DUNCAN, Okla. – Caine Riddle hasn’t been on a bucking horse in a month and a half, but it hasn’t shown through the first two rounds of the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Riddle, a four-time Prairie Circuit year-end champion from Vernon, Texas, won the opening bareback riding rounds and added $3,531 to his earnings, padding his lead with one night remaining in the season.
“I had Miss Zandy tonight, and I’ve been on that horse eight times over the last 10 years,” Riddle said Friday after posting an 80-point ride on the Beutler & Son Rodeo Co. horse. “I’ve been successful on her nearly every time. I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting old or what, but tonight was the buckiest trip I’ve ever had on her.
“I could dang sure tell she was dropping out of the air, so I just kept hustling and it worked out good.”
With his quick start, Riddle moved ever closer to his fifth circuit championship. If so, it would mark the fourth straight year he’s claimed the title. Yes, he’s been rather dominant in the region, but he needs to have a solid finish to the three-day finale on Saturday night to secure another crown.
“I knew toward the end of the season that there were a couple of young guys, Blaine Kauffman and Frank Morton, were right there close,” Riddle said of the Nos. 2 and 3 bareback riders in the standings heading into this weekend. “I don’t pay attention to that; I just go ride every one the best I can. I know if you ride all three of them here and don’t mess up, you’ll get a pretty good check and be successful.”
It’s worked out for the 32-year-old cowboy. He has been on the verge of qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which features only the top 15 contestants in each event in the world standings. Three of the past four years, he was among the top 20, just missing out on the NFR.
“I love riding bucking horses, so I’ll keep going as long as I’m good and healthy,” he said. “I think I’m getting to the age where I can’t get on 150 horses a year, but there are a lot of good rodeos in our circuit.”
It also helps that he’s part of a big rodeo family, the Beutlers of Elk City, Okla. His uncle, Bennie, and cousin, Rhett, own Beutler & Son, which produces several events in the region that is made up of events and contestants primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
“I love going to Bennie’s rodeos,” Riddle said. “He’s got probably the best string of bareback horses in the PRCA. If you enter his rodeos, you’re going to get on something that bucks. As long as I’m healthy and can ride his horses, then I think I can ride anybody’s.”
NOTES: Three-time world champion Rocky Patterson of Pratt, Kan., won the circuit finals steer roping championship on Friday morning. He roped and tied three steers in a cumulative time of 35.5 seconds to win the title, collecting $4,448 in the process.
Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Caine Riddle, 80 points Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Miss Zandy, $1,765; 2. (tie) Wyatt Clark, Brian Leddy and Frank Morton, 71, $883.
Steer wrestling: 1. Cole Edge, 3.9 seconds, $1,765; 2. Clay Mindemann, 4.0, $1,324; 3. (tie) Tanner Brunner and Dru Melvin, 4.1, $662 each
Team roping: 1. Brandon Vaske/Braden Harmon, 5.2 seconds, $1,765; 2. Andrew Ward/ReaganWard, 5.3, $1,324; 3. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 5.8, $883; 4. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Zac Small/Tyler Worley, $221 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Shade Etbauer, on Rafter H Rodeo’s Roan Alone, and Steven Dent, on Rafter H Rodeo’s Pocket Money, 78, $1,545 each; 3. Joe Lufkin, 77, $883; 4. Ryan Bestol, 76, $441.
Tie-down roping: 1. Caleb Bullock, 7.8 seconds, $1,765; 2. Caddo Lewallen, 8.1, $1,324; 3. Cole Bailey, 8.8, $883; 4. Trent Creager, 8.9, $441.
Barrel racing: 1. Ari-Anna Flynn, 16.22 seconds, $1,787; 2. Jeanne Anderson, 16.23, $1,341; 3. Lauren Magdeburg, 16.32, $894; 4. Kara Large, 16.35, $447.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 11.1 seconds, $1,618; 2. Chet Herren, 12.5, $1,213; 3. Ralph Williams, 12.7, $809; 4. Roger Branch, 13.1, $404. Second round: 1. Mike Chase, 10.3 seconds, $1,618; 2. Rod Hartness, 11.0, $1,213; 3. Brad Starks, 11.4, $809; 4. Ralph Williams, 11.6, $404. Third round: 1. J.P. Wickett, 9.7 seconds, $1,618; 2. (tie) Shorty Garten, and Brad Mohon, 10.5, $1,011 each; 4. Rocky Patterson, 11.4, $404. Average: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.5 seconds on three head, $2,426; 2. Mike Chase, 22.6 on two head, $1,820; 3. J.P. Wickett, 22.9, $1,213; 4. Shorty Garten, 24.1, $607.
Bull riding: 1. Tate Stratton, 78 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Never Been Kissed, $1,765; no other qualified rides.