Sundell pays tribute to late grandfather with DNCFR victory | TSLN.com

Sundell pays tribute to late grandfather with DNCFR victory

Courtesy PRCA

POCATELLO, Idaho – When saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell took off his hat and fanned his horse with it at the end of his winning ride Saturday night at Holt Arena it wasn’t merely youthful exuberance. It was a tribute to his late grandpa.

Cloyd Sundell Jr., 77, died last week and at the April 10 funeral in Boxholm, Iowa, Wade pledged to his family and friends that if he made to the final round of the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, presented by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, he was going to do something to recognize a man “who was always there for me.”

Sundell did a good deal more than just reach the final four, winning the competition with an 87-point ride on Spring Blues of the Flying Five string. It was the biggest title of his career and it came with the biggest paycheck of his life ($15,088), use of a Dodge Ram truck for a year, a Montana Silversmiths buckle and a Justin Boots gift certificate for a pair of exotic boots.

There was special satisfaction for Sundell, 24, in being able to make this breakthrough performance when his grandfather was so much on his mind.

“He never rodeoed, but he was always there for me,” Sundell said. “Me and him were about as close as we could get, I imagine.

“I knew he would want me to be here more than anybody in the world, and want me to win and do well, so I just kept thinking about that. But when I climb down in there (into the chute) I just concentrate on the horse.”

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Sundell had to wait for a while to be sure he had won the title. Reigning World Champion Cody Wright and multiple Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Rusty Allen had already been bucked off, but Jesse Kruse had two re-rides which kept the verdict in doubt for 30 minutes before Kruse was finally bucked off too and the way was cleared for Sundell.

“It was a little stressful,” Sundell said. “I thought, ‘I wish we could get this going so I know if I win or not.'”

The Wilderness Circuit won the team championship for the third consecutive year with total earnings of $144,428, and had two individual titles — tie-down roper Nate Baldwin and bareback rider Kaycee Feild — that were highly popular with the crowd of more than 9,000 in Holt Arena, on the Idaho State University campus.

Baldwin, who lives 30 miles away in Blackfoot, had an 8.1-second run in the tense semifinal run that featured five former DNCFR champions and then came back to put down a solid 8.7-second run in the finals on his horse Q-Ball to beat Texan Nathan Steinberg by nearly a full second.

Baldwin had won here once before, in 2004, and was third last year when Matt Shiozawa of nearby Chubbuck won the event on the last run of the competition.

“People from Idaho, they like to support cowboys from Idaho,” Baldwin said “It was the same way last year when Matt won. It was awesome. It was so loud (in the arena). It’s great we can keep (the DNCFR title) in Idaho.

“My run in the semifinals was my best. In the final four, there was a little hitch there. I almost let the calf get by me and run up the rope. When I got out of the arena, I actually thought that it wasn’t quite good enough to win. I was halfway around the arena (on my victory lap) and I thought: ‘I really won this.'”

Feild’s victory came on the 20th anniversary of the lone DNCFR title achieved by his ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee father, Lewis. It came on a tiebreaker. His 89-point ride on Mosbrucker Rodeo’s Magic Wars was matched by Wilderness Circuit teammate Cody DeMers, who had 89 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Painted Smile. Feild got the win (and the truck) because he had more points in the semifinals.

“My dad (Lewis) and my brother (Shad) were on the back of the chutes helping me and my dad is the first person that I looked at when I won,” he said. “It’s awesome to win this. I have always wanted to win a pickup.”

Reigning World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., produced the only sub-4 second time of the week at the right time. He took down his steer in 3.9-seconds on the last run of the finals to undercut Sean Mulligan of Coleman, Okla., who was leading at 4.4. Branquinho also won the semifinal round earlier in the evening in 4.3 seconds.

“Going first or last, I don’t really think it makes a difference,” Branquinho said. “You have to go make a good run whether you need to beat 7.0 or 3.5. Whenever I’ve tried to play it safe it hasn’t worked out very well.”

Just as dominant was J.W. Harris, the reigning World Champion Bull Rider. He rode all four bulls he drew, wrapping up his second DNCFR title — he won the all-around in 2006 — with an 88 point ride on Burns Rodeo’s Blended Red in the final. He earned a rodeo-best $22,598.

