The world knows it as the 107-year-old Pendleton Round-Up where the legendary past is kept very close to the present.
Cowboy and cowgirl contestants just call it the Green Mile. Until you’ve stood that hallowed ground, your imagination can’t describe the canyon feel of the football field sized patch of lawn surrounded by racetrack and hovered over by surrounding grandstand. Timed event horses by this late in the season are at peak fitness, which didn’t mean every one of them didn’t leave the competition blowing hard and wondering what in the world was that!
The Pendleton timed event experience means adjusting to carefully preserved ground rule traditions, adopting new strategies and hoping for mercy on the turf. The bucking horses all party hard from the big bucking chutes to the grass. After the 8 second buzzer, they throw up their heads for a victory lap. In Pendleton in September, everybody just wants to let ‘er buck.
Texas came to town in the form of 33-year-old Clayton Hass; he bulldogs, works the heading side of the team roping and calf ropes. He came to Pendleton Round-Up gunning for the win and doubled down to capture both the steer wrestling and all-around titles.
Oregonian Steven Peebles beat the great Wayne Vold Rodeo bareback horse, Mucho Dinero, to the ground every wicked jump to win the average and blow the roof off the ancient grandstands. Oregon loves her cowboys and all 7,000 fans got loud celebrating his win.
Bronc rider, Brody Cress, capped his last 2017 major regular season rodeo with the win aboard Calgary’s Stampede Warrior. The 21-year-old is having the season of his dreams with wins at his hometown Cheyenne and Rodeo Salinas.
It was Shane Hanchey to win the tie down roping title and Severe Brothers Saddlery masterpiece of a trophy saddle. The young man from Sulphur, Louisiana, mastered the long barrier and blind, come from behind start for his calf, the can be slick green mile made all that look easy.
The Abrahamson Team from the Confederated Tribes of Colville won the Indian Relay Race while dodging loose racehorses running at them on the course during the first two laps. Relay racing is always about courage and skill amid lightly controlled chaos, but this wild year at Pendleton will be a story retold among relay racers and fans for years.
Montana bull rider, Ruger Piva, edged out Steve Woolsey and Ty Wallace by one point to strike Pendleton gold aboard Sankey and Robinson’s Perculator.
Steven Duby and Trevor McCoin turned three in 22.7 seconds with no fences in sight to best the field of team ropers.
It was a showdown between Wrangler National Finals Rodeo barrel racers Kimmie Wall and Sydni Blanchard with just fractions putting Wall and her non-stop forward moving bay horse ahead of Blanchard’s fast, long-legged black for the win.
Will Gasperson was 49.0 on three steer tripping runs for the win in that event.
*Photos by Jackie Jensen Photography*
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