Area rodeo athletes win more than $70K in Reno, Pecos

Diaz stays hot, Powell wins Pecos team roping

Ryan Watkins of Bluff Dale, shown in the 2014 National Finals Rodeo, won almost $3,000 in Pecos and more than $3,500 in Reno. || Courtesy DUDLEY BARKER/


(June 28, 2015) — Isaac Diaz of Desdemona recorded his third saddle bronc win in two weeks and added more than $5,400 to his 2015 earnings this week, highlighting strong showings by local rodeo athletes at historic events in Reno and Pecos.

Cowboys from Erath County and the surrounding region combined to win more than $72,000 at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, one of the biggest regular season rodeos in Texas with a total payout of more than $200,000, and the Reno Rodeo, the richest of the PRCA regular season with a total payout of more than $475,000.

Diaz has been steadily climbing the world rankings, leaping to eighth with wins in Big Spring and Mesquite last week. But this week he really turned it on.


The Desdemona cowboy matched Steven Dent with 88 points in Pecos, where he covered Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bix Tex for $3,562. He also made it to Reno, where he pieced together a sixth-place finish in the average with a three-score round of 224. He tied for fifth with an 80 in the first go and was alone in fifth with a 72 in the second round. Another 72 didn’t finish in the money in the finals, but Diaz earned $1,880 in Nevada and $5,442 for the week.

Bobby Mote continues to look strong in his bid for a fifth world title in bareback riding. He tied for second and placed seventh in the opening two rounds at Reno, scoring 80 and 79, respectively. A 73 in the short go dropped him to a tie for fourth in the average, but the Stephenville cowboy and world leader still added $4,571 to his season earnings.

Area cowboys continue to dominate team roping events near and far, combining to win more than $30,000 in Reno and more than $14,000 in Pecos.

Zayne Dishion, a header who has been living recently in the Huckabay area of Erath County, won the team roping average in Reno, where he and header Tommy Zuniga each won a whopping $10,683. They tied for third in round two and tied for first in the finals.



Kory Koontz, who also has been staying in Erath County, was third in the heeling average. He tied for eighth in round one and tied for first in the finals, winning almost $5,000.

Former Tarleton national champ Billy Bob Brown won the second go in Reno, partnering with heeler Garrett Jess for a 4.6 and $4,475 each. World champs Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill tied for sixth in the second round, were alone for sixth in the finals and, right on par, finished sixth in the average. They padded their world lead with $3,835.

Stephenville header Turtle Powell won the average and $4,446 in Pecos. Powell partnered with heeler Jonathan Torres to hold off past teammate Dakota Kirchenschlager by seven-tenths of a second over two rounds.

Powell and Torres tied for fourth in the first round and finished fifth in the second. Kirchenschlager, a Morgan Mill heeler, and new partner JoJo LeMond of Andrews, continued their recent hot streak by tying for seventh in each of the rounds, good enough for second in the average and a total of $2,836 each.

Erath County tie-down ropers won more than $11,000 in Pecos, led by Stephenville’s Sterling Smith. He needed 8.6 seconds to rope and tie his calf, claiming first place and almost $2,300 in the first round.



Cimarron Boardman of Stephenville was fifth in 8.5 seconds for more than $1,000 in the second round, and Ryan Watkins of Bluff Dale tied for sixth in round one, earning $645 each in 9.4 seconds.

Boardman took second in the average with 18.2 seconds on two head, earning another $2,979 and $4,071 total. Smith and Watkins tied for third in the average at 18.4, each adding $2,309 to their pockets. Smith totaled $4,693 at the event, while Watkins earned $2,954.

The Bluff Dale cowboy and former Tarleton national champ wasn’t done. Watkings went to Reno and tied for second with a time of 8.7 in round one, earning $3,535 to give him $6,489 for the week.

That was about the only thing that went right for the Erath County delegation of calf ropers in Reno. Chase Williams did manage to pick up $64 when he was one of six cowboys to tie for eighth with a round-two tie of 9.4 seconds.

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