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CLAREMORE, Okla. â€“ Justin Pollmiller plodded through the mud not knowing much about Pete Carr Pro Rodeoâ€™s Cool Change, the horse he was to compete on Saturday night.
The more he learned about the athletic equine, the faster his pace got. By the second performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo began, he was quite tickled to play his game in the rain. The smile got larger after the two matched moves for 80 points to take the bareback riding lead.
â€śI donâ€™t really look up anything about the horses before I get on them, but once I got here and some guys told me about her, I felt like I had a good horse,â€ť said Pollmiller of Weatherford, Okla. â€śOn her back, she felt outstanding.
â€śI thought that horse was really good, and I felt like I was really able to get back and spur on her.â€ť
One performance remains in the 69th edition of Claremoreâ€™s rodeo, so the cowboy will have to await the results of Sundayâ€™s show to see how he will place. Nonetheless, doing well in this damp northeast Oklahoma is crucial for Pollmiller, who competes in the Prairie Circuit, a series of rodeos and contestants primarily in the Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska region.
â€śI love it here,â€ť he said. â€śThere are great horses, and it seems like itâ€™s really well run. Itâ€™s awesome to have one of those in your circuit that you can go to every year.â€ť
Pollmiller is from Littleton, Colo., but moved to the Sooner State to compete in college rodeo at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Heâ€™s done pretty well at it, actually, clinching the Central Plains Region title again this past season and earning another qualification to the College National Finals Rodeo.
After the college finals is complete, he will return to Weatherford as a graduate assistant for the rodeo program.
â€śI really like it down here, mostly because of the weather,â€ť Pollmiller said, mindfully ignoring the constant rain that fell throughout Saturdayâ€™s rodeo. â€śItâ€™s still snowing and cold back home, but down here, weâ€™ve actually bucked horses in November and December.
â€śThere are a lot more rodeos, too, so this is the place to be.â€ť
He proved it in spite of the rain and mud in Claremore.
Will Rogers Stampede
Leaders through second performance
Bareback riding: 1. Justin Pollmiller, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeoâ€™s Cool Change; 2. Yance Day, 79l 3. Winn Ratliff, 78; 4. (tie) Kolt Kitaif and Wyatt Clark, 73; 6. (tie) Tim Oâ€™Connell and Bill Tutor, 72.
Steer wrestling: 1. Laine Herl, 4.1 seconds; 2. Zac Parrington, 4.3; 3. (tie) Josh Clark, Denver Berry and Tooter Silve, 4.4; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7; 7. Josh Peek, 4.8; 8. (tie) Shane Frey and Jacob Talley, 5.0.
Tie-down roping: 1. Dillon Holder, 8.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Trent Creager and Clay Brown, 8.8; 4. Jerome Schneeberfger, 9.3; 5. Jeremy Len Kempker, 9.8; 6. Perry Dietz 9.9.
Saddle bronc riding 1. Nat Stratton, 85 points on Pete Carrâ€™s Classic Pro Rodeoâ€™s The Darkness; 2. Shade Etbauer, 79; 3. (tie) Ryan Bestol and Joe Lufkin, 78; 5. (tie) Preston Kafka and Will Smith, 76.
Team roping: 1. (tie) Troy Boone/Dawson McMaster and Brett Christensen/Chase Boekhaus, 5.7 seconds each; 3. Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison, 5.8; 4. Brock Demaree/Kraig Von Ahn, 6.3; 5. Ralph Williams/Darin Suit, 8.3; 6. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Jett Hillman, 9.8; 7. Jeff Schneider/Gabe Gwaltney, 10.1; 8. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 10.5.
Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryce Davis, 11.1 seconds, $984; 2. J.P. Wickett, 11.6, $815; 3. (tie) Jason Evans and Rocky Patterson, 11.8, $560 each; 5. C.A. Lauer, 13.3, $306; 6. Cody Lee, 13.5, $170. Second round: 1. Rocky Patterson, 10.6 seconds, $984; 2. Chet Herren, 12.0, $815; 3. Brad Mohon, 13.0, $645; 4. Jay Sellers, 13.1, $475; 5. (tie) Trevor Brazile and Tyrel Taton, 13.4, $238 each. Third round leaders: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds; 2. (tie) Jess Tierney and Tom Smith, 10.5 each; 4. Guy Allen, 10.9; 5. Jason Evans, 12.0; 6. Rod Hartness, 12.5. Average leaders: 1. Rocky Patterson, 35.2 seconds on three head; 2. Bryce Davis, 41.9; 3. Jay Sellers, 43.0; 4. Jason Evans, 43.3; 5. Jess Tierney, 26.8 on two head; 6. Cody Lee, 27.0.
Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, 17.41 seconds; 2. Taylor Langdon, 17.58; 3. Katelyn McLeod, 17.63; 4. Sarah Rose McDonald, 17.66; 5. Shea-Lynn Leach, 17.67; 6. Lacinda Rose, 17.72; 7. Laura Kennedy, 17.75; 8. Fallon Taylor 17.77; 9. Cassidy Kruse, 17.84; 19. Shelley Morgan, 17.86.
Bull riding: 1. Brennon Elred, 87points on Lancaster & Pickett Rodeoâ€™s Lil Clever; 2. Tanner Bothwell, 85; 3. John Mincey, 84; 4. John Young, 83; 5. Jimy Marten, 81; 6. Jacob Oâ€™Mara, 79; 7. Chris McCombs, 78; 8. Jeff Bertus, 76.