Elite Rodeo Athlete’s Premier Tour Makes History in Redmond, Oregon
March 29, 2016
The much-anticipated inaugural performance of the ERA Premier Tour kicked off in Redmond, Oregon last night. Rodeo fans packed the house to watch history in the making and Elite Rodeo Athletes (ERA) rose to the occasion with a night filled with high scores and fast times.
ERA surprised fans by moving the bull riding to the opening event and had eight rides land in 80-point territory. Chandler Bownds from Lubbock, Texas started the night off right with an 86.5-point ride on Sweet Regrets.
The Saddle Bronc Riding showed fans what happens when you pair up the most elite animal athletes in the world with the top cowboys. The talent on display from both horse and cowboy was jaw dropping throughout the event. In the end, Bradley Harter, who hails from Weatherford, Texas; claimed first place with an 88.5-point ride on a horse named, Lunatic From Hell. As an encore performance, Harter had fun with the fans when he led them in a rendition of "Sweet Caroline" that had everyone laughing.
With two hometown cowboys competing (Bobby Mote and Austin Foss), the Bareback Riding was the final and most anticipated event of the night. Oregon fans are connoisseurs of this event and the athletes and horses put on a show that met their approval. Every athlete turned in a high scoring ride, but it was an 87-point ride by The Woodlands, Texas cowboy, Richmond Champion on a horse named Raggidy Ann that stole the show and brought the Oregon crowd to their feet.
The timed event side of the arena also had its share of "did you see that" moments, including a spectacular Steer Wrestling run made by Stockton Graves from Alva, OK. Graves threw his steer in 3.67, barely nudging out a 3.98 time turned in by Louisiana cowboy, Tyler Pearson.
Not one, but three seven-second runs were turned in during the tie-down roping Friday night. Twenty-three time World Champion Cowboy, Trevor Brazile, from Decatur, Texas showed the crowd why he is called "The King of the Cowboys," when he stopped the clock with a 7.61 time. Close behind him was World Champion, Shane Hanchey with a time of 7.75 and six-time World Champion, Cody Ohl with a 7.77.
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Team Roping fan favorites, Derrick Begay and Clay O'Brien Cooper, known as "The Legend and the Legend in the Making" wowed the crowd when they stopped the clock with a time of 4.01 seconds. This dream team from Arizona and Nevada is known for their laser-focused style of roping, where they turn in solid runs time after time.
Callie Duperier, a World Champion barrel racer from Boerne, Texas and her horse Arson captivated the audience with a 14.60 barrel run. Duperier has dominated the barrel racing world lately and comments that she loves the format of the ERA Premier Tour, which allows her horses to be well rested and spend less time on the road. Duperier received a helmet from fellow ERA barrel racer and World Champion, Fallon Taylor, to wear for the first time last night; which replaced her self described "lucky hat." When asked about the switch she said, "Safety first . . . I am only 23, so I have a long life ahead of me . . . Fallon brought it for me and it brought us luck, so I am liking it!"
ERA's unique format also allowed athletes to invite fans to come early and participate in a meet and greet with all of the athletes on the arena floor. "It's really been nice to slow down and have time to meet the people who are buying the tickets… it's been fun," said 23-Time World Champion and ERA athlete, Trevor Brazile.
The ERA Premier Tour has one more performance set for Saturday, March 26th in Redmond, Oregon before the athletes head to Nampa, Idaho for the tour events that take place next weekend, April 1st and 2nd. Fans can purchase tickets to the Idaho event by going to ICTickets.com.
Fans can watch the "Elite Rodeo Championship Race to Dallas" which will air on FOX Sports 2, with the Redmond event airing April 6th at 7:00 EST and April 13th at 10:00 EST.