The first Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performance of the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo was full of high-scoring rides and fast times Thursday night to set the pace for this weekend’s competitors.
“Across the board, we are seeing record numbers of contestants,” said Madelaine Gaskey, spokeswoman for the Ute Mountain Rodeo. “With no rodeos last year, everyone is coming back strong this year.”
Always a fan favorite, the bull riding was packed with action.
“While there were a lot of close rides to making the eight second buzzer, only two cowboys completed the task,” Gaskey said.
One of those cowboys was Paulden, Arizona, cowboy JC Mortensen. He set the bar high for the weekend with his 89-point ride on Honeycutt Rodeo’s Cajun Rouge.
In the timed events, New Mexico cowgirl Leia Pluemer came with one goal in mind: To reclaim her 2019 UMR barrel racing title.
“With a 17.54-second run she set the pace in the barrel racing event but will have to wait till Saturday to see if she can walk away a back-to-back champion,” Gaskey said.
Rising ProRodeo star Zack Jongbloed of Iowa, Louisiana, entered to compete at the Roundup in hopes to continue to climb the PRCA all-around standings.
A contestant is considered an all-around cowboy if he competes in two or more events. The challenge is being successful in both, consistently.
At 22 years old, Jongbloed competes in both the steer wrestling and tie-down roping events. He is currently sitting first in the steer wrestling with his 4.2-second run and is tied for second with his 12.3-second run in the tie-down roping at the Roundup.
Local cowboy Tanner Lockhart of Mancos finished Thursday night in fifth place in saddle bronc riding.
The rodeo will continue today and Saturday, showcasing some of the top rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in the world.
On Friday frontline health care workers will be honored, and Saturday’s performance will honor the active military and veterans.
The Ute Mountain Rodeo is part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo circuit.
Animals are provided by Honeycutt Rodeo Inc., an award-winning PRCA stock contractor with more than eight decades of rodeo experience
“Their four-legged athletes will leave fans on the edge of their seats as they experience America’s ‘first extreme sport’ of rodeo,” Gaskey said.
Competition gets underway at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $20, or $17 for children, for age 3 and under.
On Saturday, there will be a Ute Mountain Rodeo parade down Montezuma Ave. beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday night at the fairground’s indoor arena, Texas country performer Tanner Usrey will perform at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Information on the rodeo and rodeo results can be found on the PRCA website.
Bareback riding leaders
1. Jade Taton, 82.5
2. Evan Betony, 80.5
3. Chase Vossler, 73.5
4. Zachariah Phillips, 68
Steer wrestling leaders
1. Zack Jongbloed, 4.2 seconds
2. Dalton Burgener, 7.5
3. Bubba Boots, 14.7
4. Dirk Tavenner, 19.5
5. Avery Jamerman, 24.7
Team roping leaders
1. Quinn Kesler/Caleb Hendrix, 4.8 seconds
2. Hagen Peterson/Jace Nielsen, 9.9
3. Greg Martin/Matt Sherwood, 13.5
4. Dylin Ahlstrom/Wyatt Ahlstrom, 20.7
Saddle bronc riding leaders
1. Reed Neely, 78 points
2. Kolby Kittson, 74.5
3. Jade Taton, 69.5
4. QTaylor, 69
No other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping leaders
1. Garrett Jacobs, 9.6 seconds
2. (tie) Zack Jongbloed, Marvin Tavarez Jr. and Monty James, 12.3
Barrel racing leaders
1. Leia Pluemer, 17.54 seconds
2. Shali Lord, 17.56
3. Cheyenne Hattesen, 17.65
4. Oceana Champion, 17.72
5. Tyra Kane, 17.75
6. Megan Champion, 17.88.
Bull riding leaders
1. JC Mortensen, 89 points
2. Daniel Lambright, 82
Total payoff: $72,822.