Jeff Askey was the lone bull rider to be successful on three rides at this year’s Justin Boots Playoffs at the Washington State Fair Rodeo. He was also the big money winner pocketing $7,970. PRCA photo by Kent Soule
Askey adds Puyallup win to rodeo resume
By Susan Kanode
For the Puyallup Pro Rodeo
PUYALLUP, Wash. – Sept. 11, 2016 — When Jeff Askey got to Puyallup to ride in the Justin Boots Playoffs at the Washington State Fair on Sept. 9, he was hoping to earn a paycheck. When he left on Sunday, he was the new bull riding champion and the big money winner at the rodeo.
Askey from Athens, Texas, entered the championship round of the rodeo in second place with 166.5 points on two rides. Jordan Wacey Spears from Redding, Calif., was in the lead with 174.5. The bulls on the last day of competition bested the cowboys 11 to 1 with Askey being the lone rider to be successful here on Sunday. He rode Growney Brother’s bull named Two Aces for 72 points and it was enough.
Last year, Askey missed qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo by one spot. The former college champion bull rider wasn’t about to let that happen again. He has earned enough checks through the season to have him in fourth place, but this is the biggest rodeo win he has had in 2016. With the money he won in the first two rounds, his final round win and overall championship, he left Puyallup with $7,970 to add to his world standings. He is in fourth place in the world standings with just over $100,000 in season earnings.
The regular rodeo season ends on Sept. 30th. Last year at this time, Askey was fighting for a spot among the top 15 that qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This year, his spot at rodeo’s championships is secure and every dollar he earns will give him a better opportunity to ride in Las Vegas and leave as a world champion.
All of the contestants that won here are in the hunt for a gold buckle that signifies they are the best in their event. Bareback rider Tim O’Connell from Zwingle, Iowa and team ropers Kaleb Driggers, from Albany, Ga., Junior Nogueira from Burleson, Texas won here and are leading the world standings. Barrel racing champion Ivy Conrado from Hudson, Colo., and tie-down roper Cory Solomon from Prairie View, Texas, are both fifth. Saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston from Big Valley, Alberta is fourth and steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge from Elko, Nev., is in eighth place.
The Justin Boots Playoffs was the biggest rodeo on the circuit this week with $272,535 in total prize money. It was a highlight for Washington State Fair fans over the weekend. And while the rodeo came to a conclusion, the fair continues through Sept. 25.
2016 Washington State Fair Rodeo champions
Bareback Riding – Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 247 points, $5,922
Steer Wrestling – Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 13.5 seconds, $6,316
Team Roping – heading – Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga., 21.3 seconds, $7,420
Team Roping – heeling – Junior Nogueira, Burleson, Texas, 21.3 seconds, $7,420
Saddle Bronc Riding – Zeke Thurston, 249 points, $6,590
Tie-Down Roping – Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 28.5 seconds, $3,924
Barrel Racing – Ivy Conrado, Hudson, Colo., 44.34 seconds, $5,929
Bull Riding – Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas, 238.5 points, $7,970
PUYALLUP, Wash. – The following are final round and overall results from the Justin Boots Playoffs at the Washington State Fair on Sept. 11, 2016.
Bareback Riding: (final round) 1, Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 86 points on Calgary Stampede’s Saturn Rocket, $1,650. 2, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 85, $1,240. 3, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 83, $900. 4, J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo., 82.5, $600. 5, (tie) R.C. Landingham and Teddy Athan, Livermore, Calif., 82 and $300 each. (total on three) 1, O’Connell, 247.5, $3,587. 2, Athan, 246.5,$2750. 3, Davis, 245, $2,033. 4, (tie) Landingham and Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 242.5, $1,076. 6, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 240, $598. 7, Vezain, 237.5, $478. 8, Richmond Champion, 227, $359.
Steer Wrestling: (final round) 1, Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas, 4.0, $450. 2, Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 4.7, $345. 3, (tie) Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., and J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Minn., 4.8 and $173 each. (total on three) 1, Eldridge, 13.5, $3,391. 2, (tie) Hass and Struxness, 13.8, $2,727. 4, Erickson, 14.0, $2,064. 5, Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 14.4, $1,622. 6, Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark., 14.8, $1,179. 7, Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 15.0, $737. 8, Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii, 15.6, $295.
Team Roping: Money is per man. (final round) 1, Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas, and Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., 4.4, $480. 2, Dustin Eguisquiza, Mariana, Fla., and Clint Summers, Lake City, Fla., 6.4, $360. 3, Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, 11.8, $120. (total on three) 1, Driggers and Nogueira, 21.3, $3,539. 2, Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif., and Dugan Kelly, Paso Robles, Calif., 22.8, $3,077. 3, Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Dakota Kirchenschlager, 27.6, $2,616. (on two) 4, Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas and Jake long, Coffeyville, Kan., 9.5, $2,154. 5, Egusquiza and Summers, 10.5, $1,692. 6, JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas, and B.J. Dugger, Three Rivers, Texas, 16.0, $1,231. 7, Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alberta and Jeremy Buhler, Abbotsford, British Columbia, 18.3, $769. 8, Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 19.3, $308.
