A life at a gallop’s pace | VailDaily.com

A life at a gallop’s pace

Ryan Slabaugh

He didn’t disappoint.The 22-year-old wrangler and his friend’s horse, Tiveo, roped the calf in 8.1 seconds, making him a clear winner and left the rest of the bustling Jack Daniels circuit competitors in the literal dust.”You always want to make sure you’re going through the bases,” Schweiger said. “You want to go out and make sure the calf doesn’t get a good start. The main thing is to stay in the saddle, rope, and be as smooth as you can.”Schweiger, who’s been roping since he was 7, was a half-second off the best time of his career, but it’s just as much the calf’s fault as the rider. A full-timer on the circuit, Schweiger will be roping the rest of this week before he drives to Gillette, Wyo., and 17 more rodeos in the upcoming weeks. The schedule of these riders is as hectic as a politician’s in the home stretch.”I’ve been home eight days since June,” Schweiger said. “That’s the life. It’s what you do when you’re young.”J.D Crouse and his wife, Amy, of Caon City, also competed in Wednesday’s PRCA event. Crouse roped his horse, solidified the tie, only to watch the calf wriggle free moments before the six-second rule passed. A calf must be tied for that duration while the wrangler watches patiently from his horse.”I haven’t had the chance to ride in Eagle the last four years,” Crouse said. “I don’t know what I’d usually be doing. Probably at some other rodeo, somewhere else.”His horse, M&M, stands for money maker, not the candy.After the calf roping, the events Wednesday rattled off in fine fashion with no injuries and only a few surprises. When a young kid was bucked in the mutton busting competition, rolled over his head and fell to the dirt, the crowd gasped, then roared. He was standing in the middle, healthy, arms raised like a pro boxer.William Lowe, of Vernon, Texas, is a 19-year-old bareback rider who’s leaving for Kansas tomorrow. While he watched the rest of the events after his second-place finish from the grandstand, other cowboys hacky-sacked next to the bullpen, a sign of modernism in a throw-back event. When the errant hack flew into the muck under the snorting bull, they retrieved it only with a long wire.”I’m not much on this stuff,” he said.And so goes the life of those on the pro rodeo circuit.Results for the other events:Bareback RidingMatt Mosher of Wildhorse scored a 76 on the bareback, just ahead of William Lowe of Vernon Texas, 72, and Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., who scored a 70. Throughout the eight-second ride, the cowboy must grasp the rigging with only one hand, spur the horse and never use the odd hand.BulldoggingJake Simmins and Cody Banford of Haxtun both wrestled their steer in 4.4 seconds to tie for first place. The clock stopped when their steers were on their side, with all four legs pointing in the same direction.Saddle Bronco RidingJ.W. McCuistion of Sugar City rode Done Gone, the biggest horse in the field, for the full eight seconds and walked away a one-point winner. His score of 76 just beat Mo Forbes of Kaycee, Wyo., ranked No. 19 in the Jack Daniels world standings.Mutton BustingHilarity wins everytime.Team RopingJay Ellerman of Fort Lupton and Rickey Green of Morgan Hill, Texas, tied their steer in 6.7 seconds, just 0.3 seconds ahead of Bret Trenary of Salida and Joe Roderick of Loma. A five-second penalty against Willie and Mark Roberts of Delta for only tying one leg kept the Roberts brothers from a second-place finish.Barrell RacingWhile Gypsum’s Tiffani Burton (17.2 seconds) and Eagle’s Shonna West (17.8) had the crowd on its feet, it was Cherie Scrivner of Nampa, Idaho, who snuck past the field with a lightning time of 16.5 seconds. Burton’s pace was good enough for second place.Bull RidingWhile bullfighter Scott “Funky Cole” Messina joked with the crowd, armed with silly string and a barrell, it was Eaton’s Matt Fetar who rode his bull the full eight seconds and scored 77 points. James Kirkland of Weatherford, Texas finished third with 70, while Roy Tiger of Utah took second with 72. The trio were the only ones to finish their rides.The PRCA rodeo continues today at 7 p.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for children (6-12) and $8 for seniors.

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