O’Connell avenges brotherly feud

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Tim O’Connell rides Championship Pro Rodeo’s Meat Cracker for 87 points to take the bareback riding lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.

GUYMON, Okla. – There’s been a bit of a sibling rivalry in the O’Connell house for as long as anyone can remember.

Two boys, not far apart in age, was the primary cause, but so was competitiveness and a little bit of spite. Truthfully, it’s a key reason why Tim, the little brother, went on to rodeo excellence. He’s a three-time world champion bareback rider who has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo for nine consecutive seasons, even one in which he only competed for less than three months.

“Between rodeo, wrestling and backyard fights, we’ve had a lot going on for a long time,” said Tim O’Connell, 31, of Zwingle, Iowa.

Three weeks ago in San Angelo, Texas, the brothers were matched together again. Will O’Connell is co-owner of Championship Pro Rodeo, which had 11 bareback horses selected to the 2022 NFR. Tim O’Connell was teamed with Championship’s Meat Cracker, and the powerful black beauty won the day, causing the champ to take a no-score.

Their rematch was Saturday afternoon, and the Iowa heavyweight came out on top, scoring 87 points to take the lead during the second performance of the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo.

“Vengeance is a dish best served cold,” Tim O’Connell said.

He acknowledged that Will O’Connell is one of his biggest fans and greatest supporters, but that rivalry is three decades old. Older by five years, Will has always known how to get under his little brother’s skin. That’s OK; that wheel rolls both directions.

When Tim O’Connell conquered the beast in the Oklahoma Panhandle dirt, his smile was almost as wide as it was in 2016, when he won his first Montana Silversmiths gold buckle.

“Will knows how hard I’ve worked in my career, and he wants me to win on his horses,” Tim O’Connell said. “But I know how hard he’s worked on his herd. He takes great care of his horses. He’s feeds them, waters them, exercises them and makes sure they’re taken care of the best that they can be.”

Breakaway roper Josie Connor makes a 2.1-second run to take the lead in Guymon.

O’Connell wasn’t the only contestant to have success Saturday. Josie Conner, the reigning Resistol Rookie of the Year, took the lead in breakaway roping with a 2.1-second run. Conner, a 19-year-old cowgirl from Iowa, Louisiana, earned her first National Finals Breakaway Roping qualification in 2022. She is 12th in the world standings.

Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
May 1-7

Bareback riding leaders: 1. Tim O’Connell, 87 points on Championship Pro Rodeo’s Meat Cracker; 2. Leighton Berry, 86; 3. 3. (tie) Cooper Cook and Kade Sonnier, 85; 5. Keenan Hayes, 83.5; 6. Kolt Dement, 82.5; 7. Ben Kramer, 81.5; 8. (tie) Mason Stuller and Shane O’Connell, 81; 5. 

Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 6.6 seconds; 2. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 6.8; 3. Tyler Waters/Douglas Rich, 7.3; 4. Klay Yaussi/Kash Yaussi, 8.3; 5. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 8.5; 6. Jacob Hickman/Gavin Foster, 12.6; 7. Jon Peterson/Trae Smith, 16.4; 8. Wyatt Muggli/Daniel Reed, 17.0. Average leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 21.9 seconds on three runs; 2. Tyler Waters/Douglas Rich, 23.0; 3. Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 28.9; 4. Kellan Johnson/Carson Johnson, 36.4; 5. Wyatt Muggli/Daniel Reed, 45.0; 6. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 12.6 seconds on two runs; 7. Clay Smith/Coleby Payne, 13.9; 8. Klay Yaussi/Kash Yaussi, 14.7.

Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Mason Couch, 3.9 seconds; 2. (tie) Cash Robb, Brandon Harrison, Ty Bauerle and J.D. Struxness, 4.6; 6. (tie) Joshua Hefner and Austin Anderson, 5.3; 8. Laramie Warren, 5.4. Average leaders: 1. Mason Couch, 13.1 seconds on three runs; 2. J.D. Struxness, 13.3; 3. Cash Robb, 14.6; 4. Brandon Harrison, 15.0; 5. Joshua Hefner, 16.1; 6. (tie) Cal Wolfe and Cameron Morman, 16.8; 8. Nick Guy, 17.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Tanner Butner, 90 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Lonesome Eyes; 2. Wyatt Casper, 88.5; 3. (tie) Chase Brooks and Logan Cook, 85.5; 5. Sam Martin, 84; 6. Ean Price, 82; 7. Tegan Smith, 79.5; 8. Blaise Freeman, 78.5.

Breakaway roping: Second round leaders 1. Josie Conner, 2.1 seconds; 2. Cheyenne Bartling, 2.6; 3. Kodi Hansen, 2.7; 4. (tie) Lari Dee Guy and Madison Outhier, 2.8; 6. Rheagan Cotton, 2.9; 7. (tie) Hannah Macy and Jackie Crawford, 3.1.

Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. Marley Berger, 7.4 seconds; 2. Kincade Henry, 8.1; 3. Shane Hanchey, 8.5; 4. Marcos Costa, 8.6, 5. Trenton Smith, 8.9; 6. (tie) Cory Solomon and Ty Harris, 9.3; 8. Zaine Mikita, 9.7. Average leaders: 1. Ty Harris, 26.0 seconds on three runs; 2. Shane Hanchey, 27.1; 3. Kincade Henry, 27.4; 4. Connor Blaise Atkinson, 27.7; 5. Cory Solomon, 27.8; 6. Trenton Smith, 29.2; 7. Zaine Mikita, 30.2; 8. Marley Berger, 31.7.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Taycie Matthews, 16.95 seconds; 2. Wenda Johnson, 17.09; 3. Leslie Smalygo, 17.44; 4. Kathryn Hawkins, 17.16; 5. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 17.17; 6. Paige Jones, 17.19; 7. (tie) Ivy Saebens and Suzanne Brooks, 17.25; 9. Austyn Tobey, 17.27; 10. Cindy Smith, 17.38. Average leaders: 1. Paige Jones, 34.49 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Acey Pinkston, 34.74; 4. Austyn Tobey, 34.76; 5. Ivy Saebens 34.77; 6. Suzanne Brooks, 34.90; 7. Laura Mote, 35.11; 8. Andrea Busby, 35.13; 9. Jimmie Smith-Tew, 35.14; 10. Halyn Lide, 35.18.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Colton Kelly, 86.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Glory Days; 2. Dustin Boquet, 86; 3. Deklan Garland, 84.5; no other qualified rides.


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