WALLA WALLA — Rodeo fans can turn their attention to the bronc busters and bull riders beginning Friday when the Frontier Days Rodeo begins its three-night run in the Walla Walla Fairgrounds arena.
Action commences at 7 all three nights and will feature the three rough stock events — bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding — in addition to calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling and women’s barrel racing timed events.
Reserved admission is $12 for adults and children, and bleacher seating for children age 3-13 is $6. Rodeo tickets do not include fairgrounds admission, which is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors (65 and older) and $3 for children 6-to-13 years of age. Children 5-and-under are admitted free to the grounds and five-day season passes are available for $26.
While Frontier Days rough stock events traditionally aren’t as strong as timed events, this year’s bareback field includes eight of the top 10 bronc riders in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association standings, including top-ranked Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah.
Feild entered the week with earnings of $97,853 and is scheduled to come out of the bucking chutes during Sunday night’s final performance aboard a Growney Brothers bareback called Tattle Tale.
Two other top 10 bareback riders will also compete during Sunday’s portion of the one-go event. They are Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, No. 4 in the most current PRCA standings, and Wes Stevenson of Lubbuck, Texas, who is holding down the No. 5 position.
Lowe and Stevenson are locked in a close battle for fourth place, with Lowe at $83,432 in earnings and Stevenson hot on his heels with $82,933.
Ryan Gray of Cheney, Wash., who has so far cashed checks for $92,969, will be out during Saturday’s show. Gray is second in the bareback standings, less than a grand behind Feild.
Friday’s opening night of Frontier Days will feature Clint Cannon of Waller, Texas, and Austin Foss of Terrebonne, Ore., who rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in the bareback standings.
Sunday appears to be the best night for saddle bronc riding as top-ranked Cody Wright of Milford, Utah, and No. 3-ranked Jesse Wright of Milford, Utah, are slated to ride. Cody Wright leads the PRCA saddle bronc field with earnings of $103,877 while Jesse Wright has a current bank account of $82,281.
Sandwiched between the two Wrights is No. 2 Tyler Corrington of Hastings, Minn., who has won $88,359 so far and will get his lone ride during Saturday’s performance. Also up Friday is Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb., who ranks No. 5 in the PRCA saddle bronc standings.
Jacob Crawley of Stephenville, Texas, who ranks sixth, has drawn a Friday night assignment.
Also of interest to local fans, Ben Londo, formerly of Milton-Freewater and now living in Pendleton, will ride during Sunday’s final day of saddle bronc competition. Londo recently took the job of head rodeo coach at Blue Mountain Community College.
The bull riding field is sparse, with just four of the PRCA’s top 10 bull riders in attendance. Cody Campbell of Summerville, Ore., ranks fifth with $74,475; Elliot Jacoby, Fredricksburg, Texas, is eighth; Cole Echols, Elm Grove, La., is ninth; and Cooper Davis, Jasper, Texas, is 10th.
Echols and Davis are up Friday night, Jacoby rides Saturday and Campbell has drawn a Sunday ride.
Also of interest in bull riding, Dakota Beck, who now makes his home in nearby Prescott, will ride a Growney Brothers bull called Dr. Feel Good during Saturday’s show. And Cain Smith of Pendleton, who recently completed his freshman year at Walla Walla Community College, has a Saturday night date with a Growney bull simply known as 933.
Beck was last year’s Frontier Days bull riding champion. Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., last year’s Walla Walla bareback champion, is scheduled to ride a bronc called Second Thoughts on Sunday night. Ty Atchison of Jackson, Mo., last year’s saddle bronc champion, is not entered this year.
The second round of timed events will be completed during the three night shows.
And a huge field of 73 women’s barrel racers will be on display during the three nightly performances, with Sherry Cervi of Marana, Calif., leading the way. Cervi leads the WPRA money-winning standings with $136,742.56 and is one of five of the top 10 barrel racers in the country in attendance here this week.
Shada Brazile of Decatur, Texas, the reigning Frontier Days barrel racing champ, is also in this year’s field.
Also, there are no fewer than nine area barrel racers to check out. They are Nicole Aichele, Jaclyn Lynch, Kate McCaw, Bobo McMillan and Michelle Warren, all of Walla Walla; Jaclyn Culham and Julie Williams, both of Athena; Andrea Daniells of Waitsburg; and Touchet’s Kim Kammenzind.
Another Touchet product, Taylor Gregg, is entered in the bulldogging. Other local steer wrestlers are Cody Cabrel, who is from Hilo, Hawaii, but has Milton-Freewater ties, Tony Currin of Dayton and the Taruscio brothers, B.J. of Walla Walla and Travis of Stanfield.
J.C. Cabrel, Cody’s brother, is entered in the team roping, as are Bryce Palmer of Milton-Freewater and Garrett Rogers of Adams. And Tygh Campbell of Athena will compete in the steer roping.