SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (April 10, 2016) The Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) Premier Tour closed out Tour Stop Number 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah with jaw dropping performances that pushed all competitors to step up their game.
The win of the night was when 10-year old, Chayni Chamberlain, and her grey horse, Flo, stopped the clock with a time of 13.30 seconds during the barrel racing last night in the Maverik Center. A consistent competitor throughout the tour, she has been edging out well-known names and now sits second in the Championship Race to Dallas. The Weatherford, Texas cowgirl has proved that age is just a number and it is talent that really counts. We asked her what she thinks as she rides down the alleyway before a run and Chamberlain quipped, “Go Flo!”
World Champion Tie-Down Roper, Shane Hanchey’s horse Si was the star of the night in the tie-down roping. Si turned in 2, seven-second runs and was ridden by his owner and Caleb Smidt, a reigning World Champion in the tie-down roping. Winning the event, Smidt turned in a 7.01 second run that broke the Maverik Center arena record. Hanchey, whose time of 7.22 not only gave him a second place finish, but it pushed him into first place in the ERA World Championship Standings.
Stockton Graves from Alva, OK clinched his third ERA Premier Tour win last night in the steer wrestling. Last out, he knew he had to be fast with four other four second runs already on the board. His 4.07 second time might have brought him another win, but he is still right behind Tyler Pearson, who leads the world standings.
The team roping is quickly becoming a fan favorite at ERA events, where champions verses champions push each other to raise the bar on their performance. Last night, three teams turned in jaw dropping three-second team roping runs that fans said you had to see to believe. The fastest of the fast was the three-time World Champion team of Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill with a stunning 3.35 seconds. After the event, Tryan smiled and shared that behind the scenes him and friend Derrick Begay have a “smack-talking” rivalry, and that is was fun to be a whole .07 seconds faster than him. Begay turned in a 3.42 with his partner seven-time World Champion Team Roper, Clay O’Brien Cooper to come in second and right behind them was Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira with a 3.85.
The ERA Premier Tour always starts with the bull riding and last night the Utah crowd watched as Caleb Sanderson won the event with an 85-point ride. Sanderson, standing at 6 foot 2 inches is an anomaly in the world of bull riding, where most riders are known for their compact stature. When asked if he felt his height presented a challenge he said, “If you do everything correct no matter how tall or short you can ride them and win.”
Last night Sanderson drew Wolverine, a bull that comes from six-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper, Cody Ohl’s pen of bucking bulls. Ohl who rode bulls himself until he was 17 was introduced to raising bucking bulls by Mack Altizer of Bad Company Rodeo and now had an impressive string. With a go round win on one of his bulls at each tour stop this year he said, “I try to bring the best set of bulls I possibly can to these awesome ERA events for these guys to show their talent. (The cowboy’s wins) makes all the time and effort worth it at the end of the day. I am actually debuting my three-year old own son of Bushwacker (named Bushwacked) at the ERA tour event in Albuquerque, NM. He has a ton of potential and carries a lot of his daddy’s traits and it is going to be such a rush when they crack the latch on him there.”
Claiming his first ERA Premier Tour win in the Saddle Bronc Riding last night was Cort Scheer from Elsmere, Nebraska with an 87-point ride. Riding Lunatic Fringe from Burch Rodeo, Scheer commented that, “This horse is awesome, it was my third time to be on him … every time you draw that horse you are excited. He is a bucking dude, nice pony, he just wants you to win and you just have to stay on him to do it.”
Ending the night with a crescendo was nine, 80-point rides turned in by the most elite bareback riders in the sport. World Champion, Justin McDaniel, from Porum, OK rode Blessed Assurance from J-J Rodeo Company and scored 87.5 points, just half a point more than four-time World Champion, Bobby Mote who ended up second on Jailhouse Rock also of J-J Rodeo.
The Salt Lake event will air on FS2, Wednesday, May 4th and 11th at 10:00 EST. The athletes have six weeks off before they head to Tour Stop No. 4 in Albuquerque, NM at Tingley Coliseum. Tickets to the Albuquerque event can be purchased on ticketmaster.com beginning Monday, April 11th.