RNCFR News Roundup

Hawley/Romo charge into RNCFR semis

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Team ropers Edward Hawley Jr. and Ty Romo made some memories Saturday that they’ll never forget.

The Turquoise Circuit cowboys, who are making their RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo debut, won the average with a two-head time of 10.9 seconds at the Silver Spurs Arena.

The duo not only collected a total of $12,793 each for their two runs and average win, but also qualified for the 8-team semifinal round, which will take place during the rodeo’s final performance at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday.

“This has been awesome,” Hawley said. “We drew a couple of good steers, and things are going good.”

Romo concurred with his partner.

“Last year, I bought my PRCA card and we had a good season together and won the year-end title in the Turquoise Circuit,” Romo said. “This was a goal I set when I bought my card, to make it to the RNCFR, and this has been a great experience so far.”

Hawley and Romo weren’t dominant in the first two rounds, but plenty solid. They finished second in the first round with a 4.9-second run, and tied for fourth in the second round by stopping the clock in 6.0 seconds Saturday afternoon.

Those runs allowed Hawley and Romo to earn the $6,254 check for capturing the average.

“That money is good,” Hawley said. “That’s what keeps us going.”

The RNCFR money is more important than ever this year. All money won at the 12 circuit finals rodeos, All American ProRodeo Finals and the RNCFR – per new PRCA bylaws – count toward the 2017 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings.

The Wrangler Network will be live streaming all the action from the RNCFR Sunday when the national champions are crowned. Log on to www.wranglernetwork.com to watch.

“If we can keep winning money here, I’m going to have to make Ed go hard the rest of the season,” said Romo, who is riding his horse, Ush. “We are circuit cowboys, but if a guy wins $30,000 we would have to go more, for sure.”

Romo acknowledged he’s thrilled that he and Hawley have shown they are able to compete against the best team ropers in the world.

“This is just awesome,” Romo said. “I watch these guys on TV and I look up to them a lot. To have your name in front of them in the average is pretty amazing.”

If the pair can make more deposits in their bank accounts, Hawley said he would like to hit the PRCA trail more. He and Romo have been roping together since 2012.

Hawley and Romo are Arizona cowboys, living in Surprise and Whiteriver, respectively.

“We usually stick close to the circuit, but we had a good year last year and we have a lot of momentum on our side, especially the last few weeks,” Hawley said. “We have a lot of confidence right now.”

The tournament-style RNCFR format determines the national circuit champions in each event. All 24 qualifiers from the 12 circuits competed in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo. The top eight contestants from the two-head average in each event advanced to the semifinals, with all previous scores and times thrown out.

The top four move on to the final round, and a sudden-death competition determines the national circuit champion in each event.

“The plan for (Sunday) is see how we draw and go from there,” Romo said. “We will have to see what the other guys do, so we know what we have to do.”

Hawley is already anxious to see what he and Romo can accomplish in the semis.

“I’m going to try and stay as aggressive as I can at the barrier,” Hawley said. “If I can get a good start, that should set everything else up.”

Hawley is riding his mainstay horse, 18-year-old Gunner.

“I’ve had him since he was 4, and we’ve gone everywhere together,” Hawley said. “I’ve been taking him to rodeos since he was 6 years old. We’ve done a lot of good things together.”

In addition to Hawley and Romo, other average winners after the second round were bareback rider Caleb Bennett (172 points on two head), steer wrestler Nick Guy (8.2 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Tyrell Smith (160.5 points on two head), tie-down Randall Carlisle (16.5 seconds on two head), barrel racer Jana Griemsman (30.64 seconds on two runs), and bull rider Jordan Spears (168 points on two head).

Here are the eight (or in some cases of ties, nine) competitors/teams which qualified for Sunday’s semifinals:

Bareback Riding
Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah
R.C. Landingham, Hat Creek, Calif.
J.R. Vezain, Cowley, Wyo.
Wyatt Bloom, Bend, Ore.
Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn.
Cody Kiser, Carson City, Nev.
Jessy Davis, Power, Mont.
Justin Miller, Billings, Mont.
Tyler Nelson, Victor, Idaho

Steer Wrestling
Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis.
Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho
Dean McIntyre, Cloncurry, Australia
Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont.
Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas
J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Minn.
Justin Shaffer, Hallsville, Texas
Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah

Team Roping
Edward Hawley Jr., Surprise, Ariz./Ty Romo, Whiteriver, Ariz.
Jesse Stipes, Salina, Okla./Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, Kan.
Brit Ellerman, Ft. Lupton, Colo./T.J. Watts, Eads, Colo.
J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D.
Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz.
Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla./Billie Saebens, Nowata, Okla.
Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas/Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas
Jacob Dagenhart, Statesville, N.C./Caleb Anderson, Mocksville, N.C.

