DUNCAN, Okla. – Caine Riddle knows what it means to be a Prairie Circuit champion.
The Vernon, Texas, bareback rider has won the year-end title once and the finals average championship twice. He’s on the verge of adding another at this year’s Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, which wraps its three days of competition at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center.
“With all those horses we had tonight, you had to be on top of your game to ride them good,” said Riddle, who rode Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Rodeo Drive for 83 points to share the win in Friday’s second round. “I like to get on buckers more than anything, so it worked out good.”
Riddle tied with Blaine Kaufmann of Pretty Prairie, Kan., who rode Frontier Rodeo’s Time Out for 83.
It also helps just a little that Riddle knew the horse pretty well. Riddle’s mother, Dollie (Beutler) Riddle, is a secretary and timer for the family’s Elk City, Okla.-based livestock firm. Caine Riddle has been around the bucking stock almost all his life. Now the 29-year-old cowboy makes his living riding bucking horses.
“I’d never been on that horse, but I’d seen him quite a bit,” said Riddle, whose father, Rusty, was an eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “I was tickled to have him.”
Riddle is in a three-way tie for the average lead heading into tomorrow’s final go-round; his 162 points on two rides is matched by Jared Keylon of Uniontown, Kan., and Justin McDaniel of Porum, Okla. Riddle, who has $16,919, holds a $2,564 lead over Keylon for the year-end championship.
“All the horses are supposed to be good tomorrow,” Riddle said of the animals that have been selected to buck Saturday night. “Jared and me ride really good. We’ll leave it up to the judges. We’re just going to go out and ride our best; we’ll let them do their job and we’ll do our job, and things will be where they’re supposed to be.
Riddle finished the season atop the circuit standings, but also he was on the edge of qualifying for the NFR – he finished 18th in the world standings; only the top 15 qualify for ProRodeo’s championship.
All those years getting on Beutler horses in the form of practice is paying off.
“Getting on those horses, you dang sure know you’re going to have to try really hard or you’re going to put your face in the dirt,” he said. “When I was 21 or 22, I wasn’t as far along in my bareback riding as I am now. Now everything clicks.”
That’s what’s happening to Ryan Bestol of Hyannis, Neb. A saddle bronc rider who attended Oklahoma Panhandle State University on a rodeo scholarship, Bestol rode New Frontier Rodeo’s Big Bomber for 83 points to win the second round and $$1,174. He shared the first-round title on Thursday with Bobby Griswold of Geary, Okla.; Bestol’s two-ride total of 163 points puts him No. 1 in the race to the average championship.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he said. “I got on two hard-to-ride horses so far. That horse tonight was heavy with a big rare-out.
“It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Caine Riddle, on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Rodeo Drive, and Blaine Kaufman, on Frontier Rodeo’s Time Out, 83, $1,011 each; 3. Justin McDaniel, 82, $577; 4. Codi Myers, 77, $289. Average: 1. (tie) Justin McDaniel, Caine Riddle and Jared Keylon, 162 points on two rides; 4. Codi Myers, 159.
Steer wrestling: 1. Stockton Graves, 4.1 seconds, $1,174; 2. Clay Mindemann, 4.5, $880; 3. Ryan Swayze, 4.6; $587; 4. Jeff Miller, 5.1, $293. Average: 1. Stockton Graves, 9.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Beau Clark, 10.2; 3. Clay Mindemann, 12.4; 4. Jeff Miller, 13.8.
Team roping: 1. Clay Smith/ Billy Smith, 4.9 seconds, $1,174; 2. Destry Graham/Jimmy Thomas, 5.4, $880; 3. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.9, $587; 4. Hunter Munsell/Derrick Jantzen, 11.4, $293. Average: 1. Destry Graham/Jimmy Thomas, 13.8 on two runs; 2. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 14.7; 3. Hunter Munsell/Derrick Jantzen, 17.5; 4. Clay Smith/Billy Smith, 22.0.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ryan Bestol, 83 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Big Bomber, $1,174; 2. Casey McGooden, 74, $880; 3. Cody Hamm, 73, $587; Joseph Dean Lufkin, 72, $293. Average: 1. Ryan Bestol, 163 points on two rides; 2. Cody Hamm, 152; 3. Hardy Braden, 148; 4. Bobby Griswold, 144.
Tie-down roping: 1. Blake Deckard, 8.1 seconds, $1,174; 2. Hunter Herrin, 8.7, $880; 3. Bryson Sechrist, 9.2, $587; 4. Clint Carpenter, 9.8, $293. Average: 1. Hunter Herrin, 19.5 seconds on two runs; 2. Bryson Sechrist, 20.1; 3. Trenton Johnson, 20.6; 4. Caddo Lewallen, 23.0.
Barrel racing: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 16.69 seconds, $1,174; 2. P.J. Burger, 16.75, $880; 3. Angie Meadors, 16.98, $587; 5. Cindy Gillespie, 16.99, $293. Average: 1. P.J. Burger, 33.66 seconds on two runs; 2. Tana Renick, 34.24; 3. Cindy Gillespie, 34.38; 4. Kyra Stieerwalt, 34.56.
Bull riding: No qualified rides. Average: 1. Brad Harris, 90 points on one ride; 2. Trevor Kastner, 83; 3. Guthrie Murray, 81.