By BRAD KEITH
(July 24, 2015) — There is still the weekend to survive, but athletes from Erath County and the surrounding area are off to a solid start on the pro rodeo circuit this week.
The bulk of the rodeo world’s attention is set squarely on the famed Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, where the total payout is $800,000, more than enough to cause a significant shift in the world standings for several events.
Marty Yates is in bounce back mode after a foul cost him the aggregate championship and final round money at California Rodeo Salinas last Sunday, and bounce back the Stephenville cowboy has. Yates leads the first round, is fifth in the second round and currently sits second in the average at Cheyenne, where he is looking to improve on his No. 9 ranking in the world calf roping standings.
Heeler Kory Koontz of Stephenville leads round two in the team roping, while several others are prevalent in the standings, including the all-Erath County tandem of Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, currently fourth in the average. Legendary heeler Walt Woodard of Stephenville is fifth in the average.
Stephenville header Zayne Dishion is currently fifth in the first round and Morgan Mill heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager is tied for third in the second.
Isaac Diaz is currently part of a three-way tie atop the first-round saddle bronc riding standings at Cheyenne. The Desdemona cowboy is tied for fifth in the average.
Stephenville heeler Jim Ross Cooper has teamed with Joel Bach to post an impressive 8.7 seconds on two head to lead the team roping average at Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo, where Stephenville saddle bronc star Cort Scheer is the co-leader.
Cooper and Bach are tied for third in the first round and alone in fifth in the second, while Stephenville heeler Cole Davison is second in the first round and Stephenville heeler Walt Woodard leads the second round. Header Zayne Dishion, also from Stephenville, is in a sixth-place tie in the second round.
Back in the first round, Lipan heeler Patrick Smith and all-around legend Trevor Brazile are tied for second.
The Ogdon Pioneer Days is another popular rodeo stop in Utah this week, and Stephenville header Turtle Powell has made the most of his time there. Powell and heeler Jonathan Torres won the first round and $2,020 with a 4.2-second run. Smith was fourth for $1,230. World champs Clay Tryan of Lipan and Jade Corkill of Huckabay tied for fifth along the teams including local heelers Davison and Jake Long. Each won $703.
Cody Ohl is tie for sixth in tie-down at Ogden.
Long is also second in heeling at The Days of 47 Salt Lake, yet another Utah rodeo. Stephenville heeler Travis Graves is tied for third.
To say Reese Riemer is hot in the calf roping is a bit like saying July is hot in Texas. Consistency throughout last week and some good fortune in the finals led to Riemer being crowned tie-down champ at Salinas last week, and he currently leads the average at Chief Joseph Days in Joseph, Oregon. He is tied for third in round one and tied for fifth in round two.
There will be many interesting developments with the finals ahead at several big events. Check back with The Flash as we continue our updates throughout the weekend.