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Aus wins first bareback title at Snake River Stampede

Jessy Davis from Power, Mont., holds onto Control Freak during the bareback bronc riding championship round of the Snake River Stampede at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Davis scored 87.5 points, one fewer than champion Tanner Aus.
Jessy Davis from Power, Mont., holds onto Control Freak during the bareback bronc riding championship round of the Snake River Stampede at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Davis scored 87.5 points, one fewer than champion Tanner Aus. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Bareback rider Tanner Aus owns a full trophy case.

He won a 2012 national college title, reached the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time last year and already owns eight wins this season, plus two shared titles.

But the Granite Falls, Minn., native had never won a Snake River Stampede, nor even made the finals. He rectified both Saturday.

Tucker Zingg of Glendive, Montana, rides Gold Buckle during the bareback bronc riding event in July 2016 at the Snake River Stampede rodeo at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.

Aus, ranked No. 4 in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings, edged world No. 1 and travel partner Tim O’Connell with an 88.5 ride atop Jason’s Pride to claim the Saturday night prize money and the overall title at the 101st Snake River Stampede in the Ford Idaho Center.

“Every time you can check one off the list is a great feeling,” Aus said. “It’s been a remarkable season for me. It’s been a blessing, and to win another big rodeo is an honor. Hopefully I’ll carry over a little momentum over into our pool (at the Cheyenne Frontier Days) and hopefully have a good showing over there and keep it rolling.”

Aus said his draw earlier in the week and of Jason’s Pride on Saturday aided his run. Jason’s Pride came out of the gate in a frenzy, aiding his 88.5-point ride.

“She jumped out there and she’s just really rapid,” Aus said. “Some horses have a lot time to get in the air, but she got a lot of tries so everything happened really fast.”

O’Connell entered the night leading the event and rode last, providing a moment of drama with an impressive ride on Vitalix Gander Goose. After getting bucked off, he hit the dirt, stuck the landing and motioned “safe.”

But his ride finished a point shy of Aus’ and half a point shy for the overall title.

IDAHO TRACKER

Tie-down roping: Chubbuck’s Matt Shiozawa, an eight-time national finalist, finished 0.1 seconds short for the overall title. His 7.9-second tie Saturday left him at 24.8 seconds behind Wyatt Hughes of Caldwell, Texas, earning $4,746.17. Gooding’s Cy Eames missed his calf’s head and didn’t record a time.

Team roping: Wendell’s Rob and Dan Webb, two-time Wilderness Circuit champs, entered Saturday’s finals as the team roping leaders, and their 7.1-second performance was enough for the title. But Dan could only rope one of the calf’s heels, earning a 5-second penalty to finish sixth Saturday and fourth overall to win $3,077.82. Chubbuck’s Pace Freed teamed with Logan Medlin to take fourth Saturday and sixth overall, and Marsing heeler Ryan Powell finished second in Saturday’s short round with Jordan Tye. Ryan Fornstrom of Eagle and Matt Azevedo of Nampa failed to record a time Saturday.

Bull riding: Stone’s Riker Carter and Marsing’s Chase Robbins both couldn’t last 8 seconds atop their bulls.

Barrel racing: Kristy Yerrington of Carey completed her ride in 16.39 seconds, allowing her to finish ninth overall.

ROUGH NIGHT FOR STARS

Saturday’s finals included three world money leaders and four-time world champion barrel racer Sherry Cervi. But the sold-out crowd didn’t see any titles for the big-time names. O’Connell came the closest, tying for second Saturday and taking second overall.

No. 1 steer wrestler Jason Thomas scored a time of 5.0 seconds, finishing out of the money Saturday and sixth overall. And No. 1 tie-down roper Hunter Herrin misfired to finish out of the money in the short round and overall.

Cervi finished her ride in 16.25 seconds to finish sixth overall at 32.09.

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama

Overall champions

  • Bareback: Tanner Aus
  • Steer wrestling: Riley Duvall
  • Team roping: Blane Vick and Jim Ross Cooper
  • Saddle bronc: Tyrell J. Smith
  • Tie-down roping: Westyn Hughes
  • Barrel racing: Carley Richardson
  • Bull riding: Tyler Smith
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