64th Gallup Lions Club Rodeo

Bulls outduel cowboys, but Silversmith wins

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

CHURCH ROCK, N.M., June 21, 2012

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(Special to the Times - Donovan Quintero)

TOP: Bareback rider Bennie Begaye hangs on Friday evening at the 64th Annual Lions Club Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, N.M.

SECOND FROM TOP: Monty Yazzie hangs on but did not make it to the eight-second buzzer Saturday night at the 64th Annual Lions Club Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, N.M.

THIRD FROM TOP: Barrel racer Ruby Holgate rides around the second barrel Saturday evening at the 64th Annual Lions Club Rodeo in Church Rock, N.M. Holgate completed the course in a time of 18.485 seconds.

FOURTH FROM TOP: Bareback rider Larry Carter hangs on and spurs his horse Saturday night at the Lions Club Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, N.M.

B y definition deserts are considered dry, but it was a little hard to analyze the drought in the bull-riding event at the 64th Annual Gallup Lions Club Rodeo.

Beginning on opening night the stock from the Bucking H Rodeo Company were just too much for the 60 bull riders entered in this year's rodeo.

For a number of riders, it was a mismatch to begin with but in three of the four performances, the crowd was treated to at least one qualified ride as Spud Jones opened the rodeo with a 79-point ride.

Vanderwagon, N.M., cowboy Ty Toadlena then followed with a 75-point ride in last Thursday's second performance.

But after his ride there were no other qualified rides until Saturday night when Justin Silversmith broke the drought with an 83-point ride to take over the lead.

Later Daniel Morgan added a 79-point ride, which tied him with Jones for second place honors as both cowboys pocketed $2,070.

But in the end it was Silversmith who netted the rodeo's top prize of $3,312.

"I drew a really nice one," he said of bull No. 938. "I just tried to keep up with him."

Spoken like a true champion, the Houck, Ariz., cowboy said he wants to come back next year and try to defend his title, a feat that he failed to do last year when he won it in 2010.

"It's always hard to come back and win it again," he said. "But I've won this rodeo two out of the last three years."

As for the stock, the 18-year-old cowboy said the bulls were brilliant, adding that it was tough to stay upright for the full eight seconds.

"They were just good bulls," Silversmith said.

He later was disqualified in the bonus round when he touched the bull with his free hand.

"I just had to do what I had to do and everything worked out," he said.

Toadlena, who pocketed $1,500 in the bonus round, said the bulls were a real challenge.

"These bulls were pretty rank," he said. "We only got four qualified rides in this whole deal."

The duel between man and horse had a different outcome as the saddle-bronc and bareback events had more qualified rides.

Brandon Biebelle ($1,047) won the saddle bronc with a 79-point ride ahead of the 76-point effort by Darrell Triplett ($866). Jeb Long ($686) came in next with a 75-point ride and finished one point ahead of Dan Yeager ($505).

In the bonus round Biebelle added another $1,500 to his total as he was the only rider to make a qualified ride with 76 points.

In the bareback Larry Carter posted the rodeo's highest score with a 83-point marking and picked up a $1,073 paycheck.

Fan favorite Earl Tsosie Jr. ($715) finished second with a 77-point ride, but he netted the $1,500 prize money by winning the bonus round.

In third place, Quinten Stump bagged $566 with his 74-point ride while JR Chino ($417) edged Zack Nugent ($209) for fourth place. Chino finished with a 73-point ride, which was one point better than Nugent.

The open barrel racing paid out 10 winners headed by Coyote Canyon, N.M., cowgirl Faith Holyan who picked up $1,177 for her 15.661 run.

The Junior High Finals Rodeo qualifier produced that run in last Thursday's performance then withstood a flurry of veteran barrel racers.

Professional barrel racer Caren Lamb ($951) came in next with a 15.662 ahead of Denise Chambliss (15.763) and Payton Murphy (15.880).

Lisa McWhorter ($673) won the incentive barrels as she crossed the finish line in 16.361 seconds. With a time of 16.377, Jessica Briscoe won $526 for second place and finished ahead Nancy Velasquez (16.446) and Odessa Yazzie (16.505).

In the tie-down event, Seth Hall netted the top prize of $1,311 for his 9.5 effort. Grants' Jo Dan Mirabal ($1,085) finished with a respectable 9.9 run as did Twin Lakes, N.M., cowboy Roy Begay ($859) who turned in a 10.4 run in Saturday's performance.

The team-roping pair of Aaron Tsinigine and Victor Begay continued their impressive string of wins as they outclassed the open team-roping field with a 5.73-second run.

Each cowboy pocketed $1,620 ahead of the team of Kyle Roberts/Cole Jackson (6.11), Marco Sell/Kevin Yazzie (6.39) and Robert Ansley/Pedro Maestas (6.41).

Meanwhile in the incentive, it was Garren Yazzie and Justin Adakai who produced the fastest run of 7.42 seconds as each cowboy received $769 for their efforts.

David McCallister and Dominic Silva finished in second place with an 8.14 run followed by the team of Marvin Redhorse/Randy Thomas (8.62) and Daryl Ben/Lyle Ben (10.94).

Chuck Dixon took home the steer-wrestling crown with the 5.40 run in the rodeo's opening round and won $1,372. Hollis Jodie ($1,118) came in next with a 5.67 ahead of Chad Dixon (5.68), Sheridan Jodie (5.70), Brandon Bates (5.99) and Jacob Antone (6.99).

With an arena record, Colorado cowgirl Jesse Suazo made off with $1,372 as she roped her calf in 1.77 seconds in the breakaway event.

Gallup native Renee Tolino ($1,118) finished in second place with a 2.31 run ahead of Katy Ray (2.38), Peyton Cowdrey (2.58) and Robbie Whitehair (2.62).

For a complete list of winners, log on to: galluplionsclubrodeo.com.

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