SAN ANGELO, Texas – For some cowboys, just missing out on qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo would be reason to sulk when the regular season came to a close.
Instead, Kody Lamb was reinvigorated.
“If I had been younger, it may have hurt,” said Lamb of Sherwood Park, Alberta. “But with the injuries I’ve had the last couple of years, it was fantastic to have a year go that well. It certainly stoked the fire in me to do that well. I’ve just got to keep rolling and keep trying to ride better.”
He did that Thursday in the opening night of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Lamb rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl for 88 points to take the early bareback riding lead. That score should be enough to have him return to Foster Communications Coliseum for the championship round, set for Friday, Feb. 14.
“I hope it gets me back, but the boys are riding so good, so I don’t know if an 88 is going to hold up,” he said.
The chances of his return are likely, though. A year ago, Lamb scored 85 points to finish third in the opening round. He followed that with ah 89-point ride to finish third in the short round and finished second overall. He left San Angelo with more than $7,400 in earnings.
“The last couple of years, outside of San Angelo, I’ve had trouble to make money at these winter rodeos,” said Lamb, a two-time qualifier to the Canadian Finals Rodeo who finished 20th last season in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association – only the top 15 contestants in each event advance to the NFR.
“I know the old timers say that any money you win before Reno (Nevada in late June) is just a bonus, but winter rodeos pay so much now that a guy can set himself up for a really good year by having a really good winter. That’s what I’ve tried to focus on.”
Although the 2020 season is quite new and there are still eight months remaining in the regular season, the Canadian sits third in the bareback riding world standings. His Thursday score should hold up for a solid payday, and there’s more opportunity to earn San Angelo cash on the horizon. Between now and his mid-February ride, Lamb will hit more of the winter rodeos to try to wrangle as much money as he can.
“San Angelo has some of the greatest fans ever,” said Lamb, who attended college in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Stephenville, Texas, on rodeo scholarships. “That building is always electric, and everybody that’s in there is really knowledgeable. They know when they see a good ride.”
That’s what they should expect over the next few weeks in San Angelo.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Jan. 30-Feb. 14
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Kody Lamb, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl; 2. Tilden Hooper, 84; 3. Spur Lacasse, 82; 4. Kash Wilson, 79; 5. Pascal Isabelle, 77; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 3.8 seconds; 2. Heath Thomas, 4.6; 3. Dakota Eldridge, 6.3; 4. Tyler Waguespack, 7.9; 5. Cameron Morman, 9.5; 6. Cade Goodman, 17.5; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Reno Cash Stoebner/Colton Brittain, 4.1 seconds; 2. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 4.4; 3. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 4.5; 4. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 5.5; 5. Tate Kirchenschlager/Ross Ashford, 9.8; 6. Tyler Wade/Billie Jack Saebens, 14.4; 7. Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger, 14.6; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Kolby Wanchuk, 84 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Line Wart; 2. Sterling Crawley, 81; 3. Mat Stratton 78.5; 4. Jake Finlay, 78; 5. Jake Watson, 77; 6. Luke White, 70; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Lane Livingston, 7.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Ty Harris, Westyn Hughes and Catfish Brown, 8.2 seconds; 5. Ike Fontenot, 12.2; 6. Tyan Thiboeaux, 12.7; 7. Adam Gray, 19.0; no other qualified runs.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Ivy Conrado-Saebens, 14.26 seconds; 2. Amanda Harris, 14.48; 3. Kelsey Knight, 14.75; 4. Angela Ganter, 14.77; 5. Janie Johnson, 14.82; 6. Natalie Bland, 15.07; 7. Kiley Dalchow, 15.22; 8. Debbie Bloxom, 15.27; 9. Ashley Harvey, 17.18; 10; Amanda Slaughter, 19.57. Average leaders: 1. Ivy Conrado-Saebens, 30.49 seconds on two runs; 2. Amanda Harris, 30.84; 3. Kelsey Knight, 31.18; 4. Angela Ganter, 31.22; 5. Janie Johnson, 31.38; 6. Natalie Bland, 31.69; 7. (tie) Kiley Dalchow and Debbie Bloxom, 31.94; 9. Ashley Harvey, 33.91; 10. Amanda Slaughter, 36.00; 11. Cheyenne Allan, 35.34; 12. Nicki Zimmerman, 41.59.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Elliot Jacoby, 86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Snake Ears; no other qualified rides.