Here it is the end of the year for many rodeo and roping organizations and many have made their Finals and some are yet to qualify. Of course the biggest question this time of year always seems to be who will be going to Las Vegas to the Wrangler National Finals.
This year there seemed to be more close races than ever before and they continue to be close as the last few rodeos take place the last week in September. Some of the contestants have called it a year, knowing that they either have made the Finals or are too far from the top 15 to further pursue their goal.
Injuries have sidelined a few of the top contenders and some of them were already in the top 15 and are doubtful for competing in December. Bareback rider J.R. Vezain was in 14th position and has sustained a serious back injury which will no doubt keep him out for awhile. Steer wrestler Billy Bugenig is out with a torn biceps tendon which Dr. Tandy Freeman repaired and Bugenig will be sidelined for time. Fellow steer wrestler Rowdy Parrott is also out due to an ACL tear in his left knee. Dr. Tandy Freeman performed surgery on him September 19.
At presstime, the top 15 in the PRCA are looking pretty close in some of the events. The bareback riding seems to have the biggest spread with Wyatt Denny in 15th by over $6,000 over Clint Laye in 16th. In the steer wrestling it is Nick Guy in 15th over Tanner Milan by $1,476. The headers race has Lane Ivy in 15th by $2,700 over Spencer Mitchell. Heeling has Jake Minor in 15th with Quinn Kesler in 16th only $1,626 behind. Saddle bronc riding sees Spencer Wright in the 15th spot, $2,497 ahead of Allen Boore. In the tie down roping, Ryan Jarrett has slipped down to 16th behind Blane Cox by $920. This one and team roping heading are the closest. Bull riding race is also close with Trevor Kastner ahead of California’s Jordan Spears by only $351. The barrel racing is just as tight, as Jessica Telford holds onto 15th just $554 ahead of Carley Richardson in 16th. It is hard to believe that after a whole year of competition, it all comes down to a few dollars difference. All of these figures are as of this writing and there is still a few rodeos left that can change the top 15. Good luck to all of those making the run for the Finals.
Any of you who have competed and come close to making a cut-off of certain Finals can relate to what goes through your mind at the end of the year when you are only a few dollars from making the cut-off. You think about that barrier you broke at one competition or the one leg or knocked over barrel that would have made the difference. If you’re a roughstock rider you think of the one or two more points you could have been on a certain ride or the buck off or miss that shouldn’t have happened. Then there is the time you remember turning out cause you didn’t think it was worth it to go the distance for so little money. Then there is the time you made a wrong turn and went way out of the way which caused you to have to turn out. Or the time you had a flat tire or other mechanical problems or stopped for fuel or a cup of coffee and that put you just behind enough to turn out. Sometimes you started the year way too late and missed out on all of the good money at the winter competitions. It is what it is and can’t be changed. So on to another year with a new attitude and goal. Congratulations to all those who have made the cut and the best of luck to all of you at your upcoming Finals.
- - - - - - - - - -
A benefit for Joe Beers, who was seriously injured in an ATV accident, will be held Sunday October 14th in Powell Butte, Oregon. Be sure to see the ad on page 41 of this issue. You can call his brother Brandon Beers for more info at 541-460-3460. There is also a GoFundMe page set up for Joe.
- - - - - - - - - -
It was sad to hear about the passing of John Moitozo, 34, of Los Banos who was killed in a traffic accident last month. John was recently married to Gabby. John was the owner of the famed Romero Ranch near Los Banos. The ranch is involved in cattle and farming. John and Gabby would spend many hours in their roping arena team roping and riding their horses. He will be missed by many.
- - - - - - - - - -
We wish Mike Cervi a speedy recovery after heart surgery this past month. According to reports he is doing fine and will be in rehab for awhile but is sounding good and says he is feeling better than ever.