Chaffin a High Plains drifter in bulls
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Mike Chaffin Jr. had seen High Plains a bunch of times, and he was just waiting for his chance to ride him.
Chaffin turned in an impressive 86-point ride on one of stock contractor Cotton Rosser’s bulls to take the lead at the 87th annual Reno Rodeo at the Reno Livestock Event Center Saturday night.
Chaffin’s 86 is four points ahead of Thomas Bert, who also competed on Saturday, and Steve Woolsey, who rode on Friday. Wesley Silcox is currently fourth at 81 and Judd Mortensen is fifth at 80.
“I had no idea what he really was going to do,” Chaffin said. “Humans have good days and bad days, and it’s the same for bulls.
“He turned to the right which surprised me a little because when he turns, he usually goes left.”
Bert’s 82-point ride came on Bad Moon Rising. Bobby Waller was the only other rider to complete his ride on Saturday. He scored 76 aboard Rosser’s Get Er Done.
Currently, the bareback riding is turning into a battle between four traveling partners – Will Lowe (166), Tom McFarland (166), Wes Stevenson (164) and Royce Ford (159).
Lowe’s second-ride 80 came on a re-ride. Ford also received a re-ride and tallied a 74.
They occupy the top four spots, and there is still plenty of quality competition that has yet to compete.
Stevenson’s 84-point ride was the best of the night.
“I liked it,” Stevenson said. “I haven’t ridden him (Honor the Bar) because he has mostly been used for saddle bronc. They might have to leave him here (bareback). It was a good horse to ride.”
Barring a minor miracle, the quartet of riders say their scores should be enough to make Saturday’s final 12.
Battle Mountain’s Matt Marvel maintained his lead after two rounds in the saddle bronc competition, scoring a 78 aboard Blueberry. He has a two-day total of 161, eight points ahead of Kalon Downing’s 153.
“I was happy with it,” Marvel said. “It felt good. I’m still leading it, so you can’t be unhappy.”
The horse seemed to be locked in place when the chute opened, but soon took Marvel on a nice ride. Marvel’s dismount after his ride was a little awkward, and the horse stepped on his right forearm, but the injury didn’t require any medical treatment.
Downing has had rides of 77 and 76. Scott Miller is currently third with a two-ride score of 148 and Bold Butler is fourth with a 142. Marvel is a lock for Saturday, and Downing has a good shot to advance.
Defending barrel racing champion Linda Vick, ranked 14th in the world, posted the best time of the night with a 17.18. She has a two-ride total of 34.94. She still trails Lindsay Sears, who is at 34.24 after two rides. Dude Overton is third at 35.08.
Brittany Bennett is fourth at 35.10, followed by Renee Morgan 35.20 and Jackie Jackson at 35.59.
Locally, Fernley’s Tracie Sibson was timed in 17.40, for her arena run but her 22.70 in slack has her well back in the pack. Sparks’ Renee Rychevosch had a nice ride going, but knocked over a barrel. She posted rides of 22.41 and 22.48, knocking one barrel over each time.
Ryan Jarrett, who qualified for the 2005 National Finals Rodeo in two different events, took the lead in tie-down roping with an impressive 8.8. Blake Huckabee, who competed on Friday, posted a 9.6. Brian West is third at 10.7 and Brad Goodrich is fourth in 12.3 with Fallon’s Neil Howard fifth at 12.9.
It was a tough night for team ropers.
The duo of Spencer Mitchell and Craig Fehlman clocked an 11.8 and the duo of Josi Young and Dan Whitworth were timed in 13.1. Those two teams are well back of Friday night’s scores – 5.9 by Chad Masters and Cole Bigbee, 6.7 by Michael Snooks and Ellis Yates, 7.0 by Wade Kreutzer and Mark Kersting and a 7.0 turned in by Kevin Daniel and Nick Simmons.
Gabe Ledoux recorded an impressive 4.6 in steer wrestling on Saturday, giving him more than a second lead over Jake Rinehart (5.7), who competed on Friday. Wade Sumpter had the next-best mark last night with a 6.1 and Ken Lewis had a 6.9.