Staff photo: Andy DeLisle Stetson Herrera of Portales rides Darla’s Pride in the Bareback Bronc Riding competition at the 37th annual Clovis Pioneer Days PRCA Rodeo on Friday at Curry County Mounted Patrol Area. Herrera scored a 74 with his ride.
By Eric Butler: CNJ Correspondent
Entrants in the second night of competition of this year’s Pioneer Days PRCA rodeo didn’t exactly get a chance to size up the leaders in person because, by and large, Friday night’s set of cowboys and cowgirls were somewhere other than Clovis on Thursday when the event began.
Even if you did end up bettering all of the times from the first evening, like Zack Cobb of Canyon did in the steer wrestling Friday night, it wasn’t time to celebrate just yet.
At the Mounted Patrol Arena, Cobb tackled his steer to the ground in 4.4 seconds to take the overall lead in the Pioneer Days rodeo. Afterward, Cobb was wary of thinking about how much money he might win — if his mark held up through the final session tonight at the Curry County Fairgrounds.
And, besides, Cobb wasn’t planning to stick around anyway to see if someone could catch him.
“Shoot, I try not to even look at it (the prize money). I get to thinking about it and I start to do things wrong,” said Cobb, 22, a student at West Texas A&M, who was planning on arriving in Caspar, Wyoming for the college national finals at around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. “You’ll find out later. They’ll send you a check in the mail, maybe.
“You can’t think about nobody else,” he added. “The only one that can beat you is yourself.”
Another intangible, besides fellow competitors, however was making itself felt on Friday: The livestock.
The first four participants in the steer wrestling came up empty as the steers either shook themselves loose or slowed down so much that the cowboys’ horses went speeding by.
The result was no-times for all four and a little teasing from legendary rodeo clown Leon Coffee.
“What is the objective of this event?” Coffee queried. After getting an explanation, through the public address system, he asked: “Do they (the cowboys) know that?”
“This is fresh new cattle and they ain’t ever been caught by a horse, so this was the first time for them,” Cobb said afterward. Later in the night, Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo., — a top contender for all-around honors this year — saw his calf simply sprint away from his horse in the calf roping.
In the saddle bronc riding, Australian cowboy Sam Spreadborough’s horse bucked for only a couple of seconds before it decided to go on a dead gallop back-and-forth across the arena. Spreadborough, holding on, was taken on the joyride for nearly a minute.
Though entertaining, the horse’s lack of bucking consistency cost the Aussie — who had a score of 72.
“He started all right, but then he got quick at the end. After the buzzer, I seemed to be on there a long time,” Spreadborough said. “Some are born to buck and some, well, you can be bred by the best people in the world — that horse just ain’t gonna make it.
“I’m chasing the dream, living the nightmare,” he joked.