Posted: Sep 13, 2012 2:32 PM by Q2 Sports
Pendleton, Oregon - Rodeo's top competitor excelled Wednesday at one of the West's greatest rodeos, the 102-year-old Pendleton Round-Up. Trevor Brazile of Decatur, TX, who last year beat his own record with his 9th All-around national championship, won two of eight events as Pendleton began celebrating it's four-day annual rodeo.
Brazile, 35, who has won more times and more money ($4.3 million to date) than any rodeo competitor in history, will continue to compete through Saturday for the roping and All-around titles. This year he has won at 35 rodeos. Brazile and Patrick Smith won the team roping with a time of 5.4 seconds.
Bradley Harter won the saddle bronc event scoring 86 points. Harter, 30, has won $896,379 in his professional rodeo career and was 4th at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in Las Vegas last year.
"When I write down my goals for the year there's always included winning at the Pendleton Round-Up," said Harter after his first place ride. "This rodeo is kind of the wild west, looking at the heritage of it. I've been hearing about this rodeo for generations. I want to win here so I can tell the grandkids about being here and winning," he added.
"It was a horse from Canada, a really nice one that I've heard a lot about. I hadn't seen him before but when you get on a bucking horse that's what you want, one that puts head down and stays close."
Harter noted that in 2006 he missed first at the Pendleton Round-Up by one point. "But I've come to win it. I'd love to make that victory lap."
Behind Harter in second and third places were the Wright brothers, Jesse, 23, in second, and Cody, 35, in third. They are two of six Wright brothers from Milford, UT, who compete in rodeo. Cody, the oldest, has $1.8 million in winnings since joining the PRCA in 1998. He has won eight rodeos this year. Jesse joined the PRCA in 2008 and has $448,165 in winnings, half of it last year when he took first at the WNFR.
In other judged events, Justin McDaniel, Porum, OK, got the best score in the bareback riding event with 83. However, the 25-year-old was tied by JR Vezain, Cowley, WY, and Winn Ratliff, Leesville, LA. Vezain, 20, has won seven rodeos in 2012, won the National High School Finals Rodeo bareback championship in 2009 and the College NFR All-around championship last year. Ratliff, 23, has won nine rodeos this year.
Texas cowboy Brant Atwood won the bull riding with a score of 85. In second, with 84, was a regional favorite, Shane Proctor of Grand Coulee, WA. The 27-year-old Proctor won the 2011 world title in bull riding and has $326,595 in earnings in his career.
Billy Bugenig of Ferndale, CA, beat the field in steer wrestling in 5.6 seconds. Dakota W. Eldridge of Elko, NV, finished second in 6.1, and Sterling Lambert, Quincy, CA, was third in 6.4. Bugenig, 31 has won $433,862 since he joined the PRCA in 2003 winning three rodeos this year.
Brian Garr of Belle Fourche, SD, won the steer roping in a time of 14.4 seconds. He was followed by Worm Shipley, Copan, OK, 14.7, and Dave Clark, Terrebonne, OR, 14.8.
Kim Schulze won barrel racing Wednesday with a time of 28.77 seconds, followed by Lindsay Sears, Nanton, AB, 29.14, and Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD, 29.47. Schulze is currently ranked 25th in the Women's Professional Rodeo Assn. (WPRA). She has been riding a horse she received from 4-time world champ Kristie Peterson, a neighbor at the time. Sears is ranked second in the WPRA, with winnings this year of $122,707.