A local team roping duo took first place in front of a hometown crowd when the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association made their grand return to the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock on Wednesday evening. The highly anticipated rodeo saw cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States compete for a share of almost $10,500 in total prize money in front of a packed crowd at the FoodMaxx Arena.
The show kicked off with the tie-down roping competition, which featured four participants. While he faced off against a field of experienced cowboys, 19-year-old Weston Smith of Colfax, California took home the first-place prize, roping and tying his calf in an impressive 11.3 seconds.
The saddle bronc riding competition also featured a small field, this time with only three cowboys. Regardless, the limited participants didn’t let guaranteed prize money deter them from competing at the highest level.
Ethan Lemmons of Castro Valley put up a score of 68, which was good enough to inch past Cedarville’s Roman Reyes and his score of 65. Caden Grisedale of Madera capped off the competition with a third-place score of 57.
In the team-roping competition, the duo of Turlock’s Monty Joe Petska and Hilmar’s Preston Burgess stole the show. The team successfully roped their calf in 6.8 seconds, which earned them a first-place finish and a roaring ovation from the crowd.
The rodeo then transitioned to the barrel racing competition, which featured 28 women and their horses.
Oceana Champion of Ukiah was the first-place winner after she and her horse ran a time of 14.90 seconds. In 15th place was Tracy Ash of Crows Landing, who sped around the three barrels in 15.86 seconds. Jaycee Spence of Modesto came in right behind her with a time of 15.93 seconds. And while Turlock’s Deeana Horner took home 24th place with a time of 20.28 seconds, she still received a loud applause from her hometown crowd.
When it came to the bull riding competition, Tollhouse’s Wyatt Robinson found himself being the lone competitor. Nevertheless, he still looked to entertain the Turlock crowd, which is exactly what he did with a score of 70. His stock, Geronimo, also received a perfect 17/17 score from the judges.
Steer wrestling saw a larger field of competitors with eight cowboys. Of the eight, Bear Pascoe of Morro Bay came out victorious after running a lightning time of 6.6 seconds.
At the conclusion of the rodeo, D.J. Parker of Hollister was honored as the All-Around Cowboy after he had competed in two of the day’s competitions (tie-down roping and team roping). His honor also came with a cash prize.
“Thank you to every single person who came out here to watch these cowboys showcase their skills,” said announcer Bryan Frye. “The Stanislaus County Fair knows how to come out for a rodeo.”
For a complete list of results and disbursement of winnings, head to www.prorodeo.com/result/2022/stanislaus-county-fair-pro-rodeo/11852.