Horse just good enough for Miller |

Horse just good enough for Miller

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – Oregon Trail wasn’t as active as Bryce Miller had hoped, but things worked out nonetheless.

Miller coaxed an 80 out of the horse Friday night at the 87th annual Reno Rodeo at the Reno Livestock Event Center, and it was enough for Miller to enter tonight’s saddle bronc finals as the No. 2 qualifier with a two-ride total of 164.

Chad Ferley leads the saddle bronc riders with a 166. There’s a three-way tie for third with Matt Marvel, Shaun Stroh and Steve Dollarhide, all of whom are at 161. Defending champion Cody DeMoss is sixth at 160 after a disappointing 77 on the second round.

“She (Oregon Trail) was good,” Miller said. “She wasn’t quite as good as the other day. She wasn’t quite as active. She had a little bit of a stutter step out there in the middle (of the ring).”

Stroh boosted himself into the top three with a tremendous 83-point ride aboard Mount Holly.

“Coming into today, I didn’t know what the lower part (of the standings) looked like,” Stroh said. “I knew what the top part looked like.

“I’d seen him a couple of times, but I didn’t know him well. I’d heard that he was a good horse. Josh (Reynolds) had him in an earlier round. I visited with him (Reynolds) a little bit today. He told me he jumped and bucked. He was just what you hope for – a little horse with a big heart.”

DeMoss, who was the defending champion and the all-around champ in 2005, had a non-responsive horse on his second ride, and received a re-ride option. DeMoss took the re-ride, and the horse wasn’t much better. He scored a 77, and opted not to gamble with a spot in the finals at stake.

“It wasn’t very good,” DeMoss said. “I had the horse once before and he did about the same thing.”

Carlin’s Ira Slagowski appeared to be a sure bet to reach the finals after an 82-point ride in the first round. However, the dream of reaching the finals went awry after he was bucked off Iron Toddy.

The bulls dominated in the early portion of last night’s round. Mike Moore, the sixth rider, scored an 86 aboard Rain Water. Moments later, Casey Baize scored an 88 aboard Typhoon to move into a three-way tie for first place with Kyle Joslin and Trent Cormier. Moore moved into fifth place.

“I didn’t know anything at all about him (Typhoon),” Baize said. “Nobody knew that I knew anything. It probably worked out for the best.

“I felt pretty good and confident coming in. I haven’t been rodeoing hard this year. I felt good before I got on. I was glad when the whistle sounded. I couldn’t have ridden him much longer.”

Moore competed in the Xtreme Bulls events last Thursday. He competed in a rodeo earlier in the week in Iowa.

Moore said it’s been quite a few years since he made a short round in Reno.

“I haven’t had much luck in Reno,” Moore said. “Maybe this year is going to be the year.

“When I left last week, I was not sure if I was going to come back. Julio Moreno owned the bull and told me that he bucks hard and that I would win some money on him.”

In bareback, most of the top 10 remain unchanged. The only new entrant is Chad Klein, who posted an 81-point second ride on a colt, and is in a three-way tie for ninth at 159.

Will Lowe and Tom McFarland enter tonight’s finals tied for first at 166. Wes Stevenson is third at 164, Kyle Bowers is fourth at 163. Larry Sandvick is fifth at 162 and Pace Chute-out winner Andy Martinez is sixth at 161. Bo Casper and Zach Dishman are at 160.

“He bucked the same all the time,” Klein said. “Colts are phenomenal one time and off the next because they are so young. It’s exciting for that reason. You can win a round on that colt.

“You have to stick to fundamentals, and that usually carries you through. Coming back ninth isn’t really good.”

It does beat the alternative, however.

The barrel racers were adversely affected by the rain which pelted the Reno area for about 20 or 25 minutes.

Mary Burger, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, turned in the best time of the night (17.35) and moved into third place overall, two spots behind Terri Kaye Kirkland, who is at 34.14. Lindsay Sears is second overall at 34.24.

Brittany Pozzi, who was second in the world last year, was timed in 17.59, but didn’t move on.

In team roping, Joe Beaver and Marty Becker clocked a 4.8, the top score of the night. Jay and Brandon Adams were next at 5.3. Wade Wheatley and Kyle Lockett led the qualifiers at 11.1 for two runs, and Turtle Powell and Mickey Gomez teamed for an 11.3. Fallon’s Jade Corkill and his partner Matt Tyler tied for sixth at 11.8, and will move on.

Curtis Cassidy and Spud Duvall tied for top qualifier in steer wrestling at 8.7. Gabe LeDoux was No. 3 qualifier at 9.0. LeDoux had a 4.4 Friday, the top mark of the night. Reno’s Tyler Fisher had an impressive 4.7, which enabled him to qualify for tonight’s finals.

In tie-down roping, Blake Huckabee was No. 1 qualifier at 18.3. Joseph Parsons, Houston Hutto and world champ Ryan Jarrett tied for second at 18.6.

The big news was that world champ Trevor Brazile failed to qualify. He was 13th at 21.7

Notes: More than $1 million was contributed to the Kids Kampus indoor recreational facility. Money for the project came from the Reno Rodeo Invitational Roping event, sale of the Reno Rodeo license plates … Bullfighter Joel Baumgartner and Reno Rosser, son of rodeo contractor Cotton Rosser, were the winners of the Reno Rodeo golf tourney. The pair teamed up to shoot a 14-under-par 58… Another big name that missed the cut was veteran Dan Mortensen in saddle bronc.