Wind the big winner at rodeo

Hang on to your cowboy hats — a wind storm Saturday night sent Stetsons soaring around the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

The final day of the Intercollegiate Maverick Stampede Rodeo favored riders rather than ropers, but the wind was brutal for both.

A whipping west-to-east wind with gusts up to 45 miles per hour blew dirt and rain sideways and caused a roper-heavy Colorado Mesa University rodeo team to strike out early, but eventually secure the program’s first individual home victory during the finals.

“That’s tough, but that’s rodeo,” coach Jimmy Allen said of the weather. “You go even when conditions aren’t ideal. Especially in the roping events, swinging that little piece of rope into the wind can be tough.”

About halfway through women’s breakaway roping and less than 30 minutes into the rodeo, the wind picked up and drove fans to the upper covered seats.

The wind sent a mini-twister through the press box and caused a 10-minute delay during steer wrestling as it blew a scoring sheet out into the arena.

CMU bulldogger Jake Voris notched a no-time in steer wrestling because he couldn’t get his horse to cooperate in the weather. The steer Voris was chasing bolted for the edge of the arena, head torqued into the wind, and Voris’ horse wouldn’t follow.

“You know, it can be tough, but you kind of just have to go out there and do your thing,” Voris said. “Some of the guys were catching (the steer). My horse might have been a little fresh and it just wasn’t our night.”

Haillie Taylor and Wiley Button were able to heel one back leg in team roping and notched the only win for CMU after a Utah State duo could only heel one back leg and broke the barrier out of the chute for a time penalty.

“It can be tricky with a headwind,” Button said. “But everyone had to deal with it. We were just able to put it together.”

Sabrina Walker scored a no-time in goat tying after she entered the final in second place. She straddled the staked rope holding the goat and it caused her to awkwardly tie the goat. The goat popped up before the allotted six-second window.

Taylor cut the final turn too close and tipped a barrel in barrel racing and dropped from the leader board with a five-second penalty.

“I’ve had a bunch of coaches and competitors come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed it,” Allen said of CMU’s first rodeo. “We’re definitely doing it again next year.”


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