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NPRA finals return to town

The top cowboys and cowgirls in the Northwest are expected to compete at Northwest Professional Rodeo Association Finals


The Northwest Professional Rodeo Association Finals are just a week away.

The event, which will be held at the Crook County Fairgrounds in Prineville on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21, features many of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the Northwest. The Northwest Professional Rodeo Association (NPRA) is the largest regional rodeo association in the western United States and sponsors more than 40 rodeos during the regular season. Contestants come from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California for the event.

The top 12 individuals in the standings in each event qualify for the finals. If a contestant in the top 12 is unable to compete for any reason, the next competitor in the standings is eligible for the event.

For most of the contestants, the finals are the culmination of a season which began last October. However, a select few will compete in the Columbia River Circuit Finals or the National Finals Rodeo later this year.

Central Oregon athletes should have a huge impact on this year’s finals. Shane Erickson of Terrebonne, who won the all-around championship a year ago, is in line to repeat as champion. Erickson is a virtual lock to win the tie down roping championship as he holds a nearly $5,000 lead over second-place Russell Cardoza, who is also from Terrebonne. Erickson is also leading the standings in cow milking, and is in third place in team roping.

The event where Central Oregon contestants could have the most impact is bareback riding. Brian Bane, Steven Peebles, Micky Downare, and David Peebles of Redmond are all in the mix, while Wyatt Bloom of Bend still has an outside chance to make it to the finals. Although barrel racing has become a two-person race for first between Newberg’s Cindy Woods and Hermiston’s Callahan Crossley, a pair of Central Oregon contestants are fighting for third place. Sammy Jo Cardoza and Stevie Rae Willis, both of Terrebonne, are currently in fourth and fifth place in the standings, but have a chance to move up. Corenne Schultz, of Prineville is also expected to qualify for the finals.

Willis is also in the mix in breakaway roping, where she is in third place, but is still in range of the championship.

Prineville’s Christian Radabaugh has qualified for the finals in both steer wrestling and cow milking, while Sean Santucci has qualified in cow milking.

Saddle bronc riding is the most fiercely contested event at this year’s final. Roy Johnson of Etna, Wash., holds a slim $200 lead over Jacob Stacy of Moses Lake, Wash. Terrebonne’s Charlie Barker is in third place, less than $400 out of first place. Powell Butte’s Mark Gage and Paulina’s Kade McLean have also both qualified for the finals in saddle bronc riding. In addition, Jimmy Grand has earned a spot in the novice saddle bronc finals. The final Crook County athlete to have locked up a spot in the finals is Cully Stafford, who is currently in 10th place among team roping heelers.

Rodeo action begins both evenings at 7 p.m., with the gates opening nightly at 6 p.m. Following the conclusion of Saturday night’s performance, there will be an after party at Carey Foster Hall, and the year end awards banquet will be held at 9:30 a.m., Sunday morning.

Ticket information

Tickets are available in advance, or at the gate. Adult prices are $10 nightly. Friday night is family night with children under 11 admitted free of charge. Saturday, tickets for children between the ages of 6-11 are $5. Saturday is also military appreciation night with all military personel admitted free of charge with their military ID. Tickets are available in advance at Fair Feed and Supply as well as online at www.nprarodeo.org



Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

37°F

Prineville

Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 96%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 21 Nov 2014

    Rain/Wind 39°F 33°F

  • 22 Nov 2014

    Showers/Wind 41°F 26°F