Brady Portenier has turned in several solid efforts throughout the 2017 rodeo season.
The Elgin Stampede was just the latest example of his success.
Portenier, the product of Caldwell, Idaho, is the 10th-ranked bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rankings, and he turned in an 80-point ride to claim the bull riding championship and wrap a wild final Saturday night of action at the 71st annual Elgin Stampede.
“It was a good night,” Portenier said. “Us Idaho boys, we came to ride. There were four or five of us (from Idaho), and we all stayed on. (I’m) just happy to be here.”
Idaho riders were strong on the bulls not only Friday, but all weekend. Five of the six placers — including the top three — hailed from the Gem State.
Portenier’s winning ride aboard Muy Caliente nabbed the title from fellow Idaho rider Cody Miller. The Parma bull rider turned in a score of 79 Friday for the early lead in the two-night PRCA rodeo.
“He’s a good bull,” Portenier said of Muy Caliente. “(He’s) been around for a long time, (but I’ve) never been on him. He’s kind of known for turning back and then jumping out of (the turn). Tonight he stayed pretty consistent.”
Portenier said the bull’s consistency through the ride helped him get a high score.
“The judges definitely like it when they stay in their spin because, obviously, if they’re just jump-kicking across the pin, it’s easier. He helped me out,” Portenier said.
Portenier’s effort was fitting on a night when almost no lead from Friday’s first round was safe. Including the bull riding, the lead changed hands in five events Saturday night. That included a quick 4.0-second takedown by Baker City’s Jesse Brown to open the steer wrestling Saturday night, which won him the event. Heppner’s Ryan Bothum, who recorded a time of 4.3 seconds Friday, was second. Trevor Knowles (4.7), of Mount Vernon, placed third.
Squaw Valley, California, cowboy Jordan Ketscher took over the Friday night lead from Jade Gardner, of Winnett, Montana, to win the tie-down roping. Ketscher completed the event in 8.1 seconds. Gardner followed at 8.9 seconds, and Jared Parke, of Gooding, Idaho, was third at 9.0.
Cheyenne Allan was the only barrel racer from Saturday night to get into the top 10 and come away with a check, but did so in solid fashion by winning the event in 17.49 seconds. The next four riders were separated by just 0.03 seconds — Kelsey Miller in second (17.59), Emily Jane Sorey in third (17.60) and both Callahan Crossley and Della Wright (17.62) tied for fourth.
Elgin’s Amanda Waller (17.76) took ninth.
Hunter Carlson, of Sheridan, Wyoming, shot to the front to win bareback riding with a score of 78.5 Saturday. Friday night leader Austin Foss, of Terrebonne, took second with 74 points, and Tristan Hansen (73.5), of Dillon, Montana, was third.
Steven Duby and Jason Minor held their lead from Friday night to win team roping in 5.5 seconds. Bob Thompson and Tom Justin Nelson (6.2) claimed second. Colton Campbell and Ketscher turned in the best time Saturday at 8.1 seconds to take fifth.
Zeke Thurston, of Big Valley, Alberta, set the bar high Friday night to win the saddle bronc riding with a score of 80. Shade Etbauer, of Goodwell, Oklahoma, finished second at 78.5. Saturday night’s top rider, Sage Newman, of Melstone, Montana, took third (76).
Heppner’s Jason Stewart was the overall champion in steer roping with a two-round score of 26.1 seconds. He also won the second round in 11.7 seconds. Caleb McMillan, of Soap Lake, Washington, was the first-round winner in 13.0 seconds.
Earlier in the evening, the Stampede Challenge was won by Riley Prescott, of Omak, Washington, and the Saturday night round of miniature bulls was won by Kobie Olson of Cascade, Idaho.