FORT WORTH, Tex. – The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’s $100,000 extreme team rodeo competition was branded with a new name this year, but the result was familiar. Rodeo X presented by Schaefer, featured a tight race between teams representing eight of North America’s most historic and prestigious rodeos with Rodeo Houston taking the team title for the fifth consecutive year.
The team race was not without drama, with the outcome hinging on the final bull rider to compete. Canada’s Wacey Finkbeiner, the only rider to tally a score (85.5) in the preliminary round, was the final contestant of the night. He needed to ride his bull to pull out the win Rodeo Houston and he did so in style. The Ponoka, Alberta, cowboy rode New Star Pro Rodeo’s bull Sox for a score of 90 points to put the team title on ice and earn the $10,000 event championship as well.
Thursday’s event featured champions from each of eight legendary rodeos, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Calgary Stampede, Rodeo Houston, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, Rodeo Austin, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver, Colo., and the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo®. The champions competed in bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding in a tournament format with each rodeo’s team wearing the same colored shirt for easy identification.
First, eight contestants competed in each event, with the top four qualifying for a second round where the winner received a hand-tooled, leather briefcase with $10,000 cash inside. Many of the contestants were current or former world champions and National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and the livestock was among the elite in pro rodeo.
The highest score of the night was in the final round of bareback riding when Tanner Aus of Granite Falls, Minnesota, riding for San Angelo, scored 90.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Junior Bonner.
New father Cole Edge of Durant, Oklahoma, took first in steer wrestling for Rodeo Austin with 4.62 seconds. His almost eight-week-old twin son and daughter were in the crowd.
Sterling Crawley of Stephenville, riding for the National Western in Denver, claimed the $10,000 in saddle bronc riding with an 89-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Bartender.
Weatherford’s Stevi Hillman took the barrel racing win with 16.529 seconds for Rodeo Houston.
Officials from the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo® presented each champion with a beautiful hand-tooled briefcase containing $10,000 cash immediately after his or her winning ride or run.
The winning team from Rodeo Houston each received an additional $1,000 and even those cowboys and cowgirls who did not make the championship round received $500 each.
The World’s Original Indoor Rodeo begins its 29-performance run at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Will Rogers Coliseum.
Bareback riding: 1, Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn.-Team San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, 90.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Junior Bonner, $10,000. 2, Caleb Bennett, Corvallis, Mont.-Team National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, 89, $4,000. 3, Trenton Montero, Winnemucca, Nev.-Team Rodeo Austin, 88.5, $2,000. 4, Paden Hurst, Cypress, Texas-Team Cheyenne Frontier Days, 84.5, $1,000,
Steer Wrestling: 1, Cole Edge, Durant, Okla.-Team Rodeo Austin, 4.62 seconds, $10,000. 2, Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss.-Team National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, 5.21, $4,000. 3, Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas-Team Calgary Stampede, 5.27, $2,000. 4, Jacob Talley, Keachie, La.-Team San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, no time, $1,000.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas-Team National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, 89 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Bar Tender, $10,000. 2, Cody Demoss, Heflin, La.-Team Rodeo Houston, 88.5, $4,000. 3, Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas-Team Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, 88, $2,000. 4, Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb.-Team San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, 87, $1,000.
Barrel Racing: 1, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas-Team Rodeo Houston, 16.529 seconds, $10,000. 2, Kelly Bruner, Millsap, Texas-Team Calgary Stampede, 16.639, $4,000. 3, Katelynn Scott, Odessa, Texas-Team Cheyenne Frontier Days, 16.932, $2,000. 4, Christine, Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo.-Team National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, 17.132, $1,000.
Bull Riding: 1, Wacey Finkbeiner, Ponoka, Alberta-Team Rodeo Houston, 90 points on New Star Pro Rodeo’s Sox, 90 points, $10,000. 2, Jordan Hansen, Okotoks, Alberta-Team Rodeo Austin, 88.5, $4,000. 3, Jared Parsonage, Maple Creek, Sask.-Team Calgary Stampede, 86, $2,000. Dustin Bouquet, Bourg, La., 0, $1,000.
Team Champion – Rodeo Houston, Houston, Texas
Team members: Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta (bareback riding); Timmy Sparing, Helena, Mont. (steer wrestling) Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La. (saddle bronc riding); Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas (barrel racing) and Wacey Finkbeiner, Ponoka, Alberta (bull riding) each received a $1,000 team bonus.