Nobody else made it to the eight-second whistle in the final and it was a rough week for the bull riders generally. Even with Harris going four-for-four, the bulls finished with a 50-11 edge.

“After the (Wrangler NFR) I told myself I’m just going to worry about being consistent, so I went home and got on a bunch of practice bulls,” Harris said. “This last five or six months have been unbelieveable, just riding well and winning a world title. Also, winning the average at the (NFR) and winning the average here. It has just been a great, great year. Everything seems to be going my way.”

B.J. Campbell and Russell Cardoza, who parted ways after partnering through all of 2008 and qualifying for the DNCFR, didn’t have trouble getting things worked out here. They made it to the finals as the fourth and final qualifier and then earned the title with a 4.8-second run.

“No, we really didn’t have a chance to practice before this rodeo,” Campbell said, “but the thousands of steers we roped together last year was enough. You rope that much with someone, you know what to expect.”

Barbra West, of Oak Harbor, Wash., won the barrel racing in 15.47 seconds, a hundreth of a second better than Briana Reynolds of Ellsinore, Mo.

Clovis Crane, who made history by becoming the first cowboy to qualify for the DNCFR in three events, won the all-around title on the strength of earning $3,368 in the bull riding. He is the second First Frontier Circuit man to be all-around champion here — Carmine Nastri was the other, in 2003 — and the first ever from Pennsylvania.

Owners of the top roughstock received cash prizes from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and timed-event winners received a $700 cash bonus from the American Quarter Horse Association.

POCATELLO, Idaho – When saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell took off his hat and fanned his horse with it at the end of his winning ride Saturday night at Holt Arena it wasn’t merely youthful exuberance. It was a tribute to his late grandpa.

Cloyd Sundell Jr., 77, died last week and at the April 10 funeral in Boxholm, Iowa, Wade pledged to his family and friends that if he made to the final round of the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, presented by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, he was going to do something to recognize a man “who was always there for me.”

Sundell did a good deal more than just reach the final four, winning the competition with an 87-point ride on Spring Blues of the Flying Five string. It was the biggest title of his career and it came with the biggest paycheck of his life ($15,088), use of a Dodge Ram truck for a year, a Montana Silversmiths buckle and a Justin Boots gift certificate for a pair of exotic boots.

There was special satisfaction for Sundell, 24, in being able to make this breakthrough performance when his grandfather was so much on his mind.

“He never rodeoed, but he was always there for me,” Sundell said. “Me and him were about as close as we could get, I imagine.

“I knew he would want me to be here more than anybody in the world, and want me to win and do well, so I just kept thinking about that. But when I climb down in there (into the chute) I just concentrate on the horse.”

Sundell had to wait for a while to be sure he had won the title. Reigning World Champion Cody Wright and multiple Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Rusty Allen had already been bucked off, but Jesse Kruse had two re-rides which kept the verdict in doubt for 30 minutes before Kruse was finally bucked off too and the way was cleared for Sundell.

“It was a little stressful,” Sundell said. “I thought, ‘I wish we could get this going so I know if I win or not.'”

The Wilderness Circuit won the team championship for the third consecutive year with total earnings of $144,428, and had two individual titles — tie-down roper Nate Baldwin and bareback rider Kaycee Feild — that were highly popular with the crowd of more than 9,000 in Holt Arena, on the Idaho State University campus.

Baldwin, who lives 30 miles away in Blackfoot, had an 8.1-second run in the tense semifinal run that featured five former DNCFR champions and then came back to put down a solid 8.7-second run in the finals on his horse Q-Ball to beat Texan Nathan Steinberg by nearly a full second.

Baldwin had won here once before, in 2004, and was third last year when Matt Shiozawa of nearby Chubbuck won the event on the last run of the competition.

“People from Idaho, they like to support cowboys from Idaho,” Baldwin said “It was the same way last year when Matt won. It was awesome. It was so loud (in the arena). It’s great we can keep (the DNCFR title) in Idaho.

“My run in the semifinals was my best. In the final four, there was a little hitch there. I almost let the calf get by me and run up the rope. When I got out of the arena, I actually thought that it wasn’t quite good enough to win. I was halfway around the arena (on my victory lap) and I thought: ‘I really won this.'”

