DODGE CITY, Kan. â€“ Matt Bright might just be on the hot streak of his career.
Bright, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Fort Worth, Texas, continued his positive momentum Thursday night by riding Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Showdown for 83 points to take the bareback riding lead at Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
â€śIâ€™ve been pretty injury plagued the last couple years, and Iâ€™m finally feeling healthy,â€ť said Bright, who earned more than $12,000 last week and moved to 28th in the world standings. â€śItâ€™s amazing what being in good shape and being healthy can do for a guyâ€™s riding. Itâ€™s dang sure improved mine a lot, and things have been rolling really well here lately.â€ť
He was one of 19 NFR qualifiers in Thursdayâ€™s second performance of Roundup. Injuries have sidelined him enough the last two seasons, the Tennessee-born cowboy has been unable to return to Las Vegas for ProRodeoâ€™s grand finale. Heâ€™s battling his way toward the magical top 15 in the world standings by the end of the regular season to secure his fourth trip to the Nevada desert in December.
He knew he had a shot on the Frontier horse.
â€śDodge City is one of these rodeos where the horse is going to tell the difference,â€ť said Bright, who finished second at both Cheyenne, Wyo., and Eagle, Colo., last week. â€śEverybody here are great bareback riders. This is a (Wrangler Million Dollar) Tour rodeo, so youâ€™re going to get the cream of the crop, and I knew (NFR qualifier) Austin Foss had some success on that horse earlier this year.â€ť
In roughstock events â€“ bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding â€“ half the score on the 100-point scale is based on the animal; the rest is based on how well the cowboy rides.
â€śHe had a great trip, and I managed to keep up with him,â€ť he said of Showdown.
Though he has missed a number of big-money rodeos this year because of injury, Bright knows there are plenty of opportunities ahead of him with just two months left in the 2015 campaign.
â€śI know everybody goes on and on about July being the month, but after Cheyenne, you get a lot of guys who are broke and a lot of guys who are injured,â€ť he said. â€śWith as many big rodeos that go on in the late summer and early fall and with a few guys that are out for whatever reason, it seems like it gets slightly easier to get checks.
â€śIf a guyâ€™s healthy and feeling good like I have here lately, I think this is a good time to take advantage of it. Iâ€™m not beat up from going up and down the road. Iâ€™ve got a fresh jump, and I think itâ€™s showing. Iâ€™ve been drawing real good horses, and Iâ€™ve been able to take advantage of it.â€ť
First he needs to finish among the top 12 through the four preliminary performances in Dodge City in order to qualify for Sundayâ€™s championship round. By leading with two nights left in the preliminary round, he sits in prime position to chase the coveted Roundup title.
He just needs that hot streak to continue just a few more days to get it.
Dodge City Roundup Rodeo
Dodge City, Kan.
July 29-Aug. 2
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Matt Bright, 83 points on Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Showdown; 2. Kash Wilson, 80; 3. Tanner Aus, 78; 4. Colt Kitaif, 76; 5. Clint Cannon, 75; 6. Kyle Charley, 74; 7. (tie) Clayton Jon Biglow, Trenton Montero and Will Lowe, 71 each; 10. Casey Breuer, 66; 11. Wyatt Clar, 59; 12. A.J. Colletti, 58.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Rowdy Parrott and Ricky Riley, 3.9 seconds; 3. Kyle Irwin, 4.1; 4. (tie) Logan Rudd and Ryan Bothum, 4.3; 4. (tie) Orrin Fontenot, Jule Hazen, Stockton Graves and Cody Pratt, 4.4. Second round leaders: 1. Kyle Whitaker, 3.3 seconds; 2. (tie) Levi Rudd and Tyler Waguespack, 3.6; 4. (tie) Matt Reeves and Josh Clark, 3.8; 6. (tie) Matt Uttermark and J.D. Struxness, 4.0; 8. Cody Devers, 4.1. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 8.3; 3. Kyle Irwin, 8.4; 4. Stockton Graves, 8.7; 5. J.D. Struxness, 9.0; 6. Orrin Fontenot, 9.2; 7. Ryan Bothum, 9.8; 8. Tanner Brunner, 10.5; 9. Tooter Silver, 10.6; 10. Logan Rudd, 10.9; 11. Kyle Broce, 11.6; 12. Levi Rudd, 11.9.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 4.4 seconds; 2. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 4.7; 3. Derrick Begay/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.9; 4. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 5. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3; 6. (tie) Joel Bach/Jim Ross Cooper and Cris Francis/Cade Passig, 6.2 each; 8. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 6.3; 6. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 6.4. Second round leaders: 1. