DeMoss gains revenge on Air Miles

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LOVINGTON, N.M. – It takes tremendous passion to follow gold-buckle dreams in ProRodeo.

Saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss has it. The four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Heflin, La., followed his passion Friday to the Lea County Fair and Rodeo for a rematch with Carr Pro Rodeo’s Air Miles.

“I actually got on her four years ago here, and she bucked me off,” he said of the horse, a 13-year-old sorrel mare. “It was sweet revenge tonight.”

Heith DeMoss
Heith DeMoss

The tandem matched moves across Jake McClure Arena for 83 points to move into fifth place in the standings. That’s good for now, because only the top eight cowboys earn money in Lovington; DeMoss could use every dime he can manage if he hopes to finish the regular season among the top 15 on the money list and return to the NFR for a fifth time – he sits 17th in the world standings with $32,805 so far this season. New Mexico money can go a long ways to help.

“It means a lot, because I’m not high on the tour standings, so this is must-have,” he said.

The Lea County Fair and Rodeo is part of the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, a series of lucrative rodeos that pays a nice bonus at the end of the year. This week alone, there are three tour events on the contestants’ schedule; Lovington joins events in Hermiston, Ore., and Sikeston, Mo.

In fact, DeMoss and his traveling partners are making all three events in consecutive days. They rodeo Thursday in Sikeston, then made the 1,000-mile, 15-hour drive to southeastern New Mexico. As soon as they were done riding Friday, DeMoss, Bradley Harter, Doug Aldridge and Sam Spreadborough hustled to their vehicle for the 1,500-mile, 24-hour drive to Hermiston.

“I ain’t seen a shower or a bed in a long time,” DeMoss said. “There’s not a better living in the world than this right here. It gets to be a grind, but when you’re winning, this is the funnest thing in the world.

“What I love best is that it is just so man against beast. You’re against something that’s 10 times more than you are, and you try to just counteract and manipulate him into working to what you want him to do. It’s the most extreme rush you can imagine.”

He got that with Air Miles. The horse has performed at the NFR, and she bucks strong enough to return to the City of Lights. On Friday night, Air Miles was slow leaving the chute, and DeMoss had to catch up in order to be in position to show off for the judges.

“I couldn’t get a good shot out of there, so I couldn’t get her on the first lick like I wanted to,” he said, referring to the spurring motion that is in rhythm with the horse’s bucking motion. “She was jumping and kicking like you’d want one to.”

DeMoss returned to Lovington on Friday night even though he’s never had any success at McClure Arena. In rodeo, contestants have to take the best shot they can, so DeMoss rolled the dice. He’ll probably do it again next August, especially if his score holds up through Saturday’s final performance for a nice paycheck.

