In one of the pieces I did for the Omaha World-Herald while covering the River City Rodeo, I wrote: “Gold buckles may be won in Las Vegas during the National Finals Rodeo, but they are forged in Omaha.” (You can read the column by clicking HERE.)
I’m watching the GAC coverage of the Justin Boots Championships during the River City Rodeo at CenturyLink Center. I’m actually getting to watch most of the final round for the first time; quite simply, I was just too busy on that Saturday night two weeks ago to even watch what happened.
That’s just part of trying to get all the tidbits for the stories I was producing that weekend. The action was outstanding, but the stories are about the people; I needed to visit with each of those winners so we could help tell those stories.
That’s why I enjoy watching the broadcast of the rodeo.
You see, I talked to Blake Knowles about his 4.3-second, event-winning run, but I didn’t get to see it tonight. The same thing can be said about team ropers Cesar de la Cruz and Derrick Begay and their 4.4-second run, tie-down roper Tuff Cooper’s 7.4-second run, barrel racer Sue Smith’s 13.94, saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell’s 88 and bull rider’s Jacob O’Mara’s 87.
Yes, that means I watched bareback riding, the great rides that Jason Havens (on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket) and Steven Dent (on Lancaster & Pickett’s Top Flight) used for 87s to split the round – Dent won the event title on the tie-breaker based on his semifinal victory.
There was a lot of great action in Omaha, but maybe nothing better than Sundell’s 90-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality, a beautiful bay mare that twice won the halter as saddle bronc of the year (2005-2007).
That’s what makes championships like Omaha so much fun to watch.