Roche and Hillman win more than $21,000 each at Cheyenne Frontier Days

Baylor Roche of Tremonton, Utah, and Stevi Hillman of Weatherford, Texas, were the two highest money winners at the 121st Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD) which ended an eight-day run on Sunday.

Those two were the only event leaders coming into the Championship Round to walk away with a title from the “Daddy of ‘em All.” Both rode gray American Quarter Horses to win their championships.

Roche’s steer wrestling winnings lacked $2 making $21,500. After winning the first round and placing third in the second, the two-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) was the last of 12 steer wrestlers to compete Sunday. Riding Caesar, a gelding owned by Idaho cowboy Bubba Boots, Roche’s time of 10.4 seconds was the fourth-fastest of the finals, but he still won the championship by 2.8 seconds. Last year’s CFD champion J.D. Struxness of Appleton, Minn., clocked a time of 8.2 to win the final round.

Winning his first CFD championship in his sixth time to compete here could not have been more opportune for Roche. “July has been pretty slow,” he said, “but this sure helped. I’m not sure it has even set in yet,” he said of winning the CFD title. “This rodeo is a pretty renowned one to do good at, let alone win.”

Hillman earned $22,554 in the women’s barrel racing riding a five-year-old gelding called Sharpie. The petite blonde earned almost $6,800 for winning round one and came into the finals with an overall lead of one-hundredth of a second. Sharpie and Hillman ran third and their time of 17.33 seconds won the round by 31 hundredths of a second. Their total of 52.44 on three runs was 44 hundredths faster than the second-fastest total.

“I’m truly speechless” Hillman said. “This is a rodeo that I’ve always wanted to do good at. I made the finals here last year. It’s just an incredible feeling to win this rodeo. It means a lot.”

Rain began to fall at Frontier Park during the second event and continued to fall steadily for much of the performance.

Hillman said the wet ground was a concern. “I thought the ground might be bad for my horse because he’s never run in the mud,” she said. “It wasn’t dangerous, it was just a little wet and slick. Actually, it was kind of fun.”

Winners in the other six professional rodeo events and the all-around category ran the gamut, from repeat champions to those competing here for the first time.

A pair of 21-year-old cowboys were the youngest champions.

Brody Cress, who lives in nearby Hillsdale, Wyoming, won the saddle bronc riding title in dramatic fashion. The former Cheyenne high school wrestler and three-time state champion came into the finals trailing NFR bronc rider Jake Wright by half a point. Cress rode Charlie’s Angel of the Rafter G Rodeo string for 79.5 points, but was given the option of a reride. Since his total would not be enough to win the championship, Cress took the second chance.

While Cress’s second horse was being loaded, Wright scored 84 points giving him an overall score of 252. That meant Cress would need to score 84.5 points to tie and 85 to win the title.

The Sunday crowd of 12,419 roared as the hometown cowboy rode Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bulls’ Black Box for 88.5 points to win the championship. Cress is the first Wyoming native to win the CFD saddle bronc riding championship since Kaycee’s Craig Latham did so in 1995.

The other 21-year-old CFD champion is tie-down roping Lane Livingston of Seymour, Texas. This was his first year to compete at Cheyenne and he made the most of the opportunity. He was second when the day began, but finished third in the finals with time of 14.3 seconds to earn the overall lead. Livingston’s time edged 2005 World Champion All-Around Cowboy Ryan Jarrett by four-tenths of a second. 

Livingston, who grew up on a ranch in West Texas, said winning CFD was a dream come true. The cowboy ranked ahead of him when the day began was none other than 23-time world champion and rodeo legend Trevor Brazile. Brazile competed in three events and won his third CFD all-around title.

Two duos tied for the team roping title. Erich Rogers of Round Rock, Arizona, and Cory Petska of Marana, Arizona, were ranked seventh coming into the finals. Their time of 9.4 seconds was the fastest of the day. Their total time matched that of Brandon Webb of Carrizo Springs, Texas, and Kollin VonAhn of Blanchard, Okla. VonAhn won the championship here in 2014 with Luke Brown, but the other three were first-time winners. Rogers and Petska are NFR veterans while this is Webb’s first pro season after running his oilfield business for seven years.

Reigning world champion Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, has many rodeo accolades to his credit and he can add CFD champion to that list. O’Connell came from third overall to win the championship after scoring 87 points on Brookman Rodeo’s Continental Divide.

“To win at Cheyenne, you are part of an elite group,” O’Connell said. “Look at our warm-up area.” The seats in that area feature plaques with names of previous rough-stock champions in Cheyenne going back more than 100 years.

