By Susan Kanode
For the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – More than half of the spots in the San Antonio Rodeo’s semi-finals have been filled with the completion of Bracket 3 in the AT&T Center on Thursday night.
The rodeo started one week ago with contestants competing in five brackets. The top four money earners in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding move onto the semi-finals. Three of those brackets are now complete and 12 of the 20 semi-finals qualifiers have been determined.
The biggest money winner out of Bracket 3 was Amberleigh Moore from Keizer, Ore., who is competing here for the first time. Moore, who was the reserve world champion last year had never qualified to get into the $1.7 million rodeo before. Last year, she was $10,000 out of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s top 15 with one month left in the season.
She made that up, qualified for her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo where she won $187,692. Her horse CP Dark Moon “Paige” performs exceptionally well in buildings like the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas and the AT&T Center here. Moore won all three rounds in her bracket and is the second barrel racer to have a clean sweep. Taylor Langdon from Aubrey also did that in Bracket 1.
Saddle bronc rider Hardy Braden, from Welch, Okla., was the second high-money winner in the bracket. He won the first round, placed in the second and third to earn a total of $5,132. This is the second time the ranch-raised cowboy has qualified to compete here.
“If I wasn’t riding here, I’d be home calving out cows,” Braden said. “My mom is timing (the rodeo) at San Angelo and my dad is at home. Now he’s going to be trying to figure out how he can get down here for the semi-finals.”
Braden is following in his father’s footsteps. Butch Braden used to ride bucking horses and now along with being a rancher is also a rodeo pick-up man.
Reigning world champion steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack, from Gonzales, La., leads the field of steer wrestlers. He won the first round and finished third in the second to have total earnings of $3,422.
World champion all-around cowboy, Junior Nogueira, made history last year when he was the first Brazilian to win a world title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. He’d like to make history by being the first Brazilian to get a San Antonio buckle as well.
He came one step closer on Thursday night. He and team roping partner Kaleb Driggers from Albany, Georgia, stopped the clock in 4.4 seconds to win the round and $2,281. That was enough money to get them back here for the semi-finals.
Rodeo action continues at the San Antonio Stock Show on Friday night with a 7:30 performance that starts Bracket 4.
Bracket 3, round 3 followed by total money —
Bareback Riding: 1, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 85 points on Calgary Stampede’s Unfortunate Karma, $2,281. 2, Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La., 81.5, $1,711. 3, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, and Kyle Charley, Lukachukai, Ariz., 79, $855. (total money) 1, (tie) Aus and Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alberta, $3,992. 3, Mason Clements, Santaquin, Utah, $2,281. 4, Ratliff, $1,711.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 3.9 seconds, $2,281. 2, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 4.0, $1,711. 3, Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii, 4.2, $1,141. 4, (tie) J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Minn., and Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark., 4.4, $285 each. (total money) 1, Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., $3,422. 2, Reeves, $3,136. 3, Struxness, $2,566. 4, Thomas, $1,996.
Team Roping: 1, Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga., and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prudente, Brazil, 4.4 seconds, $2,281. 2, Tom Richards, Humboldt, Ariz., and Tyler McKnight, Wells, Texas, 4.8, $1,711. 3, Garrett Tonozzi, Fruita, Colo., and Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb., 5.3, $1,141. 4, Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Jake Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 5.6, $570. (total money) 1, (tie) Spencer Mitchell, Orange Cove, Calif., and Wyatt Cox, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; and Rogers and Minor; $3,422. 3, (tie) Driggers and Nogueira; and Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas, and Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., $2,281.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Luke Butterfield, Ponoka, Alberta, 85 points on Three Hills Rodeo’s Jumbo Jet, $2,281. 2, Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 83.4, $1,711. 3, Hardy Braden, Welch, Okla., 82.5, $1,141. 4, Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 79.5, $570. (total money) 1, Braden, $5,132. 2, (tie) Butterfield, and Boore, $2,841. 4, Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah, $2,281.
Tie-Down Roping: 1, Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, 7.8, $2,281. 2, Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas, 8.4, $1,171. 3, Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 8.6, $1,141. 4, Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas, 9.2, $570. (total money) 1, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., $4,562. 2, Yates, $3,992. 3, Vest, $3,422. 4, Costa, $2,851.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, Amberleigh Moore, Keizer, Ore., 13.99, $2,281. 2, Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 14.28, $1,711. 3, Pamela Capper, Cheney, Wash., 14.31, $1,141. 4, Calyssa Thomas, Harrold, S.D., 14.40, $570. (total money) Moore, $6,843.21. 2, Bean, $3,422. 3, Thomas, $2,851. 4, Capper, $2,281.
Bull Riding: (three rides) 1, Sage Steele Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 86 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Mellow Yellow, $2,471. 2, Cody Rostockyj, Lorena, Texas, 85.5, $1,901. 3, Guthrie Murray, Miami, Okla., 81, $1,331. (total money) 1, Murray, $3,232. 2, Rostockyj, $3,041. 3, (tie) Kimzey and Jeffrey Joseph Ramagos, Zachary, La., $2,471.