Saddle Bronc Riding
Tyrell Smith, Sand Coulee, Mont.
Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas
Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D.
Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah
Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La.
Cameron Messier, Odessa, Texas
Cooper Dewitt, Rio Rico, Ariz.
Ryan Mackenzie, Jordan Valley, Ore.

Tie-down Roping
Randall Carlisle, Athens, La.
Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho
Cody Quaney, Cheney, Kan.
Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo.
J.R. Myers, Felton, Pa.
Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz.
Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif.
Jared Kempker, Eugene, Mo.

Barrel Racing
Jana Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D.
Carmel Wright, Roy, Mont.
Tiany Schuster, Krum, Texas
Ari-anna Flynn, Charleston, Ark.
Lori Todd, Willcox, Ariz.
Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, Calif.
Emily Miller, Weatherford, Okla.
Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Victoria, Texas

Bull Riding
Jordan Spears, Redding, Calif.
Garrett Smith, Rexburg, Idaho
Lane Lasley, Marshall, Ark.
Michael Riggs Jr., Claxton, Ga.
Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah
Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho
Jess Davison, Laramie, Wyo.
Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont.
Tanner Learmont, Cleburne, Texas

Kissimmee, Fla., April 6-9


Bareback riding: First round: 1. Caleb Bennett, 87 points on United Pro Rodeo's War Party, $6,254; 2. (tie) R.C. Landingham, Wyatt Bloom and Frank Morton, 82, $3,475 each; 5. (tie) Tanner Aus and Ty Breuer, 81, $1,137 each. Second round: 1. R.C. Landingham, 86 points on Rafter G Rodeo's Holy Grail, $6,254; 2. (tie) Bill Tutor and Caleb Bennett, 85, $4,075 each; 4. (tie) J.R. Vezain and Tim O'Connell, 83.5, $1,801 each; 6. Chad Rutherford, 83, $948. Average: 1. Caleb Bennett, 172 points on two head, $6,254; 2. R.C. Landingham, 168, $4,738; 3. J.R. Vezain, 162.5, $3,412; 4. (tie) Wyatt Bloom and Tanner Aus, 159, $1,801 each; 6. (tie) Justin Miller and Jessy Davis, 158, 474 each. 


Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Olin Ellsworth, 3.9 seconds, $6,254; 2. Dean McIntyre, 4.1, $4,738; 3. (tie) Bob Lawlyes and Blaine Jones, 4.2, $2,843 each; 5. Nick Guy, 4.3, $1,327; 6. Newt Novich, 4.4, $948. Second round: 1. Olin Hannum, 3.8 seconds, $6,254; 2. (tie) Ty Erickson and Nick Guy, 3.9, $4,075 each; 4. Matt Reeves, 4.0, $2,274; 5. J.D. Struxness, 4.2, $1,327; 6. (tie) Dean McIntyre and Justin Shaffer, 4.4, $474 each. Average: 1. Nick Guy, 8.2 seconds on two head, $6,254; 2. Olin Hannum, 8.4, $4,738; 3. (tie) Dean McIntyre and Ty Erickson, 8.5, $2,843 each; 5. Matt Reeves, 8.6, $1,327; 6. J.D. Struxness, 8.9, $948. 


Team roping: First round: 1. Hayes Smith/Russell Cardoza, 4.7 seconds, $6,254 each; 2. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 4.9, $4,738; 3. Jaguar Terrill/Jason Warner, 5.3, $3,412; 4. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 5.5, $2,274; 5. Jesse Stipes/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.6, $1,327; 6. Luke Brown/Wesley Thorp, 5.9, $948. Second round: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.7 seconds, $6,254 each; 2. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.9, $4,738; 3. Jacob Dagenhart/Caleb Anderson, 5.6, $3,412; 4. (tie) Jesse Stipes/Buddy Hawkins II and Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 6.0, $1,801 each; 6. Brit Ellerman/T.J. Watts, 6.4, $948. Average: 1. Edward Hawley Jr./Ty Romo, 10.9 seconds on two head, $6,254 each; 2. Jesse Stipes/Buddy Hawkins II, 11.6, $4,738; 3. Brit Ellerman/T.J. Watts, 12.6, $3,412; 4. J.B. Lord/Levi Lord, 12.7, $2,274; 5. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 15.3, $1,327; 6. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 16.0, $948. 


Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 86 points on Harry Vold Rodeo's Pillow Talk, $6,218; 2. Tyrell J Smith, 82.5, $4,711; 3. Jesse Wright, 81.5, $3,392; 4. Logan Allen, 80, $2,261; 5. (tie) Chuck Schmidt and Cameron Messier, 79.5, $1,131 each. Second round: 1. Chuck Schmidt, 80.5 points on Hi Lo ProRodeo's Peanut Butter Oreo, $6,218; 2. (tie) Roper Kiesner and Heith DeMoss, 80, $4,051 each; 4. Sterling Crawley, 79.5, $2,261; 5. Josh Davison, 78.5, $1,319; 6. (tie) Ryder Wright and Tyrell J Smith, 78, $471 each. Average: 1. Tyrell J. Smith, 160.5 points on two head, $6,218; 2. (tie) Chuck Schmidt and Jacobs Crawley, 160, $4,051 each; 4. Jesse Wright, 156, $2,261; 5. (tie) Heith DeMoss, Cooper DeWitt and Cameron Messier, 154, $754 each. 


Tie-down roping: First round: 1. J.R. Myers, 7.7 seconds, $6,254; 2. Randall Carlisle, 7.9, $4,738; 3. Jared Kempker, 8.5, $3,412; 4. T.J. Hobson, 8.6, $2,274; 5. Matt Shiozawa, 8.7, $1,327; 6. Joseph Parsons, 8.9, $948. Second round: 1. J.C. Malone, 7.9 seconds, $6,254; 2. Bryson Sechrist, 8.2, $4,738; 3. (tie) Cody Quaney and Josh Peek, 8.4, $2,843 each; 5. Brice Ingo, 8.5, $1,327; 6. Randall Carlisle, 8.6, $948. Average: 1. Randall Carlisle, 16.5 seconds on two head, $6,254; 2. Matt Shiozawa, 17.7, $4,738; 3. Cody Quaney, 17.8, $3,412; 4. Josh Peek, 17.9, $2,274; 5. J.R. Myers, 18.0, $1,327; 6. Joseph Parsons, 18.6, $948. 


Barrel racing: First round: 1. Tracy Nowlin, 15.28 seconds, $6,254; 2. Lori Todd, 15.38, $4,738; 3. Tiany Schuster, 15.43, $3,412; 4. Emily Miller, 15.46, $2,274; 5. Lisa Lockhart, 15.48, $1,327; 6. Amberleigh Moore, 15.51, $948. Second round: 1. Jana Griemsman, 15.09 seconds, $6,254; 2. Carmel Wright, 15.28, $4,738; 3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 15.44, $3,412; 4. Ari-Anna Flynn, 15.45, $2,274; 5. Tiany Schuster, 15.53, $1,327; 6. Calli Van Tassell, 15.57, $948. Average: 1. Jana Griemsman, 30.64 seconds on two head, $6,254; 2. Carmel Wright, 30.82, $4,738; 3. Tiany Schuster, 30.96, $3,412; 4. Ari-Anna Flynn, 30.98, $2,274; 5. Lori Todd, 31.15, $1,327; 6. Nellie Miller, 31.23, $948. 


Bull riding: First round: 1. Josh Frost, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo's Son Of Sam, $6,254; 2. Roscoe Jarboe, 84.5, $4,738; 3. Jordan Spears, 83.5, $3,412; 4. (tie) Garrett Smith and Francisco Garcia, 81.5, $1,801 each; 6. Lane Lasley, 68, $948. Second round: 1. Garrett Smith, 86 points on United Pro Rodeo's Have Ya Heard, $6,254; 2. Michael Riggs Jr., 85.5, $4,738; 3. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $3,412; 4. Jess Davison, 84, $2,274; 5. (tie) Parker Breding and Tanner Learmont, 82, $1,137 each. Average: 1. Jordan Spears, 168 points on two head, $6,254; 2. Garrett Smith, 167.5, $4,738; 3. Lane Lasley, 149, $3,412; 4. Michael Riggs Jr., 85.5 on one head, $2,274; 5. Josh Frost, 85, $1,327; 6. Roscoe Jarboe, 84.5, $948. 


