07.24.2017
Salt Lake City, UTAH

 

Gold Medals Awarded at Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo

by Ann Bleiker

 

SALT LAKE CITY - History was made on Monday night, July 24, in Salt Lake City at the Days of '47 Arena. For the first time at a regular season PRCA Rodeo gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the winners.

Wyatt Denny of Minden, Nev., was the first to receive the gold medal at the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo. He had to get on two different horses but it was well worth it. His reride horse, Diamond G Rodeo's Diamond Hope, was just what he needed as he posted a ride worth 88 points to win not only the gold medal but a check worth $50,000.

"It's the first of its kind and it's awesome," said Denny of being the first one to win the gold medal. "It's almost a little bit of history. I'm the first one to win it (a gold medal at regular season rodeo), so that feels really special."

He outdistanced current world champion Tim O'Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, who finished with an 87.5 point ride on Rosser Rodeo's Flood Tide. Tanner Phipps won the bronze medal with an 86.5 point ride on Flying U Rodeo's Lil' Red Hawk.

The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, July 19-22 and 24, took at the all-new, $17.5 million, state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fair Park. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—featured over 10,000 stadium-style seats. For the first time at a PRCA regular season rodeo gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the champions. The only other time cowboys and cowgirls competed for such a prize was during the 1988 and 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta, and Salt Lake City, Utah, respectively.

Ryle Smith of Oakdale, Calif., was the biggest winner of the night winning the gold medal in the steer wrestling and also picking up the bronze medal in the tie-down roping. Smith won the steer wrestling with a 4.0 second run, with Tyler Pearson hot on his heels at 4.2. Jace Melvin and Jon Ragatz tied for third with a 4.4. However, Melvin of Fort Pierre, S.D., had the faster time in the semifinals, so he received the bronze medal. They both shared the money and added $9,000 to their PRCA World Standings.

"My dad has my winnings all penciled out. I just talked to him. I mean it was huge for me," said Smith. "In the bulldogging, I had $25K won before I got here. Now this gives me $75K—that’s more or less in the finals I would say. In calf roping, I had $24 or $25K and now I’m in the lower $40K, so I’m in a good position there. I’m trying to get there in both events.

"I have driven around my whole life dreaming about entering two events (at the Wrangler NFR), but I just thought I don’t have enough horsepower and resources and all that. I just didn’t really believe I could do it, honestly. I’ve done all of these events my whole life."

It was a rough night in the team roping with only three qualified runs. Jr. Dees of Aurora, S.D., and Tyler McKnight were the big winners going penalty free with a 4.4 second run. Tom Richards and Kyle Lockett would incur a five second penalty for slipping a leg and would end the night in second with a 10.4 second run. It wasn't pretty for Nelson Wyatt and Matt Kasner with a 14.7, but it earned them a bronze medal and checks worth $12,000 each.

Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La., is hoping Monday night will get him one step closer to the gold buckle in December that he has longed for. DeMoss added $50,000 to his world standings and a gold medal to his trophy case after posting an 87-point ride on Diamond G Rodeo's Owen's Mistake. Crowd favorite Jake Wright of Milford, Utah, took the silver with an 84.5 on Flying Five Rodeo's Gary Young's Spring Planting. Current world champion Zeke Thurston will take the bronze medal back to Canada with him after putting up an 84 on Diamond G Rodeo's A Little Bit of Buddah.

Tuf Cooper came to play on Monday stopping the clock in 7.5 seconds to add a gold medal to his three PRCA World Champion Gold Buckles. Cooper bumped his brother-in-law, the King of the Cowboys, out of the top spot by two-tenths of a second. Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, finished with a 7.7 to add a silver medal to his collection and a much needed $25,000 to his world standings. Ryle Smith took third with an 8.2-second run to add his second medal of the night and bring his night money total to $62,000. When totaled he left Salt Lake City $67,600 richer.

The two ladies that were the last to qualify for the $1 million rodeo went 1-2 on the final night. Recent Texas A&M University graduate Hailey Kinsel stopped the clock in 17.06 seconds to take the gold medal and $50,000, which will move her into the top 15 and a shot at her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas, and Kelly Tovar of Rockdale, Texas, got into this event through the WPRA Qualifier just under a week ago. Tovar finished second with a 17.29 and Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., was third in 17.38 seconds. Lockhart added $12,000, which was much needed to get her into the top 15.

