Buffalo Bill Rodeo Kicks Off

By: 
Ruth Nicolaus
Staff Writer

The monkey is off Shane Frey’s back.
For the first time, the Duncan, Oklahoma cowboy has won a check at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.
Frey made a 3.4 second run during slack on the morning of June 12 to win the first round among 84 steer wrestlers.
The 27 year old has competed in North Platte’s pro rodeo six times, never having won money. “Honestly, I’ve always loved this rodeo,” he said, “but this is the first time I’ve been able to crack the pay window.”
He was aboard an eighteen-year-old gelding owned by Charlene Neale. Neale, the wife of Riley Duvall’s wife, has lent the horse to Duvall, also a steer wrestler, Frey, and their traveling companions.
Old Gray is an excellent steer wrestling mount, Frey said. “He really fits me well. He’s good, solid, and makes my job easy.” Neale has kept the horse close to home, for local rodeos and for her nephews to ride. This year, the horse will be on the pro rodeo trail across the nation. Frey, Duvall, Tyrel Cline, and Sam Goings will all ride Old Gray as they compete at PRCA rodeos. “He’s had a lot of guys win on him around the house, but this is the most he’s ever gone, to the biggest rodeos.”
Frey enjoys competing at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. “The money’s great, and it’s a cool rodeo. For us, it kicks off the summer run and it’s always exciting.” North Platte is considered the unofficial start to the Fourth of July rodeo season, the busiest time of the year for rodeo competition. “When we leave the house for the summer, it’s a good place to get everything rolling.” The newness of the season hasn’t worn off yet, Frey said. “We’re still fresh and ready to go, still full of hopes and dreams,” he joked. “After the Fourth (of July), you’re either really happy (due to success) or really grumpy (due to not doing well), and you’re tired, regardless of how you’re doing.”
A home state cowboy leads the bareback riding after the first night.
Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb., scored 80.5 points on the Beutler and Son Rodeo horse Sure Motion.
It was the third time for the two to tango.
He got bucked off the mare in Odessa, Texas two years ago, and last year, at the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., he made a qualified ride but got bucked off right after the eight second whistle.
“I’ve been on that horse three times now, and I’ve actually hit the dirt every time.” During tonight’s ride, he was bucked off, but it was after he had made a qualified ride.
The mare “takes a big run, away from the chute, and she’s kind of spooky for a guy, waiting on her to start bucking,” Shadbolt said. “When she breaks out and starts bucking, she comes around in a tight circle, and the circle puts a lot of centrifugal force on a rider, and it’s hard to spur straight back to your rigging when they’re coming around a corner.”
Shadbolt, a 2017 graduate of Doane College in Crete, Neb., with a chemistry degree, is in his rookie year of PRCA competition and in the running for Resistol Rookie of the Year. He’s in a logjam at the top with two other bronc riders, Tristan Hansen and Jesse Pope, with less than $300 separating the three men. He’d like to win the Rookie of the Year title. “Winning the rookie title is a big stepping stone for a lot of guys in the PRCA,” Shadbolt said. “I wanted to make a big splash when I jumped out and started going full time.”
Shadbolt is ranked twenty-sixth in the world standings.
After the morning’s slack and the evening competition, other leaders are tie-down ropers J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas and Justin Smith, Leesville, La.(8.4 seconds each); saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa (85 points); team ropers Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo. and Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo. (5.0 seconds); barrel racer Chris Gibson, Windsor, Colo. (17.89 seconds); and bull rider Kyle Gardner, Kersey, Colo. (79).
The 2020 Miss Rodeo Nebraska was crowned, with the title going to Joeli Walrath of Ashton. The 2016 Loup City High School graduate is studying equine science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is a member of the UNL equestrian team, is involved with the UNL rodeo team and club, and serves as the promtions officer for the University of Nebraska Rodeo Association executive board.
She will serve as lady in waiting until January 2020, when she will begin her reign, and will represent the state at the 2020 Miss Rodeo America pageant in Las Vegas.
The second of four nights of rodeo takes place Thursday, June 13 at 8 pm. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to show awareness of breast cancer, and proceeds will be donated to the Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte. Tickets are available at www.NebraskalandDays.com and at the gate.

Results, 1st Performance and slack, June 12, 2019

North Platte, Nebraska – Buffalo Bill Rodeo

Bareback riding

1. Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb. 80.5 points on Sure Motion; 2. (tie) Justin Pollmiller, Weatherford, Okla. and Will Martin, Durant, Okla. 76 each; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling

1st round

1. Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla. 3.4 seconds; 2. Bridger Anderson, Alva, Okla. 3.6; 3. (tie) Tyler Pearson, Atoka, Okla. and Sam Goings, Fallon, Nev. 3.7 each; 5. J.D.Struxness, Milan, Minn. 3.8; 6. Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb. 3.9.

Tie-down roping

1st round

1. (tie) J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas and Justin Smith, Leesville, La 8.4 seconds each; 3. Cody Huber, Albia, Iowa 8.5; 4. Cody McCartney, Durant, Okla. 9.1.

Saddle bronc riding

1. Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa 85 points on Chisum Trail; 2. Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. 83.5; 3. Brady Hill, Onida, S.D. 77.5; 4. Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, S.D. 71.

Team roping

1. Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo./Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo. 5.0 seconds; 2. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jesse Dale, Timberlake, S.D. 6.5; 3. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb.,/Dustin Dan Harris O’Neill, Neb. 7.8; 4. JB Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jake Beard, Menoken, N.D. 12.2.

Barrel racing

1. Chris Gibson, Windsor, Colo. 17.89 seconds; 2. Kenna Kaminski, Bellville, Texas 18.15; 3. Aimee Kay, Bluff Dale, Texas 18.17; 4. Hallie Fulton, Wessington Springs, S.D. 18.48.

Bull riding

1. Kyle Gardner, Kersey, Colo. 79 points on Evac Man; 2. Luke Gee, Stanford, Mont. 77; no other qualified rides.

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