Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey holds tight as he is bucked backwards during the Elgin Stampede Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event Saturday evening. (ERIC AVISSAR/The Observer)
Bailey able to hang on after Elgin struggles
Joseph native and Eastern Oregon alum Lane Bailey entered the bullriding competition at the Elgin Stampede Saturday hoping to take another step in his pro career.
After a steady couple of seconds to open his ride, Bailey was flung backwards and fell off the bull after just over four seconds.
“The bull got me raised up really quick and jerked me backwards,” Bailey said.
While Bailey finished 13th out of 15 riders, he quickly bounced back Sunday at the Cheney Rodeo in Cheney, Wash., earning a score of 72 to finish fourth out of 35 riders.
“I feel a lot better about my riding,” Bailey said Sunday after returning home from Cheney. “I didn’t do nearly as well as I hoped in Elgin. I wasn’t thinking on the bull in Cheney. I was just reacting and using my instincts.”
As a junior at Eastern, Bailey finished third in the Cascade Conference in the javelin throw and 10th at the national meet. Bailey, who has three years of professional riding experience after getting his start at 21 years old, said his diverse sports background has helped him make up for the late start he got as a rider.
“When I went to Joseph High School, I played football, basketball and baseball, but I really grew up wanting to be a bull rider,” Bailey said. “There are a lot of guys who began riding bulls at 14 or 15 years old, but I have a very competitive background and will keep improving.”
Bailey added that he enjoys life on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Circuit in which he will often go to three or four consecutive competitions in as many days.
“All of us riders are always out there helping each other,” Bailey said. “We’re competing more against the bulls than we are against each other.”
Bailey currently works as a farmer in Athena with his wife Cheyenne, who finished third in Friday’s barrel racing session, but was unable to place in the top 10. Bailey will take part in two non-PRCA sanctioned rodeo events Friday and Saturday in Albany --where Bailey finished with a career best 89 points -- and Baker, respectively to prepare for his homecoming at the Chief Joseph Days rodeo beginning July 23.
Allen Hellmuth of Ellensburg, Ida., took home first in bullriding with 81 points, while Roscoe Jarboe of New Plymouth Ida. finished second with 77 points and Zeb Lanham of Sweet, Ida. placed third with 75.
In Saddle Bronc Riding, Cooper DeWitt of Rio Rico, Ari. finished on top with 80 points, while Ben Londo of Pendleton was the runner-up with 72 points. Joe Harper, who competes at Oklahoma Panhandle University and Max Filipini of Battle Mountain, Nev. finished tied for third with 71 points each.
For the full story, see Monday's issue of The Observer