Katy Nesbitt
The La Grande Observer

JOSEPH — Oregon cowboys made a good showing at the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo this weekend, earning points for the National Finals Rodeo this December in Las Vegas.

In Joseph all the talk was about one particular cowboy — Derek Kolbaba. While the day sheet may say he hails from Walla Walla, Washington, Wallowa County fans know him as one of their own. The 21-year-old scored 88 points on the back of a bull named Omaha Thursday night and the score held through the weekend, earning him his third Chief Joseph Days bull riding buckle.

After signing autographs until 10 p.m. Thursday night, Kolbaba drove east to Big Sky, Montana, for a Pro Bull Riding Velocity Tour event where only the best bull riders in the world compete.

Aaron Williams, of Pismo Beach, California, was second in the bull riding with an 80.5-point ride and Chase Dougherty of Canby was third, earning 75.5 points.

Trevor Knowles was another top Oregon cowboy at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event. Knowles, from Mt. Vernon, won the steer wrestling event with an aggregate time of 9.9 seconds. Dalton Massey, of Hermiston, was close behind Knowles with an aggregate of 10 seconds and Clayton Morrison of Heppner finished third with 10.3.

Tanner and Quade Patke, of Klamath Falls, took top honors in team roping with an aggregate time of 12.1. Zane Barnson, of Washington, Utah, and Cole Wilson, of Lake Shore, Utah, were second with 13.1, and Clay Ullery, of Two Hills, Alberta, and Riley Wilson, of Cardston, Alberta, were third with 13.9.

Johnny Espeland, of Tygh Valley, finished as the top saddle bronc rider with an 81.5-point ride. Mitch Pollock, of Winnemucca, Nevada, took second with 77 points and Nick LaDuke, of Livermore, California, was third with a 75-point ride.

Teri Bangart, of Olympia, Washington, ran a time of 17.33 seconds in barrel racing and squeaked into first in front of Rachel Stoller, of Molalla, who had a time of 17.34. Janet Cunningham, of Aldergrove, British Columbia, was third with a time of 17.58.

Mason Clements of Dantaquin, Utah was the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo’s top bareback rider, earning 83 points. Jessy Davis, of Power, Montana, was second with 80.5 points and Richmond Champion, of The Woodlands, Texas, was third with his 80-point ride.

Jordan Kescher, of Squaw Valley, California, was the tie down champion, winning with an aggregate time of 17.2. Cooper Martin, of Alma, Kansas, took second with a time of 17.8 and Blair Burke, of Durant, Oklahoma, was third with a time of 18.6 seconds.

This year’s Harley Tucker Award went to steer wrestler Jess Brown, of Baker City. The award goes to the cowboy or cowgirl who earns the most points from four rodeos — Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, St. Paul Rodeo, Elgin Stampede and Chief Joseph Days.

Harley Tucker, grandson of the founder of the rodeo, said this year awarding the prize came down to the last day.

Tucker said his family and Farm Supply of Enterprise sponsor the award that has been a part of the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo tradition for 48 years.