Mother Nature was kind to the Old West Trail Rodeo in Crawford on July 3 and 4.
Despite forecasts of severe weather and threatening skies both nights, the storms either went around Crawford, as was the case Wednesday night, or held off until even the fireworks display was over on Thursday night.
Brooke Bass, president of the rodeo board, said he’s heard estimates that between 2,500 and 3,000 people turned out for the July 4 performance and added he believes the crowd got its money’s worth because the caliber of both the contestants and the stock was excellent.
Contestants from 10 states earned paychecks at the rodeo. Wyoming led the way with nine placewinners, including Ginger LaDuke of Gillette, who won the barrel race; J.W. Meiers of Mills, the saddle bronc winner; and Gage Greer of Gillette, who tied for top honors in steer wrestling.
Weston Winkers of Nelson, Neb., also flipped his steer in 4.6 seconds to match Greer’s time. The tie down roping was won by Tanner Stec of Bassett, Neb., in 9.3 seconds and Gordon’s Deb Thompson was the runner-up in the barrel race.
Thompson said she entered the barrel race at the Crawford Rodeo for the first time when she was 16 years old in 1974. She noted that while she has placed several times in the barrels at Crawford through the years, she has still never won the event. But her time of 17.72 second run this July 4 was just 13 one hundredths of a second behind the LaDuke’s winning time.
Bull riding was another OWT Rodeo highlight this year. While just one of the 22 bull riders last year made it to the eight-second buzzer, five of the 24 entries had qualified rides this year. The winner was Dakota Eagleburger of Fair Grove, Mo., who scored 84 points.
The other event winners were Craig Wisehart of Kersey, Colo., in bareback riding and South Dakota cowboys Marty McPherson of Piedmont and Myles Kenzy, who shared the team roping title with Brian Dunning, McClave, Colo., and Toby Mentzer, Ensign, Kan., in 5.9 seconds.
Those earning paychecks at the rodeo were:
Bareback riding–1, Craig Wisehart, Kersey, Colo., 81 points, $881; 2, Tucker Zingg, Kaycee, Wyo., 78, $663; 3, Cole Franks, Clarendon, Texas, 76, $442; 4, Yance Day, Tahlequah, Okla., 72, $221.
Steer wrestling–1-2 tie, Weston Winkers, Nelson, Neb., and Gage Greer, Gillette, Wyo., 4.6 seconds, $543 each; 3, Carson Good, Long Valley, S.D., 7.6, $310; 4, Kade Greer, Gillette, Wyo., 8.1, $165.
Saddle bronc riding–1, J.W. Meiers, Mills, Wyo., 82 points, $1,086; 2, Wyatt Kammerer, Philip, S.D., 81, $823; 3, Ian McGivney, Kaycee, Wyo., 80, $592; 4, Trent Burd, Fort Scott, Kan., 79, $395; 5, Chet Smith, Rapid City, S.D., 78, $230; 6, Jacob Kammerer, Philip, S.D., 77, $165.
Tie down roping–1, Tanner Stec, Bassett, Neb., 9.3 seconds, $752; 2, Riley Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb., 9.8, 564; 3, Tyler Boxleitner, Loveland, Colo., 10.1, $376; 4, Maverick Harper, Alva, Okla., 10.3, $188.
Team roping–1-2 tie, Marty McPherson, Piedmont, S.D., and Myles Kenzy, Iona, S.D., and Brian Dunning, McClave, Colo., and Toby Mentzer, Ensign, Kan., 5.9 seconds, $951 each; 3, Brit Ellerman, Fort Lupton, Colo., and Marcus Bannister, Brighton, Colo., 6.1, $543; 4, Corey Whinnery Powder Horn, Colo., and Robert Murphy, Congress, Ariz,, 6,7, $272.
Barrel racing–1, Ginger LaDuke, Gillette, Wyo., 17.59 seconds, $680; 2, Deb Thompson, Gordon, Neb., 17.72, $591; 3-4 tie, Heidi Tillard, Douglas, Wyo., and Kaylynn Cate, Johnstown, Colo., 17.83; $458 each; 5, Amy Jo Reisdorfer, Cheyenne, Wyo., 17.94, $325; 6, Hali Gjermundson, Marshall, N.D., 17.95, $237; 7, Carrie Sutton, Ashby, Neb., 18.14, $148; 8, Kelly Adamson, Douglas, Wyo., 18.16, $59.
Bull riding–1, Dakota Eagleburger, Fair Grove, Mo., 84 points, $1,147; 2, Caleb McCaslin, Jones, Okla., 82, $860; 3, Trey Holston, Fort Scott, Kan., 79.5, $573; 4-5 tie, Fulton Rutland, Stilwell, Okla., and Cole Fischer, Jefferson City, Mo., 78, $143 each.