RodeoHouston Semifinal 1 contestants secured a spot in the Super Series Championship Saturday, March 19.



Tyson Durfey of Weatherford, Texas, took home the Semifinal 1 win in Tie-Down Roping. Durfey said he looks forward to competing for the 2016RodeoHouston Tie-down Roping Champion title on Saturday.


“It’s the best of the best,” Durfey said. “It started out with 20, it cut down to 10 and it’s [the Championship] just going to boil down to who has the best draw and the best horses.”

Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):

Tyson Durfey — Weatherford, Texas — $5,750
Marcos Costa — Childress, Texas — $ 6,750

Caleb Smidt — Bellville, Texas — $7,500

Blane Cox — Cameron, Texas — $4,500



Although it’s only his second time competing at RodeoHouston, two-time College National Finals Rodeo champion, Orin Larsen, is advancing to the Super Series Championship.


“The college-level rodeo has helped tremendously,” Larsen said. “It was a huge stepping stone to get me here.”


Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):

Orin Larsen — Ingles, Manitoba, Canada — $9,000
Tanner Aus — Granite Falls, Montana — $ 4,375

Will Lowe — Canyon, Texas — $3,750

Kaycee Feild — Spanish Fork, Utah — $6,750


Jake Cooper and Tyler McKnight claimed the Semifinal 1 Team Roping win. The team credited their success to their incredible team work.

“We’re like the married couple who got a divorce and got back together,” Cooper said. “We have a real good appreciation for each other.”


Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):
Jake Cooper — Monument, New Mexico, and Tyler McKnight — Wells, Texas — $12,000
Dustin Bird — Cut Bank, Montana, and Russell Cardoza — Terebonne, Oregon — $11,000

Bubba Buckaloo — Kingston, Oklahoma, and Shay Carroll — Hico, Texas — $9,000

Clay Smith — Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and Paul Eaves— Millsap, Texas — $13,500



Cole Elshere had the top Saddle Bronc ride of the night at Semifinal 1 and credits the quality of rough stock for helping him advance to the Championship.


“The last few horses have been really good,” Elshere said. “I hope to get on another good one for the finals.”


Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):
Cole Elshere — Faith, South Dakota — $6,000
Layton Green — Meeting Creek, Alberta, Canada — $ 7,688

Taos Muncy — Corona, New Mexico — $5,188

Curtis Garton — Lake Charles, Louisiana — $3,813



Jace Melvin, a first time competitor at RodeoHouston and Semifinal 1 Steer Wrestling Champion, said that RodeoHouston is bigger and better than he ever expected.


“I worked hard all year to be eligible to compete in this rodeo, and to make it to the Championship is a dream come true,” Melvin said.


Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):
Jace Melvin — Fort Pierre, South Dakota — $6,000
Dakota Eldridge — Elko, Nevada — $ 6,750

Nick Guy — Denver, Colorado — $5,875

Kyle Whitaker — Chambers, Nebraska — $3,875



Megan Swint is a newcomer to RodeoHouston, but the Lithia, Florida, native is headed to the Championship round to race for $50,000.


“We’re just going to keep practicing what we’ve been doing, and get out there and have a good run,” said Swint.


Advancing to Championship (winnings to date):
Megan Swint — Lithia, Florida — $4,000
Nancy Hunter — Neola, Utah — $8,000

Rachel Dice — Bryon, California — $4,000

Mary Burger — Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — $4,750



Sage Steele Kimzey came out on top of the bull riding in Semifinal 1 with an 87-point ride. He said he cannot wait to compete in the Championship Round.


“These are the rodeos that I grew up fantasizing about winning and to be here is a dream come true,” Kimzey said.


Advancing to Championship Round (winnings to date):
Sage Steel Kimzey — Strong City, Oklahoma — $6,000
Scottie Knapp — Albuquerque, New Mexico — $6,000

Trey Benton — Rock Island, Texas — $8,500

Reid Barker — Comfort, Texas — $5,500


The top four from each event in the Semifinal rounds will advance to the RodeoHouston Super Series Championship, Saturday, March 19. The remaining six from each event in the two semifinals will compete in the Wild Card Round, Friday, March 18, where the top two from each event will advance to the Championship. Each event champion will walk away with a $50,000 payout, in addition to previous winnings.


The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $400 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visit and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all of the latest news. The 2016 Show runs through March 20.