Winnie, Texas, has a lot to smile about in bull rider Clayton Foltyn. The three-time NFR qualifier earned his second Cheyenne Frontier Days championship on Sunday. Foltyn, was the all-around champion here in 2009 when he also competed in bareback riding. He was one of two men to ride all three bulls on Sunday and had the highest total at 255.5 points.

Foltyn won the final round with an 87-point effort on Dakota Rodeo’s Cheese Bandit. He was 41st in the world standings prior to Cheyenne and the $13,804 that he collected should give him a significant boost.

Brady Garten is a second-generation steer roper that has been coming to Cheyenne since he was a child. His father, Shorty Garten, has qualified for the final round in the bull riding and steer roping. They both roped in the finals this year with Shorty finishing third overall.

They will return to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, with a new saddle, buckle and all the other items in the championship package. More importantly, Brady earned $10,850 in just the second rodeo he has entered this year.

stevi finaStevi Hillman and MCM ImaSharpGuy. CFD photo by Dan Hubbell

2017 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Champions

Bareback Riding – Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 254 points, $12,568

Steer Wrestling – Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 26.1 seconds, $21,498

Team Roping TIE – (header) Brandon Webb, Carrizo Springs, Texas, 28.4 seconds, $13,162

(heeler) Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., $13, 162

(header) Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., 28.4 seconds, $12,226

(heeler) Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., $12,226

Saddle Bronc Riding – Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo., 256 points, $14,241

Tie-Down Roping – Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas, 38.0 seconds, $16,085

Barrel Racing – Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 52.44 seconds $22,554

Bull Riding – Clayton Foltyn, Winnie, Texas, 255.5 points, $13,804

Steer Roping – Brady Garten, Chelsea, Okla., 51.6 seconds, $10,850

All-Around – Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, $13,949 competing in tie-down, team and steer roping

CHEYENNE, Wyo., July 30, 2017 --- The following are unofficial winners from the 121st Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Bareback Riding: (final round winners) 1, Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, on Brookman Rodeo’s Continental Drift, 87 points, $ 1,650. 2, Jake Vold, Ponoka, Alberta, 85.5, $1,250. 3, (tie) Tilden Hooper, Carthage, Texas, and Clayton Biglow, Clements, Calif., 85, $750 each. 5, Lane McGehee, Victoria, Texas, 84.5, $350. 6, (tie) Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., and Luke Creasy, Lovington, N.M., 83, $125 each. (overall winners) 1, O’Connell, 254 points, $8,446. 2, Vold, 253, $6,475. 3, David Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 251, $4,786. 4, (tie) Biglow and McGehee, 249, $2,534 each. 6, Creasy, 248, $1,408. 7, Hooper, 247.5, $1,126. 8, (tie) Aus and Bennett, $246.5, $422 each.

Steer Wrestling: (final round winners) 1, J.D. Struxness, Appleton, Wis., 8.2 seconds, $1,852. 2, Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala., 10.1, $1,610. 3, Aaron Vosler, Cheyenne, Wyo., 10.3, $1,369. 4, Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 10.4, $1,127. 5, Jason Thomas, Benton, Ark., 10.9, $886. 6, Olin Hannum, Malad, Utah, 11.0, $644. 7, Scott Guenthner, Provost, Alberta, 12.0, $403. 8, Beau Clark, Cheyenne, Wyo., 12.9, $161. (overall winners) 1, Roche, 26.1 seconds, $9,434. 2, Guenthner, 28.9, $8,203. 3, Hannum, 33.2, $6,973. 4, Struxness, 33.3, $5,742. 5, Clark, 33.7, $4,512. 6, (tie)Thomas and Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla., 35.2, $2,666 each. 8, Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., 35.6, $820.

Tie-Down Roping: (final round winners) 1, (tie) Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., and Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 13.6 seconds, $1,570 each. 3, Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas, 14.3, $1,241. 4, Cooper Martin, Alma, Kan., 14.8, $1,022. 5, Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 14.9, $803. 6, K.C. Miller, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 15.3, $584. 7, Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 16.4, $365. 8, Michael Otero, Krum, Texas, 19.4, $146. (overall winners) 1, Livingston, 38.0 seconds, $9,663. 2, Jarrett, 38.4, $ 8,402. 3, Brazile, 39.1, $7,142. 4, Peek, 39.5, $5,882. 5, Martin, 41.0, $4,621. 6, Lewis, 41.2, $3,361. 7, Miller, 41.7, $2,101. 8, Otero, 45.3, $840.

