CHEYENNE – Donny Proffit, Garrett Uptain and the rest of University of Wyoming men’s rodeo team picked up right where they left off last season: Dominating the Central Rocky Mountain Region.
Proffit, Uptain and UW all won CRMR championships this spring, and took a step in that direction at the season-opening Shawn Dubie Memorial Rodeo at Frontier Park.
Proffit edged teammate Brice Patterson for the bareback riding title, while Uptain won saddle bronc, finished second in the all-around race and third in bull riding.
The Cowboys finished with 945 team points. Host Laramie County Community College placed second at 725.
Gillette College won the women’s team title (325). UW was fourth (150) and LCCC was fifth (73.33).
Proffit got the day started for the UW men by scoring 82 points to repeat as the bareback champion. His draw went straight across the arena and gave him plenty of opportunity to show the judges what he could do.
He finished with 160 points on two rides. Patterson scored 159 on two after an 82 in the final go-round.
“She was really strong and was bringing my feet, I had to keep setting them and shoving them back down,” said Proffit, who won the CRMR bareback title last season.
Proffit suffered a right leg injury when a horse reared back and slammed him against a chute post during the College National Finals Rodeo in June. The injury nagged him throughout his summer rodeoing professionally, but he is healthy again.
“I got mashed pretty bad at the college finals and I wasn’t smart enough to take time off,” Proffit said. “It filled up with blood and I couldn’t hardly bend it. I couldn’t run for over a month. I saw the trainers at UW, and they got me feeling right.
“I finally got healed up about six or eight weeks ago. I’m feeling strong again, and I feel like I’m getting on a roll and things are just clicking.”
Uptain’s saddle bronc draw had a few rough side-to-side jumps out of the chute before steadying out and giving him a chance to get a good spur stroke.
“I had to really lift on my rein and really charge with my feet,” said Uptain, who was the CRMR saddle bronc champ last year. “One thing we’ve really been working on with our assistant coach Tyler Corrington is lifting on your rein and being aggressive with your hips and feet.
“It’s been going pretty well. Putting in the work we’re doing is paying off. I’m really excited about how this year’s going to go.”
Uptain was tossed from his bull during the finals of that event, which ended the Shawn Dubie rodeo. Only Sheridan College’s Wyatt Phelps covered two draws. He finished with 154 points.
Uptain was second in the all-around standings behind LCCC’s Chance Derner. Derner joined forces with header Chaysn Ystaas to win team roping. They stopped the clock in 8 seconds during the short go to finish at 16.9 seconds on two runs.
Derner also made the tie-down roping finals. He was runner-up in that event at 23 seconds on two runs. Derner had the fastest time during the first round (11.3). Casper College’s Linkyn Petersek won the title at 21 seconds after a 9.1-second run Sunday.
Derner wasn’t the only LCCC cowboy to find success Sunday.
Bernard Girard won steer wrestling with a two-run time of 13.6 seconds to finish nearly a second ahead of Patterson. Girard 6.4-second run in the finals was the second-fastest time of the rodeo.
“I kind of got lucky because that steer really tried to go left over by the fence,” Girard said. “I had to ride over there and catch him. It was really tight. There wasn’t a lot of room between me, the fence, my horse and the steer.
“My feet weren’t quite set, but I tried it and he took it. It all worked out. It’s awesome to do good here at the hometown rodeo.”
Gillette’s Ellie Bard won the women’s all-around title. She also took top honors in both breakaway roping (10.0) and barrel racing (36.10).
UW’s Riata Day won goat tying by more than a second at 16.2 on two runs.
UW’s Reata Beck – who graduated from Burns High – was fourth in the all-around race. She placed sixth in goat tying (18.2) and third in breakaway roping (10.8).
SHAWN DUBIE MEMORIAL
at Frontier Park – Cheyenne
Women: 1. Gillette 325; 2. Eastern Wyoming 233.33; 3. Casper College 215; 4. Wyoming 150; 5. Laramie County 73.33; 6. Northeastern 65.
