Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup concludes at State Fair

 

(Photo: Tribune photo/Annisa Keith)

Scott Mansch, smansch@greatfallstribune.com

With a first name like “Sage,” it figures wisdom would follow.

That’s why a young Melstone man with superstar rodeo credentials took it in stride Saturday night when he was dusted about two seconds after the gate swung open.

“It happens,” said Sage Newman, the reigning national high school champion saddle bronc star who was bucked off an Ike Sankey-owned horse called “Lady Killer” as the Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup concluded before a crowd of more than 2,000 at Montana ExpoPark.

Last January, Newman was riding in the high school challenge part of the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals. Now he’s competing against the big boys.

And sometimes that means wrecks instead of checks.

“I feel I’ve improved,” sage Newman. “And I need to keep on improving, I guess. You get bucked off every once in a while. Tonight didn’t go as planned, but it happens. It was a strong horse.”

Newman, whose national championship came last month at the NHSRF in Gillette, Wyo., is an 18-year-old from a ranch family with abundant rodeo credentials. His older brother, Nevada, is a veteran bull rider and his sister recently married National Finals Rodeo bareback star JR Vezain.

“We’ve got a big rodeo family, and it’s great,” said Sage, who is bound for the rodeo team at Montana State this fall.

A national championship means that high expectations accompany Newman wherever he rides. That spells pressure.

“It’s there, but you’ve got to prove yourself,” Sage said. “That’s what I try to do. And I’ll keep trying to do that.”

There were no changes on the leaderboard Saturday night as the $128,911 PRCA rodeo concluded in front of an enthusiastic crowd that responded well to veteran announcer Will Rasmussen. The rodeo champions included Wyatt Denny (bareback), Tyrell Smith (saddle bronc), Sterling Lambert (steer wrestling), Jake Hannum (tie-down roping), Sherry Cervi (barrel racing), Cole Wagner (bull riding), and the duos of Brady and Britt Williams, and Dustin Bird and Russell Cardoza (team roping).

The championships were all worth more than $3,000 to the winners.

There were several notable performances Saturday, including an 85.5-point ride in the bull riding by Idaho cowboy Garrett Smith. That was the second-best ride of the rodeo.

In the bareback, Jessy Davis of Power continued his hot streak with an 80-point ride that earned a check. Davis, who missed the National Finals Rodeo by just a few dollars a year ago, is now back in the top 15 of the world standings.

“It’s been a good week,” Davis said. “And the week before was really good.”

Davis, whose wife and twin baby daughters are home in Power, competed only in Great Falls and Sand Point, Idaho, this week. The previous stretch he placed in four straight rodeos.

“I’ve got to push it now,” Davis said. “I’ll be in Jerome (Idaho) Wednesday, Bozeman Thursday, Missoula Friday and Hermiston (Oregon) Saturday … I’ve just gotta keep on riding and kicking.”

The Great Falls rodeo, trimmed this year from five performances to four, was deemed a huge success.

“We’ve been very fortunate that we have great partners to work with, with Sankey Productions and ExpoPark and our committee,” said Jennifer Gruber, chairperson of the Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup committee. “We all work together to pull off what I think was a really nice rodeo. It’s been a lot of fun.”

FINAL RESULTS

Bareback riding: 1. Wyatt Denny, 83.5 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls' 9 moons, $3,200.70; 2. J.R. Vezain, 83, $2,473.87; 3. R.C. Landingham, 82.5, $1,813.73; 4. Mason Clements, 82, $1,173.59; 5. Caleb Bennett, 81.5, $746.83; 6, Jessy Davis, 80, $533.45; 7, Pascal Isabelle, 79.5, $426.76; 8. Kody Lamb, 78.5, $320.07.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Clayton Moore, 3.6 seconds, $2,002; 2. (tie) Ty Erickson and Newt Novich, 3.9, $1,484 each; 4. Straws Milan, 4.0, $966; 5. (tie) Jake Rinehart and Sterling Lambert, 4.1, $483 each. Second round: 1. Cody Cabral, 3.7, $2,001.66; 2. Tanner Milan, 3.8, $1,656.54; 3. Sterling Lambert, 3.9, $1,311.43; 4. (tie) Collin Johnson and Tyler Waguespack, 4.0, $793.76 each; 6. Ethen Thouvenell, 4.1, $345.11 Average leaders: 1. Sterling Lambert, 8.0 on 2, $3,000.49; 2. Cody Cabral, 8.3, $2,484.82; 3. Ty Erickson, 8.5, $1,967.15; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 9.18, $1,449.; 5. (tie) Newt Novich and Clayton Moore, 9.2, $724.73 each.

