GIRARD — Riders, ropers and racers came out the second night of the Crawford County Fair Rodeo Thursday hoping to unseat event leaders from the first go-round.
Wednesday night saw strong scores in several events, but Thursday’s new batch of competitors managed to overtake a few and leave Bill Peak Arena with money in hand.
Austin Stratman and Maverick Griffin faced off in the bareback bronc riding to begin the night, both hoping to overtake Colt Eck, who sat in the No. 1 spot with a 67-point ride in the first go-round.
Stratman got the job done and took the leader’s spot with a 72-point ride, but was quickly unseated by Griffin, who is currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association and United Rodeo Association, respectively.
Griffin held on the full eight seconds and took home the championship with a 79-point ride.
Saddle bronc riding opened with a clean slate, as neither rider from the first round received a qualified ride. Thursday’s riders saw much more success, with all three reaching the full eight seconds.
Matthew Swaim was the first rider up, scoring a 74-point ride and taking the top spot. Seth Hennenberg failed to take the lead from Swaim, earning a score of 68 points.
However, Swaim couldn’t hold on to the top spot. URA No. 1 Saddle Bronc Rider Andrew Leeper burst out of the chute and held on for a 75-point ride to take the evening.
Steer Wrestler Connor Gentry failed to earn a time in the rodeo’s first round, and many competitors followed suit Thursday. Only one cowboy got his steer caught and on the ground. J.D. Hill took home first place in the event with a time of 7.5 seconds.
For the second night, the first set of team ropers earned the best time. Jake Kirk and Bubba Reynolds roped their steer with a time of 6.5 seconds. Even though they outscored the other teams of the second night, Kirk and Reynolds still finished second overall, just behind Ty Bryant and Lyndon Stueve, who finished night one with a run of 5.5 seconds.
Six bull riders hit the chutes Thursday, looking to take the top spot from URA No. 1 ranked Bull Rider Coy Pollmeier, who scored 84 points on his bull Wednesday night.
Two cowboys earned qualified rides, but Dylan Cutshaw’s 72 point ride, and a 77 point ride from Jake Johnston weren’t enough to take the weekend’s crown from Pollmeier.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.