Saddle Bronc Riding: (final round) 1, Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 88 points on Flying Five Rodeo’s Kool Toddy. 2, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 85, $1,250. 3, Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 84.5, $900. 4, Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 83, $600. 5, Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 82.5, $350. 6, (tie) Jake Watson, Hudsons Hope, British Columbia and CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah, 80, $125. (total on three) 1, Thurston, 249, $3,600. 2, Jesse Wright, 244.5, $2,760. 3, Bradshaw, 244, $2,040. 4, Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, 242, $1,320. 5, Jake Wright, 236, $840. 6, Cody Wright, 231.5, $600. 7, Watson, 212, $480. (on two) 8, DeMoss, 173, $360.
Tie-Down Roping: (final round) 1,(tie) Tyson Durfey, Weatherford, Texas, and Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb., 8.2 seconds, $420 each. 3, (tie) Michael Otero, Lowndesboro, Ala., and Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 8.6, $180. (total on three) 1, Solomon, 28.5, $3,539. 2, (tie) Pruitt and Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas, 28.6, $2,846. 4, Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, 29.0, $2,154. 5, Bryson Sechrist, Apache, Okla., 29.8, $1,692. 6, Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., 30.5, $1,231. 7, J.C. Malone, Hooper, Utah, 30.7, $769. 8, Tyson Durfey, Weatherford, Texas, 31.1, $308.
Women’s Barrel Racing: (final round) 1, Amber Leigh moore, Salem, Ore., 14.80 seconds, $1,083. 2, Ivy Conrado, Hudson, Colo., 14.82, $812. 3, (tie) Benette Little, Ardmore, Okla., and Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 14.87, $406 each. (total on three) 1, Conrado, 44.34, $2,193. 2, Moore, 44.57, $1,880. 3, Hillman, 44.88, $1,567. 4, Taylor Langdon, Aubrey, Texas, 44.91, $1,358. 5, Kimmie Wall, Roosevelt, Utah, 45.14, $1,045. 5, Kimmie Wall, Roosevelt, Utah, 45.14, $1,045. 6, Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga., 45.24, $836. 7, (tie) Little and Cassidy Kruse, Gillette, Wyo., 45.29, $522. 9, Tillar Murray, Fort Worth, Texas, 45.31, $313. 10, Jessie Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, 45.46, $209.
Bull Riding: (final round, one ride) Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas, 72 points on Growney Brother’s Two Aces. (total on three) 1, Askey, 238.5, $3,600. (on two) 2, Jordan Wacey Spears, Redding, Calif., 174.5, $2,760. 3, Sage Steele Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 159.5, $2,040. 4, Riker Carter, Stone, Idaho, 158.5, $1,320. 5, Dalan Duncan, Ballard, Utah, 157, $840. 6, Chase Robbins, Marsing, Idaho, 153.5, $600. (on one) 7, Garrett Tribble, Bristow, Okla., 84, $480. 8, Rorey Maier, Timber Lake, S.D., 80, $360.
O’Connell keeps rolling at Puyallup
PUYALLUP, Wash. – This has been a dream season for bareback rider Tim O’Connell.
The Marshall, Mo., resident didn’t come back to reality Sept. 11.
O’Connell won the Justin Boots Playoffs at the Washington State Fair and Rodeo with a score of 249 points to win the three-head average.
“I’ve been to this (the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup) twice, and I had never made it to the final four,” said O’Connell, 24. “This is a very big win. It’s definitely right up there as one of my biggest wins of my year. The Playoffs have the top 24 guys in the world competing against each other, and that’s a big accomplishment to knock this off my bucket list.”
O’Connell, who has won 13 rodeos outright this season, was first in the Sept. 6 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings with $153,181. He will add the $5,922 he earned in Puyallup to that total.
O’Connell clinched the average title with an 83-point ride on Growney Brothers Sacred Nation in the finals. O’Connell edged Teddy Athan by one point in the average.
“I’ve never even heard of that horse before, to be honest with you,” O’Connell said. “It can work out both ways if you don’t know a horse, and it worked out pretty good for me.”
Although O’Connell’s ride wasn’t tops in the finals – that honor went to Jessy Davis, who had an 86-point ride on Calgary Stampede's Saturn Rocket – it was perfect for him at that moment.
“She came out and hit really hard and hit me in the back and made me stand up on my spurs, and then she started setting up and getting really flashy,” O’Connell said. “When she hit me like that it got me pretty far ahead of her, so I was able to showoff and get things rolling right away and finish the ride just as strong as I started it.”
Before the regular season concludes Sept. 30, O’Connell will compete in five more rodeos, and he doesn’t plan on letting up at all.
“I want to finish strong,” O’Connell said. “Then I’m going to get back in my workout program with my trainers at home. I want to be ready to rock for 10 days at the NFR.”
O’Connell is headed to his third consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER. He finished a career-best fourth in the world standings a year ago.
Other winners at the $272,829 rodeo were steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge (13.5 seconds on three head), team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira (21.3 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston (249 points on three head), tie-down roper Cory Solomon (28.5 seconds on three head), barrel racer Ivy Conrado (44.34 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Jeff Askey (238.5 points on three).
For more coverage of the Justin Boots Playoffs at the Washington State Fair and Rodeo, check out the Sept. 23 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.