Tie-Down Roping and More
While Matt Sherwood and Allen Bach were nearly the same time on each of their runs in Clovis, tie-down roper Cade Swor was exactly the same time on his two runs to win the average title.
Posting two 8.5-second runs, Swor earned $3,398 and might have turned a corner to qualify for his first Wrangler NFR since 2006.
"It’s awesome, because the winter had been pretty slow," he said. "I placed at Oakdale—won second in a round—but hadn’t won anything else. My girlfriend was from right there in Fresno and I was second at that rodeo once [and won the all-around title there in 2008], but I’ve been wanting to win it, so it was cool."
In the first round, Swor drew a nice calf but missed the barrier and had to play catch up, while the second was faster from the beginning—forcing Swor to rely on his horse and his groundwork.
"This horse belongs to Randy Lloyd," Swor said. "He sent him with me and I’ve had him for a month now and I’ve probably won close to $10,000 on him. His name is Doc. He’s just real solid, scores real good, stays out of my way and lets me win. He’s a winner, that’s what he is."
With a new horse in the trailer and his best spring run in three years, Swor is looking forward to a return to Vegas.
Perhaps the biggest game changer for any cowboy in Clovis was Chance Smart’s 90-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Magic Man. After one of the most dominating seasons in bull riding history in 2008, Smart fell short of a world title at the Wrangler NFR. Shortly after that in Rapid City, he was jerked down on a bull—resulting in months of recovery and multiple surgeries to repair his eyesight.
Additionally, he suffered broken facial bones and decided to have a nagging hip injury surgically repaired. All that resulted in a nearly year-and-a-half drought for the outgoing and personable Mississippian.
"The main thing I’ve taken from everything I’ve been through is that I have to let go a little bit and let God’s will be done," he said.
In addition to the win in Clovis, he rode bulls in Lufkin and Corpus Christi, Texas, to move from 44th to 27th in one weekend.
"It was the first time I’d ridden all three of my bulls in a weekend since 2008. It felt great," he said.
In the barrel racing, Molly Powell turned in an average time of 35.22-seconds on two runs of the cloverleaf pattern for $4,016 and the win.
Steer wrestler Cole Edge threw two steers in 9.5-seconds to win $2,523 while saddle bronc rider Cody Taton was 87 points on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic Fringe to win $4,731. D.V. Fennell also rode his bareback horse, Big 85, also of the Burch string, for 87 points for $5,016, and that event title.