Rodeo-Barrels Sarah Kieckhefer

Sarah Kieckhefer, of Prescott, turned in a 19.24-second ride on May 17 to finish second in barrel racing.

Temperatures threatening to fall into the 40s may have hurt attendance, but plenty of action warmed things up for those who did venture out to the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo at Payson Event Center on May 17-18.

Salt River Rodeo Company’s rough stock stole the show in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event as only one bull rider and two saddle bronc riders managed eight-second qualifying rides.

Joseph McConnel walked away with $2,174 as the only bull rider to hang on long enough. The Bloomfield, N.M. native added to his lead in the Turquoise Circuit Standings by scoring 84 points on Blacksmith before escaping serious injury after the beast bucked him off and got a horn in his vest as the cowboy lay in the dirt (see story above).

Leon Fountain stayed on Nobody’s Darling long enough to score 82 points and win the saddle bronc event and $650. Taos Muncy was the only other rider to stay on.

Luke Creasy rode Indian Tom to 84 points and $560 in winning the bareback riding event. Four riders scored and took home money.

Seth Hall took home the all-around cowboy title for his performance in tie-down and team roping. He won the tie-down event in 8.8 to claim $884. He didn’t win money in team roping.

Michael Bates Jr. won steer wrestling with a 6.4-second performance that earned him $808.

Mindy Goemmer won the barrel racing in 17.85 seconds to ride away with $793.

Trey Blackmore and Steve Sherwood were the big winners, claiming $1,431 each for the 6.4-second winning effort in team roping. Payson’s T.J. Brown competed in that event on Friday night.

Payson’s Monty James competed in tie-down roping on Friday night, finishing in just 10.3 seconds and missing a payday by one-tenth of a second. John P. Etcheverry finished fourth in 10.2 to win $221.

Star Valley’s Denton Petersen missed the rodeo as the University of Nevada Las Vegas standout steer wrestler/team roper is recovering from knee surgery.

The rodeo featured a total payoff of $24,171.

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