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ELLENSBURG, Wash. While most were enjoying the Labor Day holiday, three-time world all-around champion Trevor Brazile was adding more money to his already impressive 2006 rodeo total. Brazile (Decatur, Texas) added another $5,617 after winning the tie-down roping and all-around titles at the 84th annual Ellensburg Rodeo.
Brazile, who is on track to break Matt Austin's 2005 single season earnings record of $320,766, stopped the clock in 7.7 seconds Monday afternoon to win the Tour Round in the tie-down roping, narrowly edging PRCA rookie Cody James, who finished with a 7.8-second run. Brazile's 7.7-second run was just two-tenths of a second off his arena record. Despite finishing out of the money in the first two rounds, Brazile's consistent runs and Tour Round victory were enough to guarantee him the average crown with a three-head time of 26.5 seconds, more than a full second ahead of Brad Goodrich's 27.6.
"Today I came back far enough down in the pack, I was fifth, so I knew I had to do something," said Brazile, who was riding his standout horse Texaco. "I had a calf I had to be pretty aggressive on and I didn't need to play it safe at all. He wasn't one of the slower ones. It let me try the barrier pretty good and let everything happen pretty snappy and made it a lot of fun."
The Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo marked the ninth 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. Eight of the 12 stops on the Summer Tour, including Ellensburg, will be televised on Fox Sports Network. Check local listings for times in your area.
Ronnie Fields, who won the steer wrestling title at the Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out in May in Tulsa, Okla., had been fairly quiet on the Summer Tour prior to the ninth stop in Ellensburg. Fields (Oklahoma City, Okla.) entered the stop with only 14.5 points, but after winning the second round, the Tour Round and the average title, he left with 42.5 points (28 points from Ellensburg) and moved into the top 12 with a shot at qualifying for the Summer Tour Finale in Omaha.
Fields finished atop the leaderboard in the second round after stopping the clock in 4.0 seconds and was the quickest cowboy in the Tour Round with a run of 4.1 seconds. He won the three-head average with a total time of 12.7 seconds and added $6,820 to his 2006 earnings. Jason Lahr finished second in the Tour Round with a time of 4.4 seconds, while Shawn Greenfield was second in the average with a total time of 13.3 seconds.
Bareback rider Jess Davis made a name for himself during the Wrangler ProRodeo Winter Tour winning titles in Tucson, Ariz., and Logandale, Nev. He also won the average title at RodeoHouston. However, the Payson, Utah, cowboy had been relatively quiet during the Summer Tour prior to the last two stops in Caldwell, Idaho, and Ellensburg, Wash. Davis finished second in the Tour Round in Caldwell, but on Monday afternoon he took top honors at the Ellensburg Rodeo and set a new arena record.
Davis, 25, rode two-time Bareback Horse of the Year Calgary Stampede's Grated Coconut for 89 points to win the round and the two-head average with 169 points, just one point ahead of Forest Bramwell, who won the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in July. Davis entered the final round in the middle of the pack after finishing in a tie for seventh in the first round with an 80-point ride on Flying Five Rodeo's War Bonnet, but took advantage of his draw to pick up both titles and checks worth $4,999. Bramwell (Pagosa Springs, Colo.) won the first round after posting an 86 on Calgary Stampede's London Mist and finished in a tie for fourth in the Tour Round with an 82 on Calgary Stampede's Coconut Roll. He collected checks totaling $6,801.
Shane Schwenke and Jhett Johnson was the quick team on Monday afternoon during the Tour Round stopping the clock in 5.1 seconds. Unfortunately for Schwenke (Harlem, Mont.) and Johnson (Casper, Wyo.) it wasn't enough to capture the average title, which was won by Joe Beaver and Marty Becker with a three-head total of 18.0 seconds. Schwenke and Johnson finished with an 18.2. Beaver (Huntsville, Texas) and Becker (Cardston, Alberta) finished second in the Tour Round with a run of 6.5 seconds and picked up checks totaling $4,098 each. Tee Woolman and Kinney Harrell won the first round with a time of 5.2 seconds, while David Key and Kory Koontz picked up the second round victory after stopping the clock in a rodeo best 4.7 seconds.
Bryce Miller was the big winner in the saddle bronc riding, picking up both the Tour Round and average titles. Miller (Buffalo, S.D.) won the Tour Round after scoring 88 points on Calgary Stampede's Knight Rocket and collected the two-head average title with 168 points. Miller, 26, finished in a five-way in the first round with an 80-point ride on Calgary Stampede's Glassy Glaze. Chad Ferley (Oelrichs, S.D.) won the first round with a score of 83 points on Flying Five Rodeo's Falling Timbers. Isaac Diaz (Vernon, Texas) finished second to Miller in the Tour Round with an 84 on Big Bend Rodeo's Spring Blues and average race with 164 points on two head. Miller won $5,382, while Diaz picked up $4,224.
Barrel racer Brandie Halls won the Tour Round and average titles to move to the top of the Tour standings with 115 points. Halls (Carpenter, Wyo.) won the Tour Round with a time of 17.21 seconds en route to the average title with a three run total of 52.33 seconds. She finished seventh in the first round in a time of 17.67 seconds and was ninth in the second round with a 17.45. All totaled she left Ellensburg with $4,990.
Bull rider J.W. Harris brought the 2006 edition of the Ellensburg Rodeo to an exciting close with an arena record 95-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo's Fire Bird to not only win the Tour Round but the two-head average title with 176 points. Harris (May, Texas) has been making a name for himself with high scoring rides this year. In June, he set a new Dodge Xtreme Bulls record at the Reno, Nev., stop with a 96-point ride on Flying Five Rodeo's Werewolf. In Ellensburg, Harris finished in a tie for second in the first round with an 81-point ride on Beard Rodeo's Explosion, while Tate Stratton (Stanley, N.M.) won the round with an 83 on Beard Rodeo's Hemi. In the Tour Round, Harris outdistanced Clayton Williams, who scored a 91 on Flying Five Rodeo's Fire Water. Williams (Carthage, Texas) finished second in the average race with 161 points. Harris added $6,550 to his bottom line.
The next stop on the Wrangler ProRodeo Summer Tour will be the Puyallup (Wash.) Fair and Rodeo on Sept. 10.
While most were taking Labor Day easy, Trevor Brazile was once again working hard for his money ... while making it look easy by picking up the tie-down roping and all-around titles.