Feild’s victory came on the 20th anniversary of the lone DNCFR title achieved by his ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee father, Lewis. It came on a tiebreaker. His 89-point ride on Mosbrucker Rodeo’s Magic Wars was matched by Wilderness Circuit teammate Cody DeMers, who had 89 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Painted Smile. Feild got the win (and the truck) because he had more points in the semifinals.

“My dad (Lewis) and my brother (Shad) were on the back of the chutes helping me and my dad is the first person that I looked at when I won,” he said. “It’s awesome to win this. I have always wanted to win a pickup.”

Reigning World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., produced the only sub-4 second time of the week at the right time. He took down his steer in 3.9-seconds on the last run of the finals to undercut Sean Mulligan of Coleman, Okla., who was leading at 4.4. Branquinho also won the semifinal round earlier in the evening in 4.3 seconds.

“Going first or last, I don’t really think it makes a difference,” Branquinho said. “You have to go make a good run whether you need to beat 7.0 or 3.5. Whenever I’ve tried to play it safe it hasn’t worked out very well.”

Just as dominant was J.W. Harris, the reigning World Champion Bull Rider. He rode all four bulls he drew, wrapping up his second DNCFR title — he won the all-around in 2006 — with an 88 point ride on Burns Rodeo’s Blended Red in the final. He earned a rodeo-best $22,598.

Nobody else made it to the eight-second whistle in the final and it was a rough week for the bull riders generally. Even with Harris going four-for-four, the bulls finished with a 50-11 edge.

“After the (Wrangler NFR) I told myself I’m just going to worry about being consistent, so I went home and got on a bunch of practice bulls,” Harris said. “This last five or six months have been unbelieveable, just riding well and winning a world title. Also, winning the average at the (NFR) and winning the average here. It has just been a great, great year. Everything seems to be going my way.”

B.J. Campbell and Russell Cardoza, who parted ways after partnering through all of 2008 and qualifying for the DNCFR, didn’t have trouble getting things worked out here. They made it to the finals as the fourth and final qualifier and then earned the title with a 4.8-second run.

“No, we really didn’t have a chance to practice before this rodeo,” Campbell said, “but the thousands of steers we roped together last year was enough. You rope that much with someone, you know what to expect.”

Barbra West, of Oak Harbor, Wash., won the barrel racing in 15.47 seconds, a hundreth of a second better than Briana Reynolds of Ellsinore, Mo.

Clovis Crane, who made history by becoming the first cowboy to qualify for the DNCFR in three events, won the all-around title on the strength of earning $3,368 in the bull riding. He is the second First Frontier Circuit man to be all-around champion here — Carmine Nastri was the other, in 2003 — and the first ever from Pennsylvania.

Owners of the top roughstock received cash prizes from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and timed-event winners received a $700 cash bonus from the American Quarter Horse Association.

POCATELLO, Idaho – When saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell took off his hat and fanned his horse with it at the end of his winning ride Saturday night at Holt Arena it wasn’t merely youthful exuberance. It was a tribute to his late grandpa.

Cloyd Sundell Jr., 77, died last week and at the April 10 funeral in Boxholm, Iowa, Wade pledged to his family and friends that if he made to the final round of the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, presented by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, he was going to do something to recognize a man “who was always there for me.”

Sundell did a good deal more than just reach the final four, winning the competition with an 87-point ride on Spring Blues of the Flying Five string. It was the biggest title of his career and it came with the biggest paycheck of his life ($15,088), use of a Dodge Ram truck for a year, a Montana Silversmiths buckle and a Justin Boots gift certificate for a pair of exotic boots.

There was special satisfaction for Sundell, 24, in being able to make this breakthrough performance when his grandfather was so much on his mind.

“He never rodeoed, but he was always there for me,” Sundell said. “Me and him were about as close as we could get, I imagine.

“I knew he would want me to be here more than anybody in the world, and want me to win and do well, so I just kept thinking about that. But when I climb down in there (into the chute) I just concentrate on the horse.”

Sundell had to wait for a while to be sure he had won the title. Reigning World Champion Cody Wright and multiple Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Rusty Allen had already been bucked off, but Jesse Kruse had two re-rides which kept the verdict in doubt for 30 minutes before Kruse was finally bucked off too and the way was cleared for Sundell.

