BLACKFOOT — The fourth district rodeo made its annual trip to the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds on Friday night as the local cowboys and cowgirls kicked off the first of four rodeo's which will be held over the next two weekends.
On a perfect night weather wise, the local athletes thrilled the crowd all evening long as several fast times and high scores were recorded as the race for the state rodeo continued in earnest.
Barrel racing started the evening with the mandatory rake occurring after every fifth barrel racer. Timmi Hutchings topped the 19 entrant field with a time of 17.272 while Hailey Driscoll stopped the clock in second place with a time of 18.226. Aberdeen sophomore Lexie Lehman was third in a time of 18.344.
After the turn and burn girls it was the rough stock portion of the evening as the bareback and the saddle bronc riders entered the arena. All four entrants lasted the mandatory eight seconds with Firth's Rylie Clemens topping Blackfoot's Wyatt Oleson with a score of 58 as opposed to 55 for the bareback win.
In the saddle bronc it was even closer as Shelley's Chad Funk and his 47 topped Firth's Woodrow Bingham and his 46.
The pole benders were next into the arena, along with the mandatory rake of course, and by the end of the event it was Lexie Lehman who was the quickest as she stopped the clock with a time of 21.084. Kassidy Duffin was second with a time of 21.641 while Hailey Driscoll was third in a time of 21.953.
As the sun was setting in the western sky, the tie down ropers took to the arena and the top tie down roper in the standings proved why he has sat atop the heap all season as Shelley senior McCray Foster blistered the field with a time of 10.44. Rylie Clemens was a close second in a time of 14.01 while Jacob Partner, who sat second in the overall standings prior to the event, was third in a time of 14.53.
In the breakaway roping the cowgirls saved the best for last as Cassidy Quinn topped the field on the last run of the evening with a time of 4.11. Second place went to Kristen Olsen with a 4.37 while Kassidy Duffin was third in a time of 6.17.
The steer wrestlers found the going rough on Friday evening as there were several magnificent crashes but no qualified catches as the steers proved to be a tough lot on four area cowboys.
Snake River's Timmi "full throttle" Hutchings was the top goat tying cowgirl on Friday evening as she was one of two cowgirls to break ten seconds with a time of 9.12. Lexie Lehman capped a fine overall evening with a second place finish of 9.82. Rounding out the top three was Blackfoot senior Kylie Goodwin and her 10.11 second ride.
Bull riding followed chute dogging where the junior high kids wrestled steers to the ground out of the bucking chutes.
Firth swept the top two spots in the bull riding with Brady Oleson tallying a 70 point ride and Layton Wasia coming in second with a ride of 69. Koton Hansen put a cap on the bull riding event, narrowly holding on for the eight second whirlwind, with a score of 63.
The rodeo will continue this morning with an 11 a.m. start time. The regular season will finish up next weekend with a performance at 7 p.m. on Friday and the season finale on Saturday which will also be "tough enough to wear pink".
(due to the length of the rodeo, the team roping results were not available before deadline.)