Gillespie sets his sights on Reno Rodeo Silver Spurs
By Guy Clifton
Veteran bareback rider George Gillespie IV might claim the Reno Rodeo as his hometown affair, being born just on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Placerville, Calif.
After Saturday night, he’s feeling even more at home.
Gillespie, who now calls Hamilton, Mont., home, rode the Flying U Rodeo Company bronc Bartown for 83.5 points in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,600 at the Reno Rodeo Arena. It puts him into the lead in the second round of bareback riding and, more importantly, virtually ensures him a spot in next Saturday’s championship go-round.
Doing well in Reno, one of the top paying rodeos in the PRCA, would go a long way to helping Gillespie earn his first berth in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Currently 17th in the World Standings, a nice paycheck out of Reno would vault Gillespie well into the top 15, the cutoff number for competitors to qualify for the NFR.
Another rider that punched his ticket to next Saturday’s championship go-round is Heith DeMoss in the saddle bronc riding. A night after posting 81.5 points to lead the first round, DeMoss rode Flying U Rodeo Company’s bronc Bar Tab for 82.5 points to take the lead in the second round.
DeMoss, who is the defending Reno Rodeo champion, will be going for a second set of Silver Spurs, the trophy given to all Reno Rodeo champions.
Tie-down roper Seth Hall of Albuquerque won’t be back for Saturday championship round after breaking a barrier on his first-round run. But Hall stands to get a big payday nonetheless after roping and tying his calf in 7.6 seconds to move to the lead in the second go-round. The time is one of the fastest ever in the Reno Rodeo. Hall also has a shot at the Reno Rodeo all-around title as he and partner Byron Wilkerson of Duncan, Ariz., caught their steer in 5.5 seconds, which tied for the fastest time of the night with Kolton Schmidt of Barrhead, Alberta and Shay Carroll of Prineville, Ore.
In the steer wrestling, Josh Clark of Belgrade, Mont., set the pace with a 4.3-second run, edging Tooter Silver of Quitman, Ark., who tossed his steer in 4.4 seconds.
In the barrel racing, Darby Fox of King Hill, Idaho had the fastest time, rounding the cloverleaf pattern in 17.17 seconds.
Bareback: 1, George Gillespie IV, Hamilton, Mont., 83.5 on Flying U Rodeo’s Bartown; 2, Tyler Nelson, Victor, Texas, 82.5; 3, Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La., 79; 4, Kyle Charley, Lukachukai, Ariz., 79; 5, Cody Kiser, Carson City, Nev., 77.5.
Steer wrestling: 1, Josh Clark, Belgrade, Mont., 4.3 seconds; 2, Tooter Silver, Quitman, Ark., 4.4; 3, Jule Hazen, Ashland, Kan., 5.0; 4, Shayde Etherton, Borden, Ind., 5.3; 5, Heath Thomas, Hemphill, Texas 5.8.
Team roping: 1/2, Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M., and Byron Wilkerson, Duncan, Ariz., and Kolton Schmidt, Barrhead, Alberta and Shay Carroll, Prineville, Ore., 5.5 seconds; 3, Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Jake minor, Ellensberg, Wash., 11.8 seconds. No other qualified times.
Saddle bronc: 1, Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., 82.5 on Flying U Rodeo’s Bar Tab; 2, Jesse James Kirby, Dodge City, Kan., 81.5; 3, Dusty Haushauer, Dickinson, N.D., 78; 4/5 Layton Green, Meeting Creek, Alberta and Audy Reed, Spearman, Texas 75.5.
Tie-down roping: 1, Seth Hall, Albuquerque, N.M., 7.6 seconds; 2, Garrett Hale, Snyder, Texas, 8.9; 3, Robert Mathis, Mart, Texas, 14.3.
Barrel racing: 1, Darby Fox, King Hill, Idaho, 17.17 seconds; 2, Katrina Dugo, Oakdale, Calif., 17.56; 3, Susanna Jacobi, Stephenville, Texas 17.67; 4, Gypsy Watson, Washoe Valley, Nev., 18.21; 5, Kimberly Sanford, Iona, Idaho, 18.23.
Bull riding: 1, Jeston Mead, Ashland, Kan., 83.5 on ST Rodeo’s Gas Pedal; 2, Zeb Lanham, Sweet, Idaho, 81; 3, Rocky McDonald, Colonia Juarez, Mexico, 77.5. No other qualified rides.
Bareback: First round: 1. Kyle Charley, 82.5 points on Diamond G Rodeo’s Cool Hand Luke; 2. Tyler Nelson, 79.5; 3. Winn Ratliff, 77; 4. George Gillespie IV, 76; 5. Delvecchio Kaye, 66.5; 6. Cody Kiser, 63.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Curtis Cassidy, 4.5 seconds; 2. Will Stovall, 4.8; 3. Cody Cassidy, 5.8; 4. John Franzen, 6.6; 5. Morgan Grant, 14.2; 6. Scott Guenthner, 17.2. Second round leaders: 1. Tanner Milan, 3.8 seconds; 2. Dustin Walker, 4.8; 3. Cody Pratt, 4.9; 4. John Franzen, 5.0; 5. Curtis Cassidy, 5.1; 6. Cody Cassidy, 5.2. Average leaders: 1. Curtis Cassidy, 9.6 seconds on two head; 2. Cody Cassidy, 11.0; 3. John Franzen, 11.6; 4. Morgan Grant, 20.8; 5. Straws Milan, 33.0; 6. Tanner Milan, 3.8 on one head.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 6.2 seconds; 2. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 11.2; no other qualified runs. Second round leaders: 1. Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, 5.6 seconds; 2. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.7; 3. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 10.5; 4. Jade Stoddard/Jace Nielsen, 11.6; no other qualified runs. Average leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 11.9 seconds on two head; 2. Cody Snow /Dugan Kelly, 21.7; 3. Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, 5.6 on one head; 4. Jade Stoddard/Jace Nielsen, 11.6; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: First round leaders: 1. Heith DeMoss, 81.5 points on Diamond G Rodeo’s 18 Karat Kowboy; 2. Charlie Kogianes, 81; 3. Chuck Schmidt, 76; 4. Audy Reed, 75; 5. Brady Nicholes, 74.5; 6. Layton Green, 74.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Timber Moore, 8.2 seconds; 2. Caleb Smidt, 8.8; 3. (tie) J.D. Kibbe and Adam Gray, 8.9 each; 5. Clint Cooper, 9.4; 6. Marshall Leonard, 9.7.
Barrel racing: First round leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 17.41 seconds; 2. Cayla Melby, 17.47; 3. Kris Gadbois, 17.70; 4. Nancy Hunter, 17.83; 5. Sherrylynn Johnson, 17.86; 6. Katelyn Wall, 18.21. Second round leaders: 1. Kris Gadbois, 17.04 seconds; 2. Jane Melby, 17.13; 3. Julie Martin, 17.36; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 17.56; 5. Nancy Hunter, 17.67; 6. Jackie Ganter, 17.74. Average leaders: 1. Jane Melby, 34.54 seconds on two head; 2. Kris Gadbois, 34.74; 3. Nancy Hunter, 35.50; 4. Kassi Venturacci, 37.32; 5. Cayla Melby, 39.66; 6. Sydni Blanchard, 40.04.
Bull riding: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Sage Kimzey, on Flying U Rodeo’s Pull The Trigger, and Tyler Stoltz, on Use Primary’s , 81.5 points each; 3. Trevor Reiste, 80; no other qualified rides.