Winn Ratliff Wins Prestigious Salinas Buckle

 

Laugh Out Loud. One of the posters in our 2016 advertising campaign: Blazing the Trail Since 1911.

Courtesy of PRCA (ProRodeo.com)

Courtesy of PRCA (ProRodeo.com)

SALINAS, Calif. – Winn Ratliff endured some tense moments before he was presented with his buckle as the bareback riding champion of the historic California Rodeo Salinas, which has been around since 1911.

Ratliff was third man out in the short go Sunday afternoon and grabbed the lead in the average race with 161.5 points on two head. He had placed seventh in the long go but vaulted to the top of the aggregate with his ride for 82 points on Four Star Rodeo's Big Star.

“It was a nail-biter,” Ratliff said. “I was sitting by the bucking chutes after my ride, and people were telling me I might win, and I might not win. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, because the other guys had good matchups too.”

His score held up for the win, and that was a big thrill for the 27-year-old cowboy from Leesville, La.

“I couldn’t believe that I actually won Salinas,” he said. “I was pretty tickled. It’s really neat with all the history behind it. You hear stories about this rodeo – it’s like Cheyenne (Wyo.), a big outdoor rodeo. Salinas is one of the rodeos that every cowboy wants to check off his bucket list. The buckle is pretty prestigious … it’s beautiful.”

He’d seen Big Star before, and watched Tim O’Connell win a round in Fort Worth, Texas, on the horse earlier this year.

“I knew I had a really good horse to ride, but I wasn’t sure it was enough to win the short go with all the great horsepower they had here,” Ratliff said. “My horse performed, and I performed, and snuck out a win.”

He spoke by phone just before going through airport security Sunday evening, on his way to ride Monday night at the Spanish Fork (Utah) Fiesta Days Rodeo.

Ratliff is a three-time qualifier (2012, 2014-15) for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and is well on his way to reaching the Finals again this December in Las Vegas. He won $6,073 in Salinas, and was seventh in the July 18 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings.

Still, he wanted to win a big rodeo.

“I was telling my mom the other day that I needed a big win,” he said. “I’m healthy and I’m riding really good. I’d been placing really good, but I hadn’t won since Molalla (Ore.) on July 4. I’m having a good year, but to win Salinas is really good for a guy’s confidence. It’s really neat to get this win under my belt.”

Ratliff’s best finish was seventh in the world standings in 2014; he was ninth in 2012 and 15th last year.

“I try to be persistent, and also be consistent,” he said.

It was his first time to win Salinas, and one he’ll always remember.

“The last couple of years I’ve had to turn out at Salinas because I made the short round in Nampa (Idaho) the same weekend and had to make a choice,” he said. “This year it worked out so I could work both of them. Last year I ended up winning Nampa, and it worked out the opposite way this year.”

After competing at Spanish Fork, Ratliff will fly home to Louisiana to see family – including grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins, and, of course, his wife Brittany and their daughter Maryclaire, who was a year old May 18. He’ll attend the annual church revival camp meeting in Oak Grove, La.

“It’s been a tradition with the church since it was built over 100 years ago, and our family pitches in and helps host people who come from churches in other states,” he said. “I try to make it a priority to go, but didn’t get to go last year.”

This year, he can proudly show everyone his Salinas buckle.

Other winners at the $375,345 rodeo were all-around cowboy Josh Peek ($6,347 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), steer wrestler Cody Kroul (20.1 seconds on three head), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (47.4 seconds on five head), saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright (170 points on two head), tie-down roper Cooper Martin (30.0 seconds on three head), barrel racer Nellie Miller (64.82 seconds on four head) and bull rider Scottie Knapp (167.5 points on two head).

 

Best Friends Forever. One of the posters in our 2016 advertising campaign: Blazing the Trail Since 1911.

California Rodeo Salinas

Salinas, Calif., July 21-24

 

All-around cowboy: Josh Peek, $6,347, tie-down roping and steer wrestling.

