The week surrounding Independence Day is often referred to in rodeo circles as “Cowboy Christmas,” thanks to the large amounts of prize money dished out to competitors across the country during the sport’s busiest week of the summer.
The annual Bit n’ Spur Rodeo, contested last Tuesday and Wednesday at the Deseret Peak Complex, is part of that big week of payouts that help hard-working cowboys and cowgirls pay the bills. Nearly $23,000 of prize money was awarded during this year’s Bit n’ Spur after an action-packed pair of performances in front of thousands of rodeo fans.
The biggest payout went to bull rider Zack Elliott, who earned $1,694.16 for his 83-point ride. He was one of only two riders to complete his eight-second ride, with Joey Clegg earning $1,177.11 for his 74-point ride. Twenty-seven other riders competed in the event.
Calf roper Clint Arave’s winning time of 8.3 seconds earned him $1,387.39. Kenneth Winn was second in 8.4 seconds and earned $1,040.54, while Daxton Hill (8.9 seconds, $693.69) and Shawn Hastings (9.3 seconds, $346.84) rounded out the top four finishers in a field of 49 entrants.
Raelyn Wakely ripped off a blazing time of 2.6 seconds in the breakaway roping competition, earning her $1,173.12. Shelby Pulham was second in 2.8 seconds, earning $879.84. Alexia Smith was third in 3.0 seconds to earn $586.56, and Sierra Stoll was fourth in 3.5 seconds, earning $293.28. There were 40 breakaway ropers who competed.
Team ropers Haden and Hadley Cloward each earned $1,071 for their winning time of 4.1 seconds in an event that featured 56 entries. Chazz Kannenan and Tyler Whitlow tied with Brodi Jones and Braydin Evans for second place with identical times of 4.4 seconds, earning each roper a check for $794.02. Jake Jarvis was a member of both teams that tied for fourth place, teaming with both Austin Carter and Dylin Ahlstrom to record times of 4.7 seconds, good for $424.70. Brian and Kycen Winn finished sixth in 4.8 seconds, with each earning $184.65.
McLayne Pearson was the fastest of 34 barrel racers, earning $1,030.27 for her 16.346-second run. Morgan Jensen was second in 16.478, earning $772.70. Shaylee King (16.519, $515.13) and Candy Cornia (16.567, $257.56) finished third and fourth, respectively.
The Bit n’ Spur Rodeo also was kind to steer wrestlers named Colton. Colton Smith won the event with his time of 6.8 seconds, earning $701.95. Colton Mooney was second in 7.3 seconds to earn $526.46, and Colton Clemens was third in 11.6 seconds, earning $350.97. Rylie Clemens was fourth out of 19 competitors with a time of 17.4 seconds and received $175.48.
There were a dozen competitors in both the bareback and saddle bronc events. Cooper Bennett won the bareback title with an 82-point effort, earning $535.29. Ethan McNeill (80, $401.47), Braxton Dickey (74, $267.64) and Wyatt Peterson (69, $133.82) rounded out the top four. In saddle bronc, Briggs Madsen won $535.29 for his 86-point ride. Lane Jensen (79, $401.47), Clayson Hutchings (75, $267.64) and Scott Luaki (74, $133.82) also earned checks by finishing in the top four.