Moffat County kids do well in 1st round of state rodeo |

Moffat County kids do well in 1st round of state rodeo

Nate Waggenspack
Kinlie Brennise ropes a calf in the first round of the girls junior high breakaway roping Thursday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Brennise earned a buckle for winning the first round in 2.77 seconds and is in good position for the rest of the weekend at the Colorado State Junior High Rodeo.
Nate Waggenspack

With the state rodeo in their home arena, Moffat County cowboys and cowgirls made sure not to disappoint in the first day of competition.

The Moffat County Fairgrounds are host to the Colorado State High School and Junior High Rodeos this weekend, with Round 1 of all events being contested Thursday. Competitors from across the state were there to score as many points as possible in the final rodeo competition of the year in Colorado and try to earn a spot at nationals.

At the high school and junior high levels, Craig and Maybell kids entered the rodeo among the best in the state and performed up to standards in most events.

Casey Barnes, of Maybell, is the defending state champion in steer wrestling and the leader in the event entering the state meet. Barnes had a good first round in Craig on Thursday, finishing with the second-best time at just more than seven seconds, and one of just two to finish in less than 10 seconds.

“Today went alright. I did well in two of my events and not as well in the other two,” said Barnes, who currently is in second in the Colorado all-around competition. “I ended up second in steer wrestling, but it was a pretty good time.”

Barnes and younger brother Cutter were teammates in the team roping, where they took a five-second penalty for catching just one hind leg, but still got a time, which is valuable going forward.

Craig brothers Denton and Dusty Taylor had to take a no time in team roping as they missed on the second rope. The two entered state in third place in points, but with several other teams missing, aren’t out of it with two rounds to go.

“Since there wasn’t many times today, it makes it easier to get back to the top,” Dusty Taylor said. “We aren’t done yet.”

Still, completing the event each time is valuable. Winners of the first and second rounds get buckles, while the top 15 times or scores over the two rounds go again in the short go. The individual or team with the best average score from the three rounds is first.

So when he hit a sub-14 second time in tie down roping, Dusty was pleased.

“It’s good, for now,” he said. “Some average points help a lot.”

Kasen and Kinlie Brennise, of Craig, both won buckles Thursday morning in the junior high rodeo. In the girls breakaway roping, Kinlie got off a good throw almost immediately, recording a first round-best in 2.77 seconds, while Kasen was the best in boys tie down roping, his time of 17.95 seconds winning.

The siblings are ranked first in the state the team competition of ribbon roping, where they didn’t win Thursday but were among several fast times. Entering the state rodeo, Kasen was first in boys all-around and Kinlie was second in girls, both by small margins, so good performances during the weekend could result in two all-around state championships. Barnes also has a chance to score the points to win the all-around in high school but knows he’ll need to do better in a couple events in the second round Sunday.

“You just have to stay positive about it,” he said. “No matter what happens, you’ve got to go out and get the next one.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .

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