 

Bareback riding: First round: 1. Clayton Biglow, 82.5 points on Four Star Rodeo's Cc Valley, $3,903; 2. Ty Breuer, 81, $2,992; 3. Casey Colletti, 80.5, $2,212; 4. (tie) Kody Lamb, Kyle Brennecke and Blake Smith, 80, $997 each; 7. Winn Ratliff, 79.5, $520; 8. Evan Jayne, 78.5, $390. Finals: 1. Winn Ratliff, 82 points on Four Star Rodeo's Big Star, $1,650; 2. Kelly Timberman, 78, $1,250; 3. (tie) George Gillespie IV and Clayton Biglow, 77.5, $750 each; 5. Evan Jayne, 75, $350; 6. Kody Lamb, 73.5, $250. Average: 1. Winn Ratliff, 161.5 points on two head, $3,903; 2. Clayton Biglow, 160, $2,992; 3. George Gillespie IV, 154.5, $2,212; 4. Kelly Timberman, 154, $1,431; 5. (tie) Kody Lamb and Evan Jayne, 153.5, $781 each; 7. Kyle Brennecke, 150, $520; 8. Ty Breuer, 81 on one head, $390. 

 

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Dane Browning, 6.1 seconds, $2,611; 2. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Josh Peek, 6.3, $2,101 each; 4. Tom Lewis, 6.4, $1,590; 5. Brad Johnson, 6.5, $1,249; 6. Cody Kroul, 6.6, $908; 7. (tie) Sean Santucci and Ty Erickson, 6.7, $397 each. Second round: 1. Trevor Knowles, 5.4 seconds, $2,611; 2. Blake Knowles, 5.5, $2,271; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 5.6, $1,930; 4. Shawn Downing, 6.3, $1,590; 5. (tie) Tom Lewis, Del Kraupie, Blaine Jones and Ross Mosher, 6.7, $738 each. Finals: 1. Cody Kroul, 5.9 seconds, $1,015; 2. Josh Peek, 6.4, $840; 3. Kyle Whitaker, 7.0, $665; 4. Shawn Downing, 8.5, $490; 5. Tom Lewis, 8.7, $315; 6. Billy Bugenig, 13.8, $175. Average: 1. Cody Kroul, 20.1 seconds on three head, $3,917; 2. Josh Peek, 20.7, $3,406; 3. Tom Lewis, 21.8, $2,895; 4. Shawn Downing, 22.2, $2,384; 5. Kyle Whitaker, 22.8, $1,873; 6. Billy Bugenig, 28.9, $1,363; 7. Josh Garner, 29.9, $852; 8. Blake Knowles, 35.1, $341. 

 

Team roping: First round: 1. Zac Small/Wesley Thorp, 7.1 seconds, $1,913 each; 2. Jake Stanley/Kyle Lockett, 7.4, $1,663; 3. Johnny Smith/Camish Jennings, 7.8, $1,414; 4. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 8.0, $1,164; 5. Lane Santos-Karney/Jordan Ketscher, 8.1, $915; 6. Levi Grantham/Mark Scobie, 8.2, $665; 7. David Key/Travis Woodard, 8.3, $416; 8. Blake Hirdes/John Chaves, 8.4, $166. Second round: 1. Blaine Linaweaver/Jake Twisselman, 7.5 seconds, $1,913 each; 2. (tie) Erich Rogers/Cory Petska and Joel Bach/Cody Cowden, 7.8, $1,539 each; 4. Justin Davis/Zane Bruce, 8.5, $1,164; 5. Zac Small/Wesley Thorp, 8.7, $915; 6. Lane Santos-Karney/Jordan Ketscher, 8.8, $665; 7. Chant DeForest/Bronc Boehnlein, 9.1, $416; 8. Brady Tryan/Tommy Zuniga, 9.2, $166. Third round: 1. Andy Holcomb/Cody Hall, 7.3 seconds, $1,913 each; 2. (tie) Manny Egusquiza Jr./Daniel Braman IV and Brooks Dahozy/Brandon Bates, 7.4, $1,539 each; 4. Hayes Smith/Tanner Luttrell, 7.7, $1,164; 5. Adam Rose/Walt Woodard, 8.4, $915; 6. David Key/Travis Woodard, 8.5, $665; 7. Bryce Palmer/Monty Joe Petska, 8.9, $416; 8. Blake Teixeira/C.J. DeForest Jr., 9.0, $166. Fourth round: 1. Blaine Linaweaver/Jake Twisselman, 7.6 seconds, $1,913 each; 2. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 7.7, $1,663; 3. Chris McKoen/Jason Duby, 8.5, $1,414; 4. Pat Boyle/Danny Leslie, 8.6, $1,164; 5. Derrek Hee/Jason Johe, 8.9, $915; 6. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 9.0, $665; 7. (tie) Ryan Reed/Dalton Pearce and Bryce Palmer/Monty Joe Petska, 9.3, $291 each. Finals: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 9.1 seconds, $1,312 each; 2. Lane Santos-Karney/Jordan Ketscher, 9.6, $1,086; 3. Ryan Reed/Dalton Pearce, 9.7, $860; 4. Dustin Egusquiza/Cole Davison, 10.5, $634; 5. Johnny Smith/Camish Jennings, 10.6, $407; 6. Bryce Palmer/Monty Joe Petska, 11.1, $226. Average: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 47.4 seconds on five head, $5,739 each; 2. Ryan Reed/Dalton Pearce, 48.0, $4,990; 3. Dustin Egusquiza/Cole Davison, 49.3, $4,242; 4. Joel Bach/Cody Cowden, 50.8, $3,493; 5. Lane Santos-Karney/Jordan Ketscher, 51.4, $2,745; 6. Johnny Smith/Camish Jennings, 53.1, $1,996; 7. Bryce Palmer/Monty Joe Petska, 55.3, $1,248; 8. Travis Tryan/Tyler Worley, 58.5, $499. 

