Photo by George Hipple Photography
Bull rider Johnson Davis of Big Springs, Neb.
A trip to North Platte did wonders to boost Shane Hanchey's confidence.
The Sulphur, La. man was sure of his tie-down roping skills and sure of his horse's ability, but he just needed to have everything come together.
Hanchey, a three-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, won the first go-round of the tie-down roping at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Wednesday night. His 9.1-second run was on the horse he's had since high school, a quarter-horse gelding named Reata.
Reata underwent colic surgery last November, and North Platte was his second rodeo back. After his win tonight, Hanchey was pleased.
"It's good to get a good run kicked off to start this long summer run," he said.
Hanchey and his traveling partners, Cory Solomon and 2012 World Champion Tie-down Roper Tuf Cooper, are on their way to Canada. It's Hanchey's and Cooper's first trip to compete in North Platte.
"Cory talked good about the rodeo, and it's on our way (to Canada.) We were at Weatherford (Texas), last night, drove all night, got here at noon, napped, and got ready for tonight," Hanchey said. We'll rope in the morning (at slack) and head up to Canada."
Hanchey says the summer rodeo run is perfect for tie-down roping.
"Our type of roping is in the summer, to where we can rope every day, get in the groove, get everything going. When you get out here (on the road) in the summer, you can keep your head down and the gas pedal down and keep racking up money," he said.
Getting in the groove can be tough, Hanchey said. The three men watch film of their runs, critique them, and "if we did something wrong, we'll point it out to each other. That's how you stay positive. You have to travel with a group of people who know your roping well and know your horses well. It keeps your attitude good."
"The mental game of rodeo is the most underrated part from outsiders looking in," he said. "It's not just about backing (your horse into the box) and roping, or having a good calf. It's a lot more than that."
But either way, it's worth it, Hanchey said. "The win is rewarding."
After slack Wednesday morning and the evening performance, other leaders include: bareback rider DV Fennell, Inola, Okla., 79 points; steer wrestlers Bray Armes, Gruver, Texas and Joe Buffington, Wheatland, Wyo., 3.8 seconds; saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas; team ropers Ryan Von Ahn, Sac City, Iowa and J.W. Beck, Wright City, Okla., 6.0 seconds; barrel racer Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 17.40 seconds; and bull rider Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo., 88 points.
The 2013 Miss Rodeo Nebraska was crowned, with the tiara going to Gina Jespersen of Hemingford. Robin Ferguson of Gordon is the new Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska.
The second of four nights of rodeo starts at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show awareness of breast cancer, and proceeds will be donated to the Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte.
Tickets are $13 for adult general admission and upper grandstand and $7 for kids. Reserved seating in the lower grandstand is $20 per ticket.
Buffalo Bill Rodeo, June 12
Results, 1st performance and slack
1. DV Fennell, Inola, Okla. 79 points on 103 Regulator; 2. Zachariah Phillips, Casper, Wyo. 76; 3. Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo. 75; 4. Tyler Scales, Severance, Colo. 70
Tie-down roping - 1st round
1. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, Okla. 9.1; 2/3. tie Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, OK 10.1 &Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas 10.1; 4 Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D. 10.7.
Steer wrestling - 1st round
1/2. tie Bray Armes, Gruver, Texas 3.8 and Joe Buffington, Wheatland, WY 3.8; 3/4/5 tie Tee Hale, White Owl, SD 4.0, Stockton Graves, Newkirk, Okla. 4.0 & Wyatt Johnson, Hoyt, CO 4.0.
Saddle bronc riding
1 Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas 79 points on Gingersnap; 2 Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 77; 3 Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb. 75; 4 Cody Martin, Eagle, Colo. 69.
1. Ryan Von Ahn, Sac City Iowa/JW Beck, Wright City, Okla. 6.0; 2. Brit Ellerman, Ft Lupton, Colo./Chad Wahlert, Kersey, Colo. 6.5; 3. Tyrell Moody, Letcher, S.D./Rory Brown, Edgemont, S.D. 6.7; 4. Trent Barrett, North Platte, Neb./Jake Pelton, North Platte, Neb. 8.2.
1. Brittany Pozzi Victoria TX 17.40; 2. Wanda Brown, Edgemont, S.D. 17.61; 3. Natalie Foutch, Glendora, Iowa 17.63; 4. Sabrina Ketcham, Yeso, N.M. 17.66.
1. Tyler Smith, Fruita CO 88 points on 684 Brush Hog II; 2. Garrett Vig, Newell, S.D. 82; 3. Chauncey Hesseltine, Thedford, Neb. 77; no other qualified rides.
(All results are unofficial.)