Three-time and current world champion Sage Kimzey brought the sold out crowd to their feet with a 90 point ride on Diamond G Rodeo's Komatsu' War Party. Kimzey, of Strong City, Okla., added a gold medal to his already impressive gold buckle collection. The $50,000 will go a long way to a fourth world title for him in December at the Wrangler NFR. Tyler Bingham and Ty Wallace finished in a tie for second with 87.5 point rides. Bingham of Honeyville, Utah, received the silver medal with a higher score in the semifinals, while Wallace of Collbran, Colo., took the bronze medal. Bingham rode Diamond G Rodeo's Da' Magic and Wallace was on Diamond G Rodeo's Break Dance.

The Gold Medal Round will be televised on CBS Sports Network on July 30 at 8 p.m. ET.
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Results -

Bareback riding:
1. Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev., 88 points on Diamond G Rodeo's Diamond Hope, $50,000; 2. Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 87.5, on Rosser Rodeo's Flood Tide, $25,000; 3. Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga., 86.5, on Flying U Rodeo's Lil' Red Hawk, $12,000; 4. (tie) Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., on Big Bend Rodeo's Dunny and Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., on Big Bend Rodeo's Holly Bay, 86, $3,000 each.

Steer Wrestling: 1 Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 4.0 seconds, $50,000; 2. Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss., 4.2, $25,000; 3. (tie) Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, S.D., and Jon Ragatz, Beetown, Wis., 4.4, $9,000 each. *Jace Melvin won the bronze medal with tie-breaker with a faster time in the semifinals

Team Roping: 1. Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D./Tyler McKnight, Wells, Texas, 4.4 seconds, $52,000; 2. Tom Richards, Humboldt, Ariz./Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif., 10.4, $27,000; 3. Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala./Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb., 14.7, $14,000; no other qualified runs.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1 Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 87 points on Diamond G Rodeo's Owen's Mistake, $50,000; 2. Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 84.5 on Flying Five Rodeo's Gary Young's Spring Planting, $25,000; 3. Zeke Thurston, 84, Diamond G Rodeo's A Lil Bit of Buddah, $12,000; 4. Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., 83 on Flying Five Rodeo's Sundance, $6,000

Tie-Down Roping: 1. Tuf Cooper, Weatherford, Texas, 7.5 seconds, $50,000; 2. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 7.7, $25,000; 3. Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 8.2, $12,000; 4. Cimarron Boardman, Stephenville, Texas, 8.8, $6,000.

Barrel Racing: 1. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 17.06 seconds, $50,000; 2. Kelly Tovar, Rockdale, Texas, 17.29, $25,000; 3. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.38, $12,000; 4. Kellie Collier, Hereford, Texas, 17.39, $6,000.

Bull Riding: 1. Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 90 points on Diamond G Rodeo's Komatsu's War Party, $50,000; 2. (tie) Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah, on Diamond G Rodeo's Da'Magic and Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo., on Diamond G Rodeo's Break Dance, 87.5 points, $18,500 each; 4. Shane Proctor, 86 points on Diamond G Rodeo's Zion's Lil' America, $9,000

Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo Medal Winners:

Bareback riding:
Gold: Wyatt Denny, Minden, Nev.
Silver: Tim O'Connell, Zwingle, Iowa
Bronze: Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga.

Steer wrestling:
Gold: Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif.
Silver: Tyler Pearson, Louisville, Miss.
Bronze: Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, S.D.

Team roping:
Gold: Jr. Dees, Aurora, S.D./Tyler McKnight, Wells
Silver: Tom Richards, Humboldt, Ariz./Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif.
Bronze: Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala./Matt Kasner, Cody, Neb.

Saddle bronc riding:
Gold: Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La.
Silver: Jake Wright, Milford, Utah
Bronze: Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta

Tie-down roping:

Gold: Tuf Cooper, Weatherford, Texas
Silver: Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas
Bronze: Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif.

Barrel racing:
Gold: Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas
Silver: Kelly Tovar, Rockdale, Texas
Bronze: Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D.

Bull riding:
Gold: Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla..
Silver: Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah
Bronze: Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo.