Top bull riders to compete tonight | NevadaAppeal.com

Top bull riders to compete tonight

RENO – Forty of the top bull riders in the world converge on the Reno Livestock Event Center tonight at 7 for the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Hard to Ride Tour, which has been on hiatus for the past two months.

The event is a prelude to the 88th annual Reno Rodeo, which runs from June 15-23. A total of 790 cowboys will shoot for $557,000 in prize money for the nine-day event, which officially kicks off Friday at 7 p.m.

This is the eighth stop on the Xtreme Tour, which was started by the PRCA back in 2003 to publicize one of, if not the most popular, event at a rodeo. A purse of $40,000 is at stake.

Chance Smart, who finished third in Laughlin back in April, leads money winners with $40,269. He’s followed by Kanin Assay ($28,197), B.J. Schumacher ($24,290), Cody Hancock ($23,801, Luke Haught ($22,004), Danny McDowell ($19,975), Bobby Welsh ($19,266), Fred Boettcher ($17,099), Jarrod Craig ($14,144) and Logan Knibble ($13,983).

Oakes placed first in Laughlin, scoring 258.5 on three rides and Craig was second with 184.5 on two rides. Welsh was fourth with 172 on two rides and Craig was fifth at 171.5 on two attempts. Craig scored a 93 on Smokeless Chili and Smart posted a 91-point ride.

Hancock is the tour’s only two-time winner, having won titles in South Dakota and Florida. Schumacher, the defending world champ, and Dustin Eliott, the 2004 world champion, also are in the field.

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Many of the bull riders also will ride bulls during the regular portion of the rodeo.

J.W. Harris currently ranks No. 1 on the Pro Wrangler Tour with $28,867. He’s followed by Richard Echols ($27,681), Brad Pierce ($23,702), Dave Samsel ($21,805), Cody Buller ($21,001), Tag Elliott ($18,422), Cooper Kanngiesser ($17,002), Tate Stratton ($15,736), Haught ($12,995) and Las Vegas’ Colin McTaggart ($11,776).

DEFENDING CHAMPS

B.J. Campbell was the all-around champion a year ago, as were Will Lowe (bareback), Lee Graves (steer wrestling), Wade Wheatley, Kyle Lockett, Tanner Bryson and Byron Wilkerson (team roping), Chad Ferley (saddle bronc), Houston Hutto (tie-down), Terri Kaye Kirkland (barrel racing) and Casey Blaize (bull riding).

Winners of events in Reno receive a set of silver spurs.

Since 1998, nine cowboys and one cowgirl have walked ouit of Reno with spurs and later that year won a world title. That group includes Lowe (bareback, 2006), Ferley (saddle bronc, 2006), Trevor Brazile (all-around 2002-03, tie-down roping 2004), Dan Mortensen (saddle bronc, 2003), Cody Ohl (all-around, 2001), Jeff Collins (bareback, 2000), Speed Williams/Rich Skelton (team roping, 2000), Ty Murray (all-around, 1998) and Kristie Peterson (barrel racing, 1998).

LOCAL COWBOYS

Thirty-four Nevada cowboys will participate in this year’s event, including steer wrestler Jim Usher of Gardnerville, Steve Smith Jr. and Garrett Smith of Washoe Valley, tie-down ropers, Gardnerville’s Casey Glazier, a tie-down roper, and Topaz’s Matthew Huffman, a tie-down roper.

Fallon has five participants – heeler Jade Corkill, tie-down ropers Chad and David Edgmon, steer wrestler and calf roper Sterling Lambert and Marvel Murphy-Sylvester, a barrel racer.

NEW FACES

Rodeo fans will see three new faces at this year’s event.

Ash “Crash” Cooper is the new clown/barrel man. Tim O’Connor teams with Rowdy Barry as the event’s bull fighters and Thomas Garcilazo is this year’s specialty act.

• Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281

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