McFadden magical in west Texas

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Nate McFadden rides Pete Carr's South Point Gambler for 90 points Thursday night to win the first round of bareback riding at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (PHOTO BY RIC ANDERSEN)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Something magical happens when 90-point rides occur at a rodeo.

The sparks flew Thursday night when Nate McFadden spurred Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s South Point Gambler for 90 points to win the first round of bareback riding at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

“That was my first time to ever be 90,” said McFadden, 26, a fourth-year pro from tiny Elsmere, Neb. “It’s something you can’t even explain. It’s so tough to be 90 points. You have to draw the right horse and be at the right rodeo. The starts have to align. I’ve been waiting for it, and it feels outstanding.”

By winning the round, he earned $4,890 and has the top spot heading into Friday’s championship round. Only the top 12 contestants in each event advance to the short round, so it’s a true showcase of the best of the best in San Angelo this year.

That may have been the best description for the match-up between McFadden and South Point Gambler, a 5-year-old buckskin that was raised on the Carr Ranch in eastern Texas.

“It was a young horse, and I didn’t know a lot about him,” he said. “They bucked him once this year in West Monroe (Louisiana), and I’d seen the video. They said he really bucked and would be electric and good.

“Anytime you can get on a colt out of River Boat Annie, you know there’s something special. (South Point Gambler) is outstanding.”

Friday will mark the first time McFadden has qualified for the San Angelo short round, but he’s excited to be part of that exclusive field.

“I turned it around big time,” he said with a laugh. “This coliseum is electric. The crowd here is amazing, and it feels like the horses buck in this arena.”

They have over the last few weeks, anyway. In bareback riding, cowboys had to have scores of at least 84 points to place in the opening round. The bottom score making it back to Friday’s round is Tanner Aus’ 82.5.

“My No. 1 goal is to make the (National) Finals, but that’s my goal every year,” said McFadden, who has qualified for the regional championship – the circuit finals – each of the past four years. “I would really like to win the circuit this year and make it down to Kissimmee (Florida).”

The winners of each region – along with the winners of each circuit finale – advance to the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which takes place in Florida every spring. It would just be the next step for the lifelong cowboy who was raised on a ranch in the middle of Nebraska.

For now, though, he’s just enjoying his ride in San Angelo.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 1-3, Feb. 8-10, Feb. 13-15
Bareback riding:
1. 2. Nate S. McFadden, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s South Point Gambler, $4,890; 2. Bill Tutor, 88, $3,749; 2. Kody Lamb, 85, $2,771; 3. Caleb Bennett, 85.5, $1793; 4. (tie) Austin Foss and Clayton Biglow, 85, $978 each; 7. (tie) Taylor Broussard, Jake Vold, 84, $380 each; 10. (tie) Hunter Brasfield and David Peebles, 83; 12. Tanner Aus, 82.5.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Tucker Allen, 3.6 seconds, $3,636; 2. (tie) Don Payne and Josh Clark, 3.7, $2,925 each; 4. (tie) Scott Guenthner and Sam Shelton, 3.8, $1,976 each; 6. Denell Henderson, 3.9, $1,265; 7. Jacob Talley, 4.0, $791; 8. Dru Melvin, 4.2, $316. Second round: 1. Richard Coats, 3.2 seconds, $3,636; 2. Edward Beardsworth, 3.7, $4,162; 3. Dirk Tavenner, 3.8, $2.688; 4. Tom Lewis, 3.9, $2,213; 5. (tie) Tanner Brunner, Gary Gilbert and Bridger Anderson, 4.0, $1,265; 8. (tie) Sam Powers, Ross Mosher and Josh Garner, 4.1, $106 each. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Scott Guenthner and Tucker Allen, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 3. Denell Henderson, 8.3; 4. Dru Melvin, 8.4; 5. Josh Clark, 8.7; 6. (tie) Jacob Edler and Blake Knowles, 9.2; 8. Tyler Pearson, 9.5; 9. Payden McIntyre, 9.6; 10. (tie) Stephen Culling and Cody Devers, 9.7; 12. Mike McGinn, 9.8.

