Lisa Lockhart, Cort Scheer, Steven Dent take home championship titles from Dallas’s ERA Finals
Dallas, Texas was home to the Elite Rodeo Association finals, wrapping up the new organization’s first year of competition. Eight champions, along with talented equine and bovine partners thrilled audiences and fellow competitors and then headed home from the American Airlines Center with their share of the more than $1 million in cash and prizes.
“What started out as a fresh idea between a few cowboys on how we could advance and better the sport of rodeo turned into a dream-come-true this weekend in Dallas,” said ERA interim President Bobby Mote. “We couldn’t be happier with how the ERA World Championship turned out over three days at the American Airlines Center.
“Rodeo is a big part of Texas’ great heritage and boy did the ERA deliver to our fans at the event and tuning in worldwide on FOX Sports 2 TV, SiriusXM Rural Radio and FloSports.com.”
Saluting the newly-crowned champions of the ERA’s inaugural season, Mote tipped his hat to winners Chandler Bownds (Bull Riding), Bray Armes (Steer Wrestling), Clay Tryan & Jade Corkill (Team Roping), Cort Scheer (Saddle Bronc Riding), Lisa Lockhart (Barrel Racing), Shane Hanchey (Tie-Down Roping) and Steven Dent (Bareback Riding).
Sunday’s Round 3 competition results and overall ERA World Championship results:
Friday’s bull riding winner Bownds (Lubbock, Texas) put up the best number again on Sunday, posting up perfectly on a right-handed spin by the bull they call “Spotted Canyon,” and rocking a score of 86.5 at the buzzer. Bownds’ second gold belt buckle of the weekend topped Oregon’s Cannon Cravens by two points (84.5).
Said Bownds on his Sunday win and overall title: “It feels great to get this title. I had a tough bull in the second round, Bushwacked, and he bucked me off pretty quick and sored me up a bit. But I came back today got another round win on a bull who was just good right there in the gate and around to the right and lucky enough to get the round win.”
Bull Riding Round 3 Event Results:
1st Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, TX, Spotted Canyon, 86.5
2nd Cannon Cravens, Porum, OK, Frosty Whiril, 84.5
3rd Neil Holmes, Houston, TX, Ruff Em Up Truck, 80.5
Bull Riding Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, TX, 3350
2nd Cody Campbell, Summerville, OR, 3025
3rd Beau Hill, Columbia Falls, MT, 2600
Getting out of the gate a bit slow, times in the four-second range and a couple no scores with the steers early on were disrupted by the night’s No. 1 effort when Louisiana’s Casey Martin shot out to a quick and clean 3.58 second run. Two other ERA athletes put up sub-four second efforts on the floor of the American Airlines Center, the 2nd place of 3.76 coming from the newly crowned ERA Steer Wrestling Champion Armes.
Said Martin: “It feels great, especially since I didn’t place in the first two rounds. So to get it done and get my steer down it feels great to win the round – and run the fastest time of the rodeo. It lets me know I’ve still got it.”
Added Armes on his overall championship: “Unbelievable. It’s been a dream all year long. I’ve just worked hard at it and thanks to everybody that has always supported me. I feel very blessed.”
Steer Wrestling Round 3 Event Results:
1st Casey Martin, Sulpher, LA, 3.58
2nd Bray Armes, Pilot Point, TX, 3.76
3rd Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, AL, 3.92
Steer Wrestling Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Bray Armes, Pilot Point, TX, 3850
2nd Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, AL, 3675
3rd Stockton Graves, Alva, OK, 3087.5
Disrupting the overall team roping champions’ potential sweep of the ERA World Championship in Dallas, Turtle Powell (Stephenville, Texas) and Jhett Johnson (Casper, Wyo.) teamed up to head & heel the night’s only sub-four second time, clocking a lightning quick 3.6 seconds for the double gold ERA belt buckles. In the 2016 ERA World Championship season the largest margin of victory in the roping events – 800 points – came courtesy of the team of Tryan (Montana) and Corkill (Nevada) as the two grabbed two of three wins in Dallas to secure the overall title.
Said Powell: “Well it felt good. We struggled the first two rounds and I struggled and didn’t rope very well. We were talking about it earlier and we always win something, so it was nice to win tonight … nice to win one of those buckles.”
Added Corkhill on the overall title: It’s really cool because there are certain things that only happen once and getting to be the first one, you only have one shot at that so to get it done is something that will be special to us forever.”
Team Roping Round 3 Event Results:
1st Powell/Johnson, Stephenville, TX/Casper, WY, 3.6
2nd Tsinigine/Motes, Fort McDowell, AZ/Weatherford, TX, 4.38
3rd Proctor/Long, Pryor, OK/Coffeyville, KS, 4.4
Team Roping Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Tryan/Corkill, Plentywood, MT/Fallon, NV, 4650
2nd Begay/O’Brien Cooper, Winslow, AZ/Gardnerville, NV, 3850
3rd Driggers/Nogueira, Albany, GA/Scottsdale, AZ, 3175
Saddle Bronc Riding
Two big scores in saddle bronc highlighted the season’s final event in the popular, high flying discipline. And in the end the overall champ (Scheer) was edged out by Iowa’s Wade Sundell, 87-point ride. Sundell, riding the horse they call “Out West,” would secure his 2nd place overall position in the ERA season standing with the win, though was still well back of Scheer for the overall title (1,000 points). Canada’s Zeke Thurston would place 3rd overall in the standings, the only Canadian to make the ERA’s overall podium in in the opening season.
