Zach Hibler, a former College National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Wheeler, tied for first place in the bareback riding title race at the 2019 Snake River Stampede in Nampa, Idaho.
During the final round on Saturday night, Hibler turned in a solid score of 84.5 and finished the July 16-20 rodeo in the Boise, Idaho, area with a two-ride tally of 172.
Hibler, who also won the first round with an 87.5 on Cervi Championship Rodeo's Vitalix Dream Machine, earned $10,016 throughout the renowned Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show.
Hibler, 22, said his victory in Nampa was encouraging.
“It’s the biggest I’ve had in my career,” he said. “I’m going to build on that for the rest of the year. I’m going to try to capitalize on it and make the big show [the December Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas].”
Hibler tied for first in the average/aggregate race with three-time National Finals qualifier Tanner Aus who also finished with a 172 on after making a first round and a final round ride.
Aus turned in a Nampa rodeo record bareback riding score of 91 points on Flying U Rodeo's Lil Red Hawk. Aus’ 91 broke the previous record of 90, which was in 1982 by former world champion Bruce Ford, according to prorodeo.com.
In steer wrestling, two-time world champion Hunter Cure, a former Texas Tech star who is from Holliday in the Wichita Falls area, finished No. 1 in the title race with a three-run time of 12.0.
Two-time world champion Caleb Smidt of Bellville clinched the tie-down roping title with a three-run time of 25.0.
Four-time world champion Tuf Cooper, who has homes in Decatur and Weatherford, finished third in the tie-down roping second round with a 7.6 and earned $2,663.
According to the PRCA, the other Nampa rodeo champions were team ropers Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord (15.1 seconds on three head); barrel racer Terri Wood Gates (31.86 seconds on two head); bull rider Foster McCraw (178 points on two head) and saddle bronc rider Colt Gordon (174 points on two head). Gordon’s 174 tied the Nampa saddle bronc riding record two-ride aggregate score.
Five-time National Finals qualifier Sterling Crawley of Huntsville finished fourth in the saddle bronc riding title race and earned $3,216. The 2019 Nampa rodeo offered competitors $410,502, a record purse at the traditional Idaho rodeo.
Stetson Wright thriving
Stetson Wright, a PRCA rookie from Milford, Utah, advanced to the semifinal round at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming in saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
Wright made the cut in saddle bronc riding by finishing third during Saturday’s (July 20) performance with an 85.5 ($1,143 in earnings). Wright advanced in bull riding after finishing second during Saturday’s show with a 73 ($3,185). The 2019 Cheyenne rodeo concludes on Sunday (July 28).
Wright also clinched the bull riding title at the July 18-21 California Rodeo Salinas in Salinas, Calif., and earned $5,395. Wright clinched the title with a two-ride aggregate score of 172.5.
He also won the final (short) round with an 89 aboard Bridwell Pro Rodeos' 100x Helmet Boothill on his way to winning the average/aggregate title.
According to prorodeo.com, the other winners at the $453,680 Salinas rodeo were all-around cowboy C.J. DeForest Jr., ($7,025, tie-down and team roping); bareback rider Clint Laye (174 points on two head); team ropers Brooks Dahozy and Walt Woodard (50.3 on five head); saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (168.5 points on two head); tie-down roper John Douch (35.7 on three head); barrel racer Shelley Morgan (64.76 seconds on four runs); and steer wrestler Josh Clark (21.5 seconds on three head).
Wright is ranked No. 1 in the PRCA’s 2019 world all-around race with $128,413 (in the weekly world standings that were released on Monday, July 22, which do not include his winnings in Cheyenne because that will not be factored in until the rodeo concludes on July 28).
Tuf Cooper, the 2017 world all-around champion, is ranked No. 4 with $86,710.
Lane Frost remembered
The 30th anniversary of the death of 1987 PRCA bull riding world champion Lane Frost is July 30. Frost was killed on July 30, 1989, by a bull that he had ridden for prize money during the final round of the 1989 Cheyenne rodeo.
Frost was living in Quanah when he died in Cheyenne at age 25. The movie “8 Seconds” is about Frost’s illustrious career.
The late Luke Perry played Frost in the 1994 film.
NCHA Summer Spectacular
Fort Worth trainer/rider Beau Galyean and a horse named Rollz Royce clinched the Classic/Challenge open division title at the National Cutting Horse Association Summer Spectacular with a lofty finals score of 229 on Thursday (July 18) at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. Rollz Royce's owner, Thomas Guinn of Philadelphia, Miss., earned $16,865. Galyean's brother, Wesley, and Duramax Dually, finished runner-up in the Classic/Challenge title race for 5- and 6-year-old horses with a 222.5.
The horse is owned by Glover/Galyean Partnership of Claremore, Oklahoma, which earned $15,430. The Summer Spectacular began July 12 and runs through Aug. 4.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.