Team roping: First round: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.6 seconds, $3,763; 2. Nelson Wyatt/Rich Skelton, 3.7, $3,272; 3. Levi Simpson/Cole Davison, 3.8, $2,782; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 3.9, $2,291; 5. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, Manny Equsquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy and Tyler Waters/Brady Norman, 4.0, $1,309 each; 8. Anthony Lucia/Wesley Moss, 4.1, $327. Second round: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.5 seconds, $3,763; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Paul Eaves and Caleb Smidt/Will Woodfin, 3.6, $3,027 each; 4. Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 3.7, $2,291; 5. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, Lathen Bryant/Morgan McVay and Shane Phillip/John Phillip, 3.8, $1,309; 8. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 3.9, $327. Average leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 7.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 8.1; 3. Kelsey Parchman/Matt Kasner, 8.5; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 9.5; 5. Garett Chick/Ross Ashford, 9.7; 6. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 9.8; 7. Levi Simpson/Cole Davison, 10.0; 8. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy, 10.1; 9. Curry Kirchner/Daniel Reed, 10.3; 10. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 11.5; 11. Lane Santos Karney/Dillon Wingereid, 11.9; 12. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Ryan Reed/Monty Joe Petska, 13.4s.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Zeke Thurston, 88.5 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Aces Wild, $3,508; 2. (tie) Rusty Wright and Lefty Holman, 87.5, $2,339 each; 4. (tie) Cody DeMoss and Colt Gordon, 87, $1,052 each; 6. Ryder Wright, 84, $585; 7. Jade Blackwell, 83.5, $468; 8. (tie) Preston Burr, Wade Sundell, Chase Brooks and Shade Etbauer, 83, $88 each; 12. Kolby Wanchuk, 82.5.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Jake Pratt, 7.0 seconds, $4,792; 2. Michael Otero, 7.1, $4,167; 3. Kyle Lucas, 7.4, $3,542; 4. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Blair Smith, 7.5, $2,604 each; 6. Tuf Cooper, 7.6, $1,667; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, John Douch and Bryson Sechrist, 7.7, $486 each. Second round: 1. Adam Gray, 7.1 seconds, $4,792; 2. (tie) Justin Smith, Marty Yates Bradley Bynum, 7.2, $3,542 each; 5. (tie) Tyler Milligan, Cory Solomon and Reid H. Zapalac, 7.3, $1,667 each; 6. (tie) Cimarron Boardman and Jesse Clark, 7.6, $308 each. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Michael Otero, 15.2 seconds on two runs; 3. Jesse Clark, 15.5; 4. Marty Yates, 15.7; 5. Jake Pratt, 15.9; 6. Tuf Cooper, 16.1; 7. Haven Meged, 16.5; 8. Hunter Herrin, 16.6; 9. Blake Ash, 16.7; 10. Bradley Bynum, 17.1; 11. Matt Shiozawa, 17.2; 12. Cory Solomon, 17.3.

Barrel racing: Second round: 1. Nicole Love, 14.08 second, $4,295; 2. Alex Lang, 14.19, $3,681; 3. Jimmie Smith, 14.24, $3,068; 4. (tie) Teri Bangart and Sherry Cervi, 14.29, $2,352 each; 6. Stevi Hillman, 14.32, $1,636; 7. (tie) Halyn Lide and Kappy Allen, 14.34, $1,023 each; 9. Mindy Goemmer, 14.35, $614; 10. Dona Kay Rule, 14.38, $409. Average leaders: 1. Nicole Love, 30.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Jimmie Smith, 30.34; 3. Alex Lang, 30.47; 4. Jill Tanner, 30.55; 5. Sidney Forrest, 30.58; 6. Teri Bangart, 30.59; 7. Carolyn Uhler, 30.61; 8. (tie) Stevi Hillman, Cheyenne Wimberley and Lacinda Rose, 30.62; 11. Ryann Pedone, 30.64; 12. Brittney Barnett, 30.67.

Bull riding: 1. (tie) Aaron Williams, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tequila Worm, and Stetson Wright, on United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days, 89 points, $3,286 each; 3. Jeff Askey, 88, $3,108; 4. Brady Portenier, 87, $1,364; 5. Jordan Wacey Spears, 86.5, $868; 6. Rorey Maier, 85, $620; 7. (tie) Cole Meloncon and Riker Carter, 84, $434 each; 9. Aaron Pass, 83.5; 10. (tie) Dave Mason, Wyatt Edwards, Daylon Swearingen and Chase Dougherty, 83.

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