ProRodeo News Round-Up: Cowboy Christmas

Find out how AQHA members fared with the $3,568,182 up for grabs at 32 rodeos the week of Fourth of July.

From the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

Scroll down to view the larger version of this image. (Credit: PRCA)

Editor's Note: Names of AQHA members are bolded.

Many cowboys took in large hauls during the week of Cowboy Christmas, but none prospered more than Cody DeMoss and Tuf Cooper.

With $3,568,182 up for grabs at 32 Christmas rodeos, there was a lot of cash to be won.

DeMoss entered the June 29 through July 5 week already leading the saddle bronc riding in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $68,171. Thanks to a large amount of success in Canada, he earned $22,791 - the most of any PRCA competitor during Cowboy Christmas.

DeMoss won both the Ponoka Stampede and Airdrie ProRodeo in Alberta, which made up the bulk of his big week. The $17,720 he earned in Ponoka was punctuated with an 88.25-point ride on Outlaw Bucker's Lunatic Party to win the showdown round July 1.

He added another $3,772 in Airdrie, and picked up $1,299 at the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede. In total, his lead in the world standings grew to $19,512 over Taos Muncy, who earned $16,376 during the Fourth of July run.

Cooper wasn't far behind his roughstock counterpart, earning $22,640. However, he needed to hit more rodeos to be the top timed-event cowboy of Christmas in July.

The three-time world champion tie-down roper cashed big checks in several places, led by $5,847 at the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo, $5,405 at the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede and $4,939 at the World's Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz.

"It's great to have a big week any week during the year, but to do it during Cowboy Christmas, our biggest week of the year, is really great," Cooper said. "The most important thing is having a positive attitude, and I went to all the big rodeos and I drew well, and things worked out."

The only rodeo title Cooper captured was at the Molalla (Ore.) Buckeroo Rodeo, where he earned $2,559 for tying Hunter Herrin for the title after both men made runs of 7.6 seconds.

The defending world champion also made $2,360 in Ponoka and $1,530 at the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont. He moved from sixth to fourth in the July 6 world standings. It's the second-straight season that Cooper has been the top PRCA timed-event performer during Cowboy Christmas.

Other cowboys who had fruitful Christmas runs were team roper, tie-down roper and steer roper Trevor Brazile ($21,668), team ropers Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes ($20,010 each) and tie-down roper Caleb Smidt ($18,994). Evan Jayne was the best bareback rider with $18,285 and Tanner Milan was the top steer wrestler with $18,063. Shane Proctor was the only bull rider in the top 20 of PRCA earners with $15,952.

Jayne, a Marseille, France, native, vaulted to the top of the bareback riding world standings, and holds a $1,298 lead over four-time World Champion Bobby Mote. Jayne is seeking to become the first European-born bareback rider to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Trevor Brazile went over the $100,000 mark in season earnings for a record 18th consecutive year. It is the sixth time in the last eight years that he has surpassed $20,000 in Cowboy Christmas earnings. His total of $21,668 for the Fourth of July run this year isn't much off his average in those eight years (2008-15) of $24,231.

By earning $15,935 over Cowboy Christmas, 2004 World Champion Tie-down Roper Monty Lewis surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings and stands at $1,009,134. He is the 128th cowboy to reach that milestone. Next up? That would be 2009 World Champion Team Roping Header Nick Sartain ($991,555) and 2012 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Jesse Wright ($988,539).

The dominant brother combination over this Fourth of July week wasn't the Wrights, Tryans or Crawleys. Nope, that distinction belonged to Manitoba's Orin and Tyrel Larsen, who combined for $29,899, each finishing among the top 10 roughstock cowboys. That was more than $4,000 ahead of Jacobs and Sterling Crawley, and a bit over $8,000 over the five Wright brothers (plus Cody Wright's son, Rusty). Jake Wright earned $11,954 over Cowboy Christmas, which was more than Cody, Jesse, Spencer, Alex and Rusty combined.

