Buchanan wins rodeo title
Chase Buchanan, of Powell Butte, won the saddle bronc riding championships on June 9, and will be heading to Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 15-21, while Hope Luttrell, of Prineville and Coy Aldrich, of Culver, and Joe Scott, of Warm Springs, will also be joining Buchanan for the national finals.
The Oregon High School Rodeo Association State Finals was held at the Crook County Fairgrounds, where local athletes made the most of their time.
Buchanan, who lives in Powell Butte, but attends Culver High School, won both the second and third go-rounds of saddle bronc riding in the state finals as he ran away with the championship, winning by a 46-point margin.
Buchanan failed to make a ride on June 7, but more than made up for it June 8 and 9, posting scores of 64 and 68, respectively.
Buchanan and roping partner Samantha Kerns also placed in both the first and second go-round of team roping, but failed to finish in the top 10 in the event
Luttrell and Crook County's Pacer Quireto finished seventh in the final standings of team roping.
The duo of Luttrell and Quire was fourth in the first go-round with a time of 10.70 seconds, and then came back in the second go-round to place eighth with a time of 16.56.
The duo then failed to get a time in the short go-round, finishing seventh in the final standings.
"Today, we tried to make a faster run," Quire said. "We were down a little ways in the points, and we were trying to send it and make up some points, and I ended up getting out a little late and trying to reach and then missed my dally. So, I didn't do too good today, but our first two runs were pretty good."
Luttrell was the final Crook County athlete to qualify for nationals.
Like Buchanan, Luttrell lives in Crook County, but attended Culver High School.
Luttrell headed into the finals in fifth place in barrel racing, but used her consistency to move up to fourth place, earning a fourth straight trip to nationals.
Using consistent runs, Luttrell placed seventh in the event on June 7 with a time of 18.318, fourth on June 8 with a time of 18.072, and fourth again on June 9 with a time of 18.106.
Still, despite placing in all three go-rounds, Luttrell had several anxious moments following June 9's short go-round while she waited to see if she had done enough to make it.
"It's pretty stressful," she said before finding out for sure that she had qualified. "It's close, I'm thinking I made it, but I'm not sure. It would kind of suck that I wouldn't make it my senior year, but it would be OK. I would just go to Silver State and have fun with my friends."
The Silver State International Rodeo is held in Nevada later this summer, and those placing in the fifth through 15th positions at the state finals are eligible to attend the event.
Moments later, a relieved Luttrell found out for sure that she had qualified for nationals.
"I'm really excited," she said. "I want to thank my mom for all her help."
Luttrell also had a chance to qualify for nationals in breakaway roping, but things just didn't go her way.
June 7, she roped her steer in under four seconds, but the rope failed to fall all the way over the steer's nose, so even though her rope broke away from her saddle horn, the run did not count.
June 9 run was better, but she still didn't place, putting the pressure on in the short go-round. And Luttrell appeared to deliver, throwing her rope just after leaving the chute. However, once again, the rope failed to initially fall over the steer's nose, finally settling in far down the arena, as she placed seventh with a time of 6.06 seconds.
With just one scoring run, Luttrell, who entered the finals in fourth place, dropped all the way to eighth in the final standings.
Luttrell found out just before the finals that her breakaway horse wasn't healthy, and she had already lost one horse this winter. Still, she wasn't making any excuses.
"Just nothing fell together," she said. "A big thank you to all the people that helped me. Doing four events in the finals with just one saddle and horse issues was tough. It just wasn't my time."
Joe Scott, of Warm Springs, also punched his ticket to nationals. After winning the state title in saddle bronc riding a year ago, Scott struggled in this year's finals, failing to make a qualified ride. Both June 7 and 8, Scott stayed on his bronc for the required eight seconds, but both times he failed to legally mark out his bronc, so he received no score.
Still, Scott was high enough up in the standings to tie for third in the final standings of the event, punching his ticket to nationals.
Coy Aldrich, of Culver, and Caleb Carpenter, of Ridgeview, placed in all three go-rounds of team roping, finishing tied for second in the final standings. The duo improved each go-round, placing ninth on June 7 in 15.72, fifth June 8with a time of 10.99, and second on June 9 in 7.17 seconds, as they punched their ticket to the national finals.
Aldrich also qualified for nationals in reined cow horse and boys cutting.
The National Finals Rodeo will be held in Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 15-21. The Silver State International Rodeo is June 30 through July 7, in Winnemucca, Nevada.