The 70th Annual Paulina Amateur Rodeo had an interesting mix of local cowboys and big name stars.
The rodeo also had a mix of joy and sadness. Sadness because they started each day with memorials for two recent deaths that have impacted the rodeo world. Joy, because the rodeo celebrated family and life.
The rodeo, which ran the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend, began with a tribute to local businessman Craig Woodward, who passed suddenly this spring and to up-and-coming rodeo star Drew Knowles, who died in an automobile crash earlier this year. Drew is the younger brother of NFR steer wrestling star Trevor Knowles, who has been to the national finals 13 times.
Riders led riderless horses into the arena in a somber display of remembrance.
The Woodward family then sponsored the womens all around buckle, while the Knowles family, one of the best known rodeo families in Oregon, came out in force to honor Drew's memory.
Although not eligible to enter most events in the rodeo, Trevor Knowles did enter the wild cow milking, teaming with fellow Mt. Vernon resident Trey Mascall to win the event.
A pair of athletes grabbed the headlines at this year's rodeo as Mason Stuller and Bobbi Aldrich each won two events.
Stuller was named the men's all-around champion after winning both the bareback and saddle broc riding events.
Stuller, the Veneta cowboy who competed on Saturday, posted a score of 77 in the bareback event, then came back to win the saddle bronc riding with a score of 69.
Payton Wright of Hermstion was the only other cowboy to have a qualified ride in the bareback event, finishing second to Stuller, while Jace England of Powell Butte was second in the saddle bronc riding.
Aldrich, of Culver, who also competed on Saturday, won the breakaway roping with a time of 2.3 seconds, then came back to win the barrel racing in 17.04 seconds.
Sammee Green of Madras finished second in the breakaway roping with a time of 2.4 seconds, while Kaylee Aldrich of Culver was third and Paulina's own Chelsea Thomas fourth.
Paulina's Lisa McLean was second to Aldrich in barrel racing with a time of 17.12, while Christy Kruse, Bend, finished in third, and Adria Keys, Paulina, fourth.
Saturday was a big day for the rodeo with most of the top times and scores coming from that performance.
Not only did both Stuller and Aldrich compete in Saturday, but so did the winning local team ropers, the winning sheep riders, and the top steer rider.
Harold Coffelt and Todd Williamson, both of Paulina, won the local team roping with a time of 13.4 seconds. Jim Lowry and Ron Keys, also both of Paulina, finished second, while Tim Thomas and Micah Wilson, Paulina were third. Taelor Hammack, Crane, and Lucas Teskey, Paulina, finished fourth.
Bransyn Harper of Paulina and Kingslee Green of Madras finished atop the sheep riding standings with identical scores of 68, while Paulina's Kale Winebarger was third, Kane Robinson of Bend fourth with Paulina's Ryder Moulton finishing fifth.
Powell Butte's Callen Whitaker was the lone successful steer rider, posting a score of 73.
Paulina's Tatyn Harper won the kids calf riding, while La Pine's Billy Ray Holotta was second, Bronson Bothum of Prineville third, and Emery Spino of Warm Springs fourth.
Eddie Colgan of Condon won the ranch bronc riding with a score of 72, while Tim Thomas, Paulina, was second with a score of 70 and Edward Hershberger, Madras, was third with 68 points.
Clint Lloyd of La Grande won the bull riding with the lone qualified ride of the weekend.
Bend's Indigo Sappington won the calf roping with a time of 12.1 seconds. McKennan Buckner of Powell Butte took second with a time of 13.6 seconds, while Prineville's Dayton Stafford was third in 14.1 seconds.
Paulina's Todd Teskey and Macee McLean won Sunday's wild sheep milking, with Kale Winebarger and Bransyn Harper finishing second.
Paulina's Lainee Winebarger took first in the nine and under barrel racing, with Tiersyn Kafka of Crane taking second and Pryor Romine of Prineville third.
The 10-14 barrels were won by Bailey McCracken of Redmond, with Gracie Helmick of Terrebonne finishing second and Ryann Mitchell of Powell Butte third.
The open 7 1/2 team roping, which was contested following Saturday's performance was won by Justin Solesbee and Garrett Gregory, while Justin Chappell and Dayton Stafford finished second and Jeremy Clark and Saxton Schaffner took third.
Attendance was down at last year's Paulina Rodeo, but it bounced back in a big way this year, with packed stands on both Saturday and Sunday as the event ran smoothly both days.
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