ESTES PARK, Colo. – Ross Griffin and Tyler Griffin share a last name and a passion for competing in rodeo.
That’s about all they have in common, other than taking the lead Wednesday during the opening night of the 2022 Rooftop Rodeo. Tyler Griffin is 19 and rode Cervi Rodeo’s Silence of the Lambs for 83.5 points to take the bareback riding lead; Ross Griffin is 25 and rode Cervi’s Two Cookies for 85 points to ride to the top in saddle bronc riding.
“I just drew a really good horse, and it was a nice night,” said Ross Griffin of Tularosa, New Mexico. “She was really good today and gave me every opportunity to make a good ride.”
Two Cookies has been selected to the National Finals Rodeo four times, and cowboys have won go-rounds on the horse.
“I knew that horse had been to the NFR, and I’d seen them win a lot on it,” he said. “I didn’t really look into it, but it’s a great horse.”
Tyler Griffin is pretty new to ProRodeo. He just finished his first year at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and he’s competing this year on his PRCA permit. If he wins at least $1,000 this season, he will be eligible to obtain his card and be an official member of the association. He rode like a veteran Wednesday.
“I didn’t know that horse,” he said of Silence of the Lambs. “I really didn’t know how good she was going to be, and little did I know that she was the best out of the pen tonight.”
With each ride, with each step in the process of competing in rodeo, the young bareback rider is learning more about the business. He’s also learning about himself in the process. Three weeks ago, he was competing at the College National Finals Rodeo; now he’s competing against the best cowboys in the game.
“Over this Fourth (of July run), we’ve been getting on a lot of horses, and the more I get on, the more comfortable I’m getting,” Tyler Griffin said. “Right now, I’m just feeling good and ready to spur one every day.”
It’s also nice to be able to compete in the picturesque Rocky Mountains and the setting Rooftop Rodeo creates for every cowboy and cowgirl that arrives.
“The arena’s in a beautiful spot,” Ross Griffin said. “There are mountains all over. The town shows up, and they love to watch the rodeo. They also give you a bonus if you win the performance.”
This year marked the first time Tyler Griffin made his way to the resort community, and he’s found it to his liking.
“I’ll be back next year, without a doubt,” he said. “This place is electric. I would love to be here on a Saturday night; it would be crazy.”
Bareback riding: 1. Tyler Griffin, 83.5 points on Cervi’s Silence of the Lambs; 2. Luke Thrash, 80; Grant Worthington, 67; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Marc Joiner, 6.0 seconds; 2. Matt Jodie, 7.0; 3. Talon Roseland, 8.5; 4. Tanner Jackson, 9.6; 5. Rudy Buum, 11.1; 6. Kyle Irwin, 13.5; 7. Cody Mumma,14.6; 8. Cole McNamee, 18.9.
Team roping: 1. Jake Deveraux/Quincy Reynolds, 6.2 seconds; 2. Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 10.2; 3. Brooks Dahozy/Seth Hall, 14.6; no other qualified times.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ross Griffin, 85 points on Cervi’s Two Cookies; 2. (tie) Brody Cress and Will Pollock, 81; 4. Lefty Holman, 80; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Thibodeaux, 9.4 seconds; 2. Seth Hall, 10.9; 3. Gavin Liggett, 11.5; 4. James Kolacek, 12.6; 5. Wyatt Uptain, 13.9; 6. Chris McCuiston, 17.5; 7. Luke Meier, 27.0; 8. J.D. McCuiston, 31.0.
Barrel racing: 1. Leslie Smalygo, 16.85 seconds; 2. Donna Tippen, 17.17; 3. Wendy McKee, 17.42; 4. Mila Hancock, 18.34; 5. Tanna Hansen, 18.48; 6. Jolie Hannah, 19.59; 7. Mackenzie Scott, 22.17; 8. Heidi Tillard, 22.23; 9. Natalie Bland, 23.15; no other qualified times.
Bull riding: 1. Jesse Flores, 87 points on Cervi’s Skim Walker; 2. Corye Daily, 70; no other qualified rides.