DENVER (Jan. 21, 2015) — By Susan Kanode – Idaho and Utah were well represented at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo on Tuesday and Wednesday and now stand atop the leaderboard in the bull riding.
Tag Elliott from Thatcher, Utah, and Zeb Lanham from Sweet, Idaho are tied for first place in the overall standings with 161 points on two rides.
Elliot is a former college champion and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier. He scored 81 points here on Tuesday night, then came back to the Monday matinee performance and had the second highest score of the rodeo at 80.
Lanham’s success came during the Wednesday matinee performance when he scored 85 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s bull names Blue Denim. That also put the two-time NFR qualifier in a tie for first place in the second round of competition with Dustin Bowen, from Waller, Texas.
There are now seven bull riders who have been successful in both rounds so it looks like the top 12 that advance to the U.S. Bank Championship Finals on Sunday will all have two scores. Three more have that opportunity after Wednesday night’s rodeo including the 2011world champion Shane Proctor from Grand Coulee, Wash.
Proctor had the high-marked ride of the night when he scored 84 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Red Mud. That score puts him in third place in the first round and gives him the opportunity to overtake the lead held by Lanham and Elliott. Proctor will ride his second bull here at the Thursday morning performance.
Team ropers Jake Cooper from Monument, N.M., and Tyler McKnight, from Wells, Texas, continued their bid for a National Western championship on Wednesday. They stopped the clock in 5.8 seconds Wednesday afternoon. That gave them a total time of 11.1 seconds where they are just one-tenth of a second behind the team in first place in the overall standings.
There are two rodeo performances in the Denver Coliseum on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.