As expected, the injury report for Cowboy Christmas was quite long. Four-time World Champion bareback rider Bobby Mote is questionable with a concussion and an injury to his spine/shoulder. WNFR bull rider Josh Koschel is out with a fractured right leg, which he suffered at the Greeley Stampede. Fellow WNFR bull rider Bobby Welsh has an impingement of his left hip and is listed as out, as are steer wrestlers Darrell Petry and Juan Alcazar - who both have sprained right knees. Bareback rider Teddy Athan is out with an injury to his ribs, while team roper Blaine Linaweaver lost the top half of his right index finger, and had it reattached by surgeons.

Jarrett Starts Cowboy Christmas Right in Ponoka
Ryan Jarrett watched Matt Shiozawa post a 7.7-second run, and the Comanche, Okla., tie-down roper knew he had to be lightning-quick to win the Ponoka Stampede title.

The 31-year-old Jarrett was just that, edging Shiozawa by .1 seconds to capture his first championship in Ponoka.

"I wanted to get against the barrier and be as fast as I could," Jarrett said of his 7.6-second run in the showdown round July 1. "I had a good calf, and everything went well."

Ponoka's unique format includes two long rounds, a final round, an average and then the top four competitors in each event clash for a big-time payday.

After a subpar first-round time of 10.8 seconds, Jarrett showed the form which has made him a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in tie-down roping (he was also the 2005 all-around world champion and went to the WNFR in steer wrestling that same year).

Jarrett was fourth in the second round, third in the finals and placed second in the three-head average with a time of 26.4 seconds. He earned $7,500 for the showdown-round win, bringing his event total to $13,384.

"I had never even made the short round in calf roping here before, and I had more success in steer wrestling here in the past," he said. "Ponoka is a rodeo everyone has on their bucket list and wants to win. They give you a real nice buckle and a great leather jacket for winning.

"It's always great to get a win like this, especially heading into the Fourth of July run. I look forward to Cowboy Christmas, and I love it. You get to as many rodeos as you can, whether it takes planes, trains or automobiles."

While Jarrett didn't win money at any other Cowboy Christmas rodeos, he still moved from 45th to 24th in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.

He finished 18th in the world standings last year, and wants to start a new streak of WNFR qualifications after seeing his five-year run end last season.

"I'd really like to be at the NFR this year, and a win like this will boost your confidence and boost you up in the standings," he said.

Other winners at the Ponoka Stampede Grounds were bareback rider Matt Lait (83.5 points on Vold Rodeo's True Grit), steer wrestler Coleman Kohorst (4.4 seconds), team ropers Kolton Schmidt and Dustin Searcy (6.0 seconds), saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss (88.25 points on Outlawbuckers Rodeo's Lunatic Party), barrel racer Taylor Jacob (17.379 seconds) and bull rider Dakota Buttar (88.25 points on Outlaw Buckers Rodeo's Uptight).

Landingham Captures Big Cody Stampede Win
The 2015 winter run for bareback rider R.C. Landingham was forgettable.

The Pendleton, Ore., cowboy suffered a severe rib injury at the Southwestern Stock Show Exposition in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 2 and was out of action until April 8.

Landingham, however, has made up for lost time with strong performances, like the one he delivered at the Cody Stampede (July 1-4).

Landingham had an 87-point ride on C5 Rodeo's Make Up Face to capture his first career title at the Cody Stampede.

"I've seen that horse a few times," said Landingham, 24. "I've seen guys be a lot of points on him, and I've seen a lot of guys get bucked off of him. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but he left there kind of hard and electric and had a lot of kick. He was kind of fast, but really good in the air, and I just pretty much had to keep setting my feet. About six seconds in he gave me a little bit of whiplash, but it still ended up being a pretty good ride."

Landingham recorded his winning ride July 2 and collected a $10,667 check for his effort. Newly crowned National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Champion Tim O'Connell was second with an 86-point ride on Frontier Rodeo's champion bucking horse Full Baggage.

"I knew I was going to be a lot of points, up there near the top," Landingham said. "I've never even won a check at Cody. Coming into the month of April, I only had six rodeos and I've been going to as many as I can to try and catch up to everybody. This win at Cody will help me move up in the standings and give me a lot more hope to make the NFR."
Landingham moved from 16th to 10th in the July 6 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. Landingham also had several other solid outings over Cowboy Christmas.