Team roping: First round: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Kinney Harrell, 4.6 seconds, $1,254 each; 2. Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, 4.7, $1,038; 3. (tie) Tyler Waters/Chase Tryan, Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza and Casey Tew/Justin Viles, 4.8, $605 each; 6. Tee Luttrell/Clay Sieber, 5.0, $216. Second round: 1. Pace Freed/Jade Anderson, 5.2, $1,253.96 each; 2. Brant Davis/Clayton Hass, 5.3, $1,037.76 each; 3. Shawn Bessette/Zachary Schweigert, 5.4, $821.56 each; 4. Brady Williams/Britt Williams, 5.5, $605.36 each; 5. Shayne Bishop/Jimmy Cole, 5.7, $389.16 each; 6. (tie) Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza and Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 5.8, $108.10 each. Average: 1. (tie) Brady Williams/Britt Williams and Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 10.6 seconds on two head, $1,718.79 each; 3. Casey Tew/Justin Viles, 13.6, $1,232.34 each; 4, Matt Loose/Charlie Putnam, 15.9, $908.04 each; 5, Brant Davis/Clayton Hass, 21.8, $583.74 each; 6. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 24.7, $324.30 each

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Tyrell J Smith, 83.5 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls' Con Man, $3,809.82; 2. Rusty Wright, 82, $2,920.86; 3. (tie) Allen Boore, Ryan Mackenzie and Jake Watson, 80.5, $1,481.59 each; 6. (tie) Andy Clarys, Cooper DeWitt and Chase Brooks, 79.5, $507.97 each.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Cole Robinson, 8.4 seconds, $1,651; 2. J.C. Malone, 8.6, $1,366; 3. (tie) Jake Hannum and Justin Brinkerhoff, 8.7, $939 each; 5. Stetson Vest, 8.9, $512; 6. Rhen Richard, 9.1, $285. Second round: 1. (tie) Jake Hannum and Ryle Smith, 8.6 seconds, $1,508.83 each; 3. J.C. Malone, 8.8, $1081.80; 4. Clint Robinson, 9.0, $797.12; 5. Jake Pratt, 9.1, $512.43; 6. Jayce Johnson, 9.6, $84.68 Average: 1. Jake Hannum, 17.3 seconds on two, $2,476.76 each; 2. J.C. Malone, 17.4, $2,049.73; 3. Justin Brinkerhoff, 18.6, $1,622.70; 4. Cole Robinson, 18.8, $1,195.67; 5. Stetson Vest, 19.4, $768.65; 6. Rhen Richard, 19.6, $427.02.

Barrel racing : 1. Sherry Cervi, 15.33 seconds, $3,299.40; 2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 15.34, $2,639.52; 3. (tie) Lisa Anderson and Lisa Lockhart, 15.43, $1,897.15 each; 5. Becky Fuson, 15.44, $1,219.76; 6. (tie) Cranna Roberts and Darby Fox, 15.49. $907.33 each; 8, Trula Churchill, 15.51, $742.36; 9, Michele McLeod, 15.52, $659.88; 10, Ashley Sudan, 15.53, $577.39; 11. (tie) Jackie Ganter and Britta Thiel, 15.55, $453.66 each; 13, Tenley Keller, 15.58, $329.94; 14, Lindsay Kruse, 15.59, $247.45; 15, Jolee Lautaret-Jordan, 15.63, $164.97

Bull riding : 1. Cole Wagner, 86 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls' Bottoms Up, $3,327.60; 2, Garrett Smith, 85.5, $2,551.16; 3. Luke Gee, 84.5, $1,885.64; 4. Hawk Whitt, 82, $1,220.12; 5. Dalton Brooks, 78, $776.44; 6. Mike Sparks, 77, $554.60; 7. Broc Burns, 75, $443.68; 7. Dakota Louis, 73.5, $322.76

Total payoff: $128,911. Stock contractor: Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls. Rodeo secretary: Rowena Nelson. Timers: Kelly Hawkinson and Heather La Tray. Announcer: Will Rasmussen. Specialty act: Rider Kiesner. Bullfighters: Sylvan La Cross and Tyson Hutchison. Clown/barrelman: Scott Cameron. Flankman: Ike Sankey. Pickup men: T.J. Clark and K.C. Verhelst.