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Cowboy Christmas in Willamette Valley ends with big pay day for many cowboys, cowgirls

GARY ALLEN - A cowboy prepares in the chutes at St. Paul for his arena appearance.The third time's a charm for Tim O'Connell.

For the third consecutive year, Tim O'Connell won the bareback riding at the St. Paul Rodeo.

The Iowa native who lives in Missouri scored 85.5 points on the Bridwell Pro Rodeos horse Ted to win the buckle, and his horse had a tie to his Iowa home.

O'Connell's dad Ray and brother Will raise bucking horses, and they raised Ted, selling him as a 2-year-old, calling him Theodore at the time.

O'Connell had seen the horse, now a 6-year-old, buck at the Logandale, Nevada rodeo in April, and when he found out he'd drawn the horse, he was pleased.

"When I got the draw, I was, oh, my gosh, I get to get on one of my dad's horses. It's crazy how it came full circle."

O'Connell, who is a two-time and reigning world champion bareback rider, was happy to get the win in St. Paul. He's sitting second in the PRCA world standings behind Caleb Bennett, and it's not a place he's pleased with. "I don't like being in the second place spot in the world. I don't like any spot besides the No. 1 spot." GARY ALLEN - A bareback rider tries not to be thrown from the horse's back. This year's overall winner is now a threepeat bareback champion: Tim O'Connell, of Zwingle, Iowa, who scored 85.5 points.

He and his wife Sami had a son earlier this year, and he's adjusting to family life, while riding the best he feels he ever has. "I'm learning how to be a dad, and I'm doing my job now for my wife, myself and our son. I need to stay focused out here." O'Connell won rodeos in Cody, Wyo., Greeley, Colo., among placing at others over Cowboy Christmas.

Prior to the Fourth of July holiday, there was about $9,000 difference between Bennett, whose year's earnings are about $101,000, and O'Connell's, who are $92,000. But it's not a competition between them, O'Connell said. "We're friends. We're all good friends out here. None of us don't like each other. We're all out here to make a loving and do what we love to do."

The reigning world champion steer wrestler took the gold buckle for his event in St. Paul.

Tyler Pearson, of Atoka, Okla., was 4.0 seconds on his first steer and 4.1 on his second to win the average with a combined time of 8.1 seconds.

Winning the world title at last year's Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has helped the 33-year-old to relax. "It takes the pressure off me, because (being a world champion) is your ultimate goal, and when you've done that, you can just go relax and steer wrestle."

Pearson is ranked second in the world standings.

Other 2018 St. Paul Rodeo champions include tie-down roper Cooper Martin, Alma Kan. (18.0 seconds on two head); team roping co-champions Garett Rogers, Baker City, Ore. and Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne; and Kolton Schmidt, BarrHead, Alb., and Cole Davison, Roosevelt, Utah (10.0 seconds on two head for both teams); saddle bronc rider Chase Brooks, Belgrade, Utah; barrel racer Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla. (17.26 seconds) and bull rider Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah (91 points).

Final results

All-Around champion: Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas (team roping and steer wrestling)

Bareback Riding

2018 Champion: Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 85.5 on Bridwell Pro Rodeo's Ted; 2. Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. 85; 3. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 84; 4. (tie) Shane O'Connell, Rapid City, S.D., Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, and Steven Peebles, Redmond, 83.5 each; 7. Jamie Howlett, Snyder, Texas 83; 8. Lane McGehee, Victoria, Texas 81.5.

Steer Wrestling

2018 Champion: Tyler Pearson, Atoka, Okla., 8.1 seconds on 2 head; 2. J.D. Struxness, Alva, Okla. 8.4; 3. Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alb. 8.5; 4. Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas 8.9; 5. Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev. 9.0; 6. (tie) Dirk Tavenner, Rigby, Idaho and Zack Jongbloed, Iowa, La. 9.1 each; 8. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont. 9.2. GARY ALLEN - A bullrider attempts to hang on during the St. Paul Rodeo. The bullriding winner from the rodeo was Stetson Wright, of Milford, Utah, racking up 91 points.

Bull riding

2018 Champion: Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah, 91 points on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.'s Mortimer; 2. Elliott Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas 90; 3. Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho 89.5; 4. (tie) Laramie Mosley, Satanta, Kan., Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, Silvano Alves, Decatur, Texas and Sage Kimzey, Salado, Texas 86.5 each; 8. (tie) Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas and Brady Portenier, Caldwell, Idaho 86.

Tie Down Roping

2018 Champion: Cooper Martin, Alma, Kansas, 18.0 seconds on 2 head; 2. Kody Mahaffey, Sweetwater, Texas 19.1; 3. (tie) Ty Harris, San Angelo, Texas and Randall Carlisle, Athens, La. 19.3 each; 5. Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas 20.2; 6. Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla. 20.3; 7. Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas 20.9; 8. Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D. 21.6.

Saddle bronc riding

2018 Champion: Chase Brooks, Belgrade, Montana, 87.5 points on Corey and Lange Rodeo's Diamond Fever; 2. (tie) Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah and Tyrel Larsen, Carnegie, Okla. 85.5 each; 4. (tie) Shade Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. and Tyrell Smith, Sand Coulee, Mont. 83; 6. Jacobs Crawley, Bourne, Texas 82; 7. (tie) Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La. and Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas 81.5 each.

Team Roping

2018 Co-champions (tie): Garett Rogers, Baker City/Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne and Kolton Schmidt, BarrHead, Alb./Cole Davison, Roosevelt, Utah, 10.0 on 2 head for each team; 3. Cody Snow, Stephenville, Texas/Wesley Thorp, Stephenville, Texas 10.2; 4. Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash./Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash. 10.6; 5. Aaron Macy, Post, Texas/Wyatt Cox, Arroyo Grande, Texas 11.0; 6. Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss./Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla. 11.4; 7. (tie) Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alb./Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alb. and Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas/John Robertson, Polson, Mont. 11.5 each.

Barrel racing

2018 Champion: Tracy Nowlin, Nowata, Okla., 17.26 seconds; 2. Tammy Fischer, Ledbetter, Texas 17.29; 3. Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, Calif. 17.35; 4. Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas 17.46; 5. Jana Bean, Ft Hancock, Texas 17.61; 6. Morgan Breaux, Tomball, Texas 17.64; 7. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, 17.65; 8. Tanya Jones, Culver, 17.68; 9. (tie) Amanda Lewis Waller, Elgin, and Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo. 17.75 each; 11. Darby Fox, King Hill, Idaho 17.76; 12. Megan McLeod-Sprague, Marsing, Idaho 17.77; 13. Teri Bangart, Olympia, Wash. 17.78; 14. (tie) Kym LaRoche, Arlington, Wash. and Cranna Roberts, Lacombe, Alb 17.81 each.

** All results are unofficial. For more information, visit

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