Aug 1, 2017 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterThe PRCA made its annual visit to Fremont County.
A near-capacity crowd enjoyed a perfect night for rodeo Monday at the annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys' Association Wind River Roundup in Riverton.
The PRCA event in conjunction with the Fremont County Fair was highlighted by a spirited saddle bronc competition that featured seven cowboys hitting the mandatory eight-second mark.
Jade Blackwell of Rapid City, South Dakota, took top honors with a score of 72, followed by Christian Stremler of Fallon, Nevada, who edged Newell, South Dakota, cowboy Taygen Schuelke by a half-point, 65.5 to 65, for second and third, respectively.
The broncs were provided by the Powder River Rodeo Company, owned by Hank and Lori Franzen of the Sand Mesa area north of Riverton.
"We brought in the younger horses since we're so close to town," said Lori Franzen. "When they're young, you don't know what they're going to do."
Some of the 4-year-old horses were energetic and provided great rides, while others were a little hesitant.
"With 4-year-olds you could see some were outstanding and some didn't have a very good day," said Franzen.
Steer wrestling had a decidedly local flavor, with John Henry Franzen winning the event in a very quick 3.5 seconds over Tom Lewis of Lehi, Utah, who trailed just three-tenths behind at 3.8.
Danny Huxtable of Shoshoni turned his steer in 7.1 seconds to finish eighth in the competition.
It was a tough night for tie-down roping with Seth Hall of Albuquerque winning the event in 9.0 seconds.Taylor Davidson of Douglas was second at 11.1 and the other five cowboys either broke the barrier early or missed their calf.
Team roping was a close event, with the team of Clayton Van Aken of Descanso, California and Cullen Teller of Fort Collins, Colorado, edging Garrett Tonozzi from Fruita, Colorado and Wyatt Cox of Arroyo Grande, California with a run of 5.3 seconds.
In barrels, the top three finishers were separated by just three-hundredths of a second.
Carmel Wright of Roy, Montana, took top honors in 18.03 seconds, narrowly edging Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi of Victoria, Texas, who finished the course in 18.05 seconds.
Just a hundredth behind at 18.06, was Carla Beckett from Laramie.
The bull riding event had only one cowboy stay on until the horn, but he was a crowd favorite.
Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, is a two-time college rodeo bull riding champion and a three-time PRCA champion in the event.
Kimzey entered Monday's rodeo with $933,000 in earnings in 2017, leading all bull riders nationally. He scored a 90.5.
The bulls were provided by the D&H Cattle Company of Ardmore, Oklahoma.
The second and final day of the rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
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