BILLINGS – It was Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at Round 2 of the NILE Rodeo in Billings on Friday night, and it got off to an incredible start.
Blake Smith opened the bareback riding and there was no one better. The Zap, N.D. native rode Joker to the tune of 85 points and the top spot through two rounds of competition. Pascal Isabelle rode Knot So Shady for an 81.5 and sits in second place overall.
In the team roping, Billings native Travis Tryan looked to have the best time, but he caught the front left leg along with the head of the steer and received a no time. Delon Parker of Worden and heeler Ryan Zurcher of Powell, Wyo., had better luck. The two combined for the best time of the night in 6.0 seconds flat.
Saddle bronc was up next and that paved the way for one of the best performances of the night. Zeke Thurston has been to four straight NFR Championships and currently sits fifth in the world. He showed why on Friday night at Rimrock Auto Arena. Thurston and Morning Tea thrilled the crowd with an 86-point ride, and that tied him for first place overall with one night to go.
The final round is Saturday night at 7 p.m.