SALT LAKE CITY (July 20, 2021) – It was an action-packed opening night performance at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo presented by Zions Bank in Salt Lake City.
Richmond Champion gave the fans a show in the bareback riding spurring Sankey Rodeo’s Shoutin Shoes for 87 points to win the first performance and punch his ticket to the Gold Medal Round on Saturday evening. Champion of Stevensville, MT, has competed here in Salt Lake City in the past but has yet to land on the medal podium. He is hoping to ride the momentum into the final round with all eyes on the gold medal. Wyatt Denny, who won the gold in 2017 and again in 2018 finished in a tie for second with an 85 point ride aboard Flying U Rodeo’s Misplaced Insanity. He will have to wait to see if that ride holds up to advance to the final round following the fourth performance on Friday night.
A total of 288 competitors will take their shot at a share of the $562,500 in prize money and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal that will be awarded on Saturday, July 24. There will be 32 competitors in each of the following events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
The full field of 32 competitors is divided into four groups of eight each and compete in one of the first four performances (July 20-23). The one (1) highest score/fastest time from each discipline of each performance will advance to the Gold Medal Round along with the three (3) highest scores/fastest times overall, from all four combined Semi-Final performances that have not yet advanced. In addition, the #1 ranked athlete in each discipline (for team roping it is highest ranked team after pairing) of the final audited standings of the WCRA Segment 8 Leaderboard will be automatically qualified for the Gold Medal Round making a total of eight (8) contestants in each discipline to compete in the Gold Medal Round. Scores/times from the Semi-Final performances will NOT carry forward to the Gold Medal Round (only to break ties). The 8 competitors in each event in the Gold Medal Round will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $25,000 cash.
In 2019, Lefty Holman went home with a bronze medal and he will be back in the hunt for a medal in the Gold Medal Round on Saturday after winning the first performance at the 2021 Cowboy Games and Rodeo. Holman, of Visalia, CA, posted a 88.5 points aboard Flying U Rodeo’s Yeti Rambler to pocket $1,600 on opening night and punch his ticket to the Finals. He will be looking to improve on his finish from two years ago.
Cody Devers of Perryton, TX was the fastest in the steer wrestling tonight with a 6.09 second run earning him a check worth $1,600 and a chance at a $25,000 payout on Saturday.
Taking the victory lap in the team roping on opening night was the first team out. Joe Mattern of Magnolia, TX and Lucas Falconer, of Summerset, WI, finished in a time of 5.44 seconds out roping WCRA’s No. 1 team from the segment 8 leaderboard Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, who finished in a time of 5.45 seconds. Driggers and Nogueira had already earned a spot in the Gold Medal round due to their No. 1 status. Therefore both teams will be back to rope on Saturday night, July 24 on Pioneer Day.
It was a rough night for the majority of tie-down ropers on opening night in Salt Lake City but Westyn Hughes took care of business and finished in a time of 7.94 seconds to earn a spot in the final round. The next closest competitor was Cory Solomon with an 11.63 second run.
Tibba Smith took the win in breakaway roping in a time of 2.28 seconds. Smith of Hobbs, NM was by far the best roper tonight with Jenna Lee Hays Adams finishing in 4.61 seconds.
It was an epic night in the barrel racing with Kassie Mowry riding her great mount CP He Will Be Epic stopping the clock in an impressive 17.623 seconds knocking Anna Jorgenson of Hudson, Colorado, off the top of the leaderboard who turned in a 17.728-second run. Mowry will return on Saturday night and Jorgenson’s time is in a good position to return as well.
Utah’s own Keyshawn Whitehorse was the only bull rider to turn in a qualified ride on opening night. Whitehorse of McCracken Springs, UT, posted an 84 on Matt Sharping’s Hi Jacked and will be looking for his second consecutive medal after collecting bronze in 2019.
The Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, is taking place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom designed and built for rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats.
For only the sixth time in the history of rodeo, riders will have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002), when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad and the other three times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo 2017-2019. This will be the second time for breakaway ropers as their event was added to the roster in 2019. The medals that will be awarded at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Tickets are still available at www.axs.com. For more information on the event visit www.daysof47cowboygames.com.
For those unable to attend in person the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo is being live streamed on RidePass PlutoTV-Channel 720 nightly at 7:30 p.m. MT. CBS will air the Gold Medal Round of the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo on July 31 at 11 a.m. MT.
Action at the Day of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo continues July 21 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
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Results: – Performance 1 – July 20, 2021
Bareback riding: 1. Richmond Champion, Stevensville, MT, 87 points on Sankey ProRodeo’s Shoutin Shoes, $1,600; 2. (tie) Wyatt Denny, Minden, NV, on Flying U Rodeo’s Misplaced Insanity, and Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, MN, on Legend Rodeo, Critical Smile, 85 points, $1,000 each; 4. George Gillespie, Darby, MT, 83 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Lil Red Hawk, 400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Caleb Bennett, Richmond Champion
Steer wrestling: 1. Cody Devers, Perryton, TX, 6.09 seconds, $1,600; 2. Josh Garner, Live Oak, CA, 6.12, $1,200; 3. Bridger Anderson, 6.35, $800; 4. Zack Jongbloed, Iowa, LA, 10.47, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Will Lummus, Cody Devers
Team roping: 1. Joe Mattern, Magnolia, TX/Lucas Falconer, Summerset, WI, 5.44 seconds, $1,600 each; 2. Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, GA/Junior Nogueira, Brazil, 5.45, $1,200; 3. Brit Ellerman, Ft. Lupton, CO/Trey Johnson, Weatherford, TX, 5.67, $800; no other qualified times
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Joe Mattern/Lucas Falconer and Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Lefty Holman, Visalia, CA, 88.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Yeti Rambler, $1,600; 2. Jake Clark, Crane, OR, 85 on Flying U Rodeo’s 301R, $1,200; 3. Chase Brooks, Deer Lodge, MT, 84 on Flying U Rodeo’s 217, $800; 4. Layton Green, Meeting Creek, Alberta, 82.5 on Sankey Rodeo’s Mugilla, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Kolby Wanchuk, Lefty Holman
Tie-down roping: 1. Westyn Hughes, Caldwell, TX, 7.94 seconds, $1,600; 2. Cory Solomon, Prairie View, TX, 11.63, $1,200; 3. Tyler Prcin, Alvord, TX, 12.09, $800, no other qualified times
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Riley Webb, Westyn Hughes
Breakaway roping: 1. Tibba Smith, Hobbs, NM, 2.28 seconds, $1,600; 2. Jenna Lee Hays Adams, Weatherford, OK, 4.61, $1,200; Shelli Scrivner, New Plymouth, ID, 4.64, $800; no other qualified times.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Josie Conner, Tibba Smith
Barrel racing: 1. Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, 17.623 seconds, $1,600; 2. Anna Jorgenson, Hudson, CO, 17.72, $1,200; 3. Emily Miller-Beisel, Weatherford, OK, 17.731, $800; 4. Sissy Winn, Corpus Christi, TX, 17.854, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Hallie Hanssen, Kassie Mowry
Bull riding: 1. Keyshawn Whitehorse, McCracken Springs, UT, 84 points on Matt Sharping’s Hi Jacked, $1,600; no other qualified rides
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Joao Ricardo Vieira, Keyshawn Whitehorse