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Shadbolt also rides high at Frontier Days

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Besides winning the bareback riding at the Sheridan County Fair and Rodeo in Gordon last weekend, Garrett Shadbolt of Merriman did extra well at the “Daddy of Them All,” Cheyenne Frontier Days.

He earned more than $9,400 there while reaching the finals on Sunday. About mid-week he won the sixth performance by scoring 87 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Many Enemies, good for $2,448. Last Friday, he also won the first semifinals go-round in Cheyenne with an 86-point ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Pow Wow Nation to claim $3,164. Both wins were only half point more than the runner-up finisher scored, but, in this case, an inch was as good as a mile.

If Shadbolt had been in the second semifinals competition, he would have had to miss his hometown rodeo in Gordon, where he was the bareback winner with his 85.5-point ride Saturday night. But after that victory, he returned to Cheyenne and tied for third place in the finals Sunday afternoon. The 86.5 points that the judges awarded him there was worth $3,855.

The previous week, the 26-year-old cowboy had another 86.5-point ride at Fiesta Days in Spanish Fork, Utah, where all the leading bareback riders also competed and Shadbolt settled for a fifth place tie that paid $1,727.

At the beginning of the final week in July, he was in 13th place in the world standings with $75,575 to his credit, but the big payoff at Frontier Days and the win at Gordon will give his $$$ total and another National Finals qualification a healthy boost.

The July 25 standings were led by Jesse Pope of Waverly, Kan., with $121,659, followed by Cole Reiner of Buffalo, Wyo., at $117,420, Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, at $106,761 and Rocker Steiner of Weatherford, Texas, at $106,131.

O’Connell won the finals at Frontier Days to give him $8,481, while Steiner, who is just 18, padded his total by winning the bareback riding at the Calgary Stampede in mid-July. Steiner’s victory was worth $100,000, but only half of it counts toward the trip to Las Vegas in December, which he’s already nailed down.

All the other bareback riders in the top 10 as of July 25 had earned at least $90,000 this year, but Shadbolt had a substantial lead over most of the other top 15 challengers prior to his big paydays last week and on Sunday in Cheyenne.

While none of the upcoming rodeos have $600,000 payoffs like Frontier Days had, there are some substantial ones coming up. They include $36,800 at Glasgow and $57,000 at Great Falls in Montana, $170,000 at Dodge City, Kan., $68,000 at Phillipsburg, Kan., and $80,000 at Castle Rock, Colo.

The 2022 season runs through September.

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