The last two seasons Landingham has just missed qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, finishing 16th in 2013 and 2014.

"Basically, the only reason I haven't made it (the WNFR) is because of injuries (the last two years)," said Landingham, who is chasing his inaugural WNFR bid. "I hurt my back (in 2013) and last year in September I hurt my neck. I'm just trying to stay healthy, and it would be awesome if I could get (to the WNFR) this year, especially with all the money they have added. I know I feel like I'm riding better than I ever have."

Other winners at the $348,402 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($11,369 in tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Clayton Moore (3.9 seconds), team ropers Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes (4.2 seconds), saddle bronc rider Chuck Schmidt (87 points on Frontier Rodeo's Tip Off), tie-down roper Cimarron Boardman (8.1 seconds), barrel racer Jill Welsh (16.91 seconds) and bull rider Brett Stall (87 points on Frontier Rodeo's Flash Boy).

Hanchey Continues Hot Streak in St. Paul
The 2015 season may have begun slowly for 2013 World Champion Tie-down Roper Shane Hanchey, but he's starting to get on a roll - which could be bad news for his fellow ropers.

Hanchey won his first title at the St. Paul Rodeo July 4, continuing what was a strong Cowboy Christmas run as he moves up the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.

The Sulphur, La., cowboy placed fifth in the first round in St. Paul before winning the second round with an 8.2-second run. It led to the average victory with a time of 17.3 seconds on two head, and a total of $9,423.

"I've always had good luck there," Hanchey said of St. Paul. "I set the arena record there in 2011, but still finished second in the average. It's a different rodeo, and it's one that we all want to win. I really like the way the buckle looks, and I couldn't be happier winning there."

In addition to the large sum earned in St. Paul, Hanchey also grabbed a good amount in Canada last week, winning a combined $5,746 in Ponoka and Airdrie, Alberta. He moved from 25th to 17th in the July 6 world standings.

"At the beginning of the week, I wanted to win $20,000, but if you win $10,000 during Cowboy Christmas, then you've done pretty well," Hanchey said. "I'm pumped about winning St. Paul, and I'm also excited that I did it on a horse I just bought earlier this year."

Hanchey's top horse, "Reata," hasn't seen too much action in 2015, which is exactly what Hanchey planned. His new horse, Si, has been solid and reliable so far this summer, which has allowed Reata to rest up in Florida until later in the season.

"I had a terrible winter and spring, but winning Guymon (Okla., in May) got me going," Hanchey said. "It wasn't that I was lacking confidence, I just hadn't seen my name anywhere that mattered. I went through a spell where I'd break a barrier or miss one. The horse I'm riding now can't replace Reata, but it's reassuring to know he can win, and I'm excited about the rest of the summer."

Other winners at the $327,357 rodeo were all-around cowboy Jordan Ketscher ($2,442 in tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Jessy Davis (87 points on Korkow Rodeos' Flaxy Lady), steer wrestler Luke Branquinho (8.8 seconds on two head), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (10.3 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (87 points on Korkow Rodeos' Rekker), barrel racer Callie DuPerier (16.38 seconds) and bull riders Brennon Eldred (86 points on Corey & Lange Rodeo's Totally Annoying) and Ty Pozzobon (86 points on Corey & Lange Rodeo's Chucky).

Cole Gets the Edge at Greeley Stampede
Steer wrestler Cole Edge celebrated July 4 in a big way and jump-started what he hopes is a strong summer run with an impressive win at the Greeley Stampede.

Edge won the first round with a run of 3.7 seconds and took second in the July 4 finals with a 4.1. That was good enough to win the two-head average with a time of 7.8 seconds, a full six-tenths ahead of runner-up Kyle Maez, who won the short round in 3.7.

"It's great to get a win at a big rodeo like Greeley," Edge said. "You've got to have big wins like that to really boost you up.

"I had a really good steer that first round. I'd seen him a lot, and was really happy to have him. I was fortunate to draw good again and Jacob (Shofner) did an excellent job (as the hazer)."

Edge travels with fellow bulldoggers Shofner and his brother, Cooper Shofner, and Miles Switzer.

