1 of 9
Geoffrey McAllister, Deseret News
Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, leaves the gate in the saddle-bronc riding event at the Days of '47 Rodeo at EnergySolutions Arena on Wednesday night.

Cody Hintz and Ty Blasingame ought to try skipping warm-ups altogether.

The team ropers arrived at the Days of '47 Rodeo at the Energy Solutions Arena Wednesday night just about five minutes before they were scheduled to compete.

The duo, along with their traveling companions, team ropers Toby Trammell and Jody Pinkert, were roping in a rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyo., until about 3 p.m.

"These were the first two horses out, so this is what we rode," said Hintz, who along with Blasingame won the team roping with a time of 4.3 seconds. "We didn't catch in Cheyenne, so this is nice. We didn't know if we was going to make it."

Interestingly, Wednesday night's five-minute window is not the closest call Hintz has had when it comes to showing up in the nick of time.

"My first year (2003) at St. Paul, I showed up and had to jump the fence, run and borrow a horse," he said.

He'll be borrowing a horse tomorrow morning in Salinas, Calif., as the four cowboys head to the big rodeo via airplane.

"We'll leave our horses here and just borrow some to ride," he said. "You don't want to borrow unless you absolutely have to. It's always better to ride your own horse."

July is the busiest time for cowboys and cowgirls trying to hit as many rodeos as possible in order to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in November.

Chris Harris won the night's bareback riding with a score of 83 points. Harris, whose wife was competing in the barrel racing, took about 20 horses he'd bred and raised and put on a rough stock rodeo in Africa last year.

"I've always wanted to take rodeo to places where they've never seen it," said the native of Itasca, Texas. "It was exciting to do it. It was also very, very scary."

He said the went to Angola, which has been ravaged by civil war, but was gratified to see how much people there enjoyed the rodeo, which included

bareback and saddle bronc riding.

"There were 3,500 people on one side of the arena and 3,500 people on the other side," he said. "And then I noticed about 20,000 people watching it on a big movie screen behind the chain link fence around the arena."

He said they plan to put on another rodeo in Rwanda.

"It was a very great feeling to take rodeo over there," he said. "They loved it. My hope and prayer is that we can do it free so all the people who want to see it can get in to see the show."

Harris had to ride two bucking horses, as did T-Roy Pay of Mona after their first horses failed to perform. Jerad Schlegal, Colorado, had the toughest night as he had to ride three horses to earn a score of 75 points.

The bareback riding also featured a familiar name — Kaycee Feild, Elk Ridge. His father is a two-time world champion in bareback riding and passed his passion for the sport onto his youngest son.

"I taught him how to do it," said Lewis Feild, who now works as a pick-up man. Lewis won the NFR's All-Around Cowboy title three consecutive years (1985, 1986, 1987) and the '85 and '86 bareback titles.

His son hopes to follow in his footsteps in bareback riding. He is currently the No. 10 bareback rider in the world standings, with the top 15 heading to the NFR.

"I've always wanted to be a world champ," said Kaycee, who scored 80 points, good enough for second place Wednesday. "I really look up to my dad."

Stockton Graves won the steer wrestling with a time of 4.2 seconds. Mike Johnson won the tie-down roping with a time of 9.6, while Isaac Diaz and Jesse Bail tied in the saddle bronc riding with a score of 80 points each.

Maegan Reichert won the night's barrel racing competition with time of 13.62 seconds. Bail also placed second in the bull riding with a score of 78 points, but Wyatt Welsh won the event (79 points).


E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com