First night of rodeo action takes place at the Inter-State Rodeo
The first night of action at the Inter-State Rodeo kicked off on Thursday, with cool temperatures and a rain storm before the rodeo.
But the mud didn’t deter the faithful fans who came to watch pro rodeo.
A Kansas man took the lead in the bareback riding.
Jesse Pope, who lives near Garnett, Kan., but is attending college at Missouri Valley in Marshall, Mo., scored 80 points to set the bar in his event.
He knew the New Frontier Rodeo Co. horse, Sinner, would be good. The horse “had this little move right out of the chute, then bucked straight down the arena. You couldn’t ask for a better one to get on,” he said. The “little move” was a jump to the right, then to the left, and “if you didn’t have a hold of (the horse), it’s kind of hard to stay in the middle of him.”
Pope, who is nineteen years old, won the bareback riding for the Kansas High School Rodeo Association all four years of high school (2014-2017) and the saddle bronc riding three years. He won the bareback riding at the National High School Finals Rodeo in 2016, and in college rodeo, has done well, winning every single rodeo he’s been to. He competed at the College National Finals Rodeo last June, finishing in the top ten in the collegiate ranks.
And he’s sitting second in the Prairie Circuit standings as well, pro rodeo’s designation of rodeos in Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. He loves to compete: “I eat it up,” he said. But the camaraderie in rodeo is just as important to him. “The nice thing about rodeo is I’m friends with everybody I get to rodeo with. We all get to sit back (behind the chutes) and joke around and have a good time. That’s probably my favorite thing about it. I can be best friends with who I’m riding against.”
In college, he’s working towards a public relations degree. At last year’s Inter-State Rodeo, he tied for fifth place.
In the saddle bronc riding, an Oklahoma man is in the lead.
Preston Kafka, originally from Wagner, S.D. but now living in Freedom, Okla., scored 79 points on the New Frontier Rodeo horse War Jet.
It was a horse he’d been on before, scoring 80 points on him a few years ago, and the first few seconds of his ride were shaky. “The horse came out (of the chute) backwards, so it was touch and go there for a minute. You never know if they’re going to come backwards on top of you, so I waited him out, waiting for him to clear the chutes, before I started my ride. I was thinking about the horse more than my ride, because that’s a really nice horse.”
Kafka has qualified for the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo three times, and is twelfth in the standings; the top twelve qualify for the Circuit Finals, and he needs to do well as the rodeo season winds to an end. “I was needing that ride tonight,” he said. “As far as the Prairie Circuit standings are, I’m sitting on the bubble to make the circuit finals. To have that quality of a horse, I was chomping at the bit.”
Kafka graduated from Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla., with a degree in chemistry and a minor in animal science. He’ll use his chemistry degree someday, but for now, rodeo beckons. “Everyone scratches their head, why I’m rodeoing instead of using my degree,” but he wants to rodeo while he’s young. “They tell me the rodeo degree will be done before my chemistry degree is done,” he joked.
Leaders in the other events include steer wrestler Kamry Dymmek, Kissimmee, Fla. (5.3 seconds); tie-down roper Mason Miles Carter, Checotah, Okla. (9.1 seconds); team ropers Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla. and Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. (4.6 seconds); steer roper Rod Hartness, Pawhuska, Okla. (leading in the average with 36.4 seconds on two head); barrel racer Jordan Moore (18.29 seconds) and bull rider Shawn Bennett, Jr., Hugo, Okla. (85 points).
The schedule for the Inter-State Fair on August 17 includes the junior market livestock sale at 4:30 pm, the carnival from 6 pm to 12 midnight, and the final performance of the rodeo. Tickets for the rodeo range in price from $15 to $30 and can be purchased online at www.FairandRodeo.com, at the fair office, and at the gate. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the website at www.fairandrodeo.com.
Leaders after the 1st performance and the morning’s slack, Inter-State Rodeo, Coffeyville, Kan.
- Jesse Pope, Marshall, Mo. 80 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Sinner; 2. (tie) Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. and Wyatt Ortega, Groveland, Fla. 76 each; 4. (tie) Paden Hurst, Cypress, Texas and Sandro Ferretti, Lake Charles, La. 73.5 each.
- Kamry Dymmek, Kissimmee, Fla. 5.3 seconds; 2 Juan Alcazar Jr., Okeechobee, Fla. 5.5; 3. Tom Littell, Elm Creek, Neb. 5.7; 4. Chase Crane, Broken Arrow, Okla. 14.3.
Tie Down Roping
- Mason Miles Carter, Checotah, Okla. 9.1 seconds; 2. Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla. 9.3; 3. Lane Jeffrey, Wilburton, Okla. 15.3; 4. Chance Oftedahl, Pemberton, Minn. 19.5.
Saddle Bronc Riding
- Preston Kafka, Wagner, S.D. 79 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s War Jet; 2. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 77.5; 3. Rowdy Chesser, Kansas, Okla. 76.5; 4. Taylor Tupper, St. Onge, S.D. 76.
- Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. 4.6; 2. Chance Oftedahl, Pemberton, Minn./Iceman Miller, Mauston, Wisc. 5.2; 3. Gavin Foster, Elmore City, Okla./Daniel Reed, Guthrie, Okla.5.3; 4. (tie) Will Clark, Erin, Tenn./Tanner Ward, Wister, Okla. and Mason Boettcher, East Bernard, Texas/Ty Arnold, Midway, Texas 5.4 each.
1st round (completed during slack this morning)
- Brady Garten, Oologah, Okla. 10.8 seconds; 2. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla. 12.9; 3. Blake Deckard, Eufaula, Okla. 15.0; 4. Cole Patterson, Pratt, Kan. 15.2.
- Trenton Johnson, Blue Mound, Kan. 11.4 seconds; 2. Rod Hartness, Pawhuska, Okla. 14.2; 3. Billy Good, Wynnewood, Okla. 18.3; 4. Blake Deckard, Eufaula, Okla. 20.4.
Average leaders (on 2 runs)
- Rod Hartness, Pawhuska, Okla. 36.4 seconds on two head; 2. Brady Garten, Oologah, Okla. 10.8 on one head; 3. Trenton Johnson, Blue Mound, Kan. 11.4; 4. J.P. Wickett, Sallisaw, Okla. 12.9.
Women’s Barrel Racing
- Jordan Moore, 18.29 seconds; 2. Amy Long, Andover, Kan. 18.30; 3. Amy Prather, Goddard, Kan. 19.23; 4. Taylor Carver, Broxton, Ga. 19.95.
- Shawn Bennett Jr., Hugo, Okla. 85 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Fuzz Buster; 2. Nathan Hatchel, Weatherford, Okla. 83.5; no other qualified rides.
** All results are unofficial.