SALT LAKE CITY – Three-time World Champion Bareback Rider Tim O’Connell got things started off on Saturday night in front of a packed house. O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, matched up with Sankey Rodeo’s Shoutin’ Shoes for 88 points, the highest marked bareback ride of the week. He easily advanced to the Gold Medal Round on Monday. The first year the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo started awarding medals, O’Connell took home a silver. He will be focused on gold and gold only come Monday along with that
$25,000 that goes to the winner.
Ben Kramer finished second on the night with an 85.5 point ride on Sankey Rodeo’s Sozo but earned one of the wildcard spots and will also return on Monday with all eyes on the gold medal.
The Gold Standard in Rodeo features a total of 288 competitors, who will take their shot at a share of the $562,500 in prize money and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal that will be awarded on Monday, July 25. There will be 32 competitors in each of the following events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
A Utah cowboy rose to the occasion at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo in the steer wrestling. Cash Robb of Altonah stopped the clock in 3.95 seconds to punch his ticket to Monday’s Gold Medal Round. Robb would love nothing more than to stand atop the medal podium on Monday in front of his home state crowd.
Another Utah cowboy finished atop the leaderboard in the saddle bronc riding and will be back on Monday going for Gold. Allen Boore of Axtell rode Sankey Rodeo’s Outlaw Tunes for 86.5 points to win the fourth performance. Boore will be hoping to stand atop the medal podium on Monday.
The full field of 32 competitors is divided into four groups of eight each and compete in one of the first four performances (July 20-23). The one (1) highest score/fastest time from each discipline of each performance will advance to the Gold Medal Round along with the three (3) highest scores/fastest times overall, from all four combined Semi-Final performances that have not yet advanced. In addition, the #1 ranked athlete in each discipline (for team roping it is highest ranked team after pairing) of the final audited standings of the WCRA Days of ’47 Rodeo Leaderboard will be automatically qualified for the Gold Medal Round making a total of eight contestants in each discipline to compete in the Gold Medal Round. Scores/times from the Semi-Final performances will NOT carry forward to the Gold Medal Round (only to break ties). The eight competitors in each event in the Gold Medal Round will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $25,000 cash.
It was a very rough night in the team roping on Saturday night with only two teams turning in a qualified run. Cody Tew and Coy Brittain won the performance in a time of 5.94 seconds to easily move on to the Gold Medal round.
The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, is taking place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom designed and built for rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats.
Max Hodge of Pingree, ID, took the victory lap in the tie-down roping after turning in an 8.78 second run to edge former NFR qualifier and fellow Idaho cowboy Nate Baldwin who finished with a 9.25-second run. Both will return on Monday searching for gold. Baldwin of Blackfoot, ID squeaked in taking the last wild card spot for a chance to stand on the medal podium on Monday.
Rylie Edens turned in the run of her life on Saturday night in front of over 10,000 excited fans in the breakaway roping. Edens of Hillsboro, Texas, stopped the clock in 2.42 seconds knocking off another Edens – Jordi from the top spot with a 2.50-second run. Both ladies will advance to the final round. Rylie will be searching for her first medal at the age of 14, while Jordi will be looking for her second after winning silver in 2019, the first-time breakaway roping was contested at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo.
Michelle Darling and her palomino, Martini, turned in the top time in the barrel racing on night No. 4 with a 17.562 second run. Darling has two medals already, both bronze, so she will be looking to grab another color and a higher spot on the medal podium come Monday.
Another Utah cowboy finished out the night atop the leaderboard in the bull riding. Austin Allred of Cleveland teamed up with Macza Rodeo’s The Switch for 89 points, to surpass Leonardo Lima who tallied an 86 on Macza Rodeo’s OLS Tubs Riggs. Both advanced to ride one more in Salt Lake City on Monday in the Gold Medal Round.
For only the seventh time in the history of rodeo, riders will have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002), when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad and the other four times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo 2017-2021. 2022 marks an official name change of the event to Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo. This will be the third time for breakaway ropers as their event was added to the roster in 2019. The medals that will be awarded at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Tickets are still available for Monday only at http://www.axs.com. For more information on the event visit http://www.utahdaysof47rodeo.com. For those unable to attend in person the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo is being live streamed on PBR RidePass on PlutoTV nightly at 7:30 p.m. MT. CBS will air the Gold Medal Round of the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo on July 31 at 11 a.m. MT. Action at the Utah Day of ’47 Rodeo continues July 25 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
Get the latest equine news in the Rocky Mountain Region directly to your inbox twice a month!