RENO - Miss Amertitle and Kyle Bowers. It was a match made in heaven. Bowers had her two years ago at the National Finals Rodeo and scored an 86.
He did even better Monday night, scoring an 87 on his second go round to climb into fourth place in the bareback division at the 87th annual Reno Rodeo at the Reno Livestock Event Center.
"When I found out that I had drawn her, I was excited," Bowers said. "She is one of the best horses at this rodeo. I'm glad it worked out. She was one of the horses that went out for a run.
"I expect to be here on Saturday, but there are some good riders out there. I've never been to the short round here. I haven't had much luck in Reno."
Will Lowe and Tom McFarland are tied for first at 166. Wes Stevenson is third at 164 followed by Bowers at 163 and Bo Casper and Zach Dishman at 160. Royce Ford is at 159. Lowe, McFarland, Stevenson and Ford travel together.
Casper, who had a first ride of 81, followed that up with a 79.
Casper, aboard Dual Motion, said he had to work harder than normal.
"I had to do a little bit of work at the end," Casper said. "He got long with me and didn't buck much. That puts a lot of pressure on the hands. I should be back, but things change every year."
There are still approximately 24 riders left to compete, including Andy Martinez, who won the Pace Chute-out, Heath Ford, Jess Davis, Jason Jeter, Forest Bramwell and Ryan Gray.
Battle Mountain's Matt Marvel is still the saddle bronc leader with a two-ride total of 161 (83-78). Cody Wright is a solid second at 157 after rides of 78 on Sunday and 79 on Monday. Dustin Flundra had the top score of the night with an 80.
Kalon Downing is third at 153, while superstar Dan Mortensen and Scott Miller are tied for fourth at 148. Cody Martin, after rides of 72 and 73, sits in sixth place at 145. Spring Creek's Joe Heguy bounced back nicely from a 69-point first ride to score a 74. He and Dustin Thompson, who had a 75 last night, are tied for seventh at 143. The top 12 in each event advance to Saturday's finals.
Only two cowboys - Dustin Elliott and Shawn Proctor - managed to stay upright for eight seconds in bullriding. Both scored 80.
Jason McClain leads the way in bulls with an 87, followed by Mike Chaffin Jr., who had an 85. Justin McDaniel is third at 84 followed by Steve Woolsey at 82 and Wesley Silcox at 81. Thomas Bert, Elliott, Proctor and Judd Mortensen are tied for sixth at 80.
It was a nice bounce back for Elliott, who was thrown off quickly during his Xtreme Bull Tour ride last Thursday.
"That bull was the biggest I've been on," Elliott said , referring to Fireball. "They don't use him very often.
"I saw him the other night, but the kid was off after one jump, so I didn't get much of a scouting report."
Zack Oakes, B.J. Schumacher, Sonny Murphy, Myron Duarte, Jake Wade, Zeb Lanham and J.W. Harris, who won the Xtreme Bulls event with a 96-point ride, have yet to ride. There will be plenty of excitement over the next four days with those big names yet to ride.
Megan McLeod, a high school champion from Idaho, had the lowest barrel racing score with a 17.30. Reagan Dillard was timed in 17.50 and Holly Sue Richins was at 17.56. Terry Kaye Kirkland still leads with a 34.14, followed by Lindsay Sears at 34.24, Vickie Solomonsen at 34.54, Shali Lord at 34.57, McLeod at 34.74 and Brenda May is sixth at 34.7
Brad Gleason of Touchet, Wash., turned in the quickest steer wrestling time run on Monday night with a 5.3-second run but it wasn't fast enough to move into the top eight in the second round.
B.J. Campbell of Benton City, Wash., who won the first round with a time of 3.8 seconds, turned in a 5.7-second run to move to third in the two-head average with a time of 9.5 seconds.
It was a tough night in the tie-down roping with Joe Beaver turning in the quickest time of 11.9. Monty Lewis and Marty Becker, two of the top cowboys in the event, failed to post a time.
There was a tie atop the leaderboard in the team roping with John O'Connor and Ryan Powell, along with Shain Sproul and Cory Petska turning in times of 6.2 seconds. The time moved the two teams into a tie for third in the first round. Chad Masters and Cole Bigbee still lead at 5.9 seconds.