RODEO NOTEBOOK: Better late than never for Halverson, Taylor
Jan 13, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Saturday night was the sixth performance of the 80th SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo, and that meant one thing to the competitors -- a final chance to sneak into the money or perhaps take the buckle with a strong performance.
While some of the competitors did manage to shake up the standings a bit, only two -- Jake Halverson of Decatur in bareback and Fallon Taylor of Whitesboro in barrel racing -- produced the type of performances reserved for champions.
Riding Hollywood Hills in the bareback competition, Halverson scored 86 points to tie Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., for the title.
Mote posted his score on the first night of the event Jan. 3. Will Lowe, a three-time world champion from Canyon, was tied for third with Ty Breuer with 84 points.
Taylor was one of the final riders of the event to tackle the cloverleaf and she wasted no time, racing through a left and two rights to a time of 14.14 seconds, tying Kenna Squires' mark set during Friday's performance.
Kay Blandford of Sutherland Springs, a 2010 Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductee and the 1996 reserve world champion, led off the evening with a 14.18-second run, good for third in the standings when the dust settled.
--THRICE AS NICE: Cody Wright of Milford, Utah, is a two-time world saddle bronc champion and was the two-time defending SandHills saddle bronc champion prior to posting an 85-point score in Thursday evening's performance.
He got the hat trick Saturday, with a little help from his brother Spencer.
The rookie of the year last season, Spencer Wright was unable to stay seated for the full eight seconds, and when Jesse Bail of Camp Crook, S.D., rode Four Aces to an 81-point score, the coronation was complete.
Bail's ride moved him into a tie for second with Cort Scheer and Troy Crowser.
--STOCKING UP: When the announcement was made that SandHills had decided to change the stock contractor for this year's event, there may have been questions about the quality of animals.
Those questions were answered on the first night when the broncs and bulls of the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company more than held their own against the top cowboys on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.
The animals were still working hard Saturday, evidenced by the six saddle bronc riders who failed to make the required eight seconds, with just six of the 20 bull riders making it to the buzzer.
Chandler Bownds of Lubbock was able to solve the bulls on Friday night, scoring 89 points to win the event.
Contact Lee Scheide on twitter @OALeeScheide, on Facebook at OA Lee Scheide, or call 432-333-7703.
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