Guenther finds his Texas hot spot

SAN ANGELO, Texas – While residents in this west Texas town were bundled up in layers and parkas, Scott Guenthner was enjoying his own little heat wave at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

From the tiny hamlet of Provost in eastern Alberta, temperatures in the 30s were likely quite comfortable to Guenthner. If they weren’t, he provided a bit of his own sizzle to his Saturday in San Angelo, bulldogging two steers in a cumulative time of 8.2 seconds to take the overall steer wrestling lead – he was 3.8 seconds on Saturday afternoon, then followed with a 4.4-second run that evening.

“I had a good day,” said Guenthner, a 27-year-old cowboy who has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo each of the past two seasons. “I haven’t really had much luck this winter, so I needed to change my luck, and it worked today.”

He found his luck in drawing two solid steers and having a couple of strong horses working in his favor. Guenthner rode Rooster, owned by fellow bulldogger Bridger Chambers, and had assistance from his traveling partner, Tanner Milan, who hazed for him while riding Major. The two equine partners helped put Guenthner in position during both runs in front of packed stands at Foster Communications Coliseum.

“I enjoy running two in the same day during the performances,” he said. “It makes it fun, and I like it better than slack, where I really have to motivate myself to get pumped up.”

In rodeo, slack refers to the overflow of contestants who are in the competition but did not run in any of the paid performances. For bulldoggers, tie-down ropers and team ropers, that took place this past Monday and Tuesday. They all compete against one another, and the top 12 in the two-run aggregate through next Thursday’s 10th performance will return Friday to compete in the championship round.

“That is a really loud, intense crowd,” said Guenthner, who is fifth in the world standings. “They really get behind you. You can hear them when you ride out into the arena, and it got really loud in the middle of the pen when I threw those steers over. That’s a big thing to us cowboys, because it really gets us motivated.”

Of course, he wants to stay that way through the campaign. In rodeo, the 2019 regular season began Oct. 1, 2018, and won’t end until Sept. 30. The goal for all contestants is to be among the top 15 on the money list by that date to secure their spots at the NFR, which features the largest purse in the sport paid out over 10 December nights in Las Vegas.

Over the last two seasons, Guenthner has earned nearly $375,000 wrestling bovines, $195,562 coming at the NFR.

“Horsepower is huge there, especially with the fast start,” he said. “My first year there, I rode my own horse for a couple of rounds, then I switched horses and rode Tom Lewis’. This past NFR, I got on Curtis Cassidy’s horse the whole NFR, and it paid off.

“Coming off a good NFR definitely helps your year. I had a good start (to 2019) by winning Waco (Texas), but the momentum from the NFR is a big deal. You’ve had a good finals, and you want to carry that over. You need to build up some money this time of year before you get the spring when you’re going just once a week or once every couple of weeks.”

If his hot streak in San Angelo stays this way, he could do just that.

