Bull rider shows true grit during 4th Annual Ridin’ & Riggin’ Days at 2018 Moffat County Fair
CRAIG — A tug on the rope, and the gate opened, unleashing more than a ton of muscle and bad attitude, all focused on unseating the cowboy clinging to his back.
Spit flying, the rodeo bull contorted its body, throwing first its front end, then its back, into the sky, twisting itself into seemingly impossible shapes. The cowboy, meanwhile, seemed to levitate just above its back.
In the first few seconds, it seemed that Dalton Sonenstahl, of Big Lake, Minnesota, might win the battle of brawn versus instinct and skill, but then, with a wicked lurch, Graystone — the Triple V Rodeo bull — threw the cowboy high into the air.
Sonenstahl hit the arena dirt between the chutes and the angry bull. The aggressive animal struck out with a hoof, and the cowboy went down again. A crew of gate and pickup men pushed the bull away, grabbing the cowboy and rushing him to safety behind the chutes. Moffat County Emergency Medical Reserves — one of the many local law enforcement agencies who had been honored only moments before — sprang into action.
Sonenstahl was not seriously injured, but the bull had thrown him before the buzzer, sending the cowboy home without a qualifying ride and with a lacerated forehead for his trouble.
This was one of many events that thrilled the crowd Thursday, Aug. 9, during the fourth annual Ridin’ & Riggin’ Days at the 100th Moffat County Fair. For the second consecutive year, Craig experienced the excitement of a rodeo sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
Also returning for the second year were stock contractor Triple V Rodeo, official John Helfrich, timer Tera Anderson, bullfighter Kyle Magee, chute boss Dona Vold Larsen, flankman Bill Larsen, and pickup man Dalton Ward.
They were joined by official Beaver Segotta, timer Doris Mayhan, announcer Garrett Yerigan, bullfighter Wyatt Mason, and pickup man Duane Gilbert.
Between events, entertainment was provided by clown/barrelman Donnie Landis and music director Derek Barton, who Yerigan said formerly lived in Craig.
Four competitors originally from Craig put heart into their rides in front of a hometown crowd.
Wendy McKee placed fifth in barrel racing. Garrett Buckley was listed in the program but was not present to put in a ride in the saddle bronc competition due to an injury sustained at a rodeo in July.
Denton Taylor — one part of a pair of team ropers — and his team roping partner were unsuccessful in scoring.
Wyatt Uptain placed third in tie-down, but was unable to produce qualifying rides in either the saddle bronc or the bull riding competitions, leaving the door open for Brady Thurston, of Lance Creek, Wyoming, to win All-around Cowboy, and a $470 bonus, for his performances in saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, and steer wrestling.
The events paid out a little less than $22,000 in prize money and helped some of the athletes move up or secure rankings on regional and national rodeo circuits.
(Place, name, points or seconds, prize purse)
1 — Hunter Brasfield, 77 points on Triple V Rodeo’s Smoke Signal, $865
2 — Craig Wisehart, 73.5 points, $649
3 — Joel Schlegel, 72.5 points, $432
4 — Jeffery Zdziarski, 65 points, $216
1 — Kalane Anders, 5.0 seconds, $975
2 — (tie) Payden McIntyre and Eric Logan, 5.2 seconds, $723 each
4 — Brady Thurston, 5.9 seconds, $470
5 — Ty Lang, 6.3 seconds, $302
6 — Logan McDonald, 8.0 seconds, $168
1 — Clayton Van Aken/Cullen Teller, 4.0 seconds, $1,164 each
2 — Tory Shaffer/Jason DeVore, 4.4 seconds, $873 each
3 — Corey Whinnery/Robert Murphy, 4.9 seconds, $582 each
4 — Garett Chick/J.W. Borrego, 5.2 seconds, $291 each
Saddle bronc riding
1 — Chanse Darling, 76.5 points on Triple V Rodeo’s Annie Oakley, $921
2 — Justin Dory, 67.5 points, $691
3 — Cameron Messier, 67 points, $461
No other qualified rides
1 — Riley Pruitt, 7.4 seconds, $1,006
2 — Darnell Johnson, 10.8 seconds, $754
3 — Wyatt Uptain, 11.1 seconds, $503
4 — Tyler Boxleitner, 12.5 seconds, $251
1 — Ivy Conrado, 17.26 seconds, $826
2 — Stacey Smallwood, 17.28 seconds, $718
3 — Kaylee Burnett, 17.72 seconds, $610
4 — Heidi Tillard, 17.75 seconds, $503
5 — Wendy McKee, 17.81 seconds, $395
6 — Karson Bradley, 18.03 seconds, $287
7 — Julie Haskins, 18.05 seconds, $180
8 — Briana Bailey, 18.09 seconds, $72
1 — Kdawg Smedley, 73 points on Triple V Rodeo’s Hoodlum, $2,218
No other qualified rides
In the rough stock competitions, half the points are awarded to the cowboy and half to the animals, Yerigan said. Therefore, the contractor and animal’s name appears for each first place winner in those categories.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
Moffat County’s Dinosaur National Monument has been given a designation that could attract planet-watchers and star-finders from around the world.