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 seconds; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 5.1; 3. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 6.3; 4. Nick Becker/Toby Mentzer, 6.3; 5. Derrick Begay/Clay Oâ€™Brien Cooper, 6.9; 6. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 7.4; 7. Jered Hunter/Trew Cates, 8.3; 8. JoJo LeMond/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.0. Average leaders: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Ryan Motes, 11.5 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Derrick Begay/Clay Oâ€™Brien Cooper and Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 11.8; 4. J.D. Yates/Trey Yates, 12.6; 5. Jered Hunter/Trew Cates, 15.1; 7. Colt Fisher/Corey Hendrick, 15.5; 8. Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 17.1; 9. Caleb Bullock/Shade Etbauerm 25.2; 10. Matt Sherwood/Quinn Kesler, 4.7 on one run; 11. Travis Tryan/Jett Hillman, 5.2; 12. Monty Wood/Boogie Ray, 5.3.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Rusty Wright, 81 points on Harry Vold Rodeoâ€™s Jerryâ€™s Delight; 2. (tie) Isaac Diaz and Cody Wright; 4. Tyrel Larsen, 78; 5. Taos Muncy, 77; 6. (tie) Spencer Wright and Dalton Davis, 76; 8. (tie) Doug Aldridge, Taygen Schuelke and Dawson Jandreau, 75; 11. (tie) Zeke Thurston, Brady Nicholes and Sam Spreadborough, 74.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 8.2 seconds; 2. Justin Maas, 9.0; 3. Tanner Stec, 9.3; 4. Caleb Bullock, 9.4; 5. (tie) Jordan Ketscher and Ross Tucker, 9.5; 7. Clint Cooper, 9.6; 8. GlennJackson Glasper. Second round leaders: 1. Tyson Durfey, 8.0; 2. Tyler Milligan, 8.5 seconds; 3. (tie) Trent Creager, Dennis Luetge and Stran Smith, 8.6; 6. Jarrod Branch, 9.5; 7. (tie) Glenn Jackson Glasper and Jesse Clark, 9.6. Average leaders: 1. Stran Smith, 16.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Justin Maass, 18.7; 3. GlennJackson Glasper, 19.6; 4. Trent Creager, 20.3; 5. Tanner Stec, 20.7; 6. Quay Howard, 21.3; 7. Jesse Clark, 21.5; 8. Dennis Luetge, 24.1; 9. Chase Williams, 29.8; 10. Shade Etbauer, 31.3; 11. Jarrod Branch, 33.1; 12. Bryson Seachrist, 36.8.
Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.09 seconds; 2. Jackie Ganter, 17.10; 3. Abby Searcy, 17.20; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.23; 5. Tillar Murray, 17.26; 6. Laura Lambert, 17.28; 7. Christine Laughlin, 17.34; 8. Victoria Williams, 17.40; 9. Sabrina Ketcham, 17.41; 10. Stevi Hillman, 17.45. Second round leaders: 1. Tillar Murray, 17.02 seconds; 2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.06; 3. Laura Kennedy, 17.07; 4. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.11; 5. Bailee Snow, 17.15; 6. Stevi Hillman, 17.16; 7. Christy Loflin, 17.18; 8. Abby Searcy, 17.22; 9. Victoria Williams, 17.27; 10. Carol Chesher, 17.32. Average leaders: 1. Kelley Schnaufer, 34.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Tillar Murray, 34.28; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, 34.29; 4. Abby Searcy, 34.42; 5. Jackie Ganter, 34.51; 6. Stevi Hillman, 34.61; 7. Victoria Williams, 34.67; 8. Laura Kennedy, 34.78; 9. Carol Chesher, 34.80; 10. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.83; 11. Sabrina Ketcham, 34.84; 12. Bailee Snow, 34.88.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Scottie Knapp, 89 points on 4L and Diamond S Rodeoâ€™s Spanish Moss; 2. Aaron Pass, 88; 3. Tanner Bothwell, 84; 4. Mana Kaia, 82; 5. (tie) Trenton Montero and Caleb Sanderson, 81; 7. Sage Kimzey, 77; 8. Joe Frost, 76; 9. Guthrie Murray, 73; 10. Cody Wade Huitt, 54; no other qualified rides.
There is a pretty big stink north of the border.
Apparently, a number of rodeo folks are a bit miffed at the Canadian Professional Rodeo Associationâ€™s newest logo design. Itâ€™s quite a change from the longstanding logo, and it has been met with sharp criticism.
The previous logo was outdated and needed an overhaul. The image looks straight out of the Old West, as if it were developed on printing presses that have long since been discarded.
The new logo is slick and unique â€¦ a little too much for the tradition-rich CPRA. In fact, itâ€™s a complete direction change from what has been a signature symbol for the association. Sure, some will say, itâ€™s attractive and bold.
But it is short-sided and actually alienates the organization from its roots. Just click HERE to read what CPRA Gold Card Mac McKie member and my good friend, Ted Stovin, have to say on the subject.
There was room for something spectacular to create that included all the design aspects needed for change. There is middle ground, and thatâ€™s where the CPRA board shouldâ€™ve gone.
There was no need to erase 70 years of tradition with one swipe of a pen and a few block letters. The CPRA membership deserved better.