Heavy rain wreaks havoc at BED Rodeo
By BRETT MARSHALL
By BRETT MARSHALL
Just about the time a rodeo fan thought there might not be any good rides, meaning any good scores, the final performance of the 2014 Beef Empire Days PRCA Rodeo at the Fairgrounds Arena produced a number of top efforts that resulted in high finishes and a good check for the cowboys' and cowgirls' work.
Among those included Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., who doubled in the bareback riding and saddle bronc riding events, scoring an 81 atop Ole One Eye in the bareback competition to place fourth, following that up with an 81 on Wiggle Worm to place eighth and secure the final spot in the saddle bronc division.
And Tim Bingham of Honeyville, Utah, and Tanner Bothwell of Rapid City, S.D., who both made the 8-second ride count in the bull riding competition. Bingham scored an 83 atop Toll Free, while Bothwell had an 81 on Card Shark. Bingham earned a $1,968.69 check, while Bothwell's payout was $1,455.12. They could not overtake winner James Dillon Tyner's 85-point ride on Thurday, which earned him the winner's share of $2,567.85.
In all, Dent earned $663.83 for the bareback ride and $208.68 for saddle bronc, for the combined $872.51 for placing in two events, garnered him the All-Around Cowboy honor for the rodeo.
"It went alright, could've been better," Dent said after his final ride of the night, which came at a rain-soaked arena, which resembled a quagmire more than it did a place to score high in the events. "I got all I could out of the bareback. Could've had a couple jumps more."
Dent said his job in riding is to make the horse look easy.
"That's what separates first from fifth, and fifth from no check," Dent said. "I like riding the (saddle) broncs, and I've won more money on those. I think the saddle bronc is a little harder, because in the bareback you only really have to move with the horse."
Dent said he has ridden saddle broncs longer than competing in the bareback, but that he relies on his training and muscle memory once he's in the chute and then during the ride.
"You try not to think about anything," Dent said. "It's all about reaction, and then you just let the ride take care of itself. You can't let up, that's for sure. You tell yourself to keep going and ride hard."
A six-time National Finals Rodeo contestant, Dent said he competes in approximately 60 to 90 rodeos during a given calendar year.
"Certainly a lot of traveling, but it's what I enjoy," the 28-year-old Dent said. "Can't imagine doing anything else. I think I do both events about the same."
Bingham was one of the final riders in the second section of the bull riding competition, and his ride on Toll Free came when the rain was pelting the arena and lightning was threatening in the area. It didn't seem to faze the 22-year-old from Utah, however.
"It (ride) went pretty good," Bingham said. "For some reason, I have low gravity in the rain. I don't like it (rain), but the last three or four times I rode in it, I've been first or second. I don't like getting all muddy and dirty, but it brings me some bucks."
Bingham said the inclement weather just heightens an already focused moment when it comes time to get on the bull.
"Basically, in this situation, you gotta keep your focus stronger," Bingham said. "You gotta block out the rain, and just pretend you're riding on a nice, warm day somewhere else."
He said there is no time for distractions in this demanding sport.
"You just block everything out," Bingham said. "When it comes to bull riding, you can't be thinking about anything. So today was the same as any other day for me."
Having ridden bulls since he was age 11, Bingham said the muddy conditions sometime alter the way a bull performs.
"Sometimes, they'll slow down and slip a little bit," Bingham said. "For the rain and mud, the bulls generally don't get affected that bad, unless it's slick dirt. They're gonna buck just as hard as they always do."
Other events saw the leaders remain unchanged in the inclement weather conditions Saturday, following a Friday rain as well.
Orin Larsen of Goodwell, Okla., won the bareback riding with 85 points from a Thursday ride. Wade Sundell of Coleman, Okla., captured the saddle bronc title with an 87-point ride, also on Thursday. Benjamin Robinson of Colby earned the top spot in the steer wrestling with a time of 4.3 seconds and a check for $2,443.06. Eleven-time All-Around World Champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, retained his first-place position in the tie down roping competition with a time of 9.8 seconds. That came during Thursday's slack competition, and Cody Quaney of Cheney was the only other roper to break the 10-second barrier with a 9.9 ride. Brazile earned a check for $1,989.04.
The Texas duo of Tyler Wade (Terrell) and Kinney Harrell (Marshall) claimed the first-place check of $2,911.18 in the team roping with a time of 5.0 seconds. That put them just .1 of a second ahead of three teams — Luke Brown of Stephenville, Texas, and Killin VonAhn of Blanchard, Okla.; Blaine Vick of Dublin, Texas, and Twister Cain of Gonzales, Texas; and Garrett Tonozzi of Fruita, Colo., and Jared Bilby of Bridgeport, Neb.
In the two ladies events — barrel racing and breakaway roping — Paxton Segelke's ride of 17.06 seconds stood for the final two nights to earn a check of $2,438.36. She finished ahead of runner-up Shelley Morgan's 17.17-second ride. Jean Winters of Texline, Texas, had Saturday's best barrel run with a time of 17.52 seconds, earning her a share of ninth place.
Rachelle Holt of Gruver, Texas, won the ladies breakaway roping with a time of 2.7 seconds, and a check for $495.90. Megan Swayze of Freedom, Okla., who roped on Saturday, took second in a time of 3.7 seconds. Jamie Flowers, Shelley Meier and Kashley Schweer, all of Garden City, finished third, fourth and sixth with times of 3.8, 4.0 and 5.0 seconds, respectively.
Results in Scoreboard, Page A11.