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Home arrow Opinion arrow Baker City’s Johnson wins Mountain High title

Baker City’s Johnson wins Mountain High title

Clint Johnson of Baker City was top bull rider at Saturday’s Mountain High Broncs and Bulls rodeo in Enterprise. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)
Clint Johnson of Baker City was top bull rider at Saturday’s Mountain High Broncs and Bulls rodeo in Enterprise. (Katy Nesbitt/The Observer)

ENTERPRISE — Clint Johnson returned to the Mountain High Broncs and Bulls Rodeo in Enterprise to win the bull-riding contest with 81 points. The Baker City cowboy has now won the event twice, the first time in 2009.

Out of 14 bull riders signed up for Saturday’s rodeo only four had qualifying rides. In a battle of man versus beast, the beasts were in control.

Matt Loomis of Donnelly, Idaho, was second in the bull-riding competition with his best ride bringing in 75 points. Scotty Bartels of Tacoma, Wash., earned 74 points in one of his three rides, and Derek Kolbaba of Walla Walla, Wash., was the final bull rider in the money, scoring 67 points on his best ride.

Top honors in the saddle bronc competition went to Seth Franklin of Burns, who earned 73 points in his best of three rides. Mike McBeth of New Plymouth, Idaho, earned 71 points for second place, Chance Peila of Hines placed third with a 70-point ride and Cody Allred of Emmit, Idaho, was fourth with a 68-point ride.

The directors of the Mountain High Broncs and Bulls made a lot of changes to the rodeo, now in its 10th year. Formerly a two-day event, this year the rodeo was held on Saturday for a long afternoon of rodeo events. Wild horse racing was also added this year.

Organizer Lee Daggett called the three-round version of elimination an Ironman — with each rider trying to qualify from the first event to the second and then for the third rounds. The bronc and bull riding competitions were interspersed with two new events — mini bulls for brave young cowboys and cowgirls and wild horse racing, an event from the early days of rodeo that regained popularity in the last 30 years. 

Victor Barkley of the JM3 horse racing team said he is a Yakima Indian, team member Jack Mills is Paiute and Brent Spencer is of the Umatilla Tribe. All three men hail from the Pendleton area.

Barkley said the three men are all friends and formed a team. 

“The reservation is a small community,” Barkley said. “I got into horse racing watching my family and it made me want to do it.” 

A wild horse racer for the past four years, Barkley said his team competes in rodeos across the Pacific Northwest.

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