Carson City cowboy misses the short go
June 28, 2003
Carson City’s team roper Tye Fitzpatrick went into Friday’s competition of the Reno Rodeo with high hopes.
But his hopes fell short — by about one second.
“I’m very disappointed,” he said, after learning that he and his partner, Justin Martins, missed a spot in the top 12, leaving them out of Sunday’s final competition.
“I was a little too cautious,” he said. “I should have been more aggressive. We roped the steer, we just weren’t fast enough.”
It was Fitzpatrick’s fourth year competing in Reno and he plans to return next year.
For now, he’s preparing for his next series of rodeos coming up over the Fourth of July.
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Fitzpatrick and Martins caught their steer in 7.8 seconds, after roping a 7.2 in the first round.
Other Nevada cowboys fared worse in team roping.
Ira Walker of Owyhee and his partner, Mike Pendergrass, of Homedale, Idaho, roped in 8.6 seconds while Tobey Borkman of Spring Creek and his partner Mark Fields of Reno received a penalty for roping only one hind leg, dropping their time to 19 seconds.
The top four team-roping duos are tied at 5.5 seconds.
The bull-riding competition had its first injury of the rodeo when Jerry Shepard of Utah was hit in the head by a bull’s horn.
Shepard was able to walk out of the arena despite a cut behind his ear.
Luke Meeks of South Dakota was the only cowboy to ride his bull but he was offered a reride. He took it and was bucked off.
The top score in bronc riding went to Trey Fisher of Madisonville, Texas.
A tense moment came when the cinch on Cody DeMers’ bronc broke just as the eight-second buzzer sounded.
“I made the jump but I could feel something just broke,” recalled DeMers, of Boulder, Mont. “When I hit the ground, the first thing that went through my head was, ‘what just happened?'”
He received 75 points and a bottle of whiskey for his efforts.
“He was a nice horse and I dang sure could have ridden him better,” DeMers said. “But all things said and done, I’m sure glad things turned out the way they did. If it would’ve come apart on me when he was really bucking, I don’t know what would’ve happened.”
World champion saddle bronc rider Dan Mortensen swept the competition with a score of 83.
Nevadans Maynard Victor and Sid Kochamp of Wadsworth competed in the double mugging but were unable to restrain the steer within the 1.5-minute window.
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