Roper Lassos Top Prize At Hardt Memorial Rodeo

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Tucson cowboy Gordy Alderson roped his way to top individual money winning honors at the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo May 21 and 22 at the Payson Event Center.

Competing in the tie-down roping, Alderson won $1,164 with a time of 8.3 second.

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This cowboy had a tough time staying aboard his bronc at the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo May 21 and 22 at the Payson Event Center.

Also cashing in on the $26,700 rodeo payoff was a cowboy with Rim country ties -- Mark Gomes.

The former Central Arizona College student, who has relatives here, won $1,072 in the bareback bronc riding. Gomes rode P29 Ragged Edge to a score of 89. The 5-foot, 7-inch, 155-pound Gomes was the PRCA bareback rookie of the year in 1994 and a frequent competitor on the Turquoise circuit.

In the bull riding, 40 riders turned out to compete, making it one of the largest fields in the recent history of the Hardt rodeo.

Jerry Shepherd of Lavan, Utah scored an 82 on 75 Buckeye to win the event and $1,067.00.

Alderson, Gomes and Shepherd were the only cowboys to claim individual $1,000-plus wins.

In the saddle bronc event, which traditionally has a good payout, a pair of champions had to share prize money.

Jim Bob Custer of Wickenburg, brother of famed bull rider Cody Custer, tied with Justin Salcito of Skull Valley, Arizona. Both scored identical tallies of 72 and received $784.24 each. Custer rode Deep River and Salcito was aboard Spittin' Image.

Other winners included Manny Flores of Chandler (bull riding; $900.16), Denton Payne of Gilbert and Tom Bill Johnson of Kirkland (team roping; $921.25 each), and Sheri Estrada of Alamogordo, New Mexico (barrel racing $869.95).

The rodeo featured a staff that has long been a big part of the Hardt rodeo and August Doin's.

Roy Honeycutt served as stock contractor, Johnny Pope was the announcer and the Las Vasqueros de Tucson drill team was one of the specialty acts.

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