Stroh’s arena record yields dramatic victory in Caldwell Night Rodeo | TSLN.com

Stroh’s arena record yields dramatic victory in Caldwell Night Rodeo

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Every year that Shaun Stroh qualifies for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – and this will be the fifth – he rents a house and brings his wife Shannon and their five kids out to Las Vegas for what he has described as “sort of a family vacation.”

It is a way of letting his family know how much he appreciates their support when he is away from the family home in Dickinson, ND, more than 200 days a year chasing his dream, and the perfect way to celebrate his birthday (Dec. 10).

What may be on the agenda this time around could be a much bigger celebration – a party to end all parties – as Stroh, at age 38, is in the best position of his life to reward his family’s forbearance with a saddle bronc riding gold buckle.

After producing an arena-record 91-point ride in the finals of the Caldwell (ID) Night Rodeo Aug. 21, Stroh stands fourth in the PRCA World Standings with earnings of $70,974, trailing first-place Wade Sundell by a margin of about one round win at the Wrangler NFR.

“I don’t feel like I’ve changed things this year,” Stroh said. “I’ve always kind of felt like I had a chance (at a world title), even when I was way down (among the 15 NFR qualifiers). I knew there was a way. I just didn’t know how. I came into this year with a good mental outlook, especially coming off the way last year ended (a win in the NFR average). I was feeling good, and I just kept rolling.”

Canadian champion Rod Hay saw a difference in Stroh’s approach to riding right away.

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“I see it in his first jump out,” Hay said. “He is riding with more confidence and riding more aggressively. He’s spurring right away and using the entire eight seconds to get points from judges. A couple of extra points are all it takes to win a round, and that is what he is doing.”

Until last year, Stroh had never entered the Wrangler NFR higher than 11th or finished higher than 12th in the world. The 2009 season was a breakthrough in many respects. He jumped from 22nd to eighth place during the month of September – including a $17,625 check at the Justin Boots Championships in Omaha, NE – and then went on to win the NFR average and finish fourth in the world standings.

“Maybe the biggest stepping stone to where I am,” Stroh said, “is how I reacted last year when things were looking bleak. I just kind of knew I’d make it to the NFR. Some guys handle pressure differently. Being able to make it through in that situation, to be able to have it go like it did … that was pretty reassuring.”

He started this season with a big win at Fort Worth, Texas, and has been consistently near the top of the standings all year. Caldwell was his seventh win in a PRCA rodeo, and unquestionably the most dramatic.

Just two turns before he was due to ride, Stroh stood behind the chutes and watched Cody Wright earn 90 points on Burch Rodeo’s Friendly Fire to break an arena record (89) set in 1999 by Kevin Small and equaled a year ago by Stroh’s rodeo hero, Billy Etbauer.

“Cody went out there and made just an outstanding bronc ride,” Stroh said. “I thought, ‘This deal could be sealed already.’ Holy cow, that set the bar high, but I knew I had a great horse, so I just went out there and tried to stay on.”

He did a good deal more than that. Stroh climbed onto Calgary Stampede’s Lynx Mountain and went for a record 91 points to win the round and beat Wright for the average title by one point (174-173).

It continued a fortuitous relationship between Stroh and Calgary Stampede broncs. The only other time Stroh won the two-head average at Caldwell, in 2004, he captured the short round with an 86-point ride on Calgary’s Papa Smurf.

“I had to choose between riding Kesler’s Painted Smile in Kalispell (MT) or Papa Smurf in Caldwell on that day (in 2004),” Stroh said. “That was tough – they were both outstanding horses – but I’d wanted to get on Papa Smurf for a long time and, as it turned out, it was the only time I would ever get on him. They retired him shortly after that.”

Steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch overcame a long history of frustration at Caldwell to win the finals in 3.6 seconds and break a tie with two-time World Champion Luke Branquinho for the three-head average title (12.3 seconds).

“Man, I really wanted to win this rodeo,” Gorsuch, the 2006 world champion, told the Idaho Statesman. “I’ve broken the barrier just about every time I’ve come here.”

For Branquinho, there was consolation in the fact that the $10,086 he won in three Idaho rodeos over the weekend – Caldwell, Burley and Gooding – was enough to move him past RodeoHouston champion Cody Cassidy into first place in the world standings.

The team roping win for Spencer Mitchell and Broc Cresta, along with another at Moses Lake, WA, helped move Cresta closer to his first Wrangler NFR qualification with weekend earnings of $7,204.

Mitchell and Cresta placed in all three rounds at Caldwell for a total time of 16.6 seconds to hold off Kelsey Parchman and Michael Jones by six-tenths of a second. Cresta moved from 14th place among heelers to 11th and Mitchell advanced from 25th to 21st among headers.

The other champions at the Caldwell Night Rodeo Arena were bareback rider Dave Worsfold in what he would call the biggest win of his career (168 points on two head), tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa (26.3 seconds on three head), barrel racer Nancy Hunter (52.17 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Will Farrell (166 points on two head).

