GUTHRIE, Okla. – A strong work ethic pays off for the world’s greatest athletes.
Tie-down roper Josh Peek fits nicely in that category. The pains of labor gave birth to grand success Thursday during the second performance of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Lazy E Arena. Peek, a six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Pueblo, Colo., roped and tied his calf in 8.1 seconds to win the first round and $4,525.
“The run was phenomenal,” said Peek, who has been working recently with Scotty Shelton getting a firm grasp on all the techniques that go into top-level roping. “We’ve been working faithfully for 10 straight days. Scotty’s been awesome to be working with me. It’s a blessing.”
Another blessing is Buck, the calf horse owned by Peek’s brother Jon.
“When you have a horse like that and it gives you a chance every single time, it makes it easy,” he said. “I just went through the motions.
“Good horses make it very, very easy to win.”
Peek understands that as well as anyone. Of his trips to the NFR, three were in steer wrestling. He won the NFR all-around title in 2009 and finished second in the all-around world standings. Having the chance to win the national championship is important to the Colorado cowboy, who won the tie-down roping average championship at the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo last fall to qualify for the RNCFR.
“I’m just glad to make it here; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo,” he said. “Anytime you can back in the box with a setup like this with the pressure and a national title on the line, it helps you for your future and your maturity. There’s definitely a stiff competition with a lot of great ropers. To go out and clock first place in the first go-round, it’s a lot of confidence for me
“This would be a great opportunity. I’ve never had a chance to win a national title.”
Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo
April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.
First round results
Bareback riding: 1. Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., 84 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Storm Cloud, $4,525; 2. Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, 83, $3.428; 3. Morgan Wilde, McCammon, Idaho, 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., and Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 80, $1,303 each; 5. (tie) Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore., and Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 79, $343 each.
Steer wrestling: 1. Will Lummus, Union City, Tenn., 4.1 seconds, $4,525; 2. (tie) Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., and Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 4.2, $2,948 each; 4. Bray Armes, Ponder, Texas, 4.7, $1,645; 5. (tie) Pep Arballo, Wittmann, Ariz., and Sterling Lambert, Fallon, Nev., 4.8, $823 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 8.1, $4,525; 2. Jesse Clark, Portales, N.M., 8.3, $3,428; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.4, $2,468; 4. Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, 8.7, $1,645; 6. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., 9.0, $960; 6. Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 9.2, $686.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 83 points on Sutton Rodeo’s Real McCoy, $4,525; 2. Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D., 82, $3,428; 3. Brandon Biebelle, San Lorenzo, N.M., 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, and Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 80, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, and Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., 79, $343 each.
Team roping: 1. Dustin Bird, Cutbank, Mont./John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 4.5 seconds, $4,525; 2. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla./Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla., 4.9, $3,428; 3. Ty Blasingame, Sugar City, Colo./J.W. Borrego, Weston, Colo., 5.0, $2,468; Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D./Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 5.1, $1,645; 5. (tie) Travis Bounds, Grand Junction, Colo./Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, Wyo., and Justin Davis, Madisonville, Texas/Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 5.4, $823 each.
Barrel racing: 1. June Holeman, Arcadia, Neb., 16.97 seconds, $4,525; 2. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 17.31, $3,428; 3. Kassidy Dennison, Tohatchi, N.M., 17.35, $2,468; 4. Ann Scott, Canyon Country, Calif., 17.36, $1,645; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, Aubrey, Texas, 17.44, $960; 6. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 686.
Bull riding: 1. Aaron Pass, Dallas, 88 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Spec, $4,525; 2. Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas,85, $3,428; 3. (tie) Cody Campbell, Summerville, Ore., Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D., and Mike Adams, West Grove, Pa., 83, $1,440 each.