Kempfer chasing 2nd straight title

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Parker Kempfer rides Rocky Mountain Rodeo's Cimarron for 81.5 points Friday night to tie for the saddle bronc riding lead at the Austin County Fair's Rodeo. (PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

BELLVILLE, Texas – Parker Kempfer calls his win at last year’s Austin County Fair and Rodeo the biggest of his young career.

Now he has a chance to do it two years in a row. On Friday night, he rode Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Cimarron for 81.5 point to share the saddle bronc riding lead with Jarrod Hammons with one performance remaining in this year’s rodeo.

“This one here means about as much to me as anything,” said Kempfer of Melbourne, Florida. “I lost to friends from college almost a year ago, and this was his hometown.”

Kempfer graduated from Texas A&M a year ago, and his friends, Will and Bailee Byler, died last November. Returning to Bellville this October brought back emotions and, very well may have, brought out the best in the cowboy now competing in his rookie season in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

“I’ve been on my permit for a couple years, and it’s been a great year,” he said. “I’m going back to the permit finals in Vegas (in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo). It’s just another step. You’ve got to keep improving and keep learning.

“I’ve learned so much this year just getting to rodeo this summer. I’ve just got to keep working at it and hopefully it goes well this year; hopefully I can stay healthy and keep rolling.”

If things go as well as they did Friday night, then the 2020 season might be the perfect storm for the Florida cowboy, a sixth-generation cattle rancher when he’s not on the rodeo trail. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University, then earned his masters at Texas A&M-Commerce.

It was the first time he tried his hand on Cimarron, but he got a few hints of good things from one of his friends.

“My traveling partner got on him about a year ago and said he was really fun, but I didn’t tink he would be that cool,” Kempfer said on a crisp evening with temperatures in the low 50s. “It was a blast.

“I’m hitting the last few rodeos in Texas before heading home next week. I’m going to enjoy a little bit of aa time in Florida, where it’s a little bit warmer than here.”

The main thing, though, is to get off to a good start on the 2020 campaign, which began Oct. 1.

“It’s huge to get started good to the season, because I want to get my qualifications up enough to maybe get into the big winter rodeos,” he said. “Coming off your permit, you don’t have your qualifications as high as everybody else, so you just want to get out to a good start. I’m going to keep pushing my goals and see if we can get there.”

Austin County Fair and Rodeo
Oct. 10-12
Bellville, Texas
Bareback riding:
1. Cole Reiner, 82.5 points on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Rawhide; 2. Leighton Berry, 77; 3. Tanner Phipps, 76; 4. Yance Day, 74; 5. Blade Elliott, 72; 6. Tucker Zingg, 61; 7. Tyler Johnson, 59; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Jacob Edler and Cody Harmon, 3.7 seconds; 3. Cade Goodman, 4.1; 4. (tie) Kodie Jang and Jacob Talley, 4.3; 6. Shayde Tree Etherton, 4.4; 7. Josh Clark, 4.6; 8. Tory Johnson, 4.8.

Team roping: 1. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 3.8 seconds; 2. Lightning Aguilera/Brady Norman, 4.1; 3. (tie) Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger and Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.2; 5. Colby Lovell/Corey Hendrick, 4.6; 6. Shane Philipp/John Philipp, 4.7; 7. Caleb Smidt/Logan Moore, 4.8; 8. Joe Hub Baker/Chuck Butler, 5.0; 9. Aaron Macy/Jason Johe, 5.1; 10. (tie) Lane Ivy/Dillon Wingereid and Jess Tierney/Joel Oden, 6.5.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Jarrod Hammons, on United Pro Rodeo’s Sky Fall, and Parker Kempfer, on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Cimarron, 81.5 points; 3. Cole Elshere, 80; 4. Chet Johnson, 78; 5. Jacobs Crawley, 77; 6. Curtis Garton, 76.5; 7. Taygen Schuelke, 73.5; 8. Ben Andersen, 64.

Tie-down roping: 1. Zack Jongbloed, 8.1 seconds; 2. Marcos Costa, 8.5; 3. (tie) Kyle Parish and Tanner Green, 8.6; 5. (tie) Shad Mayfield and Cade Swor, 8.7 each; 7. Landyn Duncan, 9.2; 8. King Pickett, 9.6.

Barrel racing: 1. Leia Pluemer, 15.14 seconds; 2. Alishea Broussard, 15.37; 3. Lisa Thornton, 15.45; 4. Jimmie Smith, 15.48; 5. Taylor Langdon, 15.50; 6. Shelley Morgan, 15.54; 7. Fallon Taylor, 15.55; 8. Kelsey Knight, 15.56; 9. (tie)Kelly Tovar, Cassidy Champlin and Lori Todd, 15.59; 12. Deb Guelly, 15.65.

Steer roping: First round: 1. (tie) Clay Smith and Jim Locke, 9.7 seconds, $1,103 each; 3. Tuf Cooper, 10.0, $791; 4. Trevor Brazile, 10.2, $583; 5. Cole Patterson, 10.4, $375; 6. Jess Tierney, 10.7, $208. Second round: 1. Cole Patterson, 9.9 seconds, $1,207; 2. (tie) Jason Stockton and Lawson Plemons, 10.2, $895 each; 4. Tanner Green, 10.8, $583; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Landon McClaugherty, 10.9, $291 each. Average: 1. Cole Patterson, 20.3 seconds on two head, $1,811; 2. (tie) Jim Locke and Trevor Brazile, 21.1, $1,343 each; 4. Jess Tierney, 22.0, $874; 5. Tuf Cooper, 22.9, $562; 6. Scott Snedecor, 24.4, $312.

Bull riding: 1. (tie) Parker McCown, on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Amish Burnout, and J.T. Moore, on United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days, 88.5 points; 3. Foster McCraw, 86; 4. Matt Palmer, 83; 5. Braden Richardson, 81; 6. Chris Bechthold, 78.5; 7. Brett Custer, 73; no other qualified rides.


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