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Every year that Shaun Stroh qualifies for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – and this will be the fifth – he rents a house and brings his wife Shannon and their five kids out to Las Vegas for what he has described as “sort of a family vacation.”

It is a way of letting his family know how much he appreciates their support when he is away from the family home in Dickinson, ND, more than 200 days a year chasing his dream, and the perfect way to celebrate his birthday (Dec. 10).

What may be on the agenda this time around could be a much bigger celebration – a party to end all parties – as Stroh, at age 38, is in the best position of his life to reward his family’s forbearance with a saddle bronc riding gold buckle.

After producing an arena-record 91-point ride in the finals of the Caldwell (ID) Night Rodeo Aug. 21, Stroh stands fourth in the PRCA World Standings with earnings of $70,974, trailing first-place Wade Sundell by a margin of about one round win at the Wrangler NFR.

“I don’t feel like I’ve changed things this year,” Stroh said. “I’ve always kind of felt like I had a chance (at a world title), even when I was way down (among the 15 NFR qualifiers). I knew there was a way. I just didn’t know how. I came into this year with a good mental outlook, especially coming off the way last year ended (a win in the NFR average). I was feeling good, and I just kept rolling.”

Canadian champion Rod Hay saw a difference in Stroh’s approach to riding right away.

“I see it in his first jump out,” Hay said. “He is riding with more confidence and riding more aggressively. He’s spurring right away and using the entire eight seconds to get points from judges. A couple of extra points are all it takes to win a round, and that is what he is doing.”

Until last year, Stroh had never entered the Wrangler NFR higher than 11th or finished higher than 12th in the world. The 2009 season was a breakthrough in many respects. He jumped from 22nd to eighth place during the month of September – including a $17,625 check at the Justin Boots Championships in Omaha, NE – and then went on to win the NFR average and finish fourth in the world standings.

“Maybe the biggest stepping stone to where I am,” Stroh said, “is how I reacted last year when things were looking bleak. I just kind of knew I’d make it to the NFR. Some guys handle pressure differently. Being able to make it through in that situation, to be able to have it go like it did … that was pretty reassuring.”

He started this season with a big win at Fort Worth, Texas, and has been consistently near the top of the standings all year. Caldwell was his seventh win in a PRCA rodeo, and unquestionably the most dramatic.

Just two turns before he was due to ride, Stroh stood behind the chutes and watched Cody Wright earn 90 points on Burch Rodeo’s Friendly Fire to break an arena record (89) set in 1999 by Kevin Small and equaled a year ago by Stroh’s rodeo hero, Billy Etbauer.

“Cody went out there and made just an outstanding bronc ride,” Stroh said. “I thought, ‘This deal could be sealed already.’ Holy cow, that set the bar high, but I knew I had a great horse, so I just went out there and tried to stay on.”

He did a good deal more than that. Stroh climbed onto Calgary Stampede’s Lynx Mountain and went for a record 91 points to win the round and beat Wright for the average title by one point (174-173).

It continued a fortuitous relationship between Stroh and Calgary Stampede broncs. The only other time Stroh won the two-head average at Caldwell, in 2004, he captured the short round with an 86-point ride on Calgary’s Papa Smurf.

“I had to choose between riding Kesler’s Painted Smile in Kalispell (MT) or Papa Smurf in Caldwell on that day (in 2004),” Stroh said. “That was tough – they were both outstanding horses – but I’d wanted to get on Papa Smurf for a long time and, as it turned out, it was the only time I would ever get on him. They retired him shortly after that.”

Steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch overcame a long history of frustration at Caldwell to win the finals in 3.6 seconds and break a tie with two-time World Champion Luke Branquinho for the three-head average title (12.3 seconds).

“Man, I really wanted to win this rodeo,” Gorsuch, the 2006 world champion, told the Idaho Statesman. “I’ve broken the barrier just about every time I’ve come here.”

For Branquinho, there was consolation in the fact that the $10,086 he won in three Idaho rodeos over the weekend – Caldwell, Burley and Gooding – was enough to move him past RodeoHouston champion Cody Cassidy into first place in the world standings.

The team roping win for Spencer Mitchell and Broc Cresta, along with another at Moses Lake, WA, helped move Cresta closer to his first Wrangler NFR qualification with weekend earnings of $7,204.

Mitchell and Cresta placed in all three rounds at Caldwell for a total time of 16.6 seconds to hold off Kelsey Parchman and Michael Jones by six-tenths of a second. Cresta moved from 14th place among heelers to 11th and Mitchell advanced from 25th to 21st among headers.

The other champions at the Caldwell Night Rodeo Arena were bareback rider Dave Worsfold in what he would call the biggest win of his career (168 points on two head), tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa (26.3 seconds on three head), barrel racer Nancy Hunter (52.17 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Will Farrell (166 points on two head).

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