Champions crowned at CFD Rodeo
CHEYENNE, WY – It was a long time coming for saddle bronc rider Billy Etbauer, but when he finally won the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo this year it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Prior to the 113th “Daddy of ’em All,” Etbauer was ranked 19th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world standings. Thanks to the $14,718 he won here Sunday, the five-time world champion will move up in the standings and is well on his way to a 21st Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualification.
Etbauer joined the PRCA in 1988 and has competed here nearly every year since. He has finished in the money on numerous occasions, but amazingly had never won a title here until this year. His final ride aboard Vold Rodeo Company’s Painted Valley was good for an 89. He came into the final round in a tie for second place with Heith DeMoss from Heflin, LA. They each had two rides that totaled 162 points. Wade Sundell, from Boxholm, IA, led with an 165.
After it was all added up, Etbauer won the championship, the prestigious buckle and saddle with a total score of 251 points. And, part of his legendary family was on hand for the ride. His parents were here from South Dakota. His brother Dan Etbauer was one of the pick-up men in the arena. His nephew Trell Etbauer was here competing in saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. His wife and children nearly made the trip from their home in Edmond, OK, but stayed home to take care of horses and get ready for rodeos in Kansas next week.
“It’s unreal,” Etbauer said of the win. “I’ve been blessed and done so well here in the past that I could never complain. But it’s just unreal to have finally won it. This is a cowboy’s rodeo, a big arena, great fans and it’s one that you always come here just hoping to do well.”
The big money winner here was Jake Rinehart from Highmore, SD, who placed in every round of steer wrestling. He had a total time of 22.9 seconds to win $23,413. Right behind him was former world champion tie-down roper Cody Ohl who netted $21,441. Ohl, from Hico, TX, had a time of 36.7 seconds on three calves for the championship. This is the third tie-down roping title he has won here and he has also won the all-around championship twice.
This year’s all-around came from the rough stock end of the arena. Clayton Foltyn from El Campo, TX, won $9,277 in bareback riding and bull riding. Foltyn is a third generation rodeo contestant who qualified for the NFR in bull riding in 2004. He has struggled with injuries since then that have prevented him from getting on bareback horses and slowed him down in the bull riding. The bareback horse he got on here on Friday was only the third horse he had been on this year.
Dates for the 114th will be July 23-Aug. 1. Several records were set this year. The opening Saturday had the largest attendance at the rodeo for the first day at 13,308. The George Strait concert had 22,736 fans making it the largest concert ever held in the state of Wyoming. Rodeo volunteers and committee chairmen will be busy trying to make it even better.