Ty Wallace holds on to his bull at the final night of the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo Saturday at the Ector County Coliseum.
By Royal McGregor firstname.lastname@example.org Odessa American
Ty Wallace and Riker Carter both know the Ector Coliseum fairly well, having competed in bull riding for the Odessa College rodeo team.
Since their departure from the Wranglers, each has returned to Odessa on multiple occasions and did so again on Saturday for the final performance of the 83rd Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo.
Wallace posted a 63, while Carter didn’t complete his eight-second ride.
“This will be my third time at this rodeo,” Wallace said. “I went to school here for two years, so it’s kind of cool to be back. There are some friends that I’ve ran into already. It’s good to be back and hopefully it goes good tonight.”
Carter added: “I’ve been to this rodeo four times before, so this will be my fifth time. It’s pretty cool. I have a lot of friends here, so it’s good to see them.”
Before they competed in the PRCA, Carter and Wallace reached the College National Finals Rodeo for the Wranglers in 2013.
Wallace placed fifth in bull riding with 165 points, while Carter placed seventh (159.5). The two finished behind back-to-back bull riding world champion Sage Kimzey, who posted a 75-point ride during the second performance of the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo on Jan. 9.
Kimzey placed fifth in 2013 with 166 points.
In 2013, Wallace joined the PRCA, reaching the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2014 and 2015.
The bull rider from Collbran, Colo., finished eighth in the world standings with $155,135.38. Wallace placed in four of the 10 rounds at the WNFR, which included an 88-point ride on Hard Knox to win in the seventh round. Wallace collected $26,230.77 from that one win.
“Last year was good, they were some ups and downs, but for the most part it went really good,” Wallace said. “The finals went good. I was healthy for most of the year. There were a couple times I was hurt, but I wasn’t out very long.”
Wallace has had success here after leaving school, winning the 2014 SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo with an 88-point ride on Whirlpool. Wallace ended that season 12th in the world standings ($93,934.71). He finished with a second and third finish during the eighth and fifth rounds at the WNFR, respectively.
Though Carter hasn’t reached the WNFR since leaving Odessa College, he has had a solid start to the 2016 season.
Carter, who is from Stone, Idaho, has earned around $20,000 in various non-PRCA rodeos this season.
“I’ve only been to one PRCA rodeo, in Denver last night, and it didn’t go very good, but I’ve been to some other rodeos this last week and won like 20 grand,” Carter said. “I’m ready to go this year.”
Like most cowboys entering the 2016 season, the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo is one of Wallace’s first rodeos of the year. Wallace competed on two rides at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo on Friday in Denver. He posted one ride, but didn’t complete the eight-second ride on the other.
“I got on two in Denver, but I hadn’t been to nothing since the finals,” Wallace said. “This is my second rodeo of the year.”
The former Wranglers weren’t the only competitors with ties to Odessa College. The Wranglers head coach C.J. Aragon competed in his second steer wrestling. He ended with a time of 10.6 seconds in the second run.
With the start of the 2016 season, Wallace and Carter each have similar goals in mind. They both want to reach the WNFR.
“I hope to excel and do better this year,” Wallace said.
>> RODEO LIFESTYLE: For a majority of the rodeo season, the husband and wife duo of Isaac Diaz and Britany Diaz spend time in different cities at different rodeos.
That potentially wasn’t going to be case on Saturday. However, Isaac had to turn his horse out.
Britany Diaz was in attendance in the final performance for barrel racing, but she said those moments to compete in the same rodeo is special. She ended with a time of 20.39 seconds.
“It’s kind of special, because throughout the year we are both getting pulled in different directions,” said Britany, who is a two-time WNFR qualifier. “I can be in slack and he can’t, so I can get to some rodeos when he can’t. The winter months and the spring are good, because we can go together some.”
Isaac, who is a saddle bronc rider, is coming off one of his best season performances. The cowboy from Desdemona placed sixth in the world standings with $226,527.66 as he placed in six of the 10 rounds at the WNFR. Isaac won the sixth round of the WNFR with an 83-point ride Vitalix Hell's Fire Hostage.
Britany watched as Isaac finished at one of the top saddle bronc riders in the nation.
“Isaac had a great year last year,” Britany said. “We are definitely blessed. He rode amazing. He stayed healthy the whole time. He rode good horses. It was everything we could have asked for.”
Since the two first started dating in 2011, they have never reached the WNFR in the same year. Britany made the WNFR in 2014, while Isaac reached the most recent.
Britany said the two will try to achieve that dream of performing for 10 straight days at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“In 2011, it was the first year I made it and then next two years Isaac made it, then he missed it the last time I made it,” Britany said. “Maybe this year, we can get it done.”
>> EVENT WINNERS: Teddy Athan of Livermore, Calif., competed in the first performance of bareback riding on Jan. 8, but his 82-point ride on Little Jet held up for the next five performances. Wade Sumpter, who is from Folwer, Colo., picked up the win in steer wrestling with a two-head run time of 8.3 seconds. Decatur’s Tuf Cooper – a three-time world champion – claimed the win in tie-down roping at 7.4 seconds. Tyler Wade and Kinney Harrell grabbed the win in team roping at 8.6 seconds in two completed runs. Shane Suggs won steer roping with a total time of 46.0 seconds on four head. Jana Bean won the barrel racing with a time of 14.76 seconds. Cody Johansen claimed the win in bull riding with 87.5 points on High Tensile. Jacobs Crawley, who is the defending world saddle bronc champion, won the event after 85 points on Dumbbell.
>> Follow Royal McGregor on Twitter at @OASirRoyal
Royal McGregor covers sports and Permian football for the Odessa American. Reach him at 432-333-7772 or by email at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @OASirRoyal.