There was an arena full of talent in the tie-down roping Thursday night at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo, but Monty Lewis was the man who hit the road with the best time on two head after a run of 8.4 seconds.
Ross Beasley had the top run of the night at 8.1 seconds, but his first run wasn’t enough to put him in the running for the average with Lewis, whose first run was 9.4 seconds.
“I really like this place,” Lewis said of Hermiston. “I seem to have luck here. I knew what I needed to do and I had a good calf.”
Lewis, from Hereford, Texas, is 15th in the world standings, and every dollar helps in trying to keep his position for the NFR.
“I need to win,” said Lewis, who got a little help from his 7-year-old sorrel gelding Squirrel. “I got a little today. This was a good start.”Thursday’s tie-down lineup included the likes of world champions Trevor Brazile and Cody Ohl, and Shane Hanchey and Houston Hutto, who are among the top 20 this year.
“It was a loaded set,” Lewis said. “I love being up the same time as them. You feed off that. You know what it takes to win.”
Bradley Harter of Weatherford, Texas, is sitting 15th in the saddle bronc standings, but in Hermiston, he is No. 1.
Harter tied his own FCPR arena record with a score of 88 on the back of Lynx Mountain.
“I had that horse in San Antonio earlier this year and he cost me $18,000 when I fell off him,” Harter said. “Over the years, I’ve won about $30,000 on that horse. I love this rodeo and I’ve been blessed to get on good horses.”
Harter, who originally set the record in 2010, also shares the mark with Dan Mortensen (2005).
“My first year in the PRCA he was still rodeoing,” Harter said of Mortensen. “He was a big inspiration of mine.”
Sterling Crawley, the 2011 PRCA rookie of the year in the saddle bronc, had a ride of 86 on Knife Money and sits second overall behind Harter in the overall standings.
In the bull riding, the cowboys trailed 0-3 before Aussie Rhys Angland took the bull by the horns for a score of 84 to take the overall lead in the event.
Seth Glause was right behind Angland with an 83 on a caramel bull named Rocky.
Brazile, who leads the all-around standings and is the top man in team roping for headers, turned in a time of 5.1 seconds with partner Patrick Smith, but they trailed Paul David Tierney and Cody Doescher, who had a 4.7 and took over the lead in the average at 10.3 on two head.
Former Boise State tight end Andy Weldon had the top run of the night in the steer wrestling with a time of 5.1 seconds.
JR Vezain had the top ride in the bareback with an 80, while Jody Sheffield maneuvered the barrels for a top time of 17.44 seconds.