Photo by George Hipple Photography
Steven Dent, five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, rides high Friday night at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Mullen's Steven Dent tied for the high score in the bareback riding at the Friday night performance of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Dent scored 84 points, as did Cain Riddle of Vernon, Texas, during the third night of rodeo in North Platte. The 84 points tie the men for second place in the rodeo so far.
Dent rode a Beutler horse, -617 Movie Madness, and his wife, six-month-old son, and parents were here to watch him. This isn't his son's first rodeo.
"I actually haven't left (home) to go to a rodeo without him," Dent said. His wife and the boy, Cylas, traveled to the San Antonio and Houston rodeos with him.
"He's a good traveler."
Having a child has changed his perspective, too.
"It makes it harder to leave, and it makes it fun to just stay at home," he said. But rodeo and bareback horses are calling. "We're getting into the time of the year when I can't think about that. I have to leave and go."
Saturday, Dent flies to a rodeo in Innisfail, Alberta.
For Dent, a five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, the North Platte event is his hometown rodeo.
"It's always nice to come to a rodeo that's close to home. We left this afternoon, and drove an hour and a half here. That's always nice," he said. Dent also competed in the saddle bronc riding tonight, scoring 77 points.
For Caine Riddle, he's pursuing the elusive gold buckle at the end of each year's rodeo trail. He's currently in the top 20 in the world standings, and money earned in North Platte will help him on his way to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
This isn't his first time of being close to qualifying. The past two years have found him sitting 17th and 18th in the world, just two and three places out of qualifying, as the rodeo season ended, and injuries have been to blame.
A hurt back in 2011 and a torn groin in 2012 have sidelined him in September of each year, keeping him out of the top 15 who go on to pro rodeo's world championship.
But this year is different, he says.
"I'm 30," he says, "and every year, you learn a few more ways to keep you healthy." He travels with three other bareback riders who also rode Friday: Wes Stevenson, Will Lowe, and Tom McFarland, and he's confident.
"All four of us are riding good, and we're headed to Vegas," he said.
Riddle, whose father Rusty qualified for the National Finals Rodeo years ago, rode the horse 434 Satin Sheets for the second time.
"I've drawn her twice, in Austin (Texas), and here. It worked out good there, and it worked out good here. She's just want you want. She stays close (to the chutes), bucks hard, and gives a guy a chance to show off a little bit," he said.
Other leaders from the Friday night performance are steer wrestler Reed Petersek of Colome, S.D. (3.6 seconds), tie-down roper Riley Pruitt of Gering
(9.9 seconds), saddle bronc rider Ty Atchison of Jackson, Mo. (81 points), team ropers Garrett Tonozzi of Fruita, Colo. and York Gill of Stephenville, Texas, (5.6 seconds), barrel racer Cindy Gillespie of Ransom, Kan., (17.75 seconds), and bull rider Buck Moon of Sargent. (85 points).
The 2013 Dale Studley Award was awarded to Bill and Sharon Negley. The North Platte couple spent countless hours volunteering in many capacities. Bill served as arena manager, and Sharon serves on the Miss Rodeo Nebraska committee.
The final night of rodeo in North Platte wraps up on Saturday, June 15 when champions will be crowned and buckles awarded to winners.
Results, 3rd Performance June 14, 2013
North Platte, Nebraska - Buffalo Bill Rodeo
1 tie Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 84 points on -617 Movie Madness, and Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, 84 points on 434 Satin Sheets; 3 tie Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 82 and Tom McFarland, Bowie, Texas 82
Steer Wrestling 2nd go round
1 Reed Petersek, Colome, S.D. 3.6; 2 Brent Sutton, Onida, S.D. 4.8; 3 Trevor Haake, Grand Island, Neb. 5.1; 4 Ty Lang, McCook, Neb. 5.3
Tie Down Roping 2nd go round
1 Riley Pruitt, Gering, Neb. 9.9; 2 Will Howell, Stillwater, Okla. 14.4; no other qualified runs
Saddle Bronc Riding
1 Ty Atchison, Jackson, Mo. 81 points; 2 Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M. 79; 3 Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 77; 4 Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 75;
1 Garrett Tonozzi, Fruita, Colo./York Gill, Stephenville, Texas 5.6; 2 Blaine Vick, Dublin, Texas/Chad Williams, Stephenville, Texas 6.0; 3 Logan Olson, Flandreau, S.D./Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb. 6.9; 4 Garrett Grieve, Baggs, Wyo./Jesse Echtler, Eagle, Colo. 16.2
1 Cindy Gillespie, Ransom, Kan. 17.75; 2 Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Colo. 17.81; 3 Kasey Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 17.95; 4 Annie Campbell, Shoshoni, Who. 18.08
1 Buck Moon, Sargent, Neb. 85 points on 98; 2 Mason Lowe, Exeter, Mo. 79; 3 Denton Fugate, Laquey, Mo. 72; Justin Ellis, Thermopolis, Wyo. 69
(All results are unofficial.)