Friday will be a showcase in Hempstead for the second performance of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo.
Tonight’s action is scheduled to feature numerous NFR qualifiers and accounts for 14 world championships. Of course, those double-digit gold buckles are represented by just three cowboys: Bareback rider Bobby Mote, heeler Rich Skelton and steer roper Scott Snedecor, who will compete tonight as a header and return to action Saturday morning for steer roping.
I think, too, we should look at some of the other stars who will be in the game, led by a contingent of powerful bareback riders: Mote, Ryan Gray, Steven Dent, Jared Smith and Matt Bright are veterans that have played on the biggest stage in Las Vegas, but Bill Tutor, who won two titles this year on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket, and Taylor Price, the Pecos and Cheyenne champ, are rising stars.
Other top hands are bulldoggers Clayton Hass and Bill Pace; team ropers Camish Jennings, David Key, Jett Hillman and Landon McClaugherty, who also will compete in tie-down roping and steer roping in Hempstead; bronc riders Bradley Harter, Sam Spreadborough and Brad Rudolph; tie-down ropers Scott Kormos and Fred Whitfield; and barrel racer Annesa Self.
The match-up of the night should be Dent on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Horse of the Year that’s heading to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the ninth time in December. You can’t discount the other top hands, like Mote, who will test his talents on Big Lights, a four-time NFR bucking horse that has led cowboys to round wins in Vegas. Tutor, who has two wins on Carr’s Dirty Jacket this season, has another great NFR horse in Black Coffee.
Spreadborough, a two-time NFR saddle bronc rider, will try out NFR horse Take the Plunge, while Brad Rudolph will match his spur ride with the bucking motion of veteran horse Coffee Bean.
It should be an amazing show. It’s definitely one I want to watch.