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Rookie saddle bronc rider moves into the lead at the 85th St. Paul Rodeo going into Saturday's action.

COURTESY PHOTO: ST. PAUL RODEO - Rookie Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho, leads the saddle bronc riding with a score of 84.5 points after the third night of action at the St. Paul Rodeo. Photo by Hoot Creek.A rookie saddle bronc rider has taken the lead at the 85th St. Paul Rodeo.

Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho, scored 84.5 points on the Corey and Lange Rodeo horse Precious to top the scoreboard.

Before the twenty-year-old cowboy got to St. Paul, he sought out advice on the horse from Canada cowboy Zeke Thurston, a two-time world champion. "I talked to Zeke last week, and he she would be nice (to ride.) Zeke had ridden her twice, and had been quite a few points with her.

Bruno leads the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings in his event; he didn't do well over the winter, things have turned around. "I wasn't drawing very good but I wasn't riding very good either," he said. "Things picked up in March, and the ball got rolling again. I got back on my feet."

This is his first time to compete in St. Paul, with the unique arbor vitae in the arena, and Bruno noted that. "This rodeo has a lot of special vibes. I've always heard about the legendary trees, and it's cool. The crowd (cheering) will stand the hair on your neck right up."

While a rookie did well in St. Paul on July 2, a veteran also did well.

St. Paul saw the decorated six-time world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey compete during the third night of rodeo action on July 2.

Kimzey, who won the PRCA world title from 2014-2019, covered the Corey and Lange bull called Freaky Friday, for 83.5 points, to be sitting in third place so far.

The bull and the ride were everything the Salado, Texas cowboy wanted. "It was a pretty good ride, I'm not going to lie," he said. The bull "had a lot of action, a lot of speed, and did everything you would want one to do. He had a direction change, he really bucked, and he was pretty hard to track. I kept my chin tucked and stayed with him."

Last year, 2020, was the first year since 2014 that Kimzey didn't win a world title, finishing second to Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah.

Even though Covid-19 caused half of the PRCA rodeos to be canceled, and Kimzey sustained an ankle injury, he didn't blame his circumstances for not continuing his streak.COURTESY OF THE ST. PAUL RODEO - Six-time world champion Sage Kimzey makes an 83.5 point ride at the 2021 St. Paul Rodeo. He currently sits in third place. Photo by Hoot Creek.

"Most people lose titles because somebody takes it away from them," he said. "With Covid and my injury, I used it as a really good excuse to not be my best to defend my title. And I think that's the part that hurts the worst about it, the fact that I wasn't able to put my best foot forward."

Currently Kimzey is ranked first in the world standings, more than $32,000 ahead of the number two man, Stetson Wright, who will compete in St Paul on the evening of July 4. Kimzey prefers to not know how much he's leading by, but whatever it is, he's not satisfied with it. "It's not enough," he said.

Finishing as reserve world champion instead of champion last year was the best lesson Kimzey could have. "I learned more from last year than I ever have from winning."

Other high scores and fast times from slack and the third performance of the St. Paul Rodeo are bareback rider Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho (82.5) and Bailey Cline, Roseburg, Ore. (17.91).

In the timed events, first and second round leader are as follows: steer wrestlers Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas (first round, 4.5) and Joe Nelson, Watford City, N.D. and Winsten McGraw, Gill, Colo. (second round, 4.0 seconds each); tie-down ropers Michael Otero, Weatherford, Texas (first round, 8.1) and Brushton Minton, Witter Springs, Calif. (second round, 8.5); and team ropers Jake Stanley, Hermiston, Ore./Bucky Campbell, Connell, Wash. (first round, 5.9) and TC Hammack, Chiloquin, Ore./Cully Stafford, Prineville, Ore. (second round, 15.4).

The St. Paul Rodeo continues on July 3 with an evening performance at 7:30 pm and two performances on July 4: a 1:30 pm matinee and a 7:30 pm performance.

Tickets are available online at www.StPaulRodeo.com and at the gate. For more information, visit the website.

Results from the slack and third evening performance, St. Paul Rodeo, July 2, 2021

Bareback Riding

1. Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho 82.5 points; 2. Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. 82; 3. (tie) Kirk St. Clair, Blodgett, Ore. and Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 76 each.

Steer wrestling

1st round leaders:

1. Clayton Hass, Weatherford, Texas 4.5 seconds; 2. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 4.6; 3. Dillon Hushour, Clovis, Calif. 4.7; 4. Reed Kraeger, Elwood, Neb. 4.8

2nd round leaders:

1. (tie) Joe Nelson, Watford City, N.D. and Winsten McGraw, Gill, Colo. 4.0 seconds each; 3. (tie) Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. and Dillon Hushour, Clovis, Calif. 5.1 each.

Bull riding

1. Sage Kimzey, Salado, Texas 83.5 points on Corey and Lange Rodeo's Freaky Friday; 2. Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont. 80; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping

1st round leaders:

1. Michael Otero, Weatherford, Texas 8.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Reese Riemer, Stinnett, Texas and Seth Hopper, Stanfield, Ore. 9.4 each; 4. Wyatt Muggli, Lane, Okla. 10.1

2nd round leaders:

1. Brushton Minton, Witter Springs, Calif. 8.5 seconds; 2. Wyatt Muggli, Lane, Okla. 9.6; 3. Michael Otero, Weatherford, Texas 9.7; 4. Seth Hopper, Stanfield, Ore. 11.9.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho 84.5 points on the Corey and Lange Rodeo horse Precious; 2. Riggin Smith, Winterset, Iowa 81.5; 3. Jake Clark, Crane, Ore. 81; 4. Wyatt Casper, Miami, Texas 80.5.

Team roping

1st round leaders

1. Jake Stanley, Hermiston, Ore./Bucky Campbell, Connell, Wash. 5.9 seconds; 2. Jhett Hale, Tenino, Wash./Casey Hale, Tenino, Wash. 11.2; 3. Bryor Minton, Witter Springs, Calif./Brusthon Minton, Witter Springs, Calif. 11.5; 4. Austin Stafford, Prineville, Ore./Dayton Stafford, Prineville, Ore. 15.9.

2nd round leaders

1. TC Hammack, Chiloquin, Ore./Cully Stafford, Prineville, Ore. 15.4 seconds; no other qualified runs.

Barrel racing

1. Bailey Cline, Roseburg, Ore. 17.91 seconds; 2. Amy Coelho, Echo, Ore. 18.05; 3. Randi Holliday, Chouteau, Okla. 18.22; 4. Cayla Small, Wilson, Okla. 18.32.

** All results are unofficial. For more information, visit www.StPaulRodeo.com.


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