Golden’s Streweler wins CPRA bareback riding season title

It was fitting that Branden Ferguson, the cowboy with the Batman-themed chaps, would open bareback riding on a horse named Flash.

But Ferguson couldn’t touch a heroic showdown that had been brewing between Larry Carter of Nucla and David Streweler of Golden at the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo at the Mesa County Fairgrounds on Saturday night.

And although Streweler held a one-point lead on the weekend over Carter, 156–155, Streweler clinched his first CPRA season title in bareback riding, a stepping stone to his final goal of qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Streweler had been losing for the past four years to Carter. It was also four of the more injury-riddled years of Streweler’s career, requiring him to wear a brace that runs from his upper wrist to his shoulder to help hold together a body that is full of metal.

“I have two plates and 14 screws in my right arm,” Streweler said. “At some point I’m going to need a surgery that’s pretty similar to Tommy John surgery. But for right now, the brace has helped. It keeps me square. I’m not leaning off the side. I’m going to have to have surgery here in a few years, but the brace is holding it together.”

Streweler, 28, also suffered a broken leg and a shattered collarbone at different points in his career. The impact from the landing required a plate to be inserted into his shoulder, leaving a scar running from his neck to the middle of his shoulder. 

“I’ve been second to (Carter) the last four years,” Streweler said. “He’s a real good buddy of mine, and we travel around together during the summer. I still need to top him in the average.

“It’s been a good year where everything came together for me on the pro stops and all the amateur rodeos. I’ve stayed healthy for most of the year. I’m a little bit sore, but bareback riding is a sport where if you stay in shape, it’s easy for you to keep going.”

The draws have also been lucky for Streweler. Cowboys are randomly paired with horses before each rodeo, and a good horse is one that allows a rider to keep his balance, according to Streweler.

“You want a horse that has that up and down motion with high kicks,” he said. “You don’t want a horse that has colt fits or turns too much. That makes it hard to find a rhythm.”

Streweler and Carter face off for the average title today, starting at 1 p.m. With one point separating them, anything can happen.

Jake Bacco locked up the bull-riding title by barely making a qualifying run. He was bucked off right as the eight-second buzzer sounded. Clay Materocci swung underneath the bull, but managed to hang on to the hand strap long enough to earn fourth place, the last money spot.

Less than two-tenths of a second separated Megan Zion, Caren Lamb and Barrie Smith in ladies barrel racing Saturday night, and the trio will go at it again today to determine the average-time champion for the CPRA Finals Rodeo. Lamb clinched the season title before the finals began.

Gates open at noon today. Mutton busting begins at 12:30 p.m., and the grand entrance for the finals begins at 1 p.m.


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