“It was a little stressful,” Sundell said. “I thought, ‘I wish we could get this going so I know if I win or not.'”

The Wilderness Circuit won the team championship for the third consecutive year with total earnings of $144,428, and had two individual titles — tie-down roper Nate Baldwin and bareback rider Kaycee Feild — that were highly popular with the crowd of more than 9,000 in Holt Arena, on the Idaho State University campus.

Baldwin, who lives 30 miles away in Blackfoot, had an 8.1-second run in the tense semifinal run that featured five former DNCFR champions and then came back to put down a solid 8.7-second run in the finals on his horse Q-Ball to beat Texan Nathan Steinberg by nearly a full second.

Baldwin had won here once before, in 2004, and was third last year when Matt Shiozawa of nearby Chubbuck won the event on the last run of the competition.

“People from Idaho, they like to support cowboys from Idaho,” Baldwin said “It was the same way last year when Matt won. It was awesome. It was so loud (in the arena). It’s great we can keep (the DNCFR title) in Idaho.

“My run in the semifinals was my best. In the final four, there was a little hitch there. I almost let the calf get by me and run up the rope. When I got out of the arena, I actually thought that it wasn’t quite good enough to win. I was halfway around the arena (on my victory lap) and I thought: ‘I really won this.'”

Feild’s victory came on the 20th anniversary of the lone DNCFR title achieved by his ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee father, Lewis. It came on a tiebreaker. His 89-point ride on Mosbrucker Rodeo’s Magic Wars was matched by Wilderness Circuit teammate Cody DeMers, who had 89 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Painted Smile. Feild got the win (and the truck) because he had more points in the semifinals.

“My dad (Lewis) and my brother (Shad) were on the back of the chutes helping me and my dad is the first person that I looked at when I won,” he said. “It’s awesome to win this. I have always wanted to win a pickup.”

Reigning World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., produced the only sub-4 second time of the week at the right time. He took down his steer in 3.9-seconds on the last run of the finals to undercut Sean Mulligan of Coleman, Okla., who was leading at 4.4. Branquinho also won the semifinal round earlier in the evening in 4.3 seconds.

“Going first or last, I don’t really think it makes a difference,” Branquinho said. “You have to go make a good run whether you need to beat 7.0 or 3.5. Whenever I’ve tried to play it safe it hasn’t worked out very well.”

Just as dominant was J.W. Harris, the reigning World Champion Bull Rider. He rode all four bulls he drew, wrapping up his second DNCFR title — he won the all-around in 2006 — with an 88 point ride on Burns Rodeo’s Blended Red in the final. He earned a rodeo-best $22,598.

Nobody else made it to the eight-second whistle in the final and it was a rough week for the bull riders generally. Even with Harris going four-for-four, the bulls finished with a 50-11 edge.

“After the (Wrangler NFR) I told myself I’m just going to worry about being consistent, so I went home and got on a bunch of practice bulls,” Harris said. “This last five or six months have been unbelieveable, just riding well and winning a world title. Also, winning the average at the (NFR) and winning the average here. It has just been a great, great year. Everything seems to be going my way.”

B.J. Campbell and Russell Cardoza, who parted ways after partnering through all of 2008 and qualifying for the DNCFR, didn’t have trouble getting things worked out here. They made it to the finals as the fourth and final qualifier and then earned the title with a 4.8-second run.

“No, we really didn’t have a chance to practice before this rodeo,” Campbell said, “but the thousands of steers we roped together last year was enough. You rope that much with someone, you know what to expect.”

Barbra West, of Oak Harbor, Wash., won the barrel racing in 15.47 seconds, a hundreth of a second better than Briana Reynolds of Ellsinore, Mo.

Clovis Crane, who made history by becoming the first cowboy to qualify for the DNCFR in three events, won the all-around title on the strength of earning $3,368 in the bull riding. He is the second First Frontier Circuit man to be all-around champion here — Carmine Nastri was the other, in 2003 — and the first ever from Pennsylvania.

Owners of the top roughstock received cash prizes from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and timed-event winners received a $700 cash bonus from the American Quarter Horse Association.