O’Connell earns shot at final round

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Shane O’Connell rides Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Network Gazer for 86 points to move into the money in the first round and advance to the championship round of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Shane O’Connell was excited about his draw Thursday night during the 11th performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

He was a little envious, too. O’Connell, who qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 2018, watched from home as Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Network Gazer performed at last year’s grand championship. He’s hoping the two will match up again at the 2021 NFR in Las Vegas.

“That’s just a great horse, but all the experiences I’ve had with Cullen Pickett horses, I know most of them are big, strong bays that will get you paid every time,” said O’Connell, 25, of Rapid City, South Dakota. “That horse tested me, and that horse really bucked.”

He and Network Gazer matched moves in Foster Communications Coliseum for 86 points, good enough to finish the first round in a tie for sixth place with world champion Tim O’Connell (no relation). Both the O’Connell boys earned $1,158 and have a great chance to cash in even more in Friday’s championship round, which will feature only the top 12 times or scores through the preliminary rounds.

“The last couple of years, I’ve been making good rides, but I haven’t been able to put anything together,” Shane O’Connell said. “I was ready for this year. The money we won at the circuit finals counted (toward the world standings). I cracked my first 90 in Jackson (Mississippi) and finished second there. I went to San Antonio, and I was 90 twice. I’ve just been drawing good horses this winter, and that’s been a big part of the equation.

“I’ve still got to ride them to get my score, but I’ve gotten to where I just crave it. I was looking out the window on the drive down here, and I was just ready to go.”

Thursday’s performance had plenty of excitement as contestants battled to find a way into the short round. Barrel racer Wenda Johnson of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, posted the fastest run of the rodeo, stopping the clock in 14.11 seconds. By winning the second round, she earned $5,595. But that’s not all. She also finished second in the opening go-round two and a half weeks ago, which was worth $4,796.

She’s cashed in big already, and there’s one night left in the rodeo. The final performance will be the Cinch Chute-Out, and it’s set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday. By then, though, the San Angelo champions will already be crowned.

To make that happen, though, the competition will be tight. O’Connell knows that as well as anyone. He’s experienced San Angelo before, but this will be his first time in the short round.

“There are a handful of these rodeos in these smaller buildings that are just electrifying,” he said. “The people make it electric. There are a handful that stick out, and this is one. I haven’t had much luck here before, but I’ve had to watch the short round. They pack this place up, and it gets loud.

“I know we’re all going to draw good horses. They’re going to stack the short round with the 10th-rounders, the really good horses that we see in the 10th round of the NFR. They’re going to buck hard, but they’re going to feel good.”

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
April 9-23
Bareback riding leaders:
1. Cole Franks, 88 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s Hot Flash, $5,892; 2. (tie) Tilden Hooper and Zach Hibler, 87, $3,862 each; 4. Caleb Bennett, 86.5, $2,124; 5. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Shane O’Connell, 86, $1,158 each; 7. (tie) Chad Rutherford and Wyatt Denny, 85.5, $676 each; 9. (tie) Luke Creasy and Garrett Shadbolt, 85; 11. Kaycee Field, 84.5; 12. Cauy Pool, 84.  

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Jesse Brown, 3.4 seconds, $4,529; 2. (tie) Brandon Harrison, Jacob Edler and Jacob Talley, 3.5, $3,348 each; 5. (tie) Dakota Eldridge, Gavin Soileau and Kalane Anders, 3.6, $1,575 each; 8. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Cody Devers, 3.7, $197 each. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Pearson, Kyle Irwin and Trell Etbauer, 3.6 seconds, $3,939 each; 4. T.J. Hall, 3.7, $2,757; 5. (tie) Jay Williamson, Cody Moore, Gavin Soileau, Termaine Debose and Cody Harmon, 3.8, $1,024 each. Average leaders: 1. Gavin Soileau, 7.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Jacob Talley, 7.8; 3. (tie) Jesse Brown, Jacob Edler and Cade Stanton, 8.0; 6. (tie) Taz Olson and Nick Guy, 8.1; 8. (tie) Shane Frey, Billy Boldon, Ryan McKay Nettle and Trell Etbauer, 8.2; 12. (tie) Cody Devers, Remey Parrott, Grady Payne and Tory Johnson, 8.3 (Devers advances to short round via the tie-breaker).

