Baylor Roche is tops at Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Baylor Roche and his wife, Samantha, are expecting their first child Oct. 20, and he’s hoping the family will make a trip to Las Vegas shortly after.

The 26-year-old steer wrestler took a big step toward that goal Sunday afternoon when he won the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo with a time of 3.7 seconds.

Roche made his run at RMV Riding Park on the first day of the two-day rodeo, and was hoping his time would hold up against a loaded field of bulldoggers, including Luke Branquinho, Blake Knowles, Clayton Moore and J.D. Struxness – who all finished tied for second with 3.9-second times.

“I knew it was a good run, and it was going to win something, but a lot of good guys were up that second day so I wasn’t 100 percent sure I was going to win it,” Roche said. “I really felt like I needed to win this rodeo to give myself a chance (at making the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo). I had a dry couple of weeks, and I needed to get something going fast.”

Roche entered the week 21st in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. The $5,295 he earned in San Juan Capistrano should move Roche to 18th or 19th in the world, but more importantly, it cut the deficit between him and the 15th spot in half.

It was Roche’s second big win of the 2015 season – as he captured the title at the Fort Worth (Texas) Stock Show Rodeo in February. When he returned home to Tremonton, Utah, after his win in Fort Worth, Roche was met with some big news.

“When I won in Fort Worth I gave an interview (to PRCA media) saying that I didn’t have any kids because I was still a big kid and could barely take care of myself,” Roche said with a laugh. “Then I got home and Samantha joked that I better call them back and change what I said. Things are going to be getting expensive around here, so the more money I can win now, the better.”

With $10 million up for grabs at the WNFR this December, it would be a great time for Roche to qualify for his first trip to rodeo’s Super Bowl.

“It’s been a good year, and it’s been exciting,” he said. “The next five weeks I’ll be going to a lot of rodeos and hope to keep up with the guys ahead of me. I don’t like to look at the standings – but you always have a hint of what you need to do. Being gone all summer long, it would make everything worth it if I could get to the NFR.”

Other winners at $217,684 rodeo were bareback rider Casey Breuer (87 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Back Fire), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (4.5 seconds), saddle bronc rider Jake Wright (84 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Hell’s Fire Hostage), tie-down ropers Sterling Smith and Matt Shiozawa (8.3 seconds each) and bull riders Brennon Eldred (87 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Dark Shadow) and Kody DeShon (87 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Jeepers Creepers).

Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo

San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Aug. 22-23

Bareback riding: 1. Casey Breuer, 87 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo's Back Fire, $8,890; 2. Kaycee Feild, 85, $6,816; 3. (tie) Tyler Nelson and Steven Peebles, 83, $4,149 each; 5. Jessy Davis, 82, $2,074; 6. (tie) Mason Clements, Ryan Gray and Jake Brown, 81, $1,185 each. 

Steer wrestling: 1. Baylor Roche, 3.7 seconds, $5,295; 2. (tie) Blake Knowles, Clayton Moore, Luke Branquinho and J.D. Struxness, 3.9, $3,902 each; 6. (tie) Sterling Lambert, Seth Brockman and Nick Guy, 4.1, $1,951 each; 9. (tie) Sean Mulligan and Shayde Etherton, 4.3, $557 each. 

Team roping: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.5 seconds, $6,608 each; 2. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler and Doyle Hoskins/Wyatt Cox, 4.7, $5,565 each; 4. Travis Tryan/Garrett Jess, 4.8, $4,521; 5. David Key/Travis Woodard, 4.9, $3,826; 6. (tie) Tyler Wade/Kinney Harrell, Derrick Begay/Clay O'Brien Cooper and Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.3, $2,435 each; 9. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.5, $1,043; 10. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.7, $348. 

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jake Wright, 84 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo's Hell's Fire Hostage, $7,840; 2. (tie) Bradley Harter, Jesse James Kirby and Isaac Diaz, 82, $4,442 each; 5. (tie) Cody Wright and Steven Dent, 81, $1,568 each; 7. Tyrel Larsen, 80, $1,045; 8. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Heith DeMoss, 79, $392 each. 

Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Sterling Smith and Matt Shiozawa, 8.3 seconds, $6,260 each; 3. Reese Riemer, 8.6, $5,217; 4. Blair Burk, 8.7, $4,521; 5. Hunter Herrin, 8.8, $3,826; 6. (tie) Cimarron Boardman and Jordan Ketscher, 9.0, $2,782 each; 8. (tie) Michael Otero and Randall Carlisle, 9.1, $1,391 each; 10. Shane Hanchey, 9.4, $348. 

Bull riding: 1. (tie) Brennon Eldred on Flying U Rodeo's Dark Shadow and Kody DeShon on Rosser Rodeo's Jeepers Creepers, 87 points, $7,025 each; 3. Jeff Askey, 85, $4,506; 4. Trevor Kastner, 83, $2,916; 5. (tie) Joe Frost and Jacob O'Mara, 81, $1,590 each; 7. (tie) Clayton Foltyn, Steve Woolsey and Elliot Jacoby, 80, $619 each. 

Total payoff: $217,684. Stock contractor: Flying U Rodeo. Sub-contractors: Big Bend Rodeo, Rosser Rodeo, The Cervi Brothers, Cervi Championship Rodeo and Flying 5 Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Cindy Rosser. Officials: Joe Bob Locke, George Gibbs and Allan Jordan Jr.. Timers: Karin Rosser and Robin Yerxa. Announcers: Bob Tallman and Bob Feist. Bullfighters: Louis Jones and Cody Jackson. Flankmen: Tony Amaral, Scotty Rodriguez and Chad Hutsell. Chute bosses: Chase Cervi, Reno Rosser and Tony Amaral. Pickup men: Bronc Boehnlein and Chase Cervi. Photographers: Richard Levine and Matt Cohen. Music director: Hambone Hilton