Konkel makes solid return to rodeo

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Blaine Konkel steps off his horse to finish his fifth-place run Saturday night at the Cattlemen's Days PRCA Rodeo in Gunnison, Colorado. (PHOTO BY ROBBY FREEMAN)

GUNNISON, Colo. – For full-time rodeo cowboys, mid-July equals the final push of the regular season and hope of qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo.

For regional cowboy Blaine Konkel, this week was a return to the game he loves and has done most of his life – albeit with about a 10-year break in between. He wrapped up his homecoming, of sorts, by earning some Colorado cash at Cattlemen’s Days PRCA.

During Saturday night’s final performance, Konkel roped and tied his calf in 11.1 seconds to finish fifth in tie-down roping, pocketing $807 in the process. That’s not a bad payday in a week’s worth of work.

“I just stared rodeoing again this summer,” said Konkel, 32, of Fort Collins, Colorado. “This is the first weekend I went. I competed in Laramie (Wyoming), Casper (Wyoming) and Estes Park (Colorado), and this is the only check I won.”

That’s still a good thing, because that money will count toward his place in the Mountain States Circuit. In fact, his one-rodeo payout should put him quickly into the top 25 in the circuit standings.

“I’ve been to Gunnison a couple of times,” he said. “It’s just a good rodeo to get to. The hospitality is great; they give us free hay, feed us good and the calves are good. That’s everything you want in a rodeo.”

Konkel was raised in Fort Collins, and the rodeo bug hit him early. He competed through youth rodeo and into high school competition before taking his game to the intercollegiate level at Montana State University in Bozeman.

“I took a few years off and worked for a while, and I’m just getting back into it,” said Konkel, who works in the oil and gas industry. “I work seven days on, seven days off, so it works out to get off and go to a few rodeos over the summer.

“I like to rodeo, so I try to get to a few when I can in the summertime.”

But any competitor knows that it takes a solid partner to make things happen quick in the arena. for Konkel, that comes in a beautiful palomino gelding that he suspects is 16 or 17 years old. The horse worked great on Saturday night.

“I bought this horse when I was in college,” he said of Sonny, which was 4 or 5 when Konkel acquired the snappy mount. “He was turned out for a while, and I just started using him again. He’s just a good horse. He’s always been solid and works great.”

The proof came on the final night of Gunnison’s rodeo.

Cattlemen’s Days
Gunnison, Colo.
July 11-13
All-around champion:
Braxton Morgan, $106 in team roping and tie-down roping

Bareback riding: 1. Casey Colletti, 87 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Sun Catcher, $1,973; 2. Logan Patterson, 84, $1,495; Skyler Erickson, 80.5, $1,076; 4. Craig Wisehart, 79.5, $717; 5. (tie) Tucker Zingg and Bobby Reynolds, 78, $359 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.7 seconds, $2,017; 2. Aaron Vosler, 4.2, $1,669; 3. Kade Greer, 4.4, $1,322; 4. (tie) Austin Eller and Chisum Docheff, 4.7, $800 each; 6. Joseph Buffington, 5.0, $348.

Team roping: 1. Wade Kreutzer/Kyon Kreutzer, 5.6 seconds, $2,443; 2. Brit Ellerman/Trey Johnson, 5.7, $2,124; 3. (tie) Clayton Van Aken/Cullen Teller and Casey Tew/Jason Johe, 5.8, $1,646 each; 5. (tie) Philip Schuman/Josh Fillmore and Jesse Sheffield/Derek Pake Younger, 6.0, $1,009 each; 8. (tie) Travis Bounds/T.J. Watts and Braxton Morgan/C.L. Morgan, 6.3, $106 each.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Tyler Beebe, 83.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s -528, $2,064; 2. Lefty Holman, 79, $1,583; 3. (tie) Ryder Sanford and Wyatt Hageman, 78, $963 each; 5. (tie) Parker Kempfer and Cooper Thatcher, 77.5, $413 each; 7. Joey Sonnier, 77, $275; 8. Reed Neely, 75.5, $206.

Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Justin Smith and Jarrett Oestmann, 9.1 seconds, $1,576 each; 3. Robert Mathis, 10.4, $1,246; 4. Brice Ingo, 10.7, $1,926; 5. Blaine Konkel, 11.1, $807; 6. Kyle Dickens, 11.3, $587; 7. Stuart Hoar, 12.5, $367; 8. Justin Hindeman, 13.6, $147

Barrel racing: 1. Nicole Waggoner, 17.58 seconds, $1,680; 2. Chris Gibson, 17.65, $1,440; 3. Dani Brownell, 17.71, $1,200; 4. Kynzie McNeill, 17.92, $1,040; 5. (tie) Shaylee Hindmann and and Kelley Schnaufer, 17.94, $720 each; 7. Katie Jolly, 17.96, $480; 8. Sara Cheeney, 17.99; 9. Kelly Yates, 18.03; 10. Lexi Bath, 18.21, $160.

Bull riding: 1. Trevor Kastner, 89 points on United Pro Rodeo’s East Side, $2,540; 2. (tie) Nathan Hatchell and Brady Porteneir, 86.5, $1,756 each; 4. Braden Richardson, 86, $1,050; 5. Tristan Mize, 82.5, $737.


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