Treaty Days Celebration rodeo

'Weekend warrior' wins steer wrestling average

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, June 7, 2012

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(Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)

TOP: A bull rider rides Sunday during the Treaty Days Fair and Rodeo at Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena in Window Rock.

BOTTOM: Winterblossom Chee and her horse spin around the second barrel Sunday at Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena in Window Rock. Chee finished in a time of 17.63 seconds.

W ith a lot on his plate, Tryon Tsosie best fits the description of a weekend warrior.

During the weekdays, you can find Tsosie in one of the classrooms at the Central New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.

And on weekends, he likes to jump off horses at blazing speeds.

"I've been pretty busy with my education, so I haven't been steer wrestling lately," Tsosie said. "This is like a side thing for me now, but it feels good when I can come out and compete. It gets a lot of things off my mind."

Last weekend, Tsosie, 20, a Crownpoint native, won the steer-wrestling average at the Treaty Days Celebration, an event sanctioned by the Indian National Finals Rodeo.

The Treaty Days rodeo is one of 14 tour rodeos that help determine the qualifiers for the INFR.

The top 20 point earners from the tour rodeos will advance into this year's finals, which will be held at the South Point Casino Event Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov 6 to 10.

"This is probably the only tour rodeo I'll hit this year," Tsosie said, who is not a member of the INFR.

Tsosie claimed the Treaty Days title by wrestling down two steers in 9.7 seconds with his fastest run coming in the short round. In that round, he took over the lead in the average with a 4.4 run.

"The steers were coming out pretty fast," Tsosie said. "I just had to go with whatever I had and sometimes it's hard to tell which ones are good steers."

Mexican Springs cowboy Michael Bates also turned in a 4.4 run in Sunday's short round and finished second to Tsosie with a 10.1 aggregate.

With an aggregate of 10.8 seconds, Tyrone Tsosie took third-place honors ahead of Jon Wells and Brandon Bates as the two tied for fourth place in the average.

Tohatchi cowboy Kyle Dennison clinched the tie-down event with the 12.0 run he turned in the short round, which was good enough for fourth place in the round.

"I was just trying to keep my calf up," said Dennison, who finished the two-day rodeo with a 22.1 aggregate.

Shandell Glasses came in next with a 22.7 on two runs as he moved up six spots. In the short round, Glasses set the pace with a quick time of 10.4 seconds and narrowly beat out Clayton Curley for second place in the average. On two runs, Curley tied two calves in 22.8 seconds.

In the team roping, Edward Hawley and Rudy Yazzie broke a string of no times to win the title. In a deep pool of talent, five teams came up empty-handed because of illegal head catches.

"I was just trying to catch," Hawley said. "I was trying to get a good start because our steer wasn't as good as some of them in there.

"I just wanted to get him caught, especially when it got soft on us," he added.

With that in mind, the pair finished the short round with a 6.3 run and they won the average in 11.2 seconds. Cody Hunter and Art Sells finished second with a 12.9 aggregate while all-around champion Aaron Tsinigine and Victor Begay placed third with their 16.1 average.

Five-time INFR qualifier Cody Parker ended up winning the bareback title with a score of 149 points on two head. He edged fan favorite Earl Tsosie Jr. by a mere five points for the title.

The Oklahoma cowboy said he was just trying to "get by" as he came into the Treaty Days Rodeo a little banged up.

"I hurt my elbow a few weeks ago," Parker said. "But everything worked out."

As for his draw, Snake Stopper, Parker said he thought he was going to get bucked off.

"He's a good horse and he kind of swung me off in the middle of my ride," Parker said. "I had to really hustle to get back into the ride."

In the saddle bronc, T.O. Yazzie got a re-ride and made the most of it as he scored a 78 on Mountain Man for first place in the short round.

"I didn't know that horse and I kind of gave him a long rein," Yazzie said. "It kind of got me in trouble in the first two jumps, but I got caught up with him."

The Aneth cowboy also got the top mark in the long go and won the event straight across with 153 points, 10 more than Phillip Whitman. Following Whitman, there was a three-way tie for third place as Chance Barnes and Robert Burbank finished with 134 points each.

Yazzie wasn't the only cowboy to win his event straight across as Justin Granger did that in the bull-riding event. The Tuba City talent was one of three cowboys to ride two bulls as he scored 75 points on Cat Daddy to claim the title with an aggregate of 155 points.

"The bull was fast so I knew that I had to stay up front," Granger said, who pocketed nearly $100,000 last year.

Asked about his earnings, Granger said he competes nonstop year round.

"I just like riding bulls," he said. "I usually try to hit at least three, four shows a week. It never gets too old."

Tustin Daye finished right behind Granger with 151 points on two followed by Ty Toadlena, who finished with 143 points.

In the rodeo's most competitive event, the breakaway title had to be shared as Serena Dahozy, Carol Jackson-Holyan and Michelle Morris had a combined total of 7.8 seconds in the average.

Morris was the first contestant to rope in the short round and she lassoed her draw in 3.1 seconds, which turned out to be the fastest run of the day.

"I was looking forward to the short round," Morris said. On Saturday "I played it a little safe and I let my calf run out. And (on Sunday) I knew I had to be fast to get a check in the average."

Two ropers later, Dahozy recorded a 3.2 run and Jackson-Holyan later added a 4.1 run to her two-day average.

"You know, I like to compete but my attention is always on my kids," Jackson-Holyan said with a laugh. "So you know rodeo is secondary to me because I really enjoy watching my kids."

Incidentally, it was Jackson-Holyan's daughter, Faith, who emerged as the winner in the barrel racing.

The younger Holyan won the average with an aggregate of 34.46 seconds as she won Sunday's round in blazing fashion with a 17.08 run on her horse Solomon.

Colorado cowgirl Autumnrain Chee came in second with a 34.71 average followed by Paige Dale (34.85) and Winterblossom Chee (35.00).

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