SAN ANGELO, Texas – At just his second Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event, tie-down roper Neil Dove earned $3,035 Wednesday night at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
Competing on his permit, Dove roped and tied his calf in 8.0 seconds, finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the opening go-round. He will make his second run of the rodeo Thursday night.
“I just got my permit right before Denver,” he said of the early January rodeo. “Denver was my first ProRodeo, and this is my second.”
In order to compete in the PRCA, cowboys must compete on a permit. In order to become a full member of the association, they must then earn at least $1,000 in a year in order to fill the qualifications. Dove has done that, and most of the season is still in front of him. He still has the option of competing this season on his permit, but he’s focus has been on the competition at hand.
“They told me I had a good calf,” said Dove, who owns a construction company in Bluff Dale, Texas. “I don’t get too hyped up about it; I just try to do my job. I focused on my start, then I had (the rope) on him quick, and things just went right.”
Things have been going right for the 26-year-old cowboy, who has only been competing in tie-down roping a short time.
“I started calf roping when I was 18, so I was a little late,” said Dove, who competed on the rodeo team at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. “I went through college and got my business degree. After college, I worked for a few years roofing houses. I didn’t have a whole lot of money, and it takes some money to rodeo, so I worked a few years and got my chickens in a row.”
It all seems to be paying off, and it comes at a good time. He and his girlfriend, barrel racer Paige Conrado, are expecting a baby this spring. He also loves the idea of carrying on a family tradition.
“Everybody in my family calf ropes,” he said. “My parents split up when I was young, and I played other sports. In fact, I was going to go to college on and run track, but then I got to roping with my granddad. I realized I probably was never going to run in the Olympics, so I just went to calf roping.”
In fact, his grandfather, “Shorty” Dove, was an avid tie-down roper. Neil Dove is riding 16-year-old Tommy, the last horse his grandfather trained.
“I came home this past summer and started roping,” he said. “My horse is amazing. My granddad got him as a 2-year-old and trained him.”
“Shorty” Dove died in September 2014, but he passed the horse on to Neil.
“I started roping on him this past summer,” Neil Dove said. “My granddad roped all the way up until he died. This is a God deal for me. He was just saving him for me for the right time. If I would’ve had him early on, he might not be the caliber of horse his is now. Things have been starting to click right now.”
If Wednesday’s performance was any indication, it looks like Dove is pushing all the right buttons.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 5-7, Feb. 12-14, Feb. 17-19
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Tanner Aus, 90 points on J Bar J Rodeo’s Pass The Hat; 2. Jake Vold and R.C. Landingham, 88 each; 4. Caleb Bennett, 86.5; 5. (tie) Mason Clements, Jamie Howlett and Tim O’Connell, 84.5 each; 8. (tie) Luke Creasy and Jake Brown, 84 each.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Josh Clark and Riley Duvall, 3.6 seconds, $3,321 each; 3. (tie) K.C. Jones, T.J. Hall, Dakota Eldridge and Heath Thomas, 3.9, $1,931 each; 7. (tie) Stan Branco and Orrin Fontenot, 4.0, $541 each. Second round leaders: 1. Jacob Talley, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Blake Knowles and Cody Woodward, 3.8 each; 4. (tie) Clayton Tuchscherer and Mike McGinn, 3.9 each; 6. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Clint Shofner, 4.1 each; 8. Cameron Mormon, 4.2. Average leaders: 1. K.C. Jones, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Dakota Eldridge, 8.3; 3. Riley Duvall, 8.4; 4. Stan Branco, 8.8; 5. (tie) Nick Guy and Trevor Knowles, 9.1 each; 7. Jacob Edler, 9.5; 8. Timmy Sparing, 9.7.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Adam Rose/Walt Woodard, 4.0 seconds, $3,506; 2. Colby Lovell/Will Wodfin, 4.1, $3,049; 3. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 4.2, $2.592; 4. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Bart Brunson/Zack Mabry, 4.5, $1,906 each; 6. (tie) Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis and Justin Davis/Zane Bruce, 4.6, $991 each; 8. (tie) Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, Tyler Wade/Kinney Harrell and Spencer Mitchell/Justin Davis, 4.7, $102 each. Second round leaders: 1. Kolton Schmidt/Shay Carroll, 3.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Spencer Mitchell/Justin Davis, Brady Tryan/Tommy Zuniga and Tate Kirchenschlager/Trevor Kirchenschlager, 3.9 each; 5. (tie) Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, Casey Tew/John Robertson and Drew Horner/Trey Johnson, 4.0 each. Average leaders 1. Spencer Mitchell/Justin Davis, 8.6 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Adam Rose/Walt Woodard and Colby Lovell/Will Woodfin, 8.7 each; 4. Nathan McWhorter/Dustin Davis, 9.0; 5. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Garrett Jess and Blake Hirdes/Joseph Shawnego, 9.3 each; 7. Tyler Wade/Kinney Harrell, 9.4; 8. Caleb Smidt/B.J. Dugger, 9.5.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 88 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Rich n Fancy; 2. Allen Boore, 85.5; 3. Rusty Wright, 85; 4. Curtis Garton, 83; 5. Joey Sonnier III, 82; 6. Ryan Mackenzie, 81; 7. Brody Cress, 80; 8. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw and Tyrel Larsen, 79.5 each.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Jake Pratt, 7.9 seconds, $4,106; 2. (tie) Michael Otero, Caleb Smidt and Neil Dove, 8.0, $3,035 each; 5. (tie) Garrett Hale and E.J. Roberts, 8.1, $1,696 each; 7. (tie) Chant DeForest and Ike Fontenot, 8.2, $625 each. Second round leaders: 1. Marcos Costa, 7.4 seconds; 2. Riley Pruitt, 7.7; 3. (tie) Timber Moore and J.D. Kibbe, 7.8 each; 5. (tie) Hunter Herrin and Justin Macha, 7.9 each; 7. Sterling Smith, 8.1; 8. (tie) Tyler Prcin, Quay Howard and Jerrad Hofstetter, 8.2 each. Average leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 16.7 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Tyler Prcin and Timber Moore, 17.4 each; 4. E.J. Roberts, 17.6; 5. Garrett Hale, 17.7; 6. Chant DeForest, 17.8; 7. Marcos Costa, 18.0; 8. (tie) Trey Young, Cody Owens and Jayce Johnson, 18.2 each.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Tana Poppino, 13.97 seconds; 2. Kathy Grimes, 13.98; 3. Alexa Lake, 14.19; 4. Cayla Melby, 14.20; 5. Lisa Thornton, 14.22; 6. Kristen Drnell, 14.23; 7. Tori Morris, 14.25; 8. Nicole Riggle, 14.26; 9. Kelly Clifton, 14.27; 10. Pamela Capper and Callie duPerier, 14.29 each. Average leaders: 1. Kathy Grimes, 29.81 seconds on two runs; 2. Pamela Capper, 29.96; 3. Jana Bean, 29.97; 4. Tana Poppino, 29.98; 5. Kristen Darnell, 30.05; 6. Sherry Cervi, 30.09; 7. Kelley Schnaufer, 30.16; 8.Callie duPerier, 30.17; 9. Nicole Riggle, 30.19; 10. Sammi Bessert, 30.24.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Dustin Bowen, 87.5 points on Lancaster & Jones’ Total Bull Battle Born; 2. Joseph McConnel, 86.5; 3. Tim Bingham, 86; 4. (tie) Reagan Avery, Jeff Bertus, John Young and Kanin Asay, 84.5 each; 8. Josh Frost, 84.