EAGLE, Colo. – The race was for only $100, but it was a contest nonetheless.
Chisum Docheff and Cody Pratt had tied for the fastest steer wrestling score of the night Thursday with identical 4.4-second runs during the second performance of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo, and the winner of each event each night is awarded a $100 bonus.
When rodeo clown Justin Rumford suggested a foot race for the bonus, the two Colorado cowboys were up to the challenge. Docheff won easily, but he’s also winning the rodeo. Since he won the race, he said, he was going to treat Pratt to dinner somewhere soon.
Both cowboys now own the second-round lead in steer wrestling, but Docheff owns the advantage. He placed in the first round with a 4.3-second run, earning $687 in the process. His cumulative time of 8.7 seconds leads the all-important average, where the biggest payouts are issued.
“I’m right there in the hunt to be leading our circuit,” said Docheff of Loveland, Colorado. “I’ve had a really good year up to now, so it means a lot to finish on a strong note these last few weeks.”
Heading into this week of rodeos, he had pocketed nearly $5,100 in money in the Mountain States Circuit, made up primarily of rodeos and contestants in Colorado and Wyoming. He sits fourth in the race for the circuit title, which is his primary focus.
“I’m a weekend warrior,” he said, referring to cowboys who hold full-time jobs and compete in rodeo when times allow. “My family runs a dairy farm, and I’m there during the week usually.”
The dairy isn’t really a proving ground for rodeo cowboys. Growing up, he showed cattle and began competing in rodeo in high school. A friend that wrestled steers got him hooked.
“I’ve been coming to this rodeo for probably nine years,” Docheff said. “I also came here through high school to the high school rodeo. I love it here. It’s always a big crowd. We always run great steers, and they’re fun to bulldog. They have great hospitality, and it’s always fun to come up here.
“It’s also a two-header, so we have more opportunities to make money.”
That’s true. In fact, he’s in line to make a good paycheck in Eagle County. His aggregate time is seven-tenths of a second faster than the No. 2 man, Gage Greer of Gillette, Wyoming.
“I have a chance to be really good,” he said.
That’s key, because in rodeo, dollars equal points. Only the top 12 cowboys in the circuit will advance to the Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, which will take place in the fall in his hometown.
“My goal now is to keep going in the circuit and hopefully win the circuit,” Docheff said. “The circuit finals is just 15 minutes from my house, so that’s really nice.”
Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Clayton Biglow, 82 points on Northcott-Macza’s Under Dog; 2. Cole Reiner, 81; 3. Joel Schlegel, 80.5; 4. Hunter Brasfield, 73; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Gage Greer, 3.9 seconds, $927; 2. (tie) Kalane Anders and Chisum Docheff, 4.3, $687 each; 4. Austin Eller, 4.5, $447; 5. Payden McIntyre, 4.6, $288; 6. Aaron Vosler, 4.7, $160. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Chisum Docheff and Cody Pratt, 4.4 seconds; 3. Gage Hesse, 4.7; 4. Tait Kvistad, 4.8; 5. Gage Greer, 5.5; 6. Brian Snell, 6.4. Average leaders: 1. Chisum Docheff, 8.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Gage Greer, 9.4; 3. Cody Pratt, 9.6; 4. Beau Clark, 13.0; 5. Kyle Francis, 14.1; 6. Gage Hesse, 19.6.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Darnell Johnson, 8.4 seconds, $1,021; 2. Garret Arnold, 9.1, $765; 3. Brandon Kammerzell, 9.5, $510; 4. Jarrett Oestmann, 10.0, $255. Second round: 1. Jarrett Oestmann, 8.6 seconds; 2. Kyle Dickens, 8.9; 3. Brandon Neugebauer, 9.6; 4. Brandon Kammerzell, 13.8. Average: 1, Jarrett Oestmann, 18.6 second on two runs; 2. Brandon Kammerzell, 23.2; 3. Darnell Johnson, 25.2; 4. Kyle Dickens, 8.9 seconds on one run.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 84.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sadie’s Gal; 2. Tanner Butner, 79.5; 3. Bradley Harter, 79; 4. Roper Kiesner, 76; 5. Dean Wadsworth, 75.5; 6. Mason Mardesich, 72; 7. Rhett Fanning, 68; no other qualified rides.
Team roping: 1. Corey Whinnery/Robert Murphy, 5.7 seconds, $999; 2. Jesse Sheffield/Derek Pake Younger, 5.8, $749; 3. (tie) Brit Ellerman/Trey Johnson and Clay Norell/Hank Bounds, 5.9, $375 each.
Barrel racing: 1. Ryann Pedone, 17.58 seconds; 2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 17.64; 3. Caroline Kelly, 17.76; 4. MacKenzie Scott, 17.80; 5. Emily Hamrick, 17.81; 6. Brittney Barnett, 17.84; 7. Sally Conway, 17.94; Ronnie Will, 17.96; 8. Ronnie Will, 17.96; 9. Ivy Hurst, 18.01; 10. K.L. Spratt, 18.09; 11. Jolee Lauteret-Jordan, 18.11; 12. Kelley Schnaufer, 18.12.
Bull riding: 1. (tie) Eli Vastbinder, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s California Mudder, and Ruger Piva, on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s War Tank, 85 points each; 3. Nic Lica, 77; no other qualified rides.