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Rodeo photos: Whipping winds don't vanquish vaqueros
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La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

Rodeo photos: Whipping winds don't vanquish vaqueros

  • Heath DeMoss of Heflin, La., with some serious hang time on Four Aces. He didn't make it the full eight seconds, however, earning him no score.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comHeath DeMoss of Heflin, La., with some serious hang time on Four Aces. He didn't make it the full eight seconds, however, earning him no score.
  • Zachariah Phillips flew high on Killer Bee in the bareback event. Despite a wonderful demonstration of skill, he didn't make the eight seconds, earning no score.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comZachariah Phillips flew high on Killer Bee in the bareback event. Despite a wonderful demonstration of skill, he didn't make the eight seconds, earning no score.
  • Jessy Davis of Power, Mont., earns the high score during Sunday's performance, 85 points on a horse named Black Cat.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comJessy Davis of Power, Mont., earns the high score during Sunday's performance, 85 points on a horse named Black Cat.
  • Jessy Davis, the second of ten bareback competitors in Sunday's performance, already appears to know that he earned the high score for the day, 85 points on Black Cat.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comJessy Davis, the second of ten bareback competitors in Sunday's performance, already appears to know that he earned the high score for the day, 85 points on Black Cat.
  • In an exciting start to the sixth day of the Tucson Rodeo, Logan Hodson scored 81 points on Hollywood Hills in the bareback competition.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comIn an exciting start to the sixth day of the Tucson Rodeo, Logan Hodson scored 81 points on Hollywood Hills in the bareback competition.
  • Sean Santucci of Prineville, Ore., had a great run of 4.6 seconds in the steer wrestling event. Unfortunately, a ten second penalty took him out of the running for the number one position.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comSean Santucci of Prineville, Ore., had a great run of 4.6 seconds in the steer wrestling event. Unfortunately, a ten second penalty took him out of the running for the number one position.
  • Casey McMillen of Redmond, Ore., took 4.1 seconds in the steer wrestling, earning him the top seat in this event.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comCasey McMillen of Redmond, Ore., took 4.1 seconds in the steer wrestling, earning him the top seat in this event.
  • Casey McMillen taking his victory lap. His 4.1 second run earned him the top spot in the steer wrestling category.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comCasey McMillen taking his victory lap. His 4.1 second run earned him the top spot in the steer wrestling category.
  • Richmond Champion hangs on for deal life on a horse named What Happens, scoring 73 points in the bareback event.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comRichmond Champion hangs on for deal life on a horse named What Happens, scoring 73 points in the bareback event.
  • Tyler Scales defies gravity riding Babyface Nelson, but only manages a 78 points in the bareback event.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comTyler Scales defies gravity riding Babyface Nelson, but only manages a 78 points in the bareback event.
  • The bullfighters are arguably the fastest-moving people in the arena, willing to sacrifice their bodies for the competitors.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comThe bullfighters are arguably the fastest-moving people in the arena, willing to sacrifice their bodies for the competitors.
  • Winn Ratliff earns 79 points on Star Dust in the bareback event.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comWinn Ratliff earns 79 points on Star Dust in the bareback event.
  • Tough break for Ty Manke, taking a 'no score' riding a horse named Redigo.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comTough break for Ty Manke, taking a 'no score' riding a horse named Redigo.
  • Jessy Davids takes his victory lap in the bareback category.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comJessy Davids takes his victory lap in the bareback category.
  • The mark-out rule was in effect for JR Vezain of Cowley, Wyo. His ride on Molly B. earned a no score.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comThe mark-out rule was in effect for JR Vezain of Cowley, Wyo. His ride on Molly B. earned a no score.
  • Rank Rickard of Nuevo, Calif., preparing for the bull-riding event.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comRank Rickard of Nuevo, Calif., preparing for the bull-riding event.
  • Tyler Smith of Fruita, Colo., in the middle of the Sunday's best ride in the bull-fighting competition.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comTyler Smith of Fruita, Colo., in the middle of the Sunday's best ride in the bull-fighting competition.
  • Tyler Smith of Fruita, Colo., takes Sunday's highest score on a bull named Drop Time.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comTyler Smith of Fruita, Colo., takes Sunday's highest score on a bull named Drop Time.
  • Cody Wright of Milford, Utah takes 78 points on Dipsey Doodle in the saddle-bronc.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comCody Wright of Milford, Utah takes 78 points on Dipsey Doodle in the saddle-bronc.
  • Before the final round, the audience stands to salute the flag during the national anthem.
    Joseph Oland/TucsonSentinel.comBefore the final round, the audience stands to salute the flag during the national anthem.

In true rodeo fashion, neither a drop in temperature nor cutting, gale-force winds kept spectators away from Sunday's sixth and final performance at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. The roster was full for the championship round in what is predictably the busiest day at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. The stands were also full, with over 8,000 in attendance.

Sunday brought the stiffest competition of the week. The spectators enthusiastically supported all the cowboys, especially in the roughstock events. Jesse Davis of Power, Mont., stomped the competition with an 85-point-ride in the bareback event on a horse named Black Cat. With several scores in the high 70's and low 80's, Jeremy Ray Melancon of Huntsville, Texas, barely squeaked by with an 83-point-ride on Bitter Robin for the saddle-bronc.

The first timed event, steer wrestling, delivered close competition between all 12 riders. In the end, Casey McMillen of Redmond, Oregon took the victory lap with a time of 4.1 seconds.

Blair Burk, a cowboy from Durant, Okla., earned the best time in Sunday's tie-down roping event. This is a progressive event, however, and Randall Carlisle of Castor, Louisiana had the best aggregate time. Carlisle's 12.3 second ride placed him in the number one slot, with an aggregate of 44.3 seconds over three rides, making him this years' tie-down champion.

Extreme headwinds made the team roping event difficult, as the cowboys had to throw a half-pound rope into 25 mph headwinds. The result was a limited number of qualified rides. Jake Barnes & Walt Woodard had Sunday's second-best time, 6.8 seconds, but this was enough to place them in the number one spot in the aggregate.

The most dangerous livestock are always saved for last, and Sunday's bull-riding event delivered few qualified rides. The one standout was a young cowboy named Tyler Smith. This Colorado bull-rider is also recognized as an accomplished roper, but he had the crowd on their feet while riding a beast named Drop Time, earning the day's high score, a whopping 88 points, and a victory lap as the champion bull-rider of the rodeo. The arena record, set in 2006, stands at 93 points.

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