Randall Carlisle has had his share of ups and downs this season — to be honest, more downs than ups.
But the Louisiana cowboy’s luck may have turned the corner Thursday night at the Horse Heaven Round-Up, turning in a run of 6.8 seconds in the tie-down roping event to take the lead in the second go.
I haven’t had a hot streak all year. Maybe this is the start of one,” said Carlisle, who bested Matt Shiozawa’s 7.1-second run on Wednesday. “I’m in the running for the NFR (National Finals Rodeo). I’m thankful for anything.”
When things weren’t going his way, Carlisle bought a new horse, 10-year-old Ricky Jack.
“I bought him in May and I’ve won almost $40,000 on him since,” Carlisle said.
Every cowboy or cowgirl having the top time or score during Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, and were wearing pink, earned a $200 bonus and a commemorative buckle. Carlisle was pretty in pink.
“Two hundred dollars will get us five hours down the road,” said Carlisle, who is headed to San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
The saddle bronc event welcomed a new leader Thursday night as Heith DeMoss turned in an 84-point ride on a young horse with no name.
Ranked third in the world standings, and $12,000 out of first, DeMoss is looking for a nice payday.
“I’ve never done any good here before,” DeMoss said. “The win feels good. In front of a great crowd, it was wonderful. This is a good rodeo.”
Steven Peebles of Redmond, Ore., almost missed his ride in the bareback event, arriving 20 minutes before the chutes opened.
He had the top ride of 82 points on Cougar Mountain to knock Anthony Thomas (78 points) out of the lead.
“I was at home and I didn’t get out on time,” he said. “I was hauling butt to get here. This is a good day in Kennewick. I won here two years ago. This is a great rodeo.”
And, he’s quite fond of Cougar Mountain.
“I was second on him in Omak last year and this year,” Peebles said. “He was a little weak coming out, but got stronger.”
Stan Branco and Austin Manning had matching 3.9-second runs in the steer wrestling to post the best time in the second go. World leader Trevor Knowles looked to have a lightning fast run of 3.6 seconds, but a broken barrier put 10 seconds on his time and cost him a couple thousand dollars.
Levi Simpson and Ryon Tittel had the hot run of the night in the team roping with a 4.6-second run. They took over the lead in the second go, while Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves still lead on two head at 9.5 seconds.
Tami Semas of Prineville, Ore., maneuvered the barrels in 17.39 seconds for the top run of the night.
The bull riding event has turned into the cowboy toss. Over the course of two nights, it’s bulls 12, cowboys 3.
Aaron Pass of Dallas, Texas, had a rank bull, who tried several times to climb out of the chute. Once the gate opened, Pass held on for a 70-point ride, and the only ride of the night.