Having Fun and Winning First – News – Wrangler Network

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By: Ruth Nicolaus

Montana bareback rider claims top spot at Last Chance Stampede, team ropers change the lead

For the second year in a row, Caleb Bennett draws the C5 horse Sunday Sinner and takes the lead in the bareback riding (88 points). Photo by Burning Ember Photography/Josh Homer.

Helena, Mont. – A Montana transplant is claiming the Big Sky Country as his home, and the Last Chance Stampede his favorite rodeo stomping grounds.

Bareback rider Caleb Bennett left his mark at the Stampede on Friday, July 29, taking over the lead with an 88 point ride.

He was aboard the C5 Rodeo horse Sunday Sinner, the same horse he rode at last year’s Stampede, where he tied for third place.

“When I saw I’d drawn him this year, a big smile lit up across my face,” he said. “I knew I was definitely going to Helena to have some fun and win first.”

Ranked eighth in the PRCA world standings, he sat out for two months, recovering from elbow surgery, where the doctor removed seventeen bone chips in his riding arm. “They were causing a bunch of pain and inflammation, and it’s awesome now. It’s never felt better.”

It’s not the first time the Utah-turned-Montanan has dominated at the Stampede.

He estimates he’s competed at the rodeo since 2013, winning it twice (2013-2014) and placing nearly every other year. Bennett has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo nine times.

Raised in Utah, he moved to the Hamilton, Mont. area four years ago, to date his now-wife Savannah. “She was working in Hamilton, and I said, well, I can rodeo from anywhere, so if we’re going to get serious, I guess I’ll be moving to Montana.”

He loves it. “Utah will always be home, but when you drive into this state, it’s the calm and the space, and the people are so genuine. I love Montana and I love to call it home.”

The team roping lead changed hands during the second performance of the rodeo.

Rhen Richard heads the steer that he and heeler Jeremy Buhler took the lead with after the second night of the Last Chance Stampede. The duo had a time of 4.5 seconds. Photo by Burning Ember Photography/Josh Homer.

Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler turned in a time of 4.5 seconds to be on the top of the leaderboard.

The two knew the steer they had drawn, and strategized for their run.

“The steer was supposed to be stronger,” Richard said, “so we had a game plan. Jeremy was going to get up there, to let the steer see him, and try to get him to where he was stepping towards me. I felt like he did that perfect and I got a really good start. It was one of those runs that everything played into our hands. That’s the kind of runs we’re after.”

The duo has had several runs lately that have been ideal. They’re coming off a big win at the Salinas, Calif. rodeo, pocketing more than $10,000 each and giving them a chance to take a breather from the rodeo road.

After rodeos this weekend, they’ll each go home for a few days; Buhler to ride horses around the ranch and Richard to ride futurity horses.

Richard is preparing seven roping futurity horses for a futurity in Rock Springs, Wyo. in two weeks. Being on horseback, even on his rodeo days off, is good. “It’s a job, but we enjoy it. It gets your mind fresh again.”

Buhler is the 2016 PRCA World Champion Team Roping heeler.

Other high scores and fast times from tonight’s performance and slack from last night include steer wrestler Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., who set a new arena record with a time of 3.4 seconds, saddle bronc rider JC DeSaveur, Roberts, Mont. (77); tie-down roper Jason Smith, Wimborne, Alb. (8.3 seconds); barrel racer Tammy Carpenter, Kalispell, Mont. (17.92 seconds) and bull rider Wylee Hurst, Rigby, Idaho (77 points).

The final night of the 61st Last Chance Stampede takes place on Sat., July 30, beginning at 7:30 pm. The night will honor 4-H youth. A concert by the 80s tribute band Hairball will be held following the rodeo. For more information, visit www.LCCFairgrounds.com.

Fast times/high scores from the second performance and slack of the 61st Last Chance Stampede, Helena, July 29, 2022

Fast times/high scores from the 2nd performance (and slack from July 28) of the Last Chance Stampede, Helena, MT July 29, 2022

Bareback riding:

1. Caleb Bennett, Corvallis, Mont. 88 points on C5 Rodeo’s Sunday Sinner; 2. Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alb. 84.5; 3. George Gillespie, Darby, Mont. 75; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling:

1. Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore. 3.4 seconds; 2. Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alb. 3.8; 3. Jesse Brown, Baker City, Ore. 4.2; 4. Kolby Bignell, Helena, Mont., Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. and TJ Sigman, Dillion, Mont. 4.4 each.

Team Roping:

1. Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah/Jeremy Buhler, Arrowood, Alb. 4.5 seconds; 2. Levi Simpson, Ponoka, Alb./Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas 4.8; 3. (tie) Jason Carlson, Two Dot, Mont./Jacob Goddard, Lake Placid, Fl. And Brady Tryan, Huntley, Mont./Justin Viles, Cody, Wyo. 4.9 each.

Saddle bronc riding:

1. JC DeSaveur, Roberts, Mont. 77 points on C5’s Macho Man; 2. Keenan Reinhardt, White Sulphur Springs, Mont. 73.5; no other qualified rides.

Tie-down roping:

1. Jason Smith, Wimborne, Alb. 8.3 seconds; 2. Stetson Vest, Childress, Texas 9.3; 3. Beau Cooper, Stettler, Alb. 10.1; 4. Shane Smith, Wimborne, Alb. 10.9.

Barrel racing:

1. Tammy Carpenter, Kalispell, Mont. 17.92 seconds; 2. Rene Cloninger, Helena, Mont. 17.93; 3. Abigail Knight, Charlo, Mont. 17.95; 4. Shelby Gill, Helena, Mont. 17.97.

Bull Riding:

1. Wylee Hurst, Rigby, Idaho 77.5 points on C5 Rodeo’s 7 Eleven; 2. (tie) Cole Wagner, Valier, Mont. and Wyle Wells, Ronan, Monta. 76 each; no other qualified rides.

** All results are unofficial. Visit Prorodeo.com for results and www.LastChanceStampede.com for fair and rodeo information.

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