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Snake River Stampede: Eight Idaho cowboys contend for record-setting prize money

Snake River Stampede rodeo finals blaze through Nampa

The 104th Snake River Stampede wraps up with a night of rodeo finals at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
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The 104th Snake River Stampede wraps up with a night of rodeo finals at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.

Idaho-grown talent was on display at the center of the rodeo world Saturday night as a record $453,975 in prize money was distributed to this year’s Snake River Stampede winners.

But Gem State competitors were unable to nab a victory in any event despite having their chances at the Ford Idaho Center.

There were a total of 496 entries in this year’s Stampede in seven events, and eight Idaho cowboys qualified for the finals. The Gem State had a representative in five of the seven events.

“When you are growing up with these guys, we are all about the same age. You weren’t going to make it if you couldn’t be as good as the person down the road from you,” said Challis-born bull rider Rugar Piva. “We will surprise people.”

Jake Hannum, an Ogden, Utah, native, won the all-around title.

Bulls top off the night

Only three competitors made it the full 8 seconds in Saturday’s bull-riding finals. Those who made it the full 8 seconds scored at least an 87 or better.

Both of Idaho’s finalists — Piva and Brady Portenier of Caldwell — were bolted off their bulls before the ride even had a chance to get going. The only state that had more competitors make it to the bull-riding finals than Idaho was Texas, which had three.

“This area has a ton of pure talent, doesn’t matter what event,” Piva said. “Brady, he is going to make the finals one year. He is just knocking on the door.”

New Plymouth native Roscoe Jarboe was eliminated from finals contention after riding his way to a 79.5 on Wednesday. Jarboe missed Saturday night’s final by two spots.

Texas native Foster McCraw won the event following his 89.5-point ride. McCraw entered the night tied for the lead with Clayton Sellars, who rode his way to an 87.

Idaho’s best shot at title falls short

When the night began, it looked like an Idahoan would win the steer-wrestling title, but it was a Texas native who took home the crown.

Olin Hannum of Malad shared the lead with Nevada’s Will Lummus out of a field of 102 entering the night, but his 4.5 seconds dropped him to third in the overall standings.

Blackfoot’s Stetson Jorgensen wrestled his calf to the ground in 3.7 seconds and was one of only two steer wrestlers to register a time in under 4 seconds, giving him a short lead before the defending champion, Hunter Cure, reclaimed his crown with a 3.8-second round.

Cure entered Saturday in fourth place (8.2 seconds on two), making his time enough to claim the championship.

Jorgensen was ranked 15th in the world entering the night, and his third-place overall finish should boost his world ranking.

Arena record not enough in bareback riding

An arena record wasn’t enough for Minnesota native Tanner Aus to take home an overall title.

Aus brought the Ford Idaho Center to its feet when his record-setting 91-point ride launched him into the lead. But moments later, Zach Hibler out of Wheeler, Texas, tied Aus with an 84.5 ride to claim a share of the title.

Aus scrapped his way into the finals and was tied for eighth place with four other competitors entering the finals.

The two combined for the first- and second-place winnings and each took home half.

North Idaho native places fifth

Lewiston native Dillon Holyfield and Oregon’s Phoenix Everano were one of three teams to register a 5.2-second round on Saturday in team roping, the lowest time of the night. The duo finished fifth overall.

The event was won by Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord, who scored a total of 15.1 on three rounds.

The Wyatt-Lord team and the Clay Tyran-Travis Lee Graves combo also clocked in at 5.2 seconds during Saturday’s finals.

Smidt wins tie-down title

Caleb Smidt muscled his way to another championship in tie-down roping, his second win at the Snake River Stampede.

The defending world champion also won the Snake River Stampede in 2015 and went on to win a world title.

Caldwell’s Cody Craig finished tied for fourth but held a short-lived lead with an 8.5-second round. Jake Hannum, the next competitor to go, tied Craig for the lead with an 8.7-second round before Riley Pruitt overtook both of them.

Utah native clocks two sub-16s

A Utah native was the only one to register a sub-16 time in barrel racing during the entire rodeo, and she did it twice over the course of the week.

Terri Wood Gates ran a 15.98 on Saturday, giving her a belt and a $5,756.18 paycheck.

“That’s crazy,” Gates said. “She is just amazing. She just went out and did her job.”