Bulldogger wrestles Lovington lead

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LOVINGTON, N.M. – Quite simply, steer wrestler Ty Erickson is having the best season of his young professional career.

On Wednesday at Jake McClure Arena, Erickson put on a dominating showcase to take the lead in the first and second rounds and the two-run aggregate; he knocked down his first steer in 3.9 seconds during the afternoon competition, then followed that up with a 4.2 in the first performance of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.

Ty Erickson
Ty Erickson

“I drew real well,” said Erickson, 23, of Helena, Mont. “That first one I wasn’t expecting it, but he slowed up and stopped right in the front of the chute. I was lucky to catch him, so I hustled and went to scrambling and was lucky enough to get him tipped over in 3.9. I knew I had a good one tonight.

“I just wanted to be real smart, get a good start and make a good run on the ground tonight.”

He did, but that seems to have been the normal pattern for the 6-foot-6 Montana cowboy. So far this season, he has earned $40,133 wrestling bovines and sits 11th in the world standings. He credits his traveling partner, K.C. Jones, and Jones’ good horse, Tebow.

“That’s an awesome horse,” he said of the sorrel gelding. “I was fortunate enough to take him out to California this past spring, and I won Red Bluff on him.

“He stands so good in the corner (of the timed-event box). When you nod your head to start the run, you can drop your reins when you want to. He’s not moving when you nod; that’s why he’s so much better than the other horses out here because he scores so well.”

A week ago, Tebow helped Jones and another Helena cowboy, Timmy Sparing, to share a three-way tie for the championship in Dodge City, Kan. Two weeks ago, Jones earned his first Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days title on his talented mount.

When he’s not riding, Jones serves as a mentor and a hazer for the younger bulldoggers, making sure the steers are in good position when it’s time to finish off a run.

“You don’t have to worry about K.C., because you know he’s always going to be there,” said Erickson, the 2011 steer wrestling rookie of the year. “You know he’s going to be pulling for you and helping you out and giving you the best go you can.”

It’s working rather well. If things continue, Erickson will be making a run at the biggest ProRodeo in the world, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“My goal is to make the finals this year, and I have a good shot now,” he said. “Hopefully this will help out.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, N.M.
Aug. 6-9
Bareback riding:
1. Luke Creasy, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Big Lights; 2. (tie) Kyle Bowers, Caine Riddle and Tim O’Connell, 79; 5. (tie) Justin Pollmiller and Winn Ratliff, 77; 7. Kody Lamb, 75; 8. Yance Day, 73.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 3.9 seconds; 2. Tanner Milan, 4.7; 3. Cooper Shofner, 4.8; 4. (tie) Cole edge and Jacob Shofner, 5.1; 6. Jule Hazen, 5.4; 7. Timmy Sparing, 6.7; 8. Cimarron Thompson, 14.0. Second round leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 4.2 seconds; 2. Timmy Sparing, 4.4; 3. Jule Hazen, 5.2; 4. Cody Cassidy, 5.6; Tanner Milan, 4.0; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Ty Erickson, 8.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Jule Hazen, 10.6; 3. Timmy Sparing, 11.1; 4. Tanner Milan, 18.7; 5. Cody Cassiedy, 12.3; 6. Cooper Shofner, 4.8 seconds on one run; 7. (tie) Jacob Shofner and Cole Edge, 5.1.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Cody Owens and Ryan Watkins, 8.4 seconds; 3. Trent Walls, 9.0; 4. (tie) J.D. Kibbe, Marcos Costa and Tyson Durfey, 9.1; 7. (tie) Clint Cooper and Stran Smith, 9.2. Second round leaders: 1. Tyson Durfey, 8.4 seconds; 2. JohnPete Etcheverry, 8.7; 3. (tie) Ryan Watkins and Marcos Costa, 9.1; 5. Chris Demases, 9.7; 6. Sean O’Neil, 9.9; 7. Clint Cooper, 11.0; 8. Russell Schilling, 19.0; Average leaders: 1. (tie) Ryan Watkins and Tyson Durfey, 17.5 seconds on two runs; 3. Marcos Costa, 18.2; 4. JohnPete Etcheverry, 18.3; 5. Clint Cooper, 20.2; 6. Sean O’Neil, 21.3; 7. Stran Smith, 29.8; 8. Russell Schilling, 43.0.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 83 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Django; 2. Cody Wright, 82; 3. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Rusty Wright, 80; 5. Sterling Crawley, 78; 6. Spencer Wright, 75; 7. Jeremy Ray Melancon, 74; 8. Dean Wadsworth, 73.

Steer roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Chance Kelton and Tom Smith, 11.3; 3. Scott Snedecor, 12.0; 4. J.P. Wickett, 12.1; 5. Mike Outhier, 12.2; 6. Jess Tierney, 12.5; 7. Martin Poindexter, 12.6; 8. Dane Noyce, 13.2. Average leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 44.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Kim Ziegelgruber, 47.9; 3. Ralph Williams, 53; 4. J.P. Wickett, 25.2 seconds on two runs; 5. Bryce Davis, 25.3; 6. Chance Kelton, 26.6; 7. Trey Wallace, 29.2; 8. Trevor Brazile, 29.6.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.7 seconds; 2. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.8; 3. Riley Minor, 5.0; 4. Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper, 11.1; 5. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 11.6; 6. Drew Horner/Buddy Hawkins II, 15.3. Second round leaders: 1. Chace Thompson/Jett Hillman, 5.3 seconds; 2. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.3; 3. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 11.0; 4. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill and Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 14.4; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 15.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.7 seconds on one run; 3. Riley Minor/Brady minor, 5.0; 5. Chace Thompson/Jett Hillman, 5.3; 5. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.3; 6. Brandon Beers/Jim Ross Cooper, 11.1; 7. Tom Richards/Monty Joe Petska, 11.6; 8. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill and Clay Smith/Jake Smith, 14.4.

Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Christine Laughlin, 17.58 seconds; 2. Dawn Lewis, 18.21; 3. Kati Jundt, 18.53; 4. Morgann McDonald, 18.59; 5. Gayle Jones, 19.47; 6. Carley Richardson, 22.43; 7. Lisa Ogden, 23.30; 8. TiAda Gray, 24.24.

Bull riding: 1. Seth Glause, 86 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Fireball; 2. Dylan Vick, 83; no other qualified rides.


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