It wasn't how Marty Yates wanted it to go, but the seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier made the St. Paul Rodeo work for him.
The tie-down roper from Stephenville, Texas didn't have a qualified time in his first round of competition during slack at the St. Paul Rodeo on July 1, but on his second round roped his calf in a time of 7.4 seconds to take the lead.
It's a positive turn of events that will benefit him, he said.
"It's been going a little rough here at the start of the Fourth" of July, he said, of the busiest time of the rodeo season, often called Cowboy Christmas.
After having not placed at rodeos in Greeley, Colorado, Prescott, Arizona and Oakley City, Utah, so far, a lead in St. Paul will help.
"I'm just happy to make a good run and get some money."
The 27-year-old cowboy was on a borrowed horse, having competed in Oakley City, Utah on June 30, then catching a 6 a.m. flight to Portland on July 1. The horse is owned by tie-down ropers John Douch and Joe Beaver, and it was the first time Yates had ridden it, although he'd seen the horse compete multiple times.
See more photos of the 2021 St. Paul Rodeo on the Woodburn Independent Facebook page.
"I've watched him a lot," he said. "We fly a lot and get on lots of different horses, so you become accustomed to it. It's not a big deal, especially when you've watched a horse a lot and you know what he does."
After Yates competed in St. Paul on Thursday, he heads to rodeos in Cody, Wyoming and Red Lodge, Montana, on July 2, then Mandan and Killdeer, North Dakota from there.
Yates won the tie-down roping at the St. Paul Rodeo in 2014.
"I've always done good at St. Paul," he said. "It would sure be nice to get some money out of there."
South Dakota saddle bronc rider Shorty Garrett jumped to the lead in his event on the second night of the rodeo.
The Eagle Butte, South Dakota man who made his first trip to the Wrangler NFR last year rode the Corey and Lange horse Pine Ridge for 83 points.
The mare is nearly as old as its rider; she's twenty-plus, said stock contractor Mike Corey, while Garrett is 28 years old.
And she hasn't been to a rodeo since 2019, so she was ready, Garrett said.
"She was really fresh."
Garrett is ranked thirteenth in the world standings.
Bull rider JB Mauney, well-known for bull riding in the PBR, scored 83.5 points for third place so far. The Cotulla, Texas cowboy has earned $7 million through his PBR career but is making his first foray into PRCA competition this year and is sixth in the world standings.
Other high scores and fast times from slack and the second performance of the St. Paul Rodeo are bareback rider Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev. (83); and barrel racer Tanya Jones, Arlington, Ariz. (17.78 seconds).
In the tie-down roping, John Douch, Huntsville, Texas, leads the first round (8.1) with Yates, Stephenville, Texas winning the second round (7.5). Team ropers Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah and Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alb. lead the first round (5.5) and Cory Kidd V, Statesville, N.C. and Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas lead the second round (4.2). Steer wrestler Mike McGinn, Haines, Ore., is at the top for the first round (4.4); Dalton Massey, Hermiston, Ore., leads the second round (5.5).
The third performance of the St. Paul Rodeo takes place July 2 at 7:30 pm and is followed with a fireworks display. The rodeo continues July 3-4 with evening performances at 7:30 pm and a 1:30 matinee on July 4.
Tickets are available online at www.StPaulRodeo.com and at the gate. For more information, visit the website.
Results from the slack and evening performance, St. Paul Rodeo, July 1, 2021
1. Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nevada. 83 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeo's Hay Wagon; 2. Seth Hardwick, Ranchester, Wyoming. 81.5; 3. Kody Lamb, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. 75.5; 4. Anthony Thomas, Houston, Texas 69.
1st round leaders:
1. Mike McGinn, Haines, Oregon. 4.4 seconds; 2. Justin Kimsey, Kennewick, Washington.; 3. Tristan Martin, Sulphur, Louisiana. 5.1; Dalton Massey, Hermiston, Oregon. 5.5.
2nd round leaders:
1. Dalton Massey, Hermiston, Oregon. 3.8 seconds; 2. Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii 4.0 3. Blake Knowles, Heppner, Oregon. 4.5; 4. (tie) Bear Pasco, Morro Bay, California, Jason Thomas, Benton, Arkansas. and Ryan Bothum, Hermiston, Oregon. 5.3 each.
1. JB Mauney, Cotulla, Texas 83.5 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeo's Catfish Clinger; 2. Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas 78; no other qualified rides.
1st round leaders:
1. John Douch, Huntsville, Texas 8.1; 2. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, Louisiana. 8.7; 3. Jordan Tye, Canby, Oregon. 8.8; 4. Jeff Coelho, Echo, Oregon. 9.1.
2nd round leaders:
1. Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas 7.5; 2. John Douch, Huntsville, Texas 8.8; 3. Logan Bird, Nanton, Alberta, Canada. 9.0; 4. Jason Minor, Ellensburg, Washington. 9.2.
Saddle bronc riding
1. Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, South Dakota. 83 points on Corey and Lange's Pine Ridge; 2. Toby Collins, Stephenville, Texas 81; 3. Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas 77; Kobyn Williams, 69.5.
1st round leaders
1. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta, Canada. 5.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Tate Kirchenschlager, Yuma, Colorado./Cole Davison, Stephenville, Texas and Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Oklahoma/Taylor Duby, Nampa, Idaho 5.9 each; 4. Jared Parke, Gooding, Idaho/Javlen Eldridge, Nampa, Idaho 9.4.
2nd round leaders
1. Cory Kidd V, Statesville, North Carolina/Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas 4.2 seconds; 2. Jared Parke, Gooding, Idaho/Jaylen Eldridge, Nampa, Idaho 5.2; 3. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta, Canada 5.5; Cody Barney, Klamath Falls, Oregon/Dan Holland, Brooke, California 6.2.
1. Stephanie Fryar, Waco, Texas 17.37 seconds; 2. Shelley Holman, Brentwood, California. 17.57; 3. Tanya Jones, Arlington, Arizona. 17.78; 4. Sidney Forrest, Lipan, Texas 17.82.
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