New team moves into Angelo lead

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Kolton Schmidt, right, prepares to turn his steer Saturday night in order for his heeler, Hunter Koch, to make a clean catch. The two share the team roping lead at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. (PHOTO BY RIC ANDERSEN)

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Kolton Schmidt and Hunter Koch have quite a few things in common.

Both have earned one qualification to the National Finals Rodeo: Schmidt in 2016; Koch last December. Both are Canadian Professional Rodeo Association champions, with Schmidt winning the heading title in 2013, and Koch claiming the heeling crown last year.

Hunter Koch
Hunter Koch

Now, they’re roping for the title at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. On Saturday, they put in two solid times and share the top spot in the aggregate standings with another team, Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan. Schmidt and Koch were 5.0 seconds Saturday afternoon to sit third in the first round, then followed that with a 5.4-second run to hold on to sixth place in the second round.

That 10.4-second cumulative time on two runs puts them in a good position to return to Foster Communications Coliseum on Feb. 14 to compete in the championship round.

“We caught two steers, and that’s big,” said Schmidt, who indicated another tie between the two: Koch is dating Schmidt’s sister. “It’s early in the rodeo, and I don’t think the rounds will stay to where we can place in both, but we were hoping to make the short-go. That’s what we came here to do, and I’m pretty excited to get it done.”

It’s a good start to the season for the two ropers who joined forces last October with hopes of returning to the NFR together in December. Last year, Schmidt roped with Jeremy Buhler, a fellow Canadian who earned the 2016 heeling world title, while Koch made the NFR with two-time world champion header Matt Sherwood.

“I’m really excited about the partnership,” said Schmidt of Barrhead, Alberta. “The guy heels great, and I think it’s going to be a good fit. I trust him, so all I have to do is catch the steers on my end and turn them so he can do his job. That’s the mentality I have.”

Kolton Schmidt
Kolton Schmidt

He should. He and Koch sit 14th in their respective disciplines early in this new season. They have eight more months to remain among the top 15 if they hope to return to Las Vegas and compete for that elusive world championship.

“The great thing about Hunter is that he’s a great guy who is grounded,” Schmidt said of Koch, who lives in Vernon, Texas. “He’s very talented and works hard. He has a good mindset. Really, he’s got all the right stuff.”

That’s what it takes to win in ProRodeo … well, that and a little luck. Still, both men have proven they have tremendous talent, and they were able to showcase it in San Angelo on a Saturday.

“If I want to get back to the NFR, I need to keep my horses right and keep my head on straight,” he said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We don’t want to let the highs get too high or the lows get too low. I just want to do my job and let my partner do his.”

If they can do that, success will quickly follow.