Men: 1. Wyoming 945; 2. Laramie County 725; 3. Casper College 465; 4. Central Wyoming 270; 5. Gillette 210; 6. Otero 110; 7. Eastern Wyoming 80; 8. Sheridan 60.
Women: 1. Ellie Bard, Gillette, 310; 2. Karissa Rayhill, Eastern Wyoming, 233.3; 3. Tayle Brink, Chadron, 190; 4. Reata Beck, Wyoming, 170.
Men: 1. Chance Derner, LCCC, 285; 2. Garrett Uptain, Wyoming, 270; 3. Brice Patterson, Wyoming, 255; 4. Bernard Girard, LCCC, 200; 5. Austin Hurlburt, Wyoming, 180; 6t. Sage Miller, LCCC; Linkyn, Petersek, Casper, 140.
Total on two runs: 1. Riata Day, Wyoming, 16.2; 2. Karissa Rayhill, Eastern Wyoming, 17.3; 3. Makenna Balkenbush, Wyoming, 17.6; 4t. Faith Hoffman, Wyoming; Kyla Kelly, Northeastern, 18.0; 6. Reata Beck, Wyoming, 18.2.
Total on two rides: 1. Donny Proffit, Wyoming, 160; 2. Brice Patterson, Wyoming, 159; 3. Guardamondo, Otero, 147. One ride: 4. Carlson, Casper, 77; 5. Clifford, Chadron, 51; 6. Heinert, Gillette, 49.
Total on two: 1. Bernard Girard, LCCC, 13.6; 2. Brice Patterson, Wyoming, 14.4; 3. Clay Reiner, Gillette, 16.0; 4. Chadron Coffield, Wyoming, 19.2; 5. Austin Hurlburt, Wyoming, 22.6; 6. Gregersen, Central Wyoming, 29.6.
Total on two: 1. Chaysn Ystaas, LCCC/Chance Derner, LCCC, 16.9; 2. Jhett Alapai, Casper/Olivia Lay, Casper, 17.5; 3. Bodie Mattson, Gillette/Trae Smith, Casper, 20.1; 4. Jett VanBieze, Central Wyoming/Ryn Severe, Central Wyoming, 21.2; 5. Cauy Pokorny, LCCC/Bernard Girard, LCCC, 25.1.
Saddle bronc riding
Total on two: 1. Garrett Uptain, Wyoming, 164; 2. Carter Sandberg, Casper, 154; 3. Quinten Taylor, Casper, 151. One ride: 4. Sage Miller, LCCC, 79; 5. Cody Weeks, Sheridan, 63.
Total on two: 1. Ellie Bard, Gillette, 10.0; 2. Erin McGinley, Gillette, 10.4; 3. Reata Beck, Wyoming, 10.8.
Total on two: 1. Linkyn Petersek, Casper, 21.0; 2. Chance Derner, LCCC, 23.0; 3. Austin Hurlburt, Wyoming, 23.3; 4. Tristan Hunter, Eastern Wyoming, 24.1; 5. Braden Brost, Casper, 24.1; 6. Colter Nunn, Wyoming, 28.9.
Total on two: 1. Ellie Bard, Gillette, 36.10; 2. Tayle Brink, Chadron, 36.36; 3. Kady Locke, Casper, 36.45; 4. Karissa Rayhill, Eastern Wyoming, 36.59; 5. Karson Bradley, Wyoming, 36.89; 6. Shailey McAbee, Chadron, 37.13.
Total on two: 1. Wyatt Phelps, Sheridan, 154. One ride: 2. Dylan Grant, Wyoming, 79; 3. Garrett Uptain, Wyoming, 75; 4. Stefan Tonita, LCCC, 70; 5. Adrian Contreras, Front Range, 66; 6. Coby Johnson, Sheridan, 63.