Saddle bronc state finals make for ‘great atmosphere’ at fairgrounds
Saddle bronc is the oldest event in rodeo.
The competition that pairs a bucking horse with a rider trying to hold on for eight seconds is also one of its most challenging events.
Sunday at the 35th annual Colorado Pro Rodeo Association State Finals Rodeo at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, the top 12 saddle bronc riders attempted to make a final push to be the 2010 state champion.
Britt Jessop won Sunday’s event with an 86, but Wade Mosher took the state finals title with a three-day score of 231.
“I had a good horse,” Jessop of Calhan said. “That makes it a lot more fun, and (saddle bronc) director Chad Moser brings really good horses here.”
Jesse Jolly of Agate was the 2009 all-around champion, and finished second this year in the Saddle Bronc Riding with a 220.
Jolly notched a successful ride all three days, including Sunday’s ride of the horse Gold Rush.
“It’s been great,” Jolly said. “I wanted to come in, ride some good horses and win some money.
“I’ve done pretty good this weekend, and gotten pretty lucky.”
Jolly, 23, didn’t begin riding bucking horses until his sophomore year at Panhandle State (Okla.) University.
“It’s more like a dance than a fight,” Jolly said. “You have to use the horse toward your advantage with the way they buck.”
Jolly also competes in steer wrestling and team roping. Although Jolly has more experience in those events, he enjoys the bronc riding the most.
“It’s a challenge, it’s more of a cowboy sport where you really have to bear down and cowboy up,” Jolly said. “It’s my worst of the events, but it’s my favorite.”
Jolly has been coming to the CPRA finals for the past four years and he said it’s a strong competitive feeling between the cowboys.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Jolly said. “It’s more of us against the stock and we are all behind each other.”
Jolly finished tied for second in the steer wrestling on Sunday in 4.4 seconds. Shawn Mills and Kyle Francis tied for first with runs of 4.2 seconds. Talon Sterkel won the overall with a total of 15 seconds.
Tana Fellhauer won the breakaway roping in 2.3 seconds.
Erin Johnson won the state title with a combined 8.8 seconds over the three days.
In tie down roping, Joe Colletti finished first on Sunday in 9.5 seconds and Joey Dickens won the overall in 29.9 seconds.