In rodeo finals, locals focus on details

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

CHURCH ROCK, N.M., June 28, 2012

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(Courtesy photo - NHSRA/

Shiprock cowboy Ryan Cody Nez begins to dismount in the tie-down event during Tuesday morning's performance at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park. Nez was assessed a 10-second penalty for breaking the barrier and completed his run in 21.162 seconds.

L ike any roper, Ryan Cody Nez tries to spend a lot of his time working inside the box.

In roping, that's the most important part of the run. And when a roper can get out of the box at the right moment, most of time that'll lead to a smooth run.

But on Tuesday morning at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park here, the Shiprock cowboy left the box a tad too early and experienced one of the worst nightmares a roper can have.

"This new horse that I have is pretty fast," Nez said, after he recorded a 21.161-second run with a broken barrier in the first round of the tie-down event. "Once you nod and the gate opens she is ready to go."

According to his dad, Tommy Nez, his bay horse Dollar did what it was supposed to do and he felt that the calf that Ryan drew was uncooperative.

"I was pushing his calf out and he just came out slow," Tommy Nez said. "I think he was a fresh one because nobody had him in the other rounds. The rest of the other calves were coming out fast."

By his estimates, the elder Nez said his son was roughly six inches away from not breaking the barrier.

"If the calf took few more steps he would have been clean," he said. "But that calf didn't want to come out."

That mishap put Ryan out of the running to make Saturday night's short round but there was some optimism in his voice. Most of that stems from the fact that he's only had Dollar for about a month now and the more time they spend in the box, the more times he'll score.

"I'm a little disappointed that I broke the barrier," said Ryan. "But she's working good and we just need to put in more practice time."

At press time Wednesday, that 21.161 run puts him just outside the top 30 with one more performance to go to complete first-round action.

As a two-event qualifier, Nez would have gotten his first and second draw in the ribbon roping yesterday with partner Faith Holyan, but results were not available.

However, he is scheduled to receive his second draw in the tie-down event tonight with the top 20 making into Saturday night's short round.

In other first-round action, Brimhall, N.M., cowgirl Faith Holyan turned in a blistering run of 15.969 seconds in the barrel racing on Tuesday night. She was the one of two cowgirls to beat the 16-second mark as Big Piney, Wyo., cowgirl Karson Bradley leads the field with a 15.897.

After five performances, Erik Becenti, also of Brimhall, leads the local contingent in the boys' breakaway with a time of 2.305. Currently he is holding onto the No. 10 spot.

His neighbor Rooster Yazzie is just outside the top 20 with a run of 2.684.

"I think I did pretty good," Yazzie said, who admitted that he had to overcome a bout of jitters.

"It's kind of funny, but I was real nervous at first," the soon-to-be seventh grader at Tohatchi Middle School said. "It was my first year here and when I got into the box I didn't feel that way anymore."

In the team roping, Karlex Capitan and Brent Jodie are holding down the No. 21 spot with a 17.246 run. Arizona ropers Shannon Riggs and Trevor Tsosie got their first draw yesterday morning. At press time Wednesday, their results were not posted.

In the bull-riding event, three local cowboys received a no score as Rory Billie, Ky Farland and Malachi Pablo didn't make the required eight-seconds.

"I didn't do so good, but I had a good draw," Pablo said, who is hoping to make the short round with one bull.

"I was pretty close in covering my bull (on Monday) night," he said. "I just have to regroup and do better in the next round."

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