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CHEYENNE, Wyo. Bareback rider Forest Bramwell and bull rider Dustin Elliott were both ranked in the top 15 of the ProRodeo Cowboys World Standings heading into the 110th annual Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. However, both cowboys were looking for big wins on Sunday to not only close the gap between them and the top place in the world standings, but to also gain valuable Tour points at the fifth stop on the 2006 Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour.
Bramwell (Pagosa Springs, Colo.) was ranked 12th in the world standings with $34,615 and he entered the final day at the "Daddy of 'em All" with a two-head total of 165 points, just one point behind 2004 World Champion bareback rider Kelly Timberman (Mills, Wyo.). In the final round, Bramwell was matched against Broken Arrow's Hard Luck, while Timberman had drawn Vold Rodeo's Sheep Tick.
Bramwell rode Hard Luck to an 85-point ride to finish with a total of 250 points on three head. Timberman was the final competitor and the only one that could take the title away from Bramwell. Timberman rode Sheep Tick for 83 points to finish with 249 points.
"Words can't explain this today," said Bramwell, who picked up his first title in Cheyenne and checks totaling $15,880. "I am just so happy because this is one of the biggest rodeos and I have always dreamed of winning it. It should really help me in the world standings and the (Wrangler) NFR is looking pretty good."
Bramwell said he got some tips from his traveling partner, Andy Martinez, who tied for the win in Cheyenne in 2005 and leads the world standings this year.
"I guess it is my turn to buy dinner tonight," Bramwell said with a chuckle. "He is a great traveling partner and it makes it fun to go down the road with someone like that."
J.D. Garrett Jr. (Grandview, Texas) won the Tour Round after posting an 86-point ride on Vold Rodeo's Dusty Dan.
Elliott entered the Tour round 11th in the world standings with $48,388 but by the end of the day he had added $19,962 to his bottom line. That left the North Platte, Neb., cowboy grinning from ear to ear.
"Being here today isn't too far off a Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas in December," said Elliott, who won the bull riding title at the 2004 Wrangler NFR. "This is pretty exciting and will really help my bottom line."
Elliott tied for the win in the second round with an 86-point ride on Frontier Rodeo's Three Alarm and then posted a 91-point ride on Triple V Rodeo's Q to win the Tour Round and secure the average title with 256 points on three head. The 25-year old was looking for a little revenge on the bull Q, as it was the same bull he bucked off in Prescott, Ariz., costing him the title.
The win was also special for Elliott and his wife, Cynthia, because it added another chapter in the family history at Cheyenne. Cynthia's grandfather, Mike Finney, has a buckle from Cheyenne after winning the rookie saddle bronc riding years ago.
"I have always given him a hard time about the buckle and now I have one of my own," Elliott said.
The Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days marked the fifth stop on the 2006 Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour. Contestants not only compete for money at the Tour rodeos, but for valuable Tour points that qualify them for the ProRodeo Tour Summer Finale upon the conclusion of the Summer Tour. The ProRodeo Tour Summer Finale will be held Sept. 28-30 in Omaha, Neb.
Clint Robinson has been on a roll as of late and he notched the biggest win of his career on Sunday, winning the tie-down roping title at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. Robinson, (Spanish Fork, Utah) finished more than three seconds ahead of the rest of the field with a three-head total of 37.1 seconds and pocketed $19,597. The 24-year old finished third in the first round with a run of 11.3 seconds, finished out of the money in the second round and placed second in the Tour Round with a time of 12.0 seconds en route to the title. This is the second consecutive big weekend for Robinson, who won $14,065 after picking up the all-around, team roping and tie-down roping titles at his hometown rodeo in Spanish Fork and the all-around title at the Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Five-time world champion tie-down roper Cody Ohl won the Tour Round with a blistering time of 11.1 seconds and finished second in the average with a total time of 40.2 seconds on three head.
Six-time world champion saddle bronc rider Dan Mortensen was a little cautious when he saw his draw for the Tour Round in Cheyenne. He had drawn a familiar foe, Burch Rodeo's Blood Brother, which he had been on three previous times. Prior to the Sunday match-up, the score was 2-1 in favor of Blood Brother. Mortensen (Billings, Mont.) led the average with 168 points on two head and would be the final competitor to nod his head in the final round.
Mortensen matched the horse jump for jump and finished with an 83-point ride, winning the average with a three-head total of 251 points and tied for the Tour Round win with Cody Wright (Milford, Utah). Wright teamed with Gold Buckle Rodeo's Grengo Honeymoon for 83 points.
"It was good to get by Blood Brother today and even the score to 2-2," said Mortensen following the victory. "I knew I didn't want to go down 3-1."
Mortensen, who picked up his second career win in Cheyenne, finished second in the first round with a score of 85 points and placed third in the second round with an 83-point ride. In all he picked up $18,843.
Steer wrestler Linn Churchill was the biggest money winner in Cheyenne, leaving the Wyoming State Capitol with $23,446. Churchill (Valentine, Neb.) won the average with a three-head total of 22.0 seconds 1.3 seconds ahead of his closest competitor Glen Clark with a total time of 23.3. The 37-year old finished fourth in the first round with at time of 6.6 seconds, won the second round in 6.3 seconds and secured his first average title at Cheyenne with a 9.1-second run in the Tour Round, good for fourth. Clark (Streetman, Texas) won the Tour Round with a 7.3-second run.
Team ropers Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz found out on Sunday that anything is possible in Cheyenne. Todd (Marana, Ariz.) and de la Cruz (Tucson, Ariz.) entered the final round nearly a second behind the leaders Jay and Randon Adams (Logandale, Nev.). The young duo went out and made a solid run, stopping the clock in 9.5 seconds and then waited for the Adams' team to rope.
The Adams' needed to rope their steer in a time of 10.4 seconds or less to have a shot at the title. They roped their steer and the scoreboard showed 9.1 seconds but their hopes were soon dashed when the field judge waved the run off with an illegal head catch. That meant that Todd and de la Cruz had just captured their first title at the "Daddy of 'em All" and checks totaling $14,804 each. The duo from Arizona was second in the first round with a time of 7.2 seconds, finished out of the money in the second round and was third in the Tour Round with a time of 9.5 seconds to secure the average title. Garrett Tonozzi (Fruita, Colo.) and York Gill (Memphis, Tenn.) won the Tour Round, stopping the clock in 8.8 seconds.
Kelly Maben, who is a school teacher in Spur, Texas, and a mother of an eight-month-old, has been spending her summer chasing a gold buckle as a barrel racer and on Sunday afternoon she took a giant step towards that dream. Maben won her first career title in Cheyenne with a three-run total of 52.38 seconds and pocketed checks worth $15,054. The young talent finished second in the first round with a time of 17.47 seconds, was fifth in the second round with a time of 17.57 and won the Tour Round with a rodeo-best time of 17.34 seconds to secure the average title. Terri Kaye Kirkland, who won the "Daddy" in 2005 finished second in the average with a total time of 52.54 seconds.
Neal Wood (Guy, Texas) collected the hardware in steer roping after finishing with a three-head total of 53.8 seconds. Kyle Dudley (Canyon, Texas) was second with a total time of 57.6 seconds. Wood won $10,773, while Dudley pocketed $9,323.
The next stop on the Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour will be the Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up on Aug. 6.
Entering the Tour round at the "Daddy," Forest Bramwell sat one point out of the average. But with a few tips from partner and current world standings leader Andy Martinez and an 85-point ride on Hard Luck, he took the title and sprung for dinner.