Team ropers break arena record

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BIG SPRING, Texas – Jace Bland’s heritage resides inside the Rodeo Bowl, though he had never competed in the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo before this year.

His grandfather, Rich Anderson, served on the board for the volunteer committee that produces the rodeo. On Saturday night during the final performance of this year’s extravaganza, Bland and team roping partner, Tyson Thompson, stopped the clock in 4.1 seconds to not only win the event but also set an arena record.

“We knew we had a great steer,” said Bland, 24, of Turkey, Texas. “It was a rerun, and it was a great cow. I was just blessed to get out on the barrier and get him caught, and I knew my man would clean him up.”

It worked out just as they’d planned and practiced. For winning the event, they each pocketed $2,565, which will help them in multiple ways. Since both cowboys are from Texas, their regional money will count toward qualifying for the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo. Bland is No. 7 in the heading standings, and Thompson is 10th.

“I just knew if I didn’t mess up, we were going to win, so I was a little bit nervous but got it done,” said Thompson, 27, of Munday, Texas. “The arena record is awesome. It’s exciting to get something like that, knowing the teams that have roped here, so it’s pretty neat.”

This year featured the 90th anniversary of Big Spring’s rodeo, and this was the 74th year it has been conducted inside the Rodeo Bowl, a unique feature for this west Texas town. Winning in the fashion they did made for a memorable evening.

“I’ve got some family that lives about 30 minutes from here,” Bland said. “They were here tonight, so this makes it even better.”

The tandem is striving for greatness. The first step is to make sure the steer gets the appropriate head start. If not, then the team suffers a broken barrier, a roped line in front of the timed-event box that is tripped when the steer leaves on time. If the header leaves a little early, he will break the string that ties the barrier to the chute.

Thompson loves the opportunities he’s been getting with Bland leading the way.

“I enjoy it, because I know every time we’re getting out on the barrier, we have a good chance to win,” he said. “We’re plenty fast.”

They proved it Saturday night, and they have the record to prove it.

Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo
June 20-22
All-around cowboy:
Seth Hall, $3,530 in tie-down roping and team roping

Bareback riding: 1. Tim Murphy, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Rockin The Boat, and Kash Martin, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Borrowed Money, 81 points, $1,494; 3. (tie) Jacob Lees and Luke Thrash, 78, $773; 5. Isaac Ingram, 77, $361; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Ryan Nettle, 4.3 seconds, $1,730; 2. Jay Williamson, 4.5, $1,504; 3. Dylan Schroeder, 4.7, $1,278; 4. Cimarron Thompson, 4.8, $1,053; 5. Gavin Soileau, 5.0, $827; 6. Gary Gilbert, 5.3, $602; 7. (tie) Matt Reeves and Skyler Woolls, 5., $263 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Seth Hall, 8.1 seconds, $2,638; 2. Klay Kirkes, 8.4, $2,294; 3. Cash Hooper, 8.8, $1,950; 4. Landyn Duncan, 9.4, $1,606; 5. Hayden Ford, 9.8, $1,261; 6. Jacob Walters, 10.0, $917; 7. Weldon Watson, 10.1, $573; 8. Word Hudson, 10.2, $229.

Breakaway roping: 1. Macy Davenport, 2.2 seconds, $2,829; 2. (tie) Bailey Bates and Addison Elliott, 2.4, $2,193; 4. Baili Herring, 2.7, $1,698; 5. (tie) Jenna Caldarola, Lauren Hopkins, Jaden Usher, Tibba Smith, Jessica Tye and Haley Mason, 2.9, $766 each; 11. (tie) Jordan Hollabaugh, Lindsey Baker, Hali Williams and Kayelen Helton, 3.0, $159 each.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cooper Thatcher, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Saya’s Eyes, $2,115; 2. Brody Cress, 84, $1,622; 3. Sam Martin, 82.5, $1,199; 4. Ean Price, 79.5, $776; 5. Jarrod Hammons, 79, $494; 6. (tie) Brandon Lansford and Chris Williams, 76, $317 each; 8. Tom Webster, 75, $212.

Team roping: 1. Jace Bland/Tyson Thompson, 4.1 seconds, $2,565; 2. Riley Kittle/Will Woodfin, 4.8, $2,230. 3. Cody Snow/Hunter Koch, 5.1, $1,896; 4. Billy Reagan/Neil Jordan, 5.4, $1,561; 5. Roan Oldfield/Zane Pratt, 5.8, $1,227; 6. Seth Hall/Pace Blanchard, 6.4, $892; 7. Jim Breck Bean/Jasper Klein, 7.1, $558; 8. Corey Whinnery/Robert Murphy, 7.6, $223.

Barrel racing: 1. Dena Kirkpatrick, 15.79 seconds, $2,141; 2. Jymmy Kay Cox, 15.88, $1,820; 3. (tie) Cheyenne Wimberley and Aspen Adams, 15.89, $1,392 each; 5. (tie) Deb Guelly and Tasha Welsh, 15.94, $910 each; 7. Shannon Griffin, 15.98, $535; 8. Caley Walkoviak, 16.00, $428; 9. Corley Cox, 16.04, $375; 10. LaTricia Duke, 16.05, $321; 11. (tie) Fallon Taylor and Gracen Harman, 16.13, $241 each.

Bull riding: 1. Cody Teel, 84.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Brown Bomber, $2,428; 2. Lex Oakley, 82, $1,954; 3. Bryce Jensen, 69, $1,540; no other qualified rides.


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