SAN ANGELO, Texas – Big rides equal big scores in ProRodeo, and a couple of cowboys proved that during Saturday’s Cinch Chute-Out at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
The event features a unique format in which 10 contestants in each event compete in the opening round. The top three then advance to the chute-out portion of the championship night. It’s there that the titlists were crowned and the money was paid out.
Cole Reiner kicked off the chute-out with a 90.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight to win bareback riding and the $7,500 top prize issued to the winners of each event. He then waited out Cole Franks’ 88-point ride on Pickett’s Night Gazer and Tim O’Connell’s 87.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket to make sure his ride held up.
Reiner matched moves well with Top Flight, an 18-year-old bay athlete that was named the 2020 Bareback Horse of the Year. It was a classic display of a bareback rider’s spur stroke from the neck of the horse back to the handle of his rigging, all while in rhythm with the horse’s bucking motion.
Just a few minutes later, saddle bronc rider Brody Cress followed with a 90 on Larry Culpepper, a big bay roan gelding that the Carr firm acquired this past December.
Possibly the most competitive event in the chute-out was tie-down roping, which featured three world champions: Shane Hanchey (2013), Haven Meged (2019) and Shad Mayfield (2020). Meged kicked off the contest with a 7.7-second run, which would have been the fastest of the opening round. Instead, he watched Mayfield speed past in 6.9 seconds, but Hanchey topped that just seconds later by just a 10th of a second.
Reigning world champions Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira pulled off a similar feat in team roping. After Coleman Proctor and Logan Medlin jumped out to an early lead with their 4.4-second run, Driggers and Nogueira then beat that time by a 10th of a second to claim the biggest prize. Tyler Waguespack, the three-time and reigning world champion steer wrestler, stopped the clock in 3.7 seconds to claim that title.
Bull rider Josh Frost, fresh off his National Finals Rodeo aggregate title in December, had to test his skills on three bulls, but he made it pay off. In the first round, his bull, Black Bart, slipped to the ground, sending Frost to a second bull. The Utah cowboy then rode Carr’s Hammer Head for 75 points to slip into the Chute-Out round.
As the first man to go, Frost held on to the side of Carr’s Curley Bill for about two seconds, earning an 87.5-point ride. The other two bull riders, Earnie Courson Jr. and Ky Hamilton, did not stay on their bulls for the qualifying eight seconds, and Frost walked away with the title.
While the six traditional men’s events went off in a 10-man format with three in the final round, the women’s barrel racing was an invitational, with just four cowgirls in the mix. Reigning world champion Jordon Briggs posted a 14.19-second run to win the title.
Of the eight winners of Saturday’s Cinch Chute-Out, five own world championship. Driggers, Nogueira, Waguespack and Briggs all claimed gold buckles in 2021; it was Nogueira’s second (he won the 2016 all-around title) and Waguespack’s third, but the cream rose to the top inside Foster Communications Coliseum.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Cole Reiner, 90.5 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, $7,500; 2. Cole Franks, 88, $3,000; 3. Tim O’Connell, 87.5, $2,000.
Steer wrestling: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 3.7 seconds, $7,500; 2. Tristan Martin, 4.2, $3,000; 2. J.D. Struxness, 5.5, $2,000.
Team roping: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.3 seconds, $7,500 each; 2. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 4.4, $3,000; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Brody Cress, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Larry Culpepper, $7,500; 2. Layton Green, 84.5, $3,000; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: 1. Shane Hanchey, 6.8 seconds, $7,500; 2. Shad Mayfield, 6.9, $3,000; 3. Haven Meged, 7.7, $2,000.
Barrel racing: 1. Jordon Briggs, 14.19 seconds, $3,000; 2. Sherry Cervi, 14.34, $2,250; 3. Loni Lester, 14.54, $1,500; 4. Jana Bean, 14.68, $750. Bull riding: 1. Josh Frost, 87.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Curley Bill, $7,500; no other qualified rides.