By Ruth Nicolaus/for the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo committee
ABILENE, Kan. – The 70th annual Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene concluded on Aug. 1, with champions crowned in each of seven events.
A familiar face in the bull riding claimed the title for a second time.
Chandler Bownds scored 90 points to win his event, after scoring 93 points to win the rodeo two years ago.
He rode Andrews Rodeo’s Bell Ringer, a “good, big, white-spotted bull,” he said. “He turned around to the left, and really bucked.”
Bownds, who lives in Lubbock, Texas, is in the middle of the pack among the 15 bull riders in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. He’s looking for his third qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but there are two months left in the rodeo season, and he knows his position isn’t secure.
“Everybody’s riding good this year,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys who have been winning a lot of money here lately. I just need to keep staying on and keep climbing the world standings.”
The tie-down roping champ is no stranger to the Wrangler NFR, either. Clint Cooper has competed there five times, and he made a 7.9-second run to win the Abilene rodeo. He was aboard his award winning horse Sweetness.
The 22 year old gelding is “the best horse I’ve ridden in my life,” Cooper said. He’s won the American Quarter Horse Association’s Tie-Down Roping Horse of the Year three times, and he knows it. “He’s like Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson,” Cooper said. “He knows he’s good, and he’s got a little attitude.”
Cooper owns the horse with Karen Herbst, and because of his age, Sweetness is only ridden by Clint and his brothers Clif and three-time World Champion Tuf.
The other 2015 champions at Eisenhower Park were bareback rider Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. (78 points), steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La. (3.6 seconds), saddle bronc riders Travis Sheets, Hyannis, Neb., and Jacobs Crawley, Stephenville, Texas (84 points each), team ropers Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas, and Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas (4.3 seconds), and barrel racer Layna Kight, Ocala, Fla. (17.32 seconds).
Next year’s rodeo will be August 3-6. For complete rodeo results, visit ProRodeo.com. For more information on the rodeo, visit WildBillHickokRodeo.com.
Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo
Abilene, Kan., July 30-Aug. 1
All-around cowboy: Zeb Chapman, $869, tie-down roping and team roping.
Bareback riding: 1. Wyatt Denny, 78 points on Andrews Rodeo's Walk Hard, $1,312; 2. Jake Brown, 75, $994; 3. Codi Myers, 72, $716; 4. (tie) Marvin Alderman Jr. and Winn Ratliff, 69, $378 each; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 3.6 seconds, $1,686; 2. (tie) Kyle Irwin, J.D. Struxness and Dean Gorsuch, 3.7, $1,246 each; 5. Blake Mindemann, 4.0, $807; 6. Cody Moore, 4.1, $587; 7. (tie) Shane Frey, Tom Duvall, Brandon Volker, Tanner Brunner and Cooper Shofner, 4.3, $103 each.
Team roping: 1. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 4.3 seconds, $1,816 each; 2. Aaron Macy/Chad Williams, 4.9, $1,579; 3. Jesse Stipes/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.2, $1,342; 4. Brandon Vaske/Braden Harmon, 5.6, $1,105; 5. Zeb Chapman/Michael Bratton, 6.3, $869; 6. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 9.4, $632; 7. Cale Markham/Buddy Hawkins II, 9.6, $395; 8. David Key/Martin Lucero, 10.1, $158.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Travis Sheets on Andrews Rodeo's Capone and Jacobs Crawley on Andrews Rodeo's War Hawk, 84 points, $1,449 each; 3. Chase Miller, 82, $900; 4. Shade Etbauer, 79, $600; 5. (tie) Dean Wadsworth and Sam Spreadborough, 78, $300 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Clint Cooper, 7.9 seconds, $1,686; 2. Cole Bailey, 8.1, $1,466; 3. Caleb Smidt, 8.3, $1,246; 4. (tie) Dillon Holder and Trent Creager, 8.7, $917 each; 6. (tie) Garrett King and Ryan Watkins, 8.8, $477 each; 8. Clayton Collmorgen, 9.0, $147.
Barrel racing: 1. Layna Kight, 17.21 seconds, $1,873; 2. Laura Kennedy, 17.43, $1,606; 3. Carley Richardson, 17.45, $1,338; 4. (tie) Megan Swint and Kim Couch, 17.48, $1,026 each; 6. Tillar Murray, 17.49, $714; 7. Christine Laughlin, 17.58, $535; 8. Abby Searcy, 17.61, $357; 9. (tie) Meghan Johnson and Michelle Lummus, 17.62, $223 each.
Bull riding: 1. Chandler Bownds, 90 points on Andrews Rodeo's Bell Ringer, $4,061; 2. Aaron Pass, 88, $3,113; 3. (tie) Sage Kimzey and Cameron Bland, 85, $1,895 each; 5. Cain Smith, 73, $948; 6. (tie) Jeff Bertus and Tyler Taylor, 71, $609 each; 8. Logan Hunter, 70, $406.
Total payoff: $71,786. Stock contractor: Andrews Rodeo. Sub-contractor: New Frontier Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Penny Walton. Officials: Chris Bastien and Royd Doyal. Timers: Darla Kelley and Shelly Baumann. Announcer: Mike Mathis. Specialty act: Matt Merritt. Bullfighters: Dustin Brewer and Ethan McDonald. Clown/barrelman: Matt Merritt. Chute boss: Sammy Andrews. Pickup men: Howdy Hajek and Jeremy Willis. Photographer: Fly Thomas. Music director: Dawn Bendele.