Rodeo's two premier events saw two premier performances Tuesday as the Days of '47 Rodeo saw another day of action and moved a little closer to naming champions.
Bud Longbrake and Corey Nevarre took control of the saddle bronc and bull riding events as the Delta Center crowd went home far from disappointed.Longbrake, a Dupree, S.D., saddle bronc rider, put on a masterful performance aboard Copenhagen Red Robin despite not having what he'd call a perfect ride.
Coming out of the chutes, Longbrake was doing well. Then his left boot got caught in the flank strap and threatened to send him off the horse. "It was at least three jumps before I could get it free," he said. "But I thought as soon as I got off it was a pretty good ride."
He was wrong. It was a great ride.
Defending world champ and current PRCA leader Dan Mortensen had held the saddle bronc lead since the rodeo's opening day with a score of 81. Longbrake left that mark in the dust, scoring an 84 to all but guarantee a high finish.
"I've seen that horse a few times but never had a chance to get on him," Longbrake said, explaining that the event winner can expect to take home several thousand dollars. "He's an outstanding horse. That will be a hell of a great paycheck for eight seconds work."
Longbrake's ride was easily the best of the night. Cliff Norris and Bobby Griswold both scored 72 but won't figure in the big money. Roy's Rusty Allen was poised to enter the prize money picture, but a penalty wiped out a ride that had been scored in the 80-plus range.
Another remarkable performance happened in the bull riding, where Corey Nevarre of Weatherford, Okla., hopped on a bull named 1-plus and turned in a score of 88 to climb comfortably into the lead. He surpassed Fred Boettcher's 83 score of Monday night.
World champion barrel racer Kristie Peterson was in the Delta Center to take a shot at the time of 13.46 set by Jamie Richards earlier in the rodeo. However, Peterson only rode her horse, Bozo, around the three barrels for a time of 13.66.
Jared Lavergne made the most of his bare-back reride. Last weekend, the Louisiana cowboy rode twice but scored poorly and was offered a chance at a reride on different horses. The third time proved to be the charm as he won the day's round of action with a 76 to climb into fourth place.