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 7-10
Bareback riding:
1. Jessy Davis, 87 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket; 2. Ryan Gray, 86; 3. (tie) Austin Foss and Richie Champion, 84; 5. (tie) Clint Laye, Clint Cannon, Casey Colletti and Brian Bain, 83.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Matt Reeves and K.C. Jones, 3.5 seconds; 3. Dean Gorsuchy, 3.7; 4. Tyler Waguespoack, 3.9; 5. (tie) Hunter Cure/Ty Erickson, 4.4; 7. Clayton Hass, 4.5; 8. (tie) Jacob Shofner and Shawn Mills, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1. Jule Hazen, 3.6 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 3.9; 3. Ben Shofner, 4.0; 4. Ryan Swayze, 4.1; 5. Chance Campbell, 4.2; 6. Hunter Cure, 4.3; 7. Monty Eakin, 4.4; 8. (tie) Pepe Arballo and Stockton Graves, 4.5; 7. Tyler Waguespack, 4.8; 8. Jacob Shofner, 4.9. Average leaders: 1. K.C. Jones, 7.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Jule Hazen, 8.6; 3. Tyler Waguespack and Hunter Cure, 8.7; 5. Dean Gorsuch, 9.1; 7. Matt Reeves, 9.2; 7. (tie) Jacob Shofner and Stockton Graves, 9.5; 6. Ryan Swayze, 9.7; 7. Nick Guy, 10.3; 8. Monty Eakin, 10.4.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Jesse Clar, 7.7; 2. Justin Maass, 7.8 seconds; 3. Adam Gray, 7.9; 4. Tuf Cooper, 8.0; 5. Scott Kormos, 8.1; 6. Joseph Parsons, 8.2; 7. Caleb Smidt, 8.3; 8. (tie) Cody McCartney and Trevor Brazile, 8.4. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Clif Cooper and Shane Hanchey, 7.6 seconds; 3. Clint Singleton, 8.0; 4. Seth Childers, 8.1; 5. 5. Cimarron Boardman, 82; 6. (tie) Monty Lewis, Clint Cooper and Cody McCartney, 8.3. Average leaders: 1. Shane Hanchey, 16.5 seconds; 2. Cody McCartney, 16.7; 3. (tie) Monty Lewis and Caleb Smidt, 16.8; 5. (tie) Clif Cooper and Justin Maass, 17.4; 7. Clint Cooper, 17.5; 8. Marty Yates, 17.6.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jesse Bail, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Hard Tack; 2. (tie) Cole Elshere, Jacobs Crawley and Isaac Diaz, 84; 5. Heith DeMoss, 83; 6. Bradley Harter, 82; 7. Bryan Martinat, 81; 8. (tie) Chuck Schmidt and Travis Sheets, 80.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 9.2 seconds; 2. Joe Wells, 9.7; 3. Lawson Plemons, 9.8; 4. Rocky Patterson, 10.3; 5. Kim Ziegelgruber, 11.0; 6. (tie) John Bland and Vin Fisher Jr., 11.2; 8. Leo Campbell, 11.4. Average leaders: 1. J.P. Wickett, 32.4 seconds on three runs; 2. Vin Fisher Jr., 33.0; 3. Trevor Brazile, 34.5; 4. Kim Ziegelgruber, 35.3; 5. Jarrett Blessing, 36.3; 6. Tony Reina, 37.5; 7. Randy Wells, 38.1; 8. Chet Herren, 38.9.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Spencer Mitchell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Drew Homer/Buddy Hawkins II and Kaleb Driggers/Travis Graves, 4.8; 5. (tie) Chace Thompson/Jaytin McCright and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.1; 6. (tie) Brock Hanson/Kory Koontz and David Key/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 8. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.4. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper and Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 4.5 seconds; 3. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 4.8; 4. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Victor Begay and Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 5.1; 6. Chace Thompson/Jaytin McCright, 5.2; 7. (tie) Erich Rogers/Cory Petska and Chase Massengill/Byron Wilkerson, 5.4. Average: 1. Chace Thompson/Jaytin McCright, 10.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 10.5; 3. Aaron Tsinigine/Victor Begay, 10.6; 4. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 10.8; 5. Bobby Boyd/Shain Sproul, 12.7; 6. Travis Bard/Tom Bill Johnson, 13.5; 7. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 14.5; 8. Rodee Walraven/Diego Castillo, 14.8.

Barrel racing: 1. Kaley Bass, 17.31 seconds; 2. Christine Laughlin, 17.47; 3. Brittany Pozzi, 17.56; 4. Jana Bean, 17.61; 5. Whitney Baker, 17.62; 6. Lizzy Ehr, 17.68; 7. Danyelle Campbell, 17.69; 8. Lynn K. Brown, 17.79; 9. Michelle McLeod, 17.83; 10. Nalynn Cline, 17.86; 11. Tonya Parrish, 17.87; 12. (tie) Jessica Frost and Callie Duperier, 17.88; 14. Kelly Waide, 17.95; 15. Bailey Bownds, 17.96.

Bull riding: 1. Corey Navarre, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Footloose; 2. (tie) Scottie Knapp and Bobby Welsh, 85; 4. Shawn Hogg, 84; 5. Jason Beck, 82; 6. London Lockhart, 81; 7. Joe Frost, 80; 8. (tie) Cooper Davis and Shane Proctor, 79.


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