NFR berth no guarantee of success in Dodge Mountain States Circuit Finals
DENVER – Having earned a berth in the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was no guarantee of success at the Nov. 21-22 Dodge Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Crusher Rental PRCA World Standings leader Wade Sumpter would be the first to testify to that. The Fowler, Colo. cowboy finished a distant third in the steer wrestling compeitition at the National Western Events arena with a three-head average time of 25.3 seconds. Kyle Hughes of Olney Springs, Colo., won the first two rounds and the average with a time of 13.8 seconds. Kyle Callaway of Gillette, Wyo., was second in 19.9 seconds
Wrangler NFR team roping qualifier Garrett Tonozzi, of Fruita, Colo., paired with past WNFR qualifier Jhett Johnson and came up empty. No money, no title. Tonozzi and Johnson had a time of 30.2 seconds on their first two head and failed to produce a time in the third round. Ty Blasingame of Olney Springs, Colo., and J.W. Borrego of Pueblo West, Colo., won the three head average with a time of 15.6 seconds, beating Adam Worthen of Black Forest, Colo., and C.L. Morgan of Avondale, Colo., by 1.6 seconds.
In the bull riding, neither of the competition’s two WNFR qualifiers made it to the victory stand. Bobby Welsh of Gillette, Wyo., won the third round and finished third overall while Seth Glause won the first round but was bucked off before the eight-second whistle in his other two tries. Clayton Savage of Cheyenne, Wyo., placed in all three rounds to easily win the three-head average with 242 points, 13 better than runner-up Cameron Castleberry of Gillette, Wyo.
The one exception to this discouraging weekend of preparation for competing on the big stage in Las Vegas was to come in the bareback riding. Cimmaron Gerke, of Brighton, Colo., had 245 points on three head to win the championship buckle and he was followed by fellow Wrangler NFR qualifier Tim Shirley with 239 points. Past WNFR qualifier Heath Ford was fourth (233), just a point behind Casey Colletti.
The other champions at the National Western Events arena were: saddle bronc rider Jake Griffin of Powell, Wyo. (239 points on three head), tie-down roper Wes Borders of Arriba, Colo. (28.0 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Shali Lord of Lamar, Colo. (51.16 seconds on three runs).
It left Colorado with a 5-titles-to-2 edge for bragging rights with its Mountain States Circuit partner Wyoming.
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The road has been long, but saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell hasn’t lost his passion for rodeoing.