Total payoff: $757,562. Stock contractors: Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo, Painted Pony Championship Rodeo, United Pro Rodeo, Barnes PRCA Rodeo, Brookman Rodeo, Big Rafter Rodeo, Klein Brothers Pro Rodeo, Bailey Pro Rodeo, Rocky Mountain Rodeo, Harry Vold Rodeo, Korkow Rodeos, Rafter G Rodeo, Hi Lo ProRodeo, Rafter H Rodeo Livestock, Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls, Silver Spurs Club, Three Hills Rodeo, Stace Smith Pro Rodeos and 4L & Diamond S Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Jackie Higlin. Timers: Kim Sutton and Jennie Murray. Announcers: Roger Mooney and Bob Tallman. Specialty act: Austin Stewart. Bullfighters: Scotty Spencer and Kenny Bergeron Jr. Clown/barrelman: JJ Harrison. Flankmen: Terry Autrey, Kelly Klein, Payden Franks and The Hitman Adams. Chute bosses: John Gwatney and Dustin Murray. Pickup men: Brent Sutton and Jason Bottoms. Photographers: Eva Scofield and Ric Andersen. Music director: Benje Bendele.

Ellsworth wins RNCFR’s first round

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Despite competing in a talent-laden field, steer wrestler Olin Ellsworth didn’t flinch.

The First Frontier Circuit cowboy clocked a 3.9-second run Friday to win the first round of the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Silver Spurs Arena.

“This is probably my biggest win of my career,” Ellsworth said.

Ellsworth collected a $6,254 check for his performance. He qualified for the RNCFR by winning the First Frontier Circuit year-end title.

The RNCFR money is more important than ever this year. All money won at the 12 circuit finals rodeos, All American ProRodeo Finals and the RNCFR – per new PRCA bylaws – count toward the 2017 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings.

“More than winning the money, it is just nice to be here and represent our circuit,” said Ellsworth, who was making his second appearance at the RNCFR, as he also qualified in 2014.

“The Jumper family was kind enough to come three hours out of their way and bring their horse here for me, and he worked perfect. My friend, Justin Shaffer, hazed for me, and he put one right in my wheel house.”

Ellsworth was on Skeeter, a horse he has ridden a few times, most recently this winter.

“That horse worked great (Friday night),” said the 6-foot-1, 225-pound Ellsworth. “I feel very comfortable on him and I was able to back in there and blow it out of the latch. The steer was so good it just took care of itself.”

Ellsworth acknowledged he’s true circuit cowboy. His day job is a project manager for a construction company – D.A. Collins in Wilton, N.Y. He lives in Warrensburg, N.Y.

“I’ve made our circuit finals a couple of times in tie-down roping, but steer wrestling is my main event, and when I won a tonight a bunch of my friends were texting me because they are watching online,” said Ellsworth, 36.

“I really like steer wrestling, and I work hard at trying to stay fit with cross-fit training and yoga. I would like to keep doing this at least seven more years while they have this in Kissimmee, and there’s no reason I can’t keep qualifying for the RNCFR.”

In addition to Ellsworth, other first-round winners were Wilderness Circuit bareback rider Caleb Bennett (87 points on United Pro Rodeo’s War Party), Columbia River team ropers Hayes Smith/Russell Cardoza (4.7 seconds), Texas Circuit saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley (86 points on Harry Vold Rodeo Company’s Pillow Talk), First Frontier tie-down roper J.R. Myers (7.7 seconds), Prairie Circuit barrel racer Tracy Nowlin (15.28 seconds) and Wilderness Circuit bull rider Josh Frost (85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Son of Sam).

Friday night was Wrangler National Patriot Night at the Silver Spurs Arena. Before the performance began, 40-plus Marines took their oath of enlistment in the arena in a special ceremony.

The tournament-style RNCFR format determines the national circuit champions in each event. All 24 qualifiers from the 12 circuits compete in the two preliminary rounds of the rodeo. The top eight contestants from each event advance to the semifinal, with all previous scores and times thrown out. The top four move on to the final round, a sudden-death competition that determines the national circuit champion in each event.

The second round begins at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday and concludes Saturday night with a 7:30 p.m. (ET) performance. The RNCFR will crown its 2017 national champions in the final performance at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday.

The Saturday evening performance will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink night.

The Wrangler Network will be live streaming all the action from the RNCFR. The coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 8; and 2:30 p.m. on April 9. Log on to www.wranglernetwork.com to watch.