 

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Rusty Wright, 83.5 points on Bar T Rodeo's Mini War, $2,930; 2. Ben Londo, 82.5, $2,246; 3. Will Smith, 82, $1,660; 4. Samuel Kelts, 81, $1,074; 5. (tie) Tyler Corrington, Joe Lufkin and Chet Johnson, 80, $521 each; 8. Jesse Bail, 78.5, $293. Finals: 1. Rusty Wright, 86.5 points on Bar T Rodeo's Lulibelle, $1,650; 2. Ben Londo, 82, $1,250; 3. Jesse Bail, 80.5, $900; 4. Chet Johnson, 79.5, $600; 5. (tie) Joe Lufkin and Will Smith, 76, $300 each. Average: 1. Rusty Wright, 170 points on two head, $2,930; 2. Ben Londo, 164.5, $2,246; 3. Chet Johnson, 159.5, $1,660; 4. Jesse Bail, 159, $1,074; 5. Will Smith, 158, $684; 6. Samuel Kelts, 156.5, $488; 7. Joe Lufkin, 156, $391; 8. Joey Sonnier , 147, $293. 

 

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Stetson Vest, 9.6 seconds, $3,213; 2. (tie) Ryle Smith and Westyn Hughes, 9.8, $2,585 each; 4. (tie) Cooper Martin and Michael Otero, 9.9, $1,746 each; 6. Sterling Smith, 10.1, $1,118; 7. Cory Solomon, 10.5, $699; 8. (tie) Chase Williams and Clint Cooper, 10.6, $140 each. Second round: 1. Timber Moore, 9.4 seconds, $3,213; 2. Cade Swor, 9.5, $2,794; 3. Cooper Martin, 9.8, $2,375; 4. Shane Hanchey, 9.9, $1,956; 5. Ryle Smith, 10.0, $1,537; 6. Marcos Costa, 10.1, $1,118; 7. (tie) Paul David Tierney and Doyle Hoskins, 10.2, $489 each. Finals: 1. Timber Moore, 9.7 seconds, $1,276; 2. Chase Williams, 10.0, $1,056; 3. Cooper Martin, 10.3, $836; 4. Cory Solomon, 10.5, $616; 5. Shane Hanchey, 10.6, $396; 6. Clint Cooper, 10.9, $220. Average: 1. Cooper Martin, 30.0 seconds on three head, $4,820; 2. Timber Moore, 30.8, $4,191; 3. Chase Williams, 31.7, $3,563; 4. (tie) Clint Cooper and Shane Hanchey, 32.3, $2,620 each; 6. Marcos Costa, 32.4, $1,677; 7. Cory Solomon, 33.2, $1,048; 8. Michael Otero, 34.9, $419. 

