Officials: Wade Berry, Lynn Smith and Cliff Overstreet. Timers: Roberta Sankey and Abbey Scott. Announcer: Kade Rogge. Specialty act: Roz Beaton. Bullfighter: Webster Webster. Clown/barrelman: Matt Tarr. Chute boss: Tom Neuens. Pickup men: Dalton Ward and Duane Gilbert. Photographers: Dan Hubbell and Josh Homer. Music director: Brandon Milburn.
For more coverage of the Cody Stampede Wrangler Champions Challenge, check out the Aug. 28 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.