- Ann Bleiker
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DODGE CITY, Kan. It might have been the only qualified bull ride on Sunday afternoon at the Dodge City Roundup but reigning world champion Matt Austin made it count.
Austin (Wills Point, Texas) was matched against Broken Arrow's Smokeless War Dance, the 2005 PRCA Bull of the Year and a previously unridden bull in the PRCA. Austin matched the bull jump for jump to the tune of 90 points to win the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Round en route to the average title with 172 points on two head. Austin, who leads the world standings, added another $4,056 to his 2006 earnings.
Austin finished just out of the money in the first round with an 82-point ride, which was won by Josh Johnson (Douglas, Wyo.) with a rodeo-best 93-point ride on Broken Arrow's Liquid Courage.
The Dodge (City) Roundup marked the sixth 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.
Five-time world champion saddle bronc rider Billy Etbauer set a new arena record with a 90-point ride on Vold Rodeo's Boogerhead to win the Wrangler Tour Round and the average title. Etbauer (Edmond, Okla.) finished with a two-head total of 171 points after finishing in a tie for seventh in the first round with an 81-point ride on Vold Rodeo's Yellow Mist. This marked the fifth time in Etbauer's illustrious career to capture the average title in Dodge City. All totaled he left town with $4,463.
Four-time world champion tie-down roper Cody Ohl has found his groove again and closed to within $900 of the $2 million mark in career earnings after winning the average title in Dodge City with a total time of 25.7 seconds on three head. Ohl, who won the Tour Round at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days on July 30, continued to pick up Tour points and now leads the Tour standings with 82.5 points as the Summer Tour heads into the second half.
Ohl (Hico, Texas) was fourth in the first round with an 8.9-second run and followed it up with an 8.5-second run to finish in a tie for second with seven-time and reigning world champion Fred Whitfield. In the Tour Round, Ohl stopped the clock in 8.3 seconds to finish behind Josh Peek, who won the round with an 8.1. Ohl added $6,520 to his 2006 earnings.
Barrel racer Brandie Halls has been nothing short of consistent at the Dodge City Roundup the last five years. Halls (Carpenter, Wyo.) won her fifth consecutive average title on Sunday after sweeping every round for a three-run total of 49.99 seconds. She was also very consistent in her runs with winning times of 16.67 seconds in the first round, 16.66 in the second round and 16.66 in the Tour Round. Halls was the big money winner in Dodge City pocketing $6,543.
Bareback rider Jason Jeter found his groove in Dodge City and finished atop the leaderboard with 172 points on two head. Jeter (Mansfield, Texas), who previously won the Dodge City Roundup in 2004, picked up checks totaling $5,400 after placing in both rounds. The 32-year old won the first round with an 88-point ride on Mosbrucker Rodeo's Badlands Bay and then finished in a tie for third in the Tour Round with an 84-point ride on Korkow Rodeo's Stepper. Cody DeMers (Kimberly, Idaho) won the Tour Round after posting an 87 on Vold Rodeo's Sky High. DeMers finished just two points behind Jeter in the average race and won $4,433.
Three rounds were not enough to separate steer wrestlers Jule Hazen and Dean Gorsuch as they shared the average title with a total time of 13.1 seconds. Hazen (Protection, Kan.) finished in a tie for third in the second round with a time of 4.2 seconds and then turfed his steer in the Tour Round in a rodeo best time of 3.8 seconds. Gorsuch (Gering, Neb.) didn't place in the first two rounds but stopped the clock in 4.1 seconds in the Tour Round moving him into a tie for the top spot in the average. Hazen won $5,813, while Gorsuch extended his world standings lead by adding $4,109.
Chad Masters and Cole Bigbee were the quickest team ropers on three head in Dodge City. Masters (Adams, Tenn.) and Bigbee (Stephenville, Texas) finished with a total time of 17.7 seconds 1.4 seconds ahead of the Speed Williams and Clay O'Brien Cooper.
In the first round, Masters and Bigbee stopped the clock in 5.3 seconds to finish in a tie for first with Charly Crawford and Allen Bach. Masters and Bigbee posted another 5.3-second run in the second round for a fourth-place finish. In the Tour Round they stopped the clock in 7.1 seconds for a third-place finish. The Tour Round, was won by Jess Tierney and Jace Crabb with a 6.3-second run. Masters and Bigbee pocketed checks totaling $5,224 each.
The next stop on the Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour will be the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston, Ore., on Aug. 12.
Fans only saw one qualified bull ride in the Tour Round at Dodge City, Kan., but it was a good one. Matt Austin took previously unridden (and 2005 PRCA Bull of the Year) Smokeless War Dance's best shot and walked away with a 90-point ride and the average.