HERMISTON — With Heppner’s Blake Knowles holding the lead with a time of 8.7 seconds on two runs, Dalton Massey knew he had to have a quick run if he wanted to finish atop the leaderboard in the steer wrestling competition.
The 2011 graduate of Hermiston High School turfed his steer in 3.9 seconds for a time of 7.9 seconds on two head to win the average and the year-end title at the Columbia River Circuit Finals on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.
Massey said the tight competition was all the motivation he needed for his last run.
“You feed off that,” he said. “You just have to get a good start and make the best run you can. It was really good bulldogging today.”
Massey finished about $10,000 out of the top 15 to earn a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He was 22nd in the world standings.
“I had a chance,” Massey said. “It came down to the last weekend and I didn’t get it done. This money counts toward next year’s standings. It’s a nice start.”
Jodi Goodrich, who hails from just down the road in Stanfield, won the average and the year-end title in barrel racing.
The mother of two had the hot run of 17.24 seconds in the first round, and was fourth in the second round at 17.35 seconds for a combined time of 34.59 seconds, edging Amberleigh Moore of Keizer (34.61) for the title.
“It’s really nice any time you can win the circuit finals,” said Goodrich, who pocketed $3,405 for her efforts. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to do this. I’m going to keep running barrels as long as I can.”
Goodrich got two solid runs from her horse Bugs, a 15-year-old quarter horse.
“He’s pretty cool,” she said. “He’s got everything — speed and the brains to go with it.”
In the past, the CRC Finals have been held in January. With COVID-19 restrictions, the CRC board did not know if it would be allowed to have the finals indoors at the Yakima SunDome, so it opted for the first weekend of October in Hermiston, to the delight of the contestants.
“You could not beat the weather and the location,” Massey said. “I think everybody would like to have it here every year. It’s a nice facility and they do a great job.”
The average winner and year-end champion in each event advances to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo on April 9-10, 2021, in Kissimmee, Florida.
“The kids (Josie and Gator) are pretty excited,” Goodrich said. “We are going to go to Disney World.”
Josie Goodrich won the Oregon High School Rodeo Association barrel racing title in June.
Caleb McMillan of Soap Lake, Washington, was the All-Around champion, competing in tie-down roping and bull riding.