Some events in the Salt Palace call for a tuxedo.
Some don't.Rodeo don't.
David Sherod of Pleasant Grove wore one anyway - to ride a bareback bronc.
"I figured this would be the only time I dared to do it," said Sherod, who married Jocelyn on Saturday and kept the clothes around to help open the Days of '47 Rodeo with class. He was the second man out of the chutes Monday in the rodeo that will last through next Monday at the Salt Palace.
"I almost chickened out eight times," he said. Not about riding the horse but about wearing the formal wear complete with purple tie.
The tux didn't bother his riding, he said. The trousers were a little looser than jeans but not bad. But he only scored 65, not enough to win money at this rodeo.
Sherod, 27, a former Utah State University and Pleasant Grove High wrestler - a two-time prep wrestling champion - does have a promising rodeo career, though.
He's leading world rookie bareback standings by about $1,000 over 18-year-old Ty Murray of Odessa, Texas, a college student who was Monday night's other shining star in the Palace before a good opening-night crowd of about 6,000.
Murray scored 79 - the night's highest mark in the roughstock riding - on a high-kicking saddlebronc named Reception. He added a 67 in bareback.
Murray ranked 14th - probably higher now, he says - in the latest Pro Rodeo Cowboys' Association all-around earnings, having picked up about $27,000-$28,000 in his
first year. He competes in all three roughstock events - bareback, saddlebronc and bull riding, and that's a rarity.
Murray also performs in collegiate rodeos, where he enters every event, including bulldogging, despite his modest size. "I like to do it like that. I like to run from one end of the arena to the other. Tonight, I just had bareback and saddlebronc - it seemed like slack," Murray said.
"I thought about waiting," he added about turning pro, "but I couldn't stand it any longer."
Murray had anxiously awaited his ride on Reception, a horse that often goes to the National Finals Rodeo. "I was real excited," he said. Reception lived up to reputation. "That's one of the best broncs I've been on all year," Murray said.
Sherod couldn't say the same for his mount, Grulla. "They said if you spur him hard, he really bucks, but I spurred him hard, and he quit; he scattered off with me," said Sherod, who's won three rodeos in bareback this season.
Murray says he can't remember how many he's won because he enters three events.
When not rodeoing, Sherod works for a Denver auto transport company. That takes two or three days a week, giving him enough time to make four or five rodeos. He's won about $5,300 in bareback so far.
Elk Ridge's Lewis Feild, another cowboy who started on the PRCA circuit at a late age, about 24, was tied for the lead in Monday's bareback riding competition and stood second with his partner Pat Johnson of Elk Ridge in the team roping.
Feild, 31, is three-time defending PRCA World All-Around Champion.
In bareback, Feild and his traveling companion, Danny Brady, each scored 77s Monday. "I should win some money with that; I felt pretty good about the score," said Feild, who performs again in the Salt Palace in saddlebronc riding next Monday. In between, he'll be at rodeos in Nampa (Idaho), Ogden, Salina, Spanish Fork and Cheyenne, Wyo.
He and Johnson put up a 7.9-second team roping total. They rank well behind current world champions Jake Barnes of Bloomfield, N.M., and Clay O'Brien Cooper of Durant, Okla., who roped their steer in 6.6 seconds Monday for the lead. But Feild and Johnson were nearly three seconds ahead of third place.
In calf roping, Mike Johnson of Henryetta, Okla., was the night's winner with a 9.8-second effort, and Thomas Barr of Alberta, Canada, had a 4.4-second throw to lead in steer wrestling.
Defending world bull riding champion Lane Frost wrapped up the evening with a 78, five points better than the second-place finisher.
The Days of '47 Rodeo continues nightly through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., takes Sunday off and then has two performances Monday, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.