BILLINGS — PRCA world No. 1 steer wrestler Ty Erickson had the NILE average all but sewn up. All the Helena native had to do was survive one final ride. Unfortunately for him, that final rider was Saco's Shawn Downing.
Needing to beat 5.0 seconds to take over first in the average and 4.5 seconds to win round two, Downing laid down a 3.6-second run to sweep the night, knocking Erickson into second in both races. Downing also won round one earlier in the rodeo with an event-best 3.3-second run.
The two entered the NILE first and second in the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit standings, with Erickson holding a $1,485 lead.
Two Montana bareback riders earned paychecks Saturday night. Bozeman's Wyatt Bloom finished fifth after 83.5 points aboard Siete Lagos, while Dillon's Tristan Hansen finished 6th with 79 points on Black Leg.
Nevada's Sam Harper cracked the star-studded saddle bronc leaderboard with an 85-point ride aboard Rich n Fancy. Harper finished 5th overall, with Deer Lodge's Chase Brooks winning his second consecutive NILE Rodeo title at 89 points.
Other winners include:
BAREBACK - Jamie Howlett
TEAM ROPING - Lathen Bryant/Matt Schieck
TIE-DOWN ROPING - Riley Pruitt
BARREL RACING - Maggie Polonic
BULL RIDING - Hawk Whitt