Young cowboy gaining lessons

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BELLVILLE, Texas – Wheeler is a town of 1,600 people in the Texas Panhandle. It’s dry and rugged, and it’s home to many cowboys.

Tim Murphy has lived there for three months, and that’s because he wanted to compete in rodeo for a living. On Friday night during the second performance of the Austin County Fair and Rodeo, he matched moves with United Pro Rodeo’s Buckle Up for 81.5 points to take the bareback riding lead.

“This is my first time in Bellville, but like it,” said Murphy, 21, originally from Simpsonville, S.C. “It’s a little bit humid, but I like it. I used to be used to humidity, but I’ve already gotten use to life in Wheeler.”

He has just begun his second season competing on his permit, a training ground for young cowboys who want to eventually compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

“I don’t think I’m ready to get my rookie card just yet,” he said. “I’m going to go one more year on my permit just to get the feel for things and make sure I’m ready.”

If his ride Friday night were any indication, Murphy is taking his lessons quite well. He’s living and traveling with Zach Hibler, the 2018 PRCA Rookie of the Year. It’s proved to be beneficial for the South Carolinian by birth.

“He’s a really good coach,” Murphy said of Hibler, who is second in Bellville with a 79.5-point ride. “He has helped me a lot the last few months and really progressed my bareback riding a bunch.”

That’s the key for the two young cowboys. Good or bad, every experience offers an opportunity to learn. Maturation is a great thing, but it can’t be rushed. That’s why Murphy will continue to compete on his permit to allow his brain and his body to grow into the position of professional bareback rider.

It’s not an easy life. Through most of the summer, cowboys are on the road for several weeks at a time. Whether it’s being strapped to wild bucking horses or sitting in a vehicle for 10 hours straight, bareback riding is hard on the body.

“I just love doing it,” he said. “We work out and try to stay in the best shape we can.”

And on Friday night, Murphy experienced the verbal crowd that packed into the Austin County Fairgrounds to see him and other contestants compete.

“Man, it’s an awesome crowd,” Murphy said. “They’re active, and I like it when a crowd gets into the rodeo.”

That means he’s likely to return.

Austin County Fair and Rodeo
Oct. 11-13
Bellville, Texas
Bareback riding:
 1. Tim Murphy, 81.5 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Buckle Up; 2. Zach Hibler, 79.5; 3. Blade Elliott, 77.5; 4. Sandro Ferretti, 74.5; 5. Tyler David Johnson, 73; 6. (tie) Paden Hurst and Luke Wozney, 70.

Steer wrestling: 1. Jacob Talley, 3.4 seconds; 2. Heath Thomas, 4.5; 3. (tie) A.D. Davis II and Lucas Brasfield, 4.6; 5. Sam Powers, 4.7; 6. Dakota Stermer, 5.2; 7. Justin Shaffer, 5.4; 8. Tom Uttermark, 6.2.

Team roping: 1. Cory Kidd V/Martin Lucero, 4.7 seconds; 2. Caleb Mitchell/Seth Smithson, 4.9 3. (tie) Garett Chick/Ross Ashford and Landon McClaugherty/Case Swaim, 5.0; 5. Tanner Tomlinson/Corey Hedrick, 5.1; 6. Shane Phillip/John Phillip, 6.2; 7. Stratton Lopez/Ronnie Lopez, 12.1; 8. Manny Eguesquiza Jr./York Gill, 14.0.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Parker Kempfer, 79 point on United Pro Rodeo’s Ausome Sauce; 2. Taygen Schuelke, 74; 3. Dusty Hausauer, 69; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Cody Lawrence, 8.4 seconds; 2. (tie) De Andre Jackson and Justin Smith, 8.6; 4. Lane Livingston, 8.8; 5. Justin Macha, 9.0; 6. Austin Atkinson, 9.5; 7. Coley Salge, 9.8; 8. Trenton Smith, 9.9.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Chloe Gray, 16.18 seconds; 2. Kelly Carrington, 16.19; 3. Tiany Schuster, 16.20; 4. (tie) Tasha Welsh and Melinda Edwards Dunn, 16.26; 6. Cheyenne Wimberley, 16.27; 7. (tie) Ericka Nelson, Taci Bettis and Jill Wilson, 16.32; 10. Alex Lang, 16.35; 11. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Ivy Hurst, 16.39.

Steer roping: First round: 1. (tie) J. tom Fisher and Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds, $925 each; 3. Cole Patterson, 10.3, $633; 4. Tony Reina, 10.4, $489; 5. Trenton Johnson, 10.8, $314; 6. (tie) Mike Chase and Travis Mills, 10.9, $87 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Laramie Allen and Brodie Poppino, 10.0 seconds, $925 each; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 10.7; 4. Trenton Johnson, 10.9, $489; 5. Corey Ross, 11.0, $314; 6. Cody Lee, 11.2, $175. Average: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 21.5 seconds on two runs, $1,519; 2. Trenton Johnson, 21.7, $1,257; 3. John E. Bland, 22.3, $995; 4. Mike Chase, 23.0, $733; 5. Bryce Davis, 23.1, $471; 6. Travis Mills, 23.5, $262.

Bull riding: 1. Brody Yeary, 87.5 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Wonder Boy; 2. Denton Fugate, 85; 3. (tie) Jeff Askey and Jesse Petri, 77; 5. Parker McCown, 76.5; 6. Clayton Sellars, 76.


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