 

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Sammi Bessert, 16.44 seconds, $2,330; 2. Stevi Hillman, 16.52, $1,997; 3. Nellie Miller, 16.53, $1,664; 4. Victoria Cook, 16.56, $1,442; 5. (tie) Katelyn Wall and Sherry Cervi, 16.57, $999 each; 7. Christina Richman, 16.58, $666; 8. Mary Dolven, 16.61, $444; 9. Sheena Robbins, 16.63, $333; 10. Jana Bean, 16.69, $222. Second round: 1. Stevi Hillman, 16.13 seconds, $2,330; 2. Kris Gadbois, 16.25, $1,997; 3. Nellie Miller, 16.27, $1,664; 4. Cayla Melby, 16.32, $1,442; 5. Kimmie Wall, 16.43, $1,110; 6. Ashley Smith, 16.45, $888; 7. (tie) Nicole Riggle, Jayme Robison and Sammi Bessert, 16.46, $481 each; 10. Marcia Fuller, 16.47, $222. Third round: 1. Layna Kight, 16.10 seconds, $2,330; 2. Sammi Bessert, 16.14, $1,997; 3. Nellie Miller, 16.16, $1,664; 4. Stevi Hillman, 16.17, $1,442; 5. Taylor Langdon, 16.21, $1,110; 6. Kimmie Wall, 16.22, $888; 7. Marcia Fuller, 16.27, $666; 8. Lyndee Stairs, 16.28, $444; 9. (tie) Christina Richman and Kelley Schnaufer, 16.30, $277 each. Finals: 1. Nellie Miller, 15.86 seconds, $2,466; 2. Taylor Langdon, 16.07, $1,849; 3. Christina Richman, 16.30, $1,233; 4. Stevi Hillman, 16.37, $616. Average: 1. Nellie Miller, 64.82 seconds on four head, $4,660; 2. Stevi Hillman, 65.19, $3,995; 3. Sammi Bessert, 65.46, $3,329; 4. Christina Richman, 65.68, $2,885; 5. Taylor Langdon, 65.85, $2,219; 6. Kimmie Wall, 66.20, $1,775; 7. Marcia Fuller, 66.25, $1,332; 8. Linda Vick, 66.72, $888; 9. Mary Jo Camera, 66.74, $666; 10. Mary Dolven, 66.75, $444. 

 

Bull riding: First round: 1. Scottie Knapp, 84.5 points on Corey & Lange Rodeo's Short Bus, $3,438; 2. Sage Kimzey, 84, $2,636; 3. Corey Rickard, 82.5, $1,948; 4. Sean Peterson, 81.5, $1,260; 5. Tim Bingham, 78.5, $802; 6. Tanner Bradley, 75.5, $573; 7. Jordan Spears, 74.5, $458; 8. Justin Hendrix, 70, $344. Finals: 1. Scottie Knapp, 83 points on Four Star Rodeo's Lucifer, $1,650; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Scottie Knapp, 167.5 points on two head, $4,248; 2. Sage Kimzey , 84 on one head, $3,257; 3. Corey Rickard, 82.5, $2,407; 4. Sean Peterson, 81.5, $1,557; 5. Tim Bingham, 78.5, $991; 6. Tanner Bradley, 75.5, $708; 7. Jordan Spears, 74.5, $566; 8. Justin Hendrix, 70, $425. 

 

Total payoff: $375,345. Stock contractor: Western Rodeos. Sub-contractors: Corey & Lange Rodeo, Rosser Rodeo, Four Star Rodeo, Mosbrucker Rodeos, Bar T Rodeo, Flying Diamond Rodeo, Flying U Rodeo, Growney Brothers Rodeo and Rafter G Rodeo. Officials: Allan Jordan Jr, Bill Pacheco, Will Rasmussen, Harry Rose Jr and Mike Jones. Timers: Justin Granger, John Sargenti and Jeff Jones. Announcer: Wayne Brooks. Specialty act: Nancy Weikel. Bullfighters: Tim O'Connor and Eric Layton. Clowns/barrelmen: Andy Burelle and Brian Potter. Flankmen: Tony Amaral and Cody Flitton. Pickup men: Clint Humble, Billy Holland Jr, Jeffrey Shearer and Matt Twitchell. Photographer: Jeremy Wombold. Music director: Chuck Lopeman.

 

You Only Live Once. One of the posters in our 2016 advertising campaign: Blazing the Trail Since 1911.

 

Read more about the California Rodeo Salinas in the Aug. 12 ProRodeo Sports News.