Said Sundell: “It’s a good three days here it’s exciting to come out on top the last day and just ride against all these great guys. And it’s been an honor to beat them all (he said with a laugh).”
Scheer on his overall championship: “Unbelievable, you know? You watch all of your idols walk around with gold buckles all the time so it’ll be pretty cool to finally get to wear one.”
Saddle Bronc Riding Round 3 Event Results:
Place, Name, Hometown, Stock, Score
1st Wade Sundell, Boxholm, IA, Out West, 87
2nd Cort Scheer, Elsmere, NE, Bitter Robin, 86
3rd Ty Kirkland, Lufkin, TX, Lunatic From Hell, 84.5
Saddle Bronc Riding Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Cort Scheer, Elsmere, NE, 4862.5
2nd Wade Sundell, Boxholm, IA, 3875
3rd Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, Canada, 3337.
If there was a surprise underdog story of the 2016 ERA World Championship it had to be Texan and ERA Last Chance Qualifier, Kassie Mowry’s 1st/1st/1st sweep of the three barrel racing events. Mowry was unstoppable, topping everything from numerous legends in the sport to a couple young girls that weigh about half as much as the senior competitors. Mowry and Sunday’s runner up, Ashley Schafer (Yoder, Wyo.), both rode their horses to sub-13 second times – Mowry’s 12.793 topping Schafer’s 12.994 by a mere two tenths of a second.
Said Mowry: “I am just beyond ecstatic. I really had no idea that he (Mowry’s horse “Firewatermakehappy”) would come out like he did – I just thought this would be a really good learning experience. I am just thrilled that he is taking it in and getting stronger even at the end … just thrilled.”
Added Lockhart on her overall title: “Oh it is amazing, and it is a sigh of relief. I knew it was going to be close. We were just too long today and I really worried about it, but I thought it is what it is and if we are, great, and if not kudos to whoever did.”
Barrel Racing Round 3 Event Results:
1st Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, 12.793
2nd Ashley Schafer, Yoder, WY, 12.994
3rd Callie Duperier, Boerne, TX, 13
Barrel Racing Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, 4025
2nd Kassidy Denison, Tohatchi, NM, 3562.5
3rd Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, 2992
Bit of poetic justice for the overall champ Hanchey on Sunday as the Louisianan stepped ‘er up and topped the field, putting an exclamation point on his title with a 1st place event finish on Sunday. Saving the best for last, Hanchey would top on of the sport’s all-time greats, Cody Ohl (3rd) and runner-up Cooper Martin with a time of 7.05 seconds.
Said Hanchey on both is Sunday win and overall title: “Well, I came into this round kind of behind the eight-ball. I knew I needed to win first or second in the round after the way it kind of unfolded. I was lucky enough to go last so I knew what I needed to do and it all kind of just fell into place, both the event win today and the overall ERA tie-down (roping) championship.”
Tie-Down Roping Round 3 Event Results:
1st Shane Hanchey, Sulpher, LA, 7.05
2nd Cooper Martin, Alma, KS, 7.21
3rd Cody Ohl, Hico, TX, 7.38*
3rd Marty Yates, Stephenville, TX 7.38*
Tie-Down Roping Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Shane Hanchey, Sulpher, LA, 3650
2nd Caleb Smidt, Bellville, TX, 3425
3rd Marty Yates, Stephenville, TX, 3325
Like the grand finale of a fireworks display, Sunday’s bareback riding competition didn’t disappoint as the fans were brought to their feet not only by the podium trio of Dent (1st), Oregon’s Bobby Mote (2nd) Utah’s Kaycee Feild (3rd), but also by the final retirement run of longtime great rodeo star Ryan Gray. Dent’s 86-point run on the bucking horse they dubbed “Smack Daddy” was the weekend’s second-highest score, and easily the day’s top scoring bareback ride.
Said Dent on both his event win and overall title: “I was just trying to stay calm and get a good seat before I nodded, things just worked out well after that. And on the title, it feels great. Just competing against the best guys in the world everyday just makes you better, and I’m humbled and feel blessed to be able to beat those guys. It’s unbelievable.”
Bareback Riding Round 2 Event Results:
Place, Name, Hometown, Stock, Score
1st Steven Dent, Mullen, NE, Smack Daddy, 86
2nd Bobby Mote, Culver, OR, Rodeo Beyond, 84
3rd Kaycee Field, Spanish Fork, UT, Painted Brush, 83.5
Bareback Riding Event World Standings (Year-End Champions):
1st Steven Dent, Mullen, NE, 4337.5
2nd Kaycee Field, Spanish Fork, UT, 3837.5
3rd Austin Foss, Terrebonne, OR, 3300
Mote would wrap up the much talked about 2016 ERA tour and highly successful World Championship in Dallas by saying, “This wasn’t just the end of our first ever ERA season, but the beginning of something bigger in the sport of professional rodeo. Ten or 20 years from now we’ll be looking back at this moment realizing this is where it all started.”
–slightly edited from an Elite Rodeo Association release