Chad Finley of Mt. Vernon has been roping calves for 20 years, and Saturday at the Aug. 9-10 Grant County NPRA Rodeo he made some money on it, winning the tie-down event in a time of 10.4.
“It was good,” he said. “I had a pretty decent calf.”
The NPRA Rodeo, a long-standing tradition in Grant County, had a total purse of $13,171.
Finley, who won $633, beat out both Shane Erickson of Terrebonne and Kass Kayser of Ellensburg, Washington, who tied for second in the event with a time of 10.7.
As of Tuesday, Erickson is No. 1 in the standings for tie-down roping, and Finley is No. 6.
Finley had been in the No. 2 spot earlier in the season.
“My good horse got hurt around July 4th,” he said. “It’s been a struggle. My backup horse is finally coming around. He’s been working good the last couple of weeks.”
Calf roping is a tradition in his family.
“My grandpa got us started,” he said. “I started riding at age 2, roping at 5 or 6, and I tied my first calf at 11 or 12. I’ve been roping calves for 20 years at the Broken Leg Ranch.”
Calf roping is more than just a sport. Cowboys use the skill on the ranch to bring in sick calves or for branding.
When he isn’t competing at rodeo events, he’s running his own herd of cattle at the ranch and shoeing horses.
Finley said he has about 10-15 more rodeos to go, including eight or nine NPRA rodeos and a couple more PRCA events. Next up is the Heppner Rodeo this weekend.
He said focusing on the spiritual aspects of life is important to him.
“I praise God for allowing me to rodeo and spreading his word through rodeo,” he said.
Sammy Jo Cardoza of Terrebonne had the fastest time in breakaway roping with 2.70, winning $748. She was followed by Kimberly Williams of North Powder with 3.00 and $561 and Trisha McCoin of Terrebonne with 3.20 and $374. McCoin is the daughter of Monte and Cindy Legg of John Day.
One bull rider, out of four cowboys, had a qualifying ride — Bryan Perry of Yakima, Washington, rode Scooby Do to win $1,056.
Lindsey Wyllie of Long Creek was heavily involved in the NPRA Rodeo as the announcer.
He said they worried a little bit about the weather as storms rolled through the area Friday and Saturday.
Fortunately, there were only a few sprinkles on Friday, and Saturday’s lightning and downpour halted just before the start of the rodeo.
“We had a good crowd both nights,” Wyllie said. “People still came out and filled the stands, and there were no delays.”
The generous audience in the grandstands on Saturday night donated to the “Sons of Drew Knowles Memorial Fund.” Knowles, who was a 36-year-old Mt. Vernon resident, died in a single-vehicle accident on July 26, leaving behind his wife and three sons. His memorial service was held earlier that day.
Grant County Queen Courtney Nichols and Junior Miss Rodeo Oregon Rowdy Israel each donated $200 to start things off.
“The bucket was quickly filled as it was passed through the crowd of over 300 spectators,” Wyllie said. “When tallied up, $1,500 was raised that night.”
Team Roping buckles for first place were dedicated in the memory of Drew Knowles.
Fair and Rodeo queen contestants Katie Barker, 15, of Dayville and Kelsei Kiser, 19, of Fox were introduced, and a farewell was given to Nichols who finishes her reign at the close of the fair.
Wyllie is well-known for his award-winning rodeo photography, but has taken the role of announcer more and more, including the Grant County NPRA rodeo for the past four years.
He’s been busy this summer announcing at the Haines Stampede, the Hells Canyon Junior Rodeo and a ranch rodeo in Burns in July. He was also active behind the lens, capturing important moments from rodeos including the Deschutes County Fair NPRA Rodeo. He’ll also cover the Sept. 20-21 NPRA Finals in Salem.
With his love of both photography and announcing, Wyllie said he sometimes notices the perfect camera shot while behind the mic in the crow’s nest.
“I think, ‘I hope someone got that picture,’” he said.
Grant County NPRA Rodeo
Kyle Bounds, Harrisburg, 78.00, $576
Payton Wright, Stanfield, 70.00, $384
Chad Finley, Mt. Vernon, 10.40, $633
Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, 10.70, $396
Kass Kayser, Ellensburg, 10.70, $396
Indigo Sappington, Bend, 14.6, $158
Tate Gentry, 19.7
Sammy Jo Cardoza, Terrebonne, 2.70, $748
Kimberly Williams, North Powder, 3.0, $561
Trisha McCoin, Terrebonne, 3.20, $374
Courtney Sanchez, Winnemucca, Nevada, 3.50, $187
Charlie Barker, Terrebonne, 84.00, $528
Wyatt Grant, Toppenish, Washington, 80.00, $316
Luke McKay, Juntura, 79.00, $211
Jayce Garthwaite, Powell Butte, 4.50, $432
Cayden Greenfield, Lakeview, 5.60, $324
Jarred Thomas, Prineville, 6.00, $162
Bryce Harrison, Condon, 6.00, $162
Team Roping, Header
Bo Patzke, Benton City, 5.90, $806
Quade Patzk, Klamath Falls, 6.00, $604
Justin Davis, Cottonwood, 6.10, $403
Bobby Alexander, Redmond, 6.90, $201
Team Roping, Heeler
Brayden Schmidt, Benton City, 5.90, $806
Tanner Patzke, Klamath Falls, 6.00, $604
Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, 6.10, $403
Austin Stafford, Prineville, 6.90, $201
Courtney Thomas, Bend, 18.26, $489
Michelle Williams, North Powder, 18.51, $367
Stevie Rae Willis, Terrebonne, 18.52, $244
Taylor Eller, Colville, 18.53, $122
Bryan Perry, Yakima, 80.00, $1,056
Ranch Bronc Riding
(an added event, not part of the NPRA)
Eddie Colgan, 80.00
Cody Lovegren, 76.00
Quinn Stevens, 74.00
Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-575-0710.