Nate the great

Hooey tops junior bull riding again at Rim Rock Rodeo

Seven-year-old Noah Tilton, from Loma, holds on to score a 73 on Tuesday night during the mutton busting competition at the Rim Rock Rodeo.



Six-year-old Aidan Haifley, from Fruita, loses his balance after finishing his mutton busting ride Tuesday night at the Rim Rock Rodeo. Haifley scored a 77.



There are three things fans can expect every Tuesday night at the Rim Rock Rodeo:

Halfway through the competition, as the sun goes down, they will be asked to flip the switch on a light post if they are sitting next to one.

They can expect the announcers to crack the same terrible jokes with minimal laughter from the crowd.

And they can expect Nate Hoey to put on a show in Junior Bull Riding.

The 15-year-old can’t drive a car on his own, but he can ride a bull.

And he can do it well.

Tuesday was the 10th Rim Rock Rodeo of the summer, and Hoey covered his bull for the 10th time. He also took home first prize for the eighth time.

After his ride, Hoey threw both fists in the air to celebrate. Then, when his 78-point score was announced, he lifted his head to the to the sky and pointed up in a silent prayer.

Hoey knows how special his accomplishment is, but don’t expect him to talk much about it.

Outside the arena, Hoey is quiet. He lets his riding do the talking. Hoey gets on his bull with confidence, rides with confidence and walks out of the arena with confidence. It’s clear Hoey is good, and he doesn’t need to tell anyone to prove it.

This week, Hoey’s bull looked to break his nine-week streak. The bull was hostile in the chute, throwing Hoey around before the two even got in the arena, but what might be cause for concern to some riders, just gets Hoey fired up.

“(When a bull is like that) it boosts my confidence,” he said. “It gets me going.”

Once the gates are open, the bull doesn’t stand a chance. Hoey rides with such grace that a first-time spectator might be tricked into thinking the sport is easy.

This is Hoey’s final year riding junior bulls, and although he has enjoyed the experience, the challenge of riding senior bulls is welcome.

“I got a taste of the big bulls here a couple weeks back in the Montrose CPRA,” he said. “It went pretty good. I rode longer than the top three guys.”

Eventually, Hoey hopes to be a professional rider, but he knows how difficult that is, saying his future depends on what he does right now.

If the Rim Rock Rodeo is a window to Hoey’s future, he has great things coming, but even if he knew what the future held, he wouldn’t say a thing. Instead, he would just ride bull after bull until everyone else knew it, too.

Other Rodeo Events

Saddle Bronc Riding: Seth Hartman was first with 67 points, and Brian Charles finished second with 64.

Senior Bull Riding: Jason Blasdel won with 81 points, and Robert Gracie took second with 72.

Calf Roping: Ryan Canty finished first for the eighth time this summer with a 10.12-second time. Jesse Cordova was second in 11.68 seconds.

Ribbon Roping: Reo Weisgerber and Hannah Weber took first.

Breakaway Roping: Brittanny Brasfield finished first.

Barrel Racing: Sharae Dorscher won in 18.57 seconds, and Ashtyn Hammer was second in 19.74 seconds.

Team Roping No. 8: Red Harper and Paul Holiday were first, and Tammy Goza and Kevin Kracht took second.

Team Roping No. 11: Darin Rooks and Jon Goza finished first, and Tammy Goza and Kevin Norell were second.


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