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Columbia River Circuit Finals kick off tonight
Top cowboys and cowgirls in the Northwest are set to perform at two-day event
November 01, 2012
Get ready for some rodeo action.
The top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls in the Northwest are gathering in Redmond this weekend for the Columbia River Circuit Finals.
After competing in more than two-dozen rodeos in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, the top 12 money-winners in each event qualified for this year’s finals.
Not only is there a lot of cash on the line and bragging rights in the Northwest, winners in each event also qualify for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Columbia River Circuit is an interesting mix of professional and amateur cowboys with some of the top rodeo performers in the country as well as a large group of up-and-coming young contestants.
Rodeo action starts tonight at 7:30 p.m., and continues Saturday with a pair of performances.
A number of Central Oregon competitors have shots at winning individual championships in this year’s finals including several Cowboys from Crook County.
Culver’s Bobby Mote, and Terrebonne’s Russell Cardoza and Shane Erickson will all be vying for the circuit all-around championship.
Mote, a former world-champion bareback rider, has earned more than $40,000 so far this year including nearly $34,000 in bareback riding alone. He has an insurmountable lead in the bareback event. Relative newcomers Austin Foss of Terrebonne, and Steven Peebles of Redmond are trying to hold on to second and third place in the event, while veterans Brian Bain of Culver and Jason Havens of Prineville are in the mix.
Prineville’s Sean Santucci is clinging to a $4,000 lead in steer wrestling, while Christian Radabaugh, also of Prineville, is holding on to ninth place.
Santucci’s lead in the points is especially impressive as Lakeview’s Shawn Greenfield, Heppner’s Blake Knowles, and Mount Vernon’s Trevor Knowles are three of the top steer wrestlers in the country.
Crook County contestants also figure to impact the team roping competition. Partners Brandon Beers of Powell Butte and Cully Stafford of Prineville have a chance to win the team roping title. Beers is just $3,400 behind heading leader Spencer Mitchell while Stafford is a long shot as a heeler, trailing Nevada’s Jade Corkill by more than $13,000.
Prineville’s Charly Crawford is also in the mix, sitting in sixth place in the team roping header standings.
Cardoza (team roping) and Erickson (tie down roping) both figure to be in the mix in their events. Other contestants to watch for are Brad Rudolf and Ben Londo in saddle bronc riding, Tom Sorey and Howdy McGinn in steer roping, and Cheyne Olney and Dakota Beck in bull riding.
The competition between Sorey and McGinn is especially close with less than $700 separating the two steer ropers.
Also expected to compete in the Ciruit Finals are barrel racers Pamela Capper and Brenda Mays, who are first and second respectively in the event.
Circuit finals information
The Columbia River Circuit Finals run tonight and Saturday in the Hooker Creek Events Center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights, and 1 p.m., Saturday afternoon. Gates open two hours prior to each go-round.
Tickets are available at 1-888-TIX-CRCF, at Boot Barn and High Desert Ranch and Home in Bend, Big R in Redmond, and Prineville Territory Mercantile in Prineville, or at the gate. Prices are $15 per person for Friday and Saturday night performances and $10 for the Saturday afternoon performance. Saturday afternoon, all children under 18 are admitted free of charge.