The Crooked River Roundup made several major changes this year, and by all accounts, the new Roundup was a huge success.
"We are really pleased," said Roundup Board President Jason Snider following Sunday's final performance. "Friday night was a great turnout and last night was exceptional. We had some incredible weather and an incredible rodeo that just went off without any hitches. The things that we could control, we controlled."
For the 74th Annual Roundup, organizers redesigned the layout of the arena, adding a new 18-foot high entry gate for barrel racing, which allowed contestants to enter the arena at a full gallop.
In addition, the Roundup board replaced the chutes for the remaining timed events with a 50-foot run-up area with a volunteer rider pushing the steer out of the runway.
Finally, the rodeo added $5,000 to the purse for each event.
With the new format and more money, the rodeo saw a much larger entry list than a year ago, with many of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the country showing up to compete.
"Everybody was absolutely just tickled to death," Snider said of the format change. "In fact, most of them wish that everyone would do the same thing. They like it because it is more competitive across the board. In fact, those folks gave us some ideas to put some chrome on it for next year."
Although the Roundup had a few no shows as several contestants who were scheduled to appear made the short go Saturday night in Reno, the Roundup still had a good turnout.
In fact, a number of Cowboys who competed in the short go round Saturday night in Reno drove all night to compete in an 8 a.m. slack in Prineville Sunday morning.
"You know, that's kind of been the theme," Snider said about the possibility of cancelations. "We know that we are up against that wall, and we just take that opportunity as much as we take the risk. We brought in some sponsorships and some dollars and that contributed to the success, and this was a big success."
This year's Roundup had an interesting mix of entrants, with Central Oregon contestants as well as nationally ranked Cowboys.
All three performances had quality athletes, and individuals from all three performances placed in the final standings.
It should come as no surprise that Trevor Brazile, a 23-time national champion, won the all-around cowboy title. Brazile earned $2,522 in tie-down roping, team roping and steer roping.
Brazile, of Decatur, Texas, won the first go round of tie-down roping with an arena record time of 8.4 seconds for the new format. Brazile looked like he would win the average after initially posting a time of 10.4 seconds in round two. However, his steer didn't stay tied for the required six seconds, leaving Brazile out of contention for the average with no time.
In steer roping, Brazile, who competed on Sunday, was third in the first round with a time of 14.2 seconds. Although he failed to place in the second round, he finished third in the average with a time of 32.3 on two head.
Although he also competed in team roping, Brazile earned no money in the event.
Still, it was one more success in a long and storied career.
Blake Knowles, of Heppner, won the average in steer wrestling with a time of 13.5 seconds on two head. Like Brazile's first go round time in tie-down roping, the time will go down as an arena record due to the new format.
Knowles won the average despite not winning either go round in the event. Knowles was sixth in the first go round with a time of 6.8 seconds, then came back with a 6.7 second time in the second go round, good for fourth.
Justin Kimsey, of Kennewick, Washington, was second in the average with a time of 15.6 seconds, while Josh Peek, of Pueblo, Colorado, was third with a time of 16.4 seconds, and Trevor Knowles, of Mount Vernon, was fourth with a time of 17.6 seconds.
Mike McGinn, of Haines, won the first go round with an arena record time of 5.1 seconds, while Taylor Gregg, of Walla Walla, Washington, won the second go round with a time of 5.5 seconds.
Lane Ivy, of Adrian, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II, of Columbus, Kansas, won the average in team roping with a new format record time of 14.8 seconds on two head.
Ivy and Hawkins failed to place in the first go round but were third in the second go with a time of 5.4 seconds and won the average due to their consistency. Clay Ullery, of Two Hills, Alberta, and Riley Wilson, of Cardston, Alberta, were second in the average with a time of 14.9 seconds, while Bryce Palmer, of Milton-Freewater, and Bo Patzke, of Klamath Falls, were third with a time of 15.3 seconds.
A number of Crook County cowboys competed in team roping. However, Prineville's Charly Crawford was the lone one to place as he and partner Joseph Harrison, of Overbrook, Oklahoma, finished fourth in the average with a time of 15.5 seconds. The duo were also tied for fourth in the second go round with a time of 6.9 seconds.
Luke Brown, of Stephenville, Texas, and Jake Long, of Coffeyville, Kansas, won the first go round with a time of 5.5 seconds, while Manny Egusquiza Jr., of Marianna, Florida, and Daniel Braman IV, of Victoria, Texas, won the second go round with an arena record time of 5.4 seconds.
Competing on Saturday night, the Wright family, of Utah, dominated the saddle bronc riding.
Ryder Wright, of Milford, won the event with a score of 79.5 points. Rusty Wright, also of Milford, took second with a score of 78.5, while Spencer Wright was third with a score of 76.
Sunday performers stole the show in bareback riding as Clayton Biglow, of Clements, California, won the event with a score of 81. Also competing on Sunday, Wyatt Denny, of Monden, Nevada, was second with a score of 77.5. Kyle Bounds, of Harrisburg, was third with a score of 77, while Kash Wilson, of Gooding, Idaho, was fourth with a score of 75.5.
Ryan Mackenzie, of Jordan Valley, was fourth with a score of 75.5.
Although Brazile won the first go round of tie-down roping, it was his brother-in-law, Tuf Cooper, of Weatherford, Texas, who took the average.
Cooper finished fourth in the first go round with a time of 9.4 seconds, then came back in the second go round to tie for third with a time of 8.78 seconds, giving him a time of 18.1 seconds on two head.
Jordan Ketscher, from Squaw Valley, California, was second with a total time of 18.2 seconds, while Jason Minor, of Ellensburg, Washington, was third in 18.3 seconds, and Blair Burk, of Durant, Oklahoma, finished fourth with a time of 18.9 seconds.
Minor also won the second go round with a time of 8.5 seconds.
The steer roping average was won by Tom Sorey, of Pendleton, with a time of 12.4 seconds, while Chet Herren, of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, was second with a time of 26.3. Brazile was third, while Rocky Patterson, of Pratt, Kansas, was fourth with a time of 33.0.
Herren won the first go round with a time of 12.6 seconds, while Sorey won the second go round with a time of 12.4 seconds.
The bull riding was won by Jordan Spears, of Redding, California, and Roscoe Jarboe, of New Plymouth, Idaho, with identical scores of 76. Wyatt Covington, of Omak, Washington, was third with a score of 75, while Caleb McMillan, of Soap Lake, Washington, was fourth with a score of 73.
Finally, with the new entry, barrel racing saw some incredibly fast times as Mary Walker, of Ennis, Texas, won with a time of 17.17 while Amberleigh Moore, of Keizer, was second with a time of 17.19. Jessie Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho, was third in 17.21, while Samantha Boone, of Cheney, Washington, finished fourth in 17.28.
In addition to the normal rodeo events, this year's Roundup included wild cow milking and ranch bronc riding.
Austin and Cully Stafford, of Prineville, won Friday's wild cow milking, while Mark Gage and Sean Santucci, also of Prineville, won on Saturday.
Barry O'Leary won the ranch bronc riding with scores of 73 and 75 for a total of 148 on two head.
Snider noted that the rodeo would not have run so smoothly without the scores of volunteers who help to put in on each year.
"You know, there is just no way this could happen without them," he said. "Man, what they do is above and beyond what anyone could ask. Just thanks for all the help and the community coming to support us."