ESTES PARK, Colo. – Sometimes it pays to know the competition. That’s why championship teams scout their opponents, and it’s why rodeo cowboys pay attention to the animals they’ve drawn.
Will Lummus knew the steer on which he competed Friday night at Rooftop Rodeo was good. Sam Williams won the first round with a 3.6-second run, and another cowboy was fast that same steer on Thursday night.
But nobody’s been faster this week in Estes Park than Lummus, who grappled the animal to the ground in 3.2 seconds to take the second-round and aggregate leads at Rooftop Rodeo. He even tied an arena record, matching the same time set by John Lowry in 1976 and Chad Hagan in 2002.
“That was the fastest steer I’ve ever thrown,” said Lummus of West Point, Miss. “I was 3.3 in Jackson, Miss., last year, so this was cool. Last year here, I was 4.5 on both steers and didn’t win anything. I like Estes Park. It’s an awesome place to be. They have always had good steers, and just the environment …
“I’m from Mississippi, and we don’t have mountains. Everywhere you go around here, the scenery is beautiful. There’s great cattle, a great committee; this is a great place to have a rodeo with great fans. It’s a wonderful place to be.”
He also got some big-time assistance from his traveling partner, K.C. Jones, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Decatur, Texas. Jones served as the hazer, while Lummus rode Jones’ horse, Tebow.
“That horse is 21 years old and doesn’t look like it,” Lummus said. “That’s actually the first steer I’ve run on him this y ear. We felt like this setup fit Tebow better, and it worked out great.
“Great horse, great hazer and a great hazing horse, Ava. It all came together well.
It also came together for bareback rider Jake Brown, a three-time NFR qualifier from Cleveland, Texas. The reigning Rooftop Rodeo champion, has earned more than $67,500 so far this season and sits fourth in the world standings. He’s ever so close to clinching his fourth straight trip to Las Vegas in December, home of ProRodeo’s grand finale.
“This rodeo’s huge,” Brown said after his 85-point ride on Cervi Rodeo’s Fire’s Easy, which moved him into the lead. “I got the win last year, and I was blessed. I won over $6,000. That’s a big chuck over what it takes to get to the NFR. If I get the win here this year, I think I’d be pretty comfortable and think I’d almost made the NFR before the end of July.”
Only the top 15 advance to the season grand championship, the sport’s richest rodeo. It’s a big deal to be playing for the biggest money when December arrives. Having success in Estes Park has been a big part of why he’s played on rodeo’s biggest stages.
“It’s just awesome here,” he said of Estes Park, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in every direction. “It’s great added money, great horses and beautiful weather. The hospitality is awesome.
“This has been a good rodeo to me, and that’s why I keep coming back here from year to year.”
Estes Park, Colo.
July 5-10, 2018
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding:1. Jake Brown, 85 points on Cervi Rodeo’s Fire’s Easy; 2. Lane McGehee, 83; 3. Kelly Timberman, 78.5; 4. (tie) Tilmon Moore and Levi Nicholson, 75; 6. Zach Hibler, 74; 7. Bryton John Byert, 71; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Sam Williams, 3.6 seconds, $1,363; 2. Will Lummus, 3.8, $1,128; 3. Laine Herl, 4.2, $893; 4. (tie) Tom Littell and Cody Devers, 4.3, $541 each; 6. (tie) Trever Nelson and Gary Gilbert, 4.4, $118 each. Second round: 1. Will Lummus, 3.2 seconds; 2. Cole McNamee, 4.0 seconds; 3. Laine Herl, 4.6; 4. Heath Thompson, 4.9; 5. Joe Buffington, 6.1; 6. Tom Littell, 6.3. Average: 1. Will Lummus, 7.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Laine Herl, 8.8; 3. Sam Williams, 10.0; 4. Tom Littell, 10.6; 5. Logan McDonald, 15.3; 6. Darrel Petry, 26.0.
Team roping: 1. Jake Barnes/Rich Skelton, 4.6 seconds; 2. Paul Beckett/Chad Wahlert, 4.7; 3. Rhett Anderson/Coleby Payne, 5.7; 4. Stratton Lopez/Krece Harris, 5.8; 5. Cole Cooper/J.C. Flake, 5.9; 6. Cyle Denison/Lane Siggins.
Saddle bronc riding 1. Hardy Braden, 83 points on Cervi Brothers’ Silence of the Lambs; 2. Colt Gordon, 81.5; 3. Tanner Lockhart, 77.5; 4. Spencer Wright, 77; 5. Dawson Hay, 71; 6. Toby Collins, 70; 7. Ryder Wright, 69; 8. (tie) Parker Kempfer and Shanse Darling, 67.
Tie-down roping: 1. Reno Gonzales, 8.4 seconds; 2. Jesse Clark, 9.4; 3. Scott Kormos, 10.2; 4. Anthony Jordan, 10.6; 5. Joey Dickens, 10.78; 6. Caleb Smidt, 10.9; 7. Cimarron Boardman, 11.4; 8. Bryson Sechrist, 11.6.
Barrel racing: 1. Heidi Tillard, 17.47 seconds; 2. Jaime Merrill, 17.53; 3. Andrea Busby, 17.77; 4. Rachel Pozzi, 17.82; 5. Amanda Devencenty, 18.05; 6. (tie) Callie Colten and Paige Wiseman, 18.15; 8. Amy Smith, 18.19; 9. Lauren Guntle, 18.56; 10. Lindy James, 18.63.
Bull riding: 1. Kyle Gardner, 85 points on Cervi Brothers Rodeo’s Birthday Suit; 2. Reid Barker, 84.5; 3. Jimy Marten, 82.5; 4. Moody McCoy, 77; 5. Colten Fritzian, 75.5; 6. Toby Collins, 72; no other qualified rides.