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. (tie) Tilden Hooper and Chad Rutherford, 84; 4. Bill Tutor, 83.5; 5. Spur Lacasse, 82; 6. Jade Taton, 80; 7. Tim Murphy, 79.5; 8. Kash Wilson, 79; 9. Kyle Charley, 78; 10. (tie) Pascal Isabelle, Lane  McGeehee and Paden Hurst, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 3.8 seconds; 2. Heath Thomas, 4.6; 3. Bridger Chambers, 5.1; 4. Scott Guenthner, 5.2; 5. Cody Cabral, 5.8; 6. Dakota Eldridge, 6.3; 7. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Dirk Tavenner, 7.9. Second round leaders: 1. Cameron Moorman, 3.9 seconds; 2. Dakota Eldridge, 4.1; 3. (tie) Sterling Lambert, Luke Branquinho and Cade Goodman, 4.3; 6. Austin Courmier, 4.4; 7. Tyler Waguespack, 4.6; 8. Will Lummus, 4.7. Average leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 9.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Scott Guenthner, 10.0; 3. Heath Thomas, 10.0; 4. Dakota Eldridge, 10.4; 5. Cody Cabral, 10.7; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 12.5; 7. Cameron Morman, 13.4; 8. Dirk Tavenner, 14.3; 9. Stetson Jorgensen, 15.0; 10. Will Lummus, 16.5; 11. Cade Goodman, 21.8; 12. Bridger Chambers, 32.3.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Reno Cash Stoebner/Colton Brittain, 4.1 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 4.5; 3. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 5.0; 4. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 5.1; 5. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 5.5; 6. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 9.4; 7. Tate Kirchenschlager/Ross Ashford, 9.8; 8. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 14.3. Second round leaders: 1. Dustin Eguesquiza/Travis Graves, 3.7 seconds; 2. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 3.8; 3. Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, 4.8; 4. Brenton Hall/Chase Tryan, 4.9; 5. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 5.0; 6. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 5.4; 7. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 9.6; 8. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan and Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 10.4 seconds on two runs; 3. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 14.4; 4. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 14.7; 5. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 24.0; 6. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 3.7 seconds on one run; 7. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 3.8; 8. Reno Cash Stoebner, 4.1; 9. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 4.5; 10. Levi Simpson/Shay Carrol, 4.8; 11. Tate Kirchenschlager/Ross Ashford, 9.8; 12. Tyler Wade, Billie Jack Saebens, 14.4.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 88 points on Lancaster & Jones ProRodeo’s Total Equine Ruffy; 2. Carter Elshere, 85.5; 3. Jesse Wright, 84.5; 4. Kolby Wanchuk, 84; 5. Jacob Lewis, 82.5; 6. (tie) Isaac Diaz and Brody Cress, 82; 8. (tie) Sterling Crawley and Ben Andersen, 81; 10. Chase Zweifel, 80; 11. (tie) Dean Wadsworth and Jade Taton, 79.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Lane Livingston, 7.2 seconds; 2. Blane Cox, 7.8; 3. (tie) Ty Harris, Westyn Hughes and Catfish Brown, 8.2; 6. Jake Pratt, 8.3; 7. Rhen Richard, 8.7; 8. Andrew Burks, 8.9. Second round leaders: 1. Justin Smith, 7.0 seconds; 2. Marty Yates, 7.1.; 3. (tie) Ike Fontenot and Riley Pruitt, 7.4; 5. Blane Cox, 7.8; 6. Tyler Milligan, 7.9; 7. Zach Jongbloed, 8.3; 8. Jake Pratt. Average leaders: 1. Blane Cox, 15.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Jake Pratt, 16.8; 3. Ty Harris, 17.0; 4. Lane Livingston, 17.3; 5. Ike Fontenot, 19.6; 6. Ryan Thibodeaux, 22.2; 7. Ryan Jarrett, 26.2; 8. Andrew Burks, 27.9; 9. Adam Gray, 28.2; 10. Justin Smith, 7.0 seconds on one run; 11. Marty Yates, 7.1; 12. Riley Pruitt, 7.4.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Ivy Conrado-Saebens, 14.26 seconds; 2. Carlee Otero, 14.32; 3. Sadie Wolaver, 14.36; 4. Cheyenne Wimberley, 14.42; 5. Amanda Harris, 14.48; 6. (tie) Jacque Woolman and Margo Crowther, 14.50; 8. Tara Carr, 14.55; 9. Shelby Bates, 14.57; 10. Shelby McCamey, 14.60. Average leaders: 1. Ivy Conrado-Saebens, 30.49 seconds on two runs; 2. Carlee Otero, 30.65; 3. Margo Crowther, 30.73; 4. Jacque Woolman, 30.75; 5. Amanda Harris, 30.84; 6. Cheyenne Wimberley, 30.87; 7. Sadie Wolaver and Christine Laughlin, 31.04; 9. Tara Carr, 31.13; 10. Laura Lambert, 31.16; 11. (tie) Shelby Bates, Shelby McCamey and Kelsey Knight, 31.18.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Stetson Wright, 89 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Candy Man; 2. Elliot Jacoby, 86.5; 3. Ty Wallace, 84; 4. Jeston Mead, 83.5; 5. Brody Yeary, 82; no other qualified rides.


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