It was a time of celebrating, reminiscing and great Western action and entertainment when cowboys and cowgirls from throughout the Midwest came to Topeka recently.
“The 50th year end finals of the United Rodeo Association drew the stiffest competition ever from nine states and was deemed a huge success from every angle,” verified Muff McGee, association secretary from Yates Center.
Big winner of the year was Derrick Younger of Oskaloosa, Iowa, who collected the all-around cowboy title with $14,382 won in calf roping and team roping at rodeos throughout the year.
Placing second in the finals average with a time of 30.9 seconds on three calves, Younger was runner in the yearend calf roping standings.
Teamed with Troy Kitchner, Liberty, Mo., Younger was third in team roping as the heeler at the finals with a 17-flat on three steers stretched, worth $637. Yearend, Younger came in third in team roping heeling tabulations for collecting $6,507.
Runner-up for yearend all-around title was Tyler Johnson, Mound City, who collected $11,726, competing in team roping and calf roping events.
Teamed as the header with heeler Mitch Murray of Alma, Johnson was third at the finals team roping with a time of 17.5 seconds on three steers worth $425.
Johnson was the yearend team roping heading winner with winnings of $8,818. He also placed in two rounds of finals calf roping, did not rank in the average winnings, but was 13th yearend calf roping.
Rookie Cowboy honors went to Colton McKellips, LaCygne, who won $5,730 riding bulls throughout the year, high enough for third in the yearend bull riding rankings.
McKellips was also the finals bull riding champion marking a total of 162 points on the two bulls he covered, worth an $850 finals average check.
Brye Crites, Halfway, Mo., was runner-up for Rookie Cowboy recognition collecting $4,024, as a heeler in team roping, ending up 13th in that event for the yearend.
Cowboy Rauch, Herrick, Ill., ranked third in Rookie Cowboy standings with $2,608 won during the year in breakaway and calf roping. He was yearend 16th in calf roping.
Rookie Cowgirl honors went to Mackenzie Evans, Earlham, Ia., who won $7,108 in barrel racing throughout the year to place second in the yearend awards recognitions.
From Alma, Caxton Martin was runner-up for Rookie Cowgirl title collecting $4,183 in barrel racing throughout the season to end the standings in sixth place, after placing fourth in the finals third go-round with a 14.61 seconds run worth $137.
Billy Griffin, Oak, Mo., was the yearend champion bareback rider winning $8,708. He was also the finals bareback riding champion after winning two rounds and marking 242 points on three barebacks worth a $686 average check.
Second through fourth yearend bareback bronc riding winners were Justin Williams, Lawrence, $8,371; Russell Redden, Maryville, Mo., $2,779; and Chance Schuldt, Van Wert, Iowa, $2,699.
Yearend bull riding champion was Matt Boos, Wathena, who won $8,443 total, after placing third in the finals average worth $425, for marking 81 points on one bull.
Jimy Marten, Donahue, Ia., was second for the year in bull riding with $5,743, followed closely by McKellips’ $5,730, and Ty Francis, Milan, Mo., ended the bull riding yearend fourth with $3,445.
Matt Birkenholtz and Michael Doolittle split fourth in the finals bull riding average, both marking 77 points on their one bull ridden, worth a $106 average check to each of them.
Cooper Martin, Alma, was yearend champion calf roper with $7,876, after placing fourth in the finals average with 34 seconds on three calves tied for a $212 check.
Again, Younger was second in calf roping for the year as well as in the finals average with Wenten Reiter, Springfield, Mo., $5,519, and Tyler Macoubrie, Louisburg, $4,884, ranking yearend third and fourth respectively.
Dustin Jilek won the calf roping finals average worth $850 for tying three calves in 29.9 seconds. Ryan Spurgin was third in the average with 32.1 on three, for a $425 paycheck.
Danni Clover, Clifton Hill, Mo., was yearend award winner in breakaway roping with $6,159, followed respectively by Kim Spurgin, Eminence, Mo.., $5,864; KeAnn Kebler, Rhodes, Ia., $5,553; and Kaitlyn Kraus, Pacific, Mo., $4,701.
At the finals, Kebler was the breakaway average winner with 10.4 seconds worth $850, followed by Kirbie Crouse, 11.6, $637; Jennifer Sells, 19.7, $425; and Clover, 26.4, $212.
Dan Davis, Bloomfield, Ia., was yearend champion in forty and over calf roping with $6,941, followed by Gene Crouse, Gallatin, Mo., $5,992; Scotty Shelton, Mt. Vernon, Mo., $5,926; and Monty Dyer, Ottawa, $5,150.
Average winner in the forty and over calf roping at the finals was Gregg Ash, 30.5 seconds on three head, $850; Crouse, 33.6, $637; Dustin Jilek, 34.4, $425; and Davis, 35.7, $212.
Bailee Wright, Billings, Mo., was barrel racing yearend champion with $7,398, followed by Evans, $7,108; Jordon Talbot, Centerville, Ia., $5,222; and Timber Allenbrand, Paola, $4,829.
Average barrel racing placings at the finals were Wright, 43.33 seconds, $850; Talbot, 43.37, $637; Jeanne Anderson, 43.67, $425; and Paige Wiseman, 43.82, $212.
Heading yearend placings following Johnson were Seth Kueffer, California, Mo., $8,007; Scott Spurgin, Eminence, Mo., $5,511; and Will Morris, Holden, Mo., $5,498.
Yearend heeling placings included Kueffer, $8,154; Murray, $8,154; Younger, $6,507; and Ryan Spurgin, Eminence, Mo., $5,710.
Placings at the finals in team roping were Morris and J.D. Holland, 16.8 seconds; Kitchner and Younger, 17; Johnson and Murray, 17.5; and Scott and Ryan Spurgin, 22.3.
Jeff Miller, Blue Mound, collected yearend steer wrestling honors with $4,949, followed by Travis Hancock, Rhodes, Ia., $4,291; Wes Huff, Moravia, Ia., $4,148; and Tanner Brunner, Ramona, $4,056.
Placings in steer wrestling at the finals were Miller, 12.6; Chancey Larson, 13.1; Brunner, 14.7; and Stephen Allgood, 20.6.