(Editor's note: By Susan Kanode/Caldwell Night Rodeo)
CALDWELL, Idaho --- There might be a rodeo that Stevi Hillman likes better than the Caldwell Night Rodeo, but the Weatherford, Texas, resident is quick to point out that none of them happen in August.
Hillman has been the champion here the past two years. She set the arena record of 16.68 in 2017 aboard a young horse that fans all knew as Sharpie. Last year, she came back here on her faithful mount, Truck and won again.
This year, she has been very selective at which rodeos she rode Truck at and was saving him for Caldwell. The strategy worked as she tied for first place in the first round on Tuesday morning. She and Dona Kay Rule from Minco, Okla., both had times of 17.27 seconds. They each won $2,052 bringing Hillman’s earnings at the Caldwell Night Rodeo to $18,012.
She and Truck had the rest of the day off and will be back here for their second run on Wednesday night. Rule made her second run Tuesday afternoon and has set the pace with a 17.11. She also leads the overall standings with a total time of 34.38 seconds.
Another of last year’s champions is trying to make it two in a row. Derek Kolbaba from Walla Walla, Washington won the bull riding here a year ago with an 89-point ride. He took the lead during Tuesday night’s performance with an 87.5-point ride on D&H Cattle Company’s Tested & Bruised. The bull riding championship here is based on the highest-marked ride from one round, so he is now the man to beat.
Mitch Pollock calls Winnemucca, Nevada, home, but the saddle bronc rider has ties to the “Gem State.” Pollock went to college at Twin Falls where he qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo. His fiancée is from southern Idaho and it is likely they will make their home somewhere near his alma mater.
When he gets the chance to compete at a rodeo in Idaho, it’s like being home for him. He was the top saddle bronc rider here on Tuesday night with a 90-point ride on Outlaw Buckers Rodeo’s Lunatic Party. That should get Pollock a good check in the first round and see him back here on Saturday night to ride for a championship.
First Performance --
Bareback Riding: 1, Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 86 points on Outlaw Buckers Rodeo’s American Thumper. 2, Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, 83. 3, Jacob Lees, Pismo Beech, Calif., 80.5. 4, Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 80.
Steer wrestling: 1, Kodie Jang, Townsville, Australia, 4.4 seconds. 2, Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 4.5. 3, Aaron Vosler, Laramie, Wyo., 4.8. 4, Riley Hamilton, Thatcher, Idaho, 5.0.
Team roping: 1, Spencer Mitchell, Orange Cove, Calif., and Cody Doescher, Webbers Falls, Okla., 4.7 seconds. 2, Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C., and Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo., 5.0. 3, Hagen Peterson, Delta, Utah and Jace Nelsen, Ogden, Utah, 9.2. 4, Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla., and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 13.6.
Saddle bronc riding: 1, Mitch Pollock, Winnemucca, Nev., 90 points on Outlaw Bucker’s Lunatic Party. 2, Chet Johnson, Douglas, Wyo., 85. 3, (tie) Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., and Allen Boore, Axtell, Utah, 83.
Tie down roping: 1, (tie) Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont., and Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.0 seconds. 3, (tie) Coy Surrett, Buhl, Idaho and Britt Radke, Oakley, Idaho, 11.1.
Barrel racing: 1, Cindy Smith, Hobbs, N.M., 17.27 secodns. 2, Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo., 17.33. 3, Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, Texas, 17.36. 4, Tanya Jones, Prineville, Ore., 17.38.
Bull Riding: 1, Derek Kolbaba, Walla Walla, Wash., 87.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Tested & Bruised. 2, Happy Weight, Goshen, Utah, 80.
Current Leaders in the timed events –
Steer wrestling: (second round) 1, Taylor Gregg, Walla Walla, Wash., 4.2 seconds. 2, Dalton Massey, Hermiston, Ore., 4.3. 3, Kodie Jang, Townsville, Australia, 4.4. 4, (tie) Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., and Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 4.5. (total on two) 1, Jang, 9.2. 2, (tie) Aaron Vosler, Laramie, Wyo., and Will Lummus, West Point, Miss., 9.4. 4, (tie) Nick Guy and Stephen Culling, Fort St. John, British Columbia, 9.7.
Team roping: (second round) 1, Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Billie Jack Sabens, Nowata, Okla., 3.9 seconds. 2, Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Jake Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 4.1. 3, Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alberta and Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas, 4.4. 4, Quinn Kesler, Holden, Utah and Colby Siddoway, Honeyville, Utah, 4.5. (total on two) 1, Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz., and Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas, 10.0. 2, Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D., and Lane Siggins, Coolidge, Ariz., 10.7. 3, Ryan Reed and Wyatt Hansen, Oakdale, Calif., 10.7. 4, Garrett Tonozzi, Lampasas, Texas, and Dustin Davis, Terrell, Texas, 11.1.
Tie-down roping: (second round) 1, Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 8.7 seconds. 2, Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas, 8.9. 3, (tie) Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas; Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas; and Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont.; 9.0. (total on two) 1, Livingston, 17.7. 2, Cooper, 18.0. 3, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 18.7. 4, Taylor Santos, Creston, Calif., 19.0.
Barrel racing: (first round winners) 1, (tie) Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, and Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla., 17.27 seconds, $2,052 e ach. 3, Alishea Broussard, Estherwood, La., 17.28, $1,578. 4, Amberleigh Moore, Salem, Ore., 17.39, $1,368. 5, Carly Taylor, Andersonville, Tenn., 17.40, $1,053. 6, Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 17.42, $842. 7, (tie) Brittney Barnett, Joliet, Mont., and Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, Texas, 17.54, $526. 9, Sabra O’Quinn, Ocala, Fla., 17.56, $316. 10, Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo., 17.57, $210. (second round leaders) 1, Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla., 17.11. 2, Brittney Barnett, Joliet, Mont., 17.25. 3, Cindy Smith, Hobbs, N.M., 17.27. 4, Amberleigh Moore, Salem, Ore., 17.30. (total on two) 1, Rule, 34.38. 2, Moore, 34.69. 3, Carly Taylor, Andersonville, Tenn., 34.74. 4, Alishea Broussard, Estherwood, La., 34.78.