Saddle Bronc Riding: (final round winners) 1, Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo., on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Robinson Bull’s Black Box, 88.5 points, $1,650. 2, Bradley Harter, Loranger, La., 85.5, $1,250. 3, Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 85.0, $900. 4, Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 84.0, $600. 5, Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 83.5, $350. 6, Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, 82.5, $250. (overall winners) 1, Cress, 256 points, $7,358. 2, Wright, 252, $5,641. 3, Thurston, 250, $4,169. 4, DeMoss, 249, $2,698. 5, Harter, 246, $1,717. 6, Crawley, 243, $1,226. 7, Dusty Hausauer, Dickinson, N.D., 240.5, $981. 8, Dawson Jandreau, Kennebec, S.D., 240, $736.

Team Roping: (final round winners) 1, Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 9.4 seconds, $1,914 each. 2, Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Jake Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 9.5, $1,584. 3, Brandon Webb, Carrizo Springs, Texas, and Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla.,9.6, $1,254. 4, Joshua and Jonathan Torres, Ocala, Fla., 10.1, $924. 5, Riley and Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 10.5, $594. 6, Dustin Egusquiza, Mariana, Fla., and Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas, 10.7, $330. (overall winners) 1, (tie) Rogers and Petska, and Webb and VonAhn, 28.4 seconds, $8,582 each. 3, Rogers and Minor, 28.6, $6,785. 4, Minor and Minor, 29.2, $5,588. 5, Torres and Torres, 29.6, $4,391. 6, Egusquiza and Koontz, 30.9, $3,193. 7, Andrew and Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla., 32.8, $1,996. 8, Marcus Theriot, Poplarville, Miss., and Cody Doescher, Oklahoma City, Okla., 35.5, $798.

Barrel Racing: (final round winners) 1, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 17.33, $4,869. 2, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 17.64, $3,652. 3, Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi, Victoria, Texas, 17.68, $2,435. 4, Cassidy Kruse, Gillette, Wyo., 17.76, $1,217. (overall winners) 1, Hillman, 52.44 seconds, $9,860. 2, Kruse, 52.88, $8,452. 3, Pozzi -Tonozzi, 53.13, $7,043. 4, Schulze,53.32, $6,104. 5, Michelle Darling, Medford, Okla., 53.37, $4,695. 6, Jane Melby, Burneyville, Okla., 53.5, $3,756. 7, Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 53.54, $2,817. 8, Katelyn Scott, Odessa, Texas, 53.64, $1,878. 9, Elaine Hollings, Pavillion, Wyo., 53.65, $1,409. 10, Taci Bettis, Round Top, Texas, 53.66, $939.

Bull Riding: (final round winners) (three rides) 1, Clayton Foltyn, Winnie, Texas, 87 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Cheese Bandit, $2,050. 2, (tie) Cole Melancon, Liberty, Texas, and Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash., 86, $1,475 each. (overall winners) 1, Foltyn, 255.5 points, $8,917. 2, Proctor, 250, $6,836. (on two) 3, Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas, 173, $5,053. 4, Melancon, 172, $3,270. (on one) 5, Denton Fugate, Dixon, Mo., 88.5, $2,081. 6, Trevor Reiste, Linden, Iowa, 87.5, $1,486. 7, (tie) Elliott Jacoby, Fredericksburg, Texas, and Bayle Warden, Charleston, Texas, 87, $1,040.

Steer Roping: (final round winners) (four times) 1, Brady Garten, Chelsea, Okla., 17.1 seconds, $2,064. 2, Bryce Davis, Ovalo, Texas, 18.9, $1,746. 3, Shorty Garten, Pawhuska, Okla., 19.8, $1,428. 4, Brian Garr, Belle Fourche, S.D., 23.7, $889. (overall winners) 1, Brady Garten, 51.6 seconds, $9,008. 2, Davis, 52.8, $7,833. 3, Shorty Garten, 57.8, $6,658. 4, Garr, 60.8, $5,438. (on two) 5, Chet Herren, Pawhuska, Okla., 32.2, $4,308. 6, Jason Evans, Glen Rose, Texas, 33.5, $3,133. 7, Cody Lee, Gatesville, Texas, 35.3, $1,958. 8, Will Gasperson, Decatur, Texas, 36.3, $783.

Wild Horse Race: (final round winners) 1, Jason Smith Team, $848. 2, Golf & Sports Solution, $636. 3, Team Agin.com, $424. 4, Xyngular, $212. (overall winners) 1, Team Agin.com, $5,973. 2, Jason Smith Team, $4,480. 3, Xyngular, $2,987. 4, Golf & Sports Solution, $1,493.


Article provided courtesy Cheyenne Frontier Days. CFD photo by Dan Hubbell 

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