Pope shines with a bit of Gun Fire

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Jess Pope rides Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire for 92 points to take the bareback riding lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo. It was Pope’s third time to ride the horse in less than a year, and he won the other two times he was on Gun Fire.

GUYMON, Okla. – Sometimes a history lesson provides the perfect opportunity.

Take Jess Pope, the No. 1 bareback rider in ProRodeo, who found out earlier this week that he was matched with Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire, a bucking buckskin mare has been considered one of the best bucking horses in the sport.

Pope had a little history on his side. Last July, he rode the powerful bucker for 89.5 points to share the victory in Spanish Fork, Utah.

“That was the lowest score they had on her last year,” Pope said with a wide grin.

He followed that with a 92 to win the 10th round of the 2021 National Finals Rodeo to clinch his second straight average title. The Waverly, Kansas, cowboy knew what to expect when he arrived in Guymon on Saturday for his third shot at the horse in less than a year.

“She’s as good as you can get,” Pope said. “She is the best hors going in my opinion, and I was tickled to have her by my name in the draw.”

The result was another 92-point ride, this time to take the bareback riding lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.

“This is a great rodeo to win,” he said, hoping his score will hold up through Sunday’s final performance. “It pays a lot of money, and it’s a great way to start your summer run off.

“It’s a good warmup, and it’s a great place to get on great bucking horses.”

Yes, it is. Gun Fire was in the mix for the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year last season, and Pope expects the powerful mare to be at the top again when voting takes place later this year. He’s hoping this one will give him that commemorative trophy belt awarded to Guymon titlists.

“This is definitely a bucket-list rodeo,” Pope said. “Every rodeo I go to I plan to win, but Guymon would be something a little bit more special. Guymon Pioneer Days has a cowboy aspect to it. It’s out here where they do cowboy (stuff), and that’s what I’m about.”

Chase Brooks rode Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Real Fancy for 88 points to move into the saddle bronc riding lead Saturday afternoon. Ross Griffin shot past him with an 89-point ride on Frontier’s Maple Leaf on Saturday night.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 26-May 2

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Jess Pope, 92 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Gun Fire; 2. Leighton Berry, 89.5; 3. Jayco Roper, 87.5; 4. Kyle Bloomquist, 87; 5. Tim O’Connell, 85.5; 6. (tie) Dean Thompson and Bill Tutor, 85; 8. (tie) Clay Jorgensen and Tanner Aus, 84.5.

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Shay Carroll/Evan Arnold, 5.7 seconds; 2. Nick Sartain/AustinRogers, 8.3; 3. Kreece Thompson/Chad Williams, 9.7; 4. Tyler Wojciechowski/Blake Walker, 9.7; 5. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 11.9; 6. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin and Chase Wiley/Brock Hanson, 12.2; 8. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 12.6. Average leaders: 1. Nick Sartain/Austin Rogers, 24.2 seconds on three runs; 2. Kreece Thompson/Chad Williams, 26.7; 3. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 26.9; 4. Chase Wiley/Brock Hanson, 27.8; 5. Tyler Wojciechowski/Blake Walker, 28.3; 6. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 29.4; 7. Pedro Egurrola/J.C. Flake, 30.9; 8. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 34.9.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Nick Guy, 3.7 seconds; 2. (tie) Tristan Martin and Tanner Brunner, 3.8; 4. Bridger Anderson, 4.0; 5. Riley Duvall, 4.1; 6. (tie) Talon Roseland and Tyler Waguespack, 4.4, 8. (tie) Tory Johnson and Austin Eller, 4.5. Average leaders: 1. Tristan Martin, 11.6 seconds on three runs; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 12.5; 3. Tanner Brunner and Bridger Anderson, 12.9; 5. Riley Duvall, 13.4; 6. Austin Eller, 13.8; 7. Talon Roseland, 14.1; 8. Tory Jonson, 14.7.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Ross Griffin, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Maple Leaf; 2. Chase Brooks, 88; 3. Mitch Pollock, 85.5; 4. Wyatt Casper, 84; 5. (tie) CoBurn Bradshaw, Shorty Garrett and Jacob Kammerer, 82; 8. Allen Boore, 80.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Richard Newton, 8.4 seconds; 2. Marty Yates, 8.8; 3. Marley Berger, 9.2; 4. Ty Harris, 9.3; 5. Kincade Henry, 9.7; 6. Chance Thiessen, 9.8; 7. Shane Hanchey, 10.1; 8. Riley Webb, 10.4. Average leaders: 1. Marty Yates, 25.5 seconds on three runs; 2. Kincade Henry, 27,3; 3. Ty Harris, 27.4; 4. Riley Webb, 10.4; 5. Richard Newton, 28.8; 6. Haven Meged, 28.9; 7. J.T. Adamson, 29.7; 8. Cash Hooper, 30.3.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Leslie Smalygo, 16.85 seconds; 2. (tie) Hailey Kinsel and Tarryn Lee, 17.03; 4. Elizabeth Schmid, 17.12; 5. Katelyn Scott, 17.28; 6. Cayla Small, 17.35; 7. (tie) Emily Mangione and Jimmie Smith, 17.36; 9. (tie) Paige Jones and Josey Grovers, 17.42. Average leaders: 1. Hailey Kinsel, 34.22 seconds on two runs; 2. Tarryn Lee, 34.57; 3. (tie) Elizabeth Schmid, Leslie Smalygo and Paige Jones, 34.81; 6. Jimmie Smith, 34.90; 7. Cayla Small, 34,96; 8. Shannon McReynolds, 35.02; 9. Katelyn Scott, 35.03; 10. Loni Lester, 35.03.  

Bull riding leaders: 1. Shawn Bennett Jr., 87 points on Magic Poison; 2. (tie) Riley Barg and Kole Bowman, 78; 4. Trey Holston, 76; no other qualified rides.


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