Lawrence nearing circuit title

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Tie-down roper Austin Lawrence competes during Friday’s second round of the Chisholm Trail RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. With one day left in the championship, he owns the circuit finals average and year-end standings leads.

DUNCAN, Okla. – In his first appearance at the Chisholm Trail RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, Austin Lawrence is closing in on his first year-end championship in the region.

He didn’t make the fastest run of the night during Friday’s second round at the Stephens County Arena in Duncan, but he did enough to move into the aggregate lead and hold onto his advantage in the Prairie Circuit tie-down roping standings.

“Tonight was very important,” said Lawrence, 23, of Sperry, Oklahoma. “That calf took a hard right. She probably wasn’t a round-winning calf, and I knew that, so I just had to get her knocked down and do the best with what I drew. Hopefully I can draw better tomorrow.”

There’s one night remaining in the 2022 circuit season, and Lawrence owns a lead of $2,783 over Cody McCartney. Lawrence wants to close out the three-day championship on a high note, whether that’s earning more money in the third round or clinching the aggregate title with the best cumulative time by the time Saturday comes to a close

In the region made up of contestants and rodeos primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, Lawrence had a lead of less than $2,300 over McCartney. Lawrence extended it a bit Thursday while placing second in the opening go-round, just one spot ahead of McCartney. The final say in who wins the year-end title will come down to Saturday night.

“I never dreamed I’d be at this stage, getting to compete like this,” said Lawrence, who trains horses for a living and works with his grandfather, who has been one of the guiding forces in his life. “I ride anywhere from eight to 10 (horses) a day and work with my grandpa. He taught me everything I know.

“My grandpa roped a lot of calves, and he did cutting and showed horses. He got me into team roping and roping calves. He’s a huge part of my success and where I’m at. All my thanks is to him, my family, my support behind me. I couldn’t do it without them and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Of course, it takes a solid campaign to be in a position to win a year-end championship. That winner in each event in each circuit – along with the average winners at the circuit finales – will advance to the national circuit finals rodeo, now called the NFR Open, which takes place next July in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

A big reason for his success is Cora, a 5-year-old more that Lawrence has trained and is owned by Jamie Perkins.

“She just worked good all year and gave me every chance to win something everywhere we went,” Lawrence said. “She’s just easy. As soon as you ask her to, she runs to her spot every night. She’s probably not the best horse around, but she lets me do my job and is just so easy to ride.”

Like any cowboy, there’s a dream to chase National Finals Rodeo qualifications and gold buckles, but he’s just now getting his first taste of the big stage in Duncan. If things go well, he may test his skills and those that Cora possesses and see where 2023 takes him.

“Financially it’s tough, but if I keep winning, keep money rolling in, hopefully I’ll get to go as much as I can this (next) year,” he said, noting that money earned after Oct. 1 counts toward the 2023 season. “I’d like to get into some of the bigger rodeos throughout the winter, and if goes well, we’ll keep going. If it dies off, then we’ll rodeo in the circuit.”

Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo
Oct. 13-15
Duncan, Okla.
Bareback riding:
First round: 1. Colt Eck, 81.5 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Law Dog, $1,926; 2. Mike Fred, 80.5, $1,445; 3. Jayco Roper, 80, $963; 4. (tie) Trevor Lattin and Yance Day, 78 $241 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Jayco Roper, on Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Ship, and Colt Eck, on Rafter H Rodeo’s Country Boy, 82.5 points, $1,686 each; 3. Ty Blessing, 80, $963; 4. Yance Day, 74, $482.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Bridger Anderson, 3.9 seconds, $1,928; 2. Cody Devers, 4.5, $1,445; 3. (tie) Tucker Alberts and Blame Mindemann, 5.3, $722 each. Second round: 1. Jacob Edler, 3.7 seconds, $1,926; 2. Travis Munro, 4.3, $1,445; 3. Tanner Brunner, 4.7, $963; 4. Blake Mindemann, 4.9, $482.

Team roping: First round: 1. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 4.4 seconds, $1,926; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Joseph Harrison, 5.2, $1,445; 3. Trevor Howard/Cody Heflin, 5.6, $963; 4. Jake Cooper Clay/Billie Jack Saebens, 6.0, $482. Second round: 1. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 4.4 seconds; 2. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6, $1,445; 3. Curry Kirchner/Reagan Ward, 4.7, $963; 4. Jake Clay/Billie Jack Saebens, 4.8, $482.

Breakaway roping: First round: 1. KeAnn Hayes, 2.4 seconds, $1,536; 2. Alyssa Bigon, 2.5, $1,152; 3. Ari-Anna Flynn, 2.9, $768; 4. Hannah Lee, 11.8, $384. Second round: 1. Taylor Munsell, 2.1 seconds, $1,536; 2. Alyssa Bigon, 2.3, $1,152; 3. Addie Weil, 2.6, $768; 4. KeAnn Hayes, 2.8, $384.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Tyrel Larsen, 82.5 points on Silver Creek Rodeo’s Bunny Gal, $1,926; 2. Trent Burd, 80.5, $1,445; 3. Luke Richard Price, 79.5, $963; 4. Ean Price, 78, $482. Second round: 1. Cody Ballard, 80 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Bet The Ranch, $1,926; 2. (tie) Weston Patterson and Ean Price, 79.5, $1,204 each; 4. Hardy Braden, 79, $482.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. J.T Adamson, 8.2 seconds, $1,926; 2. Austin Lawrence, 8.5, $1,445; 3. Cody McCartney, 9.2, $963; 4. Wyatt Muggli, 9.6, $482. Second round: 1. Ryan Jarrett, 7.9 seconds, $1,926; 2. Clint Graves, 8.6, $1,445; 3. Hagen Houck, 9.3, $963; 4. Wyatt Muggli, 10.1, $482.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Emily Griffin, 16.35 seconds, $1,926; 2. Ivy Hurst, 16.38, $1,445; 3. Michelle Darling, 16.42, $936; 4. Emily Beisel, 16.43, $482. Second round: 1. Ivy Hurst, 16.01 seconds, $1,926; 2. Emily Beisel, 16.28, $1,445; 3. Taylor Jonson, 16.36, $963; 4. Tammy Peterson, 16.43, $482.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Blake Deckard, 11.5 seconds, $1,357; 2. Billy Good, 12.2, $1,018; 3. (tie) Rocky Patterson and Tyrel Taton, 12,5, $509. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 11.4 seconds, $1,357; 2. Blake Deckard, 12.0, $1,018; 3. Tyrel Taton, 12.5, $679; 4. Trenton Johnson, 14.2, $339. Third round: 1. Cole Patterson, 9.2 seconds, $1,357; 2. Tuff Hardman, 10.1, $1,018; 3. Rocky Patterson 12.6, $679; 4. (tie) Mike Chase and Billy Good, 12.8, $170. Average: 1. Rocky Patterson, 36.5 seconds on three runs, $2,036; 2. Billy Good, 39.3, $1,527; 3. Trenton Johnson, 43.6, $1,018; 4. Blake Deckard, 23.5 seconds on two runs, $509. Year-end champion: Cole Patterson.

Bull riding: First round: 1. Fulton Rutland 86.5 points on McCoy Rodeo’s Homegrown, $2,087; 2. Trey Holston, 82, $1,605; 3. Logan Hunter, 77, $1,124; no other qualified rides. Second round: 1. Patterson Starcher, 83.5 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Upper Cutt, $2,649; 2. Cash Toews, 78, $2,167; no other qualified rides.


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