Panhandle ties aplenty among West of Pecos Rodeo winners

Four competitors who each have a tie to the Texas Panhandle each clinched a title at the renowned West of the Pecos Rodeo last weekend in Pecos.

Tegan Smith, an Iowa cowboy who competed for Clarendon College at the June 9-15 College National Finals Rodeo, clinched the Pecos rodeo’s saddle bronc riding title. Trevor Brazile, who was born in Amarillo and lives in Decatur, snared the steer roping title. Matt Reeves, a Pampa native who currently is from Cross Plains near Abilene, finished No. 1 in the steer wrestling title race. Reese Riemer, who is from Stinnett, lassoed the tie-down roping title.

Smith clinched the saddle bronc riding title with a Pecos rodeo arena record saddle bronc riding score of 88.5 aboard a bronc named Hometown Girl that’s owned by Pete Carr and he earned $3,722. According to prorodeo.com, Smith beat the previous record by half a point. The previous record holders each had a score of 88. They were Cody DeMoss (2008), Jace Garrett (2010), Cody Wright (2013), Steven Dent and Isaac Diaz (both 2015), and Joe Lufkin (2016).

Smith said the reaction to his record breaking ride was an amazing experience.

“It’s the coolest feeling ever,” Smith said. “You get off and the crowd is yelling so loud and you get goose bumps. They say you broke the arena record and you kind of go speechless.”

The Pecos rodeo was a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show. Smith also competed on the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association circuit throughout the past year.

During the 2019 College National Finals in Casper, Wyoming, Smith finished third in the NIRA saddle bronc riding title race. He also helped Clarendon College’s men’s team finish third in the men’s team title race at the Casper championships.

After the strong finish at the 2019 College National Finals, Smith said he will no longer compete on the collegiate circuit. Instead, he will focus his attention on the PRCA circuit.

Brazile, a 24-time PRCA world champion, clinched the steer roping title after finishing with a four-run time of 43.8 seconds and earned $2,858. Brazile announced he was entering into semiretirement before the beginning of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December in Las Vegas.

Reeves is a six-time NFR steer wrestling qualifier. He clinched the bulldogging title in Pecos with a two-run time of 7.9. He won the first round with a 4.0 and won the second round with a 3.9. After winning two rounds and the average title, Reeves pocketed $5,316.

Riemer, a three-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, tied for second in the tie-down roping first round with a 9.1 and won the second round with an 8.8. He clinched the average title with a two-run time of 17.9. All in all, Reimer pocketed $6,353.

According to the PRCA, the 2019 Pecos rodeo offered competitors $178,882. The other winners of the June 26-29 rodeo were all-around cowboy Tanner Green ($2,578 in tie-down roping and team roping); bareback rider Shane O’Connell (88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Good Times Charlie); team ropers Jeff Flenniken and Tyler Worley (14.7 seconds on two head); barrel racer Jill Wilson (17.64 seconds); bull riders Cole Melancon (87.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Legacy) and Daylon Swearingen (87.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Legacy).

The Pecos rodeo began in 1883 and is one of the world’s oldest rodeos.

Reno rodeo

Marcos Costa, a former Childress resident who currently is from Menard, finished second in the tie-down roping title race at the Reno Rodeo last weekend in Reno, Nev., and earned $10,931. Costa won the first round with a 7.9 and turned in a solid 10.5 in the second round on his way to qualifying for the final round, which was Saturday, June 29. During the final, Costa turned in a 9.7 and finished second in the average race with a three-run time of 28.1. Ty Harris, the 2018 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association tie-down roping champion, clinched the tie-down roping title in Reno with a 27.5.

Costa is a native of Brazil who was mentored by 2008 tie-down roping world champion Stran Smith of Childress. Costa clinched the PRCA’s tie-down roping world title in 2017.

According to prorodeo.com, the 2019 Reno Rodeo offered competitors $490,103. The other winners of the 2019 Reno Rodeo were all-around cowboy Daylon Swearingen ($2,187, bareback riding and bull riding); bareback rider Leighton Berry (252 points on three head); steer wrestler J.D. Struxness (14.3 seconds on three head); team ropers Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison (17.3 seconds on three head); barrel racer Ivy Hurst (51.58 seconds on three runs); bull rider Sage Kimzey, (176 points on two head) and saddle bronc rider Lefty Holman (255.5 points on three head).

The Reno Rodeo (June 21-29) celebrated its 100th edition and joins other rodeos in cities such as Fort Worth; Pecos; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Calgary, Alberta; Salinas, California; and Pendleton, Oregon, which have celebrated a centennial anniversary in past years. The Reno Rodeo traditionally is the first major summer pro rodeo.

Askey riding tough

The June 25-July 1 Ponoka Stampede in Ponoka, Alberta, also drew world class competitors. One of them was two-time Wrangler National Finals qualifier Jeff Askey of Athens. He finished second in the bull riding title race in Ponoka and earned close to $9,982.

A busy month

World class competitors were scheduled to ride and rope this week in other rodeos that either are on or near July 4 in cities such as Greeley, Colorado; St. Paul, Oregon; Cody, Wyoming; and Prescott, Arizona. The Independence Day week is called Cowboy Christmas because there are more enticing July 4 rodeos than competitors can travel to. Competitors also will compete in other higher paying rodeos in July in cities such as Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Salinas, California. In late July, competitors saddle up for the renowned Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming.

Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos and horse shows for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.

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Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has written a rodeo column for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram over the past quarter-century. Email him at bchoffman777@earthlink.net.