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Jake Orman/Brye Crites and John Gaona/Trevor Nowlin, 3.9 seconds, $4,174 each; 3. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 4.0, $3,300; 4. (tie) Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp and Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 4.2, $2,427 each; 6. (tie) Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, Cooper White/Tucker White and Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.3, $971 each. Second round leaders: 1.(tie) Dustin Eguisquiza/Travis Graves and Cyle Denison/Brady Norman, 3.5, $4,174 each; 3. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jake Long and Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 3.6, $3,009 each; 5. Jr. Dees/Rich Skelton, 3.7, $2,135; 6. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 3.8, $1,553; 7. Clint Summers/Rosh Ashford, 3.9, $971; 8. (tie) Kal Fuller/Coleby Payne and Wyatt Muggli/Casey McCleskey, 4.0, $194 each. Average leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Clay Tryan/Jake Long, 8.4; 3. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 9.5; 4. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 8.6; 5. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 8.9; 6. Cooper White/Tucker White, 9.0; 7. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 9.4; 8. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 10.0; 9. Cory Clark/Wyatt Cox, 10.8; 10. Jaguar Terrill/Sid Sporer, 11.0; 9. Wyatt Muggli/Casey McCleskey, 13.8; 11. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 12.5; 12. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 13.6.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Chet Johnson, 87 points on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Vertical Horizon, $5,637; 2. Kolby Wanchuck, 86, $4,322; 3. Dawson Hay, 84.5, $3,194; 4. Jacobs Crawley, 84, $2,067; 5. (tie) Cort Scheer, Isaac Diaz, Jarrod Hammons and Lefty Holman, 83.5, $893 each; 9. (tie) Allen Boore, Chase Brooks and Sage Newman, 83; 12. Lucas Macza, 82.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 7.3 seconds, $6,353; 2. Bradley Bynum, 7.5, $5,525; 3. Tanner Green, 7.6, $4,696; 4. Shad Mayfield, 7.7, $3,867; 5. Reid Zapalac, 7.9, $3,039; 6. Riley Pruitt, 8.0, $2,910; 7. (tie) Kincade Henry, Beau Cooper, Seth Cooke and J.D. McCuistion, 8.1, $483 each. Second round leaders: 1. Haven Meged, 7.2 seconds, $6,353; 2. Sy Felton, 7.4, $5,525; 3. Clint Robinson, 7.8, $4,696; 4. Cooper Martin, 8.0, $3,867; 5. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Caleb Smidt, 8.1, $2,624 each; 7. Trent Creager, 8.2, $1,381; 8. Colten Wallis, 8.3, $552. Average leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 15.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Cooper Martin, 16.6; 3. Seth Cooke, 17.1; 4. Shad Mayfield, 17.3; 5. Garrett Jacobs, 17.4; 6. (tie) Jake Booze and Beau Cooper, 18.0; 8. Chance Thiessen, 18.2; 9. (tie) John Clark and Sy Felton, 18.3; 11. Westyn Hughes, 18.4; 12. Reese Riemer, 18.5.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Wenda Johnson, 14.11 seconds, $5,595; 2. Dona Kay Rule, 14.17, $4,795; 3. (tie) Michelle Alley and Lacinda Rose, 14.22, $3,730 each; 5. Jordon Briggs, 14.24, $2,664; 6. Cheyenne Wimberley, 14.27, $2,131; 7. (tie) Megan Champion and Stephanie Fryar, 14.28, $1,332 each; 9. (tie) Bristan Kennedy and Kassie Mowry, 14.32, $666 each; 8. Alex Lang, 14.35. Average leaders: 1. Wenda Johnson, 29.92 seconds on two runs; 2. Dona Kay Rule, 30.08; 3. Cheyenne Wimberley, 30.15; 4. Carly Taylor, 30.22; 5. Megan Champion, 30.24; 6. Kelly Bruner, 30.28; 7. Jordon Briggs, 30.32; 8. Kassie Mowry, 30.41; 9. Bristan Kennedy, 30.43; 10. Shelley Morgan, 30.45; 11. Stephanie Fryar, 30.47; 12. Michelle Alley, 30.49.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Boudreaux Campbell, 92.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Oyster Bayou, $5,835; 2. Laramie Mosley, 89, $4,473; 3. (tie) Trey Benton III and Sage Kimzey, 88, $2,723 each; 5. Jace Trosclair, 87, $1,361; 6. Wyatt Gregg, 86.5, $972; 7. Maverick Potter, 86, $778; 8. Shawn Bennett Jr., 85.5, $583; 9. Joao Veiera, 85; 10. (tie) Josh Frost and Chris Bechtold and Tyler Bingham, 84.5. (Dakota Eagleburger and J.C. Mortensen advance to short round as replacements for Campbell and Veiera)


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