Great performances highlight two-day event

Many of the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world descended on the Deschutes County Fairgrounds last weekend for the Columbia River Circuit Finals.

Spectators were treated to three outstanding go-rounds, as competitors vied for event championships.

When the dust finally settled late Saturday evening, Culver’s Bobby Mote had overtaken Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., to win the circuit all-around championship. Mote, a former world-champion bareback rider, also won the year-end bareback championship. He finished second in the average at the finals to Terrebonne’s Austin Foss.

In the closest race of the year, Tom Sorey, of Pendleton, held on to win the steer roping championship, despite North Powder’s Howdy McGinn making a late charge.

Team ropers Brandon Beers of Powell Butte and Jim Ross Cooper of Monument, N.M., placed in all three go-rounds at the finals, clinching first place in the year-end standings, despite Jake Stanley and Justin Davis winning the average at the finals. Beers and Cooper are currently in third place in the national standings in the event.

Prineville’s Tami Semas placed in both the second and third go-round of barrel racing with times of 15.5 and 15.42, good for second and third place. However, despite the strong finals showing, Semas was unable to make a dent on the overwhelming lead that Pamela Capper of Cheney, Wash., had in the event. Capper earned more than three times the money of second-place Cindy Woods during the course of the year.

Prineville cowboys Sean Santucci and Christian Radabaugh also had solid performances in the finals, placing second and fourth, respectively, in the third go-round of steer wrestling. Mount Vernon’s Trevor Knowles won the average at the finals, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Jake Rinehart of Highmore, S.D. in the year-end standings.

Other average winners at the finals were Athena’s Ben Londo in saddle bronc riding, Seth Hopper of Stanfield in tie-down roping, and Cody Campbell of Summerville in bull riding.

Londo and Campbell were also year-end champions in their respective events, while Hopper finished second to Shane Erickson in tie-down roping.

Bull rider Cheyne Olney of Toppenish, Wash., and Jordan Crossley of Hermiston were named rookies of the year for the PRCA and WPRA respectively.

The top four athletes in the final standings of each event qualify for the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will be held in Oklahoma City, Okla., next spring.

Contract Publishing

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