San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Feb. 1-3, Feb. 8-10, Feb. 13-15
Bareback riding leaders: 
1. Bill Tutor, 88 points on Lancaster and Jones’ Highway Man; 2. Caleb Bennett, 85.5; 3. Austin Foss, 85; 4. (tie) Taylor Broussard and Jake Vold, 84; 6. (tie) Hunter Brasfield and David Peebles, 83; 8. Zach Hibler, 82; 9. Jesse Pope, 81; 10. (tie) Tony Barrington and Cody Cabeen, 79; 12. Grant Denny, 78.5.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Tucker Allen, 3.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Don Payne and Josh Clark, 3.7; 4. (tie) Scott Guenthner and Sam Shelton, 3.8; 6. Denell Henderson, 3.9; 7. Jacob Talley, 4.0; 8. Dru Melvin, 4.2. Second round: 1. Richard Coats, 3.2 seconds; 2. Dirk Tavenner, 3.8; 3. Tom Lewis, 3.9; 4. Tanner Brunner, 4.0; 5. Josh Garner, 4.1; 6. (tie) Jacob Edler, Stephen Culling, Dru Melvin and Cyler Dowling, 4.2. Average: 1. Scott Guenthner, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Tucker Allen, 8.2; 3. Denell Henderson, 8.3; 4. Dru Melvin, 8.4; 5. Josh Clark, 8.7; 6. (tie) Jacob Edler and Blake Knowles, 9.2; 8. Tyler Pearson, 9.5; 9. Payden McIntyre, 9.6; 10. (tie) Stephen Culling and Cody Devers, 9.7; 12. Mike McGinn, 9.8.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.6 seconds; 2. Nelson Wyatt/Rich Skelton, 3.7; 3. Levi Simpson/Cole Davison, 3.8; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 3.9; 5. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, Manny Equsquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy and Tyler Waters/Brady Norman, 4.0; 8. Anthony Lucia/Wesley Moss, 4.1. Second round leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Paul Eaves and Caleb Smidt/Will Woodfin, 3.6; 4. Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 3.7; 5. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, Lathen Bryant/Morgan McVay and Shane Phillip/John Phillip, 3.8; 8. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 3.9. Average leaders: 1. Clay Smith/Jake Long, 7.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 8.1; 3. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 9.5; 4. Marcus Theriot/Coleby Payne, 9.8; 5. Levi Simpson/Cole Davison, 10.0; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Dustin Searcy, 10.1; 7. Bart Brunson/Trace Porter, 11.5; 8. Lane Santos Karney/Dillon Wingereid, 11.9; 9. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Ryan Reed/Monty Joe Petska, 13.4; 11. Cory Clark/Lane Mitchell, 13.7; 12 Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 14.1.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Rusty Wright, 87.5 points on Northcott & Macza’s Banshee; 2. (tie) Cody DeMoss and Colt Gordon, 87; 4. Ryder Wright, 84; 5. (tie) Preston Burr, Wade Sundell and Chase Brooks, 83; 8. Kolby Wanchuk, 82.5; 9. (tie) Aaron Lide and Wyatt Casper, 82; 11. Brody Cress, 81.5; 12. (tie) Tate Owens, Hawkins Boyce, Jake Wright and CoBurn Bradshaw, 81.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Jake Pratt, 7.0 seconds; 2. Michael Otero, 7.1; 3. Kyle Lucas, 7.4; 4. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Blair Smith, 7.5; 6. Tuf Cooper, 7.6; 7. (tie) Blane Cox, John Douch and Bryson Sechrist, 7.7. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Justin Smith and Bradley Bynum, 7.2 seconds; 3. Tyler Milligan, 7.3; 4. (tie) Cimarron Boardman and Jesse Clark, 7.6; 6. Brushton Minton, 7.87; 7. Cody Huber, 7.9; 8. (tie) Rhen Richard, Colt Papy and Michael Otero, 8.1. Average leaders: 1. Michael Otero, 15.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Jesse Clark, 15.5; 3. Jake Pratt, 15.9; 4. Tuf Cooper, 16.1; 5. Haven Meged, 16.5; 6. Hunter Herrin, 16.6; 7. Blake Ash, 16.7; 8. Bradley Bynum, 17.1; 9. Tyler Milligan, 17.5; 10. Trenton Smith, 17.8; 11. Cody Huber, 18.0; 12. Ryle Smith, 18.8.

Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Nicole Love, 14.08 seconds; 2. (tie) Teri Bangart and Sherry Cervi, 14.29 seconds; 4. Stevi Hillman, 14.32; 5. (tie) Halyn Lide and Kappy Allen, 14.34; 7. Mindy Goemmer, 14.35; 8. Lois Ferguson, 14.40; 9. (tie) Christy Larsen and Cheyenne Wimberley, 14.44. Average leaders: 1. Nicole Love, 30.20 seconds on two runs; 2. Teri Bangart, 30.59; 3. (tie) Stevi Hillman and Cheyenne Wimberley, 30.62; 5. (tie) Halyn Lyde and Kappy Allen, 30.79; 7. Kynzie McNeill, 30.80; 8. (tie) Carman Pozzobon and Lisa Thornton, 30.81; 10. Ericka Nelson, 30.85; 11. Brooke Rix, 30.86; 12. Mindy Goemmer, 30.88.

Bull riding leaders: 1. (tie) Aaron Williams, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tequila Worm, and Stetson Wright, on United Pro Rodeo’s Happy Days, 89 points; 3. Brady Portenier, 87; 4. Rorey Maier, 85; 5. (tie) Cole Meloncon and Riker Carter, 84; 7. Aaron Pass, 83.5; 8. (tie) Dave Mason and Wyatt Edwards, 83; 10. Scottie Knapp, 82.5; 11. (tie) Parker Breding, Koby Radley and Lane Nobles, 82.

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