Edge qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2014, and finished fifth in the average race. He earned $106,120 last year to finish 13th in the world standings. He's anxious to get back to the Finals this year, and the win in Greeley jumped him from 47th to 21st in the July 6 world standings.

"I didn't have that good of a winter," Edge said. "I'd better bear down now. The race is on to get to the Finals, because that's where you can really get ahead and put some money back and invest."

In 2010, he was 28th in the world with $43,461, and was 22nd in 2011 with $43,423.

"I felt I was knocking on the door and my time was coming, then I had an accident in Clovis (Calif.) and had to have surgery on my wrist and was out six months," he said. "Then, I sat out part of the next year, too, when I wasn't doing very well. I got married during that time, too, so my perspective changed on a lot of things."

Just after winning Greeley, Edge took his 15-year-old horse, "Twiggy," to the vet. In Greeley, he'd ridden "Max," a horse he leases from Todd Suhn, who tore his rotator cuff earlier this season.

"I'd ridden Twiggy somewhere in Oregon, and then we drove all day and night to get to the short round at Greeley," Edge said. "She was puffed up when we got there, so as soon as it was over, we went to the vet."

He rode Twiggy at last year's Finals in Las Vegas.

"She'll be fine," he said. "She'll probably be off at least a month. That's unfortunate, especially since we're at the height of rodeo season."

Edge, 30, was born in Humboldt, Iowa, and went to college at Southeastern Oklahoma State (Durant), where he earned a bachelor's degree in business management. He finished third at the College National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling in 2007.

Other winners at the $292,922 rodeo were all-around cowboy Caleb Smidt ($9,630 in tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Orin Larsen (171 points on two head), team ropers Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes (10.9 seconds on two head), saddle bronc riders Tyrel Larsen and Isaac Diaz (162 points each on two head), tie-down roper Blane Cox (19.0 seconds on two head), barrel racer Jill Welsh (34.40 seconds on two runs) and bull rider McKennon Wimberly (152 points on two head).

DeShon Makes First Prescott Trip Memorable
Bull rider Kody DeShon will not soon forget his inaugural trip to the World's Oldest Rodeo.

The 29-year-old Helena, Mont., cowboy had an 89-point ride on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo's Lil Tex to capture the coveted title at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.

"I've never even entered this rodeo before," DeShon said. "This is a good deal to win it. That's probably one of the top five coveted buckles in ProRodeo, and it feels good to get a big win like this under my belt. It's really cool."

Actually, not only had DeShon never competed at the World's Oldest Rodeo, but he also was getting on a bull he knew nothing about.

"I had never seen (Lil Tex) or even heard of him before," said DeShon, who made his ride June 29. "When I found out I had him, I asked my buddy (fellow bull rider) Dallee Mason how he was. He said he was good and he would go both ways. He was right there to the left and he came back around to the right, and he was just a very good bull."

DeShon collected $6,386 for his performance, and moved from 16th to 14th in the July 6 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.

"I had to wait all week to see if I won it, and I checked it once in awhile to see where I was, and it was worth the wait," DeShon said.

The victory came at a much-needed time for DeShon, as he found out July 5 he will be out about 10 days with bruised kidneys. DeShon was injured July 2 when he was bucked off Corey & Lange Rodeo's Big Cool.

"I've never made the NFR, and I always wanted to, so I want to come back as soon as I can," DeShon said. "I'm just going to play it by ear and hopefully I will be ready for Nampa (Idaho, Snake River Stampede, July 14-18). Getting that big check in Prescott definitely helps ease the pain of being out with an injury."

Other winners at the $258,951 rodeo were all-around cowboy Brent Lewis ($3,244 in tie-down roping and steer roping), bareback rider Winn Ratliff (87 points on Harry Vold Rodeo's Excalibur), steer wrestler Trevor Knowles (9.4 seconds on two head), team ropers Brady Tryan and B.J. Campbell (11.8 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston (85 points on Harry Vold Rodeo's Cactus Flower), tie-down roper Marcos Costa (18.4 seconds on two head), barrel racer Sherrylynn Johnson (34.75 seconds on two runs) and steer roper Vin Fisher Jr. (44.0 seconds on three head).

PRCA World Standings after 2015 Cowboy Christmas