Sports

Thunderbird spurs rodeo season

Charlie Barker, from Terrebonne, Ore., scored an 89 on his ride Friday night to win the bull riding event.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Charlie Barker, from Terrebonne, Ore., scored an 89 on his ride Friday night to win the bull riding event.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

It wasn’t the professional debut Jacob Olson may have been hoping for.

The 15-year-old Silverdale cowboy stepped up from the junior and high school ranks on Saturday and made his professional debut at the Thunderbird