The Cody Nite Rodeo has wrapped and the champions have been crowned. The finals rodeo winners took home some of the largest purses available in the country this year on Saturday night in front of the largest crowd the Nite Rodeo has seen all season.
“I think we learned the meaning of the word flexibility, of adaptability,” said Stampede Board President Mike Darby, “about making do with what you have. I think we learned more about putting rodeo on this year than we had in years.”
A crowd of 1,101 cheered on the top riders and ropers of the season in night two of the Finals on Saturday night, which saw no small shakeup of the standings.
Rhody Niles posted one of the top scores of the season with an 86 in bareback riding. Out of the chute, his horse reared up high in the air and it almost looked it would tip back and crush the 16-year-old Texan, but it came back down and shot the young rider to the top of the standings.
“It means a lot to be able to come up here,” Niles said of the Nite Rodeo. “I got to have a lot of fun and meet a lot of great people who take you in like family.”
Justin Stegall, a staple of the Nite Rodeo season this year, finished night two with a 10.4-second finish in tie-down roping, a time good enough to earn him the victory in the two-day average.
Strong showings in the junior steer riding from Nolan Monfeldt and Kasen Asay on night two weren’t enough to take the top spot away from Wyatt Blank, who walked home with a sizeable check.
In a cheetah-print shirt, Cody native Anna Allshouse raced her way ‘round the barrels for a 17-second finish in the open barrels, nabbing the victory for the 18-year-old who plans to turn pro next year.
“He knows what you’re supposed to do,” the 18-year-old said of her horse. “He did his job just like he does every time.”
Night two of bull riding saw every rider get thrown off, giving Kyle Cheney the victory on his night one score.
“I’m just happy. It was a great year,” said stock contractor Maury Tate. “It’s bittersweet. You wait for the end all year and then it’s over. A lot of these kids you’ll never see again.”
Bareback riding: Rhody Niles
Tie-down roping: Justin Stegall
Breakaway roping: Shawnee Sherwood
Saddle bronc riding: Eli Hershberger
Jr. steer riding: Wyatt Blank
Jr. bull riding: Kyle Cheney
Team roping - Header: Lyndon Acord
Team roping - Heeler: Justin Biles
Barrel racing: Anna Allshouse
Jr. barrel racing: Hanna Wood
Bull riding: Kyle Cheney