If you’ve ever been to the quaint Eastern Oregon town of Pendleton during the second weekend after Labor Day, you know there’s just something in the air. Something as wild as the Old West, yet so new and exciting that it can only be described in one phase- “Let ‘er Buck.”
This year, record-breaking crowds of over 16,000 eager fans flooded the legendary arena to watch their favorite cowboys and cowgirls battle it out on the grass. With a little over a week left in the PRCA season, the stakes were higher than ever and for many, this rodeo was the last chance at a major win.
Where tradition and fierce competition collide is where history is written and champions are crowned in Pendleton. In Bareback Riding, it was the Utah cowboy and 6-time world champion, Kaycee Feild who took home his first Pendleton Round-Up title. Feild rode his first horse to be an 85.5 and allowed him to ride to the top on Championship Saturday. The Tie-Down Race was also packed full of past, and future World Champions, including the King of The Cowboys, Trevor Brazile who made the special trip to rope on the grass. When the dust settled, it was rookie, Trevor Hale who took home the title.
History was made and the stars aligned just right for the 2022 Pendleton Round-Up champion, Jacey Fortier. She snuck into the top 12 with a 3.3 in the first round and roped sharp to take home the big win. Rodeo fans were in for a treat during the Saddle Bronc riding when Canada’s Kobly Wanchuck hopped on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s “The Black Tie” to be 90 points and take home the championship.
In Steer Wrestling, Riley Wakefield backed into the box in the number one position and came out on top, with no one being faster than his time of 17.3 seconds on three head. The team roping event was also a nail bitter, as many of the teams competing in the final round are on the bubble and vying for a spot in the top 15. Joshua and Jonathan Torres roped smart to take home the title. This major win pushed Johnathan Torres into the 15th place in the world standings, making the bubble race even tighter.
After a tough round of Bull Riding, the Iowa cowboy, Bubba Greig came out on top. The race on the green mile in the Barrel Racing was also a thrilling fight. When the dust settled, Kacey Garner ran two of the fastest times to be 57.11 seconds on two runs, which in Pendleton is a pretty tough pace to beat. After a week of writing history, there is only one thing left to say until next year, Let er Buck!