Four-time World Champion Allen Bach, left, and his son, Joel, broke the arena record while winning the June 24-26 Crooked River Round-Up in Prineville, Ore., with a two-head time of 9.4 seconds.
Summertime is when families are supposed to take road trips together and build memories. A long overnight drive from Reno, Nev., to Prineville, Ore., may not exactly fit the mold – it being a working trip and all – but Allen Bach and his son, Joel, are not about to forget it anytime soon.
The Bachs tied Luke Brown and Martin Lucero for the fastest time in the 9 a.m. Sunday slack in central Oregon with a time of 4.3 seconds, then came back to tie for fifth in round two to win the Crooked River Roundup and shatter the arena record.
Their two-head time of 9.4 seconds was 1.3 seconds faster than the record Lance Brooks and Cody Cowden set in 2001 and a full second faster than the record brothers Riley and Brady Minor had set two days earlier.
The Minors held on for second place, and the third-place team of seven-time World Champion Jake Barnes and two-time World Champion Walt Woodard equaled the previous record of 10.7 seconds.
The simple wonder of the Bachs’ performance was that it came at the end of a long weekend in which there had been disappointments in Pecos, Texas, and Reno. They took turns driving (Allen taking the first shift) and sleeping for the nine-hour haul up U.S. 97 North. They pulled into town at 5 a.m., napped a little, took care of the horses, grabbed some breakfast … and then just dominated the place.
“The biggest thing is learning how to concentrate, to focus at the right time,” Joel Bach said. “It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking hours before you compete. It only matters from about five minutes before until you’re done. You have to clear your mind and come up with a good, solid game plan. My dad (a four-time world champion), Clay (O’Brien Cooper), Jake (Barnes) and Rich (Skelton) have just perfected that over the years. I’ve been hearing about how different people formulate their mental plans for years, and I’m getting better at it.”
The win assured that both Bachs would remain safely within the top 10 of the PRCA World Standings (Joel 8th and Allen 9th) as they continue their bid to become the first father-son pair to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo since Brandon and Mike Beers in 2007, and just the second in 23 years.
Allen Bach has competed in a record 30 Wrangler NFRs, and Joel is looking for his first qualification.
“To be honest, there is more pressure roping with my dad than if I was partnered with somebody else,” Joel Bach said. “There’s more pressure for him, too, roping with his son. But it is also so much more rewarding doing this together than it would be with a friend.”
Tie-down roper Monty Lewis, the 2004 world champion, did the Bachs one better. He broke arena records for a single run and the two-head average. Lewis’ time of 7.5 seconds in the first round broke Chad Finley’s year-old record of 7.7 (Shank Edwards was also 7.5 in the second round), and Lewis’ total time of 15.5 seconds was 1.6 seconds faster than the record Jon Peek set in 2007.
In winning his sixth PRCA bareback riding title of the season, Steven Peebles had an 85-point ride on Flying Diamond Rodeo’s Caribou Trail that tied the arena record set by Greg Armstrong in 1998.
• The Bachs were not the only family to prosper from a weekend rodeo getaway. Header Shane Bessette, 44, combined with his 19-year-old son, Shawn, to sweep both team roping events in their home state of Montana June 24-26 – the first wins they’ve had together in PRCA competition.
The Bessettes, of Vaughn, won the Bear Paw Round-up in Chinook with a time of 5.1 seconds which was a full second quicker than the second-place team of Delon Parker and Sid Sporer, and then went on to win the Augusta American Legion Rodeo in 5.6.
• And then there were the Cowans of Highmore, S.D.: Clay and Lacy Cowan celebrated a slightly belated one-year wedding anniversary (they were married June 17, 2010) by sweeping their events at the Beaver Valley Horse Club Rodeo in Strasburg, N.D.
Clay won the steer wrestling in 5.2 seconds, the tie-down roping in 9.3 seconds and the all-around title with earnings of $2,109, while Lacy won the barrel racing in 16.25 seconds for another $721. That comes to 12.1 percent of the total purse in a field of 202 competitors. Nice road trip.
“That’s the first time we’ve ever done that,” Lacy Cowan said, “and we’ve gone to a lot of rodeos over the last year."
• Hey, haven’t we seen this before? Chris Harris won the bareback riding at the June 22-25 West of the Pecos Rodeo in Pecos, Texas, with an 87-point ride on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Night. A year ago he won the same rodeo, on the same horse, with an 88-point ride. “I love this rodeo,” Harris told the Odessa American. “I’m confident when I come here that I’m going to get a good horse.” Maybe even the same horse.
• The Brazile Watch: A total of $3,329 in steer roping proved enough to earn Trevor Brazile the all-around title at the West of the Pecos Rodeo in Pecos, Texas, and he earned an additional $1,167 in team roping at Rodeo de Santa Fe (N.M.). He ended the weekend with season earnings of $132,006, more than $7,000 ahead of his 2010 pace when he broke the single-season money record. Brazile leads the all-around and steer roping world standings and is ninth in tie-down roping and fourth among team roping headers.
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