There were a couple of sure-fire bets on who could claim the top spot in bull riding at the Pendleton Round-Up on Friday — last year’s champ Ruger Piva and four-time winner and the world’s No. 1 bull rider Sage Kimzey were both on the roster.
But it was 22-year-old Roscoe Jarboe who claimed victory, matching Thursday’s leader Koby Radley’s score of 85.5.
“I’ve competed with Sage for three years now,” said the New Plymouth, Idaho, cowboy. “We’re all friends — we want each other to win.”
Friday was Jarboe’s third Round-Up, and he says this one was his best yet.
“I haven’t been quite that high on the Pendleton leaderboard in the past,” he said. “This feels pretty good. I’ve had good luck this year.”
It’s an accurate statement: He’s No. 7 in the world standings, and has won rodeos in California, Idaho, and Eugene this year. On Saturday, he just might be able to add Pendleton to that list.
“I don’t want to say it’s the luck of the draw,” he said. “It’s my job to ride the bulls, then it’s up to the judges. It doesn’t make me nervous — it makes me excited.”
The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the most prestigious rodeos in the PRCA. When you are riding in front of 18,000 fans for the first time, it becomes that much more impressive.
Colt Gordon found that out Friday when he took over the lead in the saddle bronc riding with a score of 86.5 on the back Y U R Friskey.
“This is awesome,” Gordon said. “You can’t beat this. This is the coolest rodeo. It is one of the dream rodeos you want to do well at. I did my job.”
Did he ever.
Gordon, 21, surpassed Jake Wright, who scored an 85 Thursday.
“I knew with all these guys, I would have to step up and do my job,” said Gordon, a converted roper who first got on a bronc six years ago. “It felt good today. I have never been on that horse, but I will ride it again any time.”
Gordon, the 2016 Oklahoma state high school champion, is about $25,000 out of a trip to the NFR. He is hoping for good money Saturday, and even more at a couple other rodeos still on his schedule.
“I’m not completely out of it,” he said. “I still have a shot. The NFR would be the best ever.”
Sterling Lambert has been competing at the Pendleton Round-Up since 2007. He has won his fair share of go-round money, but after Friday’s performance, the Nevada cowboy finds himself in uncharted waters.
Lambert turned in a time of 5.1 seconds, and has the top time on two head at 10.7 seconds heading into Saturday’s finals.
“I’ve made it back to Saturday before, but at the bottom of the standings,” Lambert said. “I had two of the best steers in the pen, I just had to do my job. I have placed in rounds before, but I have never won this much.”
One of his steers was the same one Bear Pascoe took down in 4.1 seconds on Thursday.
Now, he has a chance to put his name on the champions wall on the back of the stadium.
“This is a prestigious rodeo,” Lambert said. “That would be a dream come true.”
The Minor family is no stranger to the rodeo.
Jake Minor, alongside partner Jeff Flenniken, took the top spot in team roping on Friday afternoon, clocking in at just 6.4 seconds — beating out Minor’s cousins Riley, Brady, and Jason.
“This was huge,” said Minor, 26. “We needed this win pretty bad. My cousins rope good.”
Minor has been heeling professionally for Flenniken since this spring, but the duo used to rope jackpots back at home in Ellensburg. Minor says it’s been a slow summer, but things have finally been starting to pick up ever since the team’s win at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in San Juan back in August. He says he feels re-energized after winning Friday’s Round-Up.
“It would be a dream come true to win tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to win it. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid.”
Minor is No. 17 in the team roping world standings, and Flenniken is No. 19.
Although Chet Herren’s slack time of 11.4 seconds still holds the top spot for steer roping, Colorado cowboy Chris Glover came close on Friday.
Glover clocked in at 12.4 seconds, and was one of the few competitors to qualify for the day — six riders received no-time, and Glover was the last up, rounding out the day strong.
“I’ve been here every year for the past 35 years,” said Glover, 58. “This is a cowboy’s rodeo — you need to be a cowboy to ride here. I’m blessed to be my age and still doing what I’m doing.”
And Glover’s still got it — he’s the No. 5 steer roper in the world, and will move on to compete for the Round-Up title on Saturday.
The odds were stacked against Jolene Douglas-Hoburg as she saddled up for Friday’s barrel racing event.
The Kennewick cowgirl had broken her leg during a skiing accident earlier in the year, and had just started racing again back in July. Last year, she missed out on the top 12 by 0.01 of a second.
But none of that seemed to matter as she finished her run in 28.73 seconds, finally unseating Kacey Gartner’s 28.93 Monday slack time, and taking the Round-Up’s No. 1 spot.
“I’ve been trying to catch up,” she said. “This is very, very surreal. My whole family was here watching me today, so this means a lot to me.”
Hoburg says she’s raced at the Round-Up several times in the past, and notices she gets a little better every time.
“Any progress is good progress,” she said. “I would like to have a better first barrel on Saturday, but my bucket list item has already been checked off, so whatever happens, happens.”
When you induct a man into your Hall of Fame, it’s good to see him show he’s worth it.
Brad Goodrich of Stanfield turned in a time of 11.1 seconds in the tie-down roping. He was second on the day to Ty Holly of Mt. Vernon, who had a 10.4.
Holly sits fourth in the second round, while Goodrich is seventh. Shane Hanchey leads the average on two head with a time of 20.2 seconds.
Reigning Pendleton champ Steven Peebles looks to defend his title.
The Oregon cowboy rode Youngstown Rocket to an 83.5-point score for the top mark of the day. He is second in the standings going into the finals behind Blaine Kaufman, who had an 85 on Thursday.
Peebles had some stiff competition Friday, with Tim O’Connell posting an 82, Blake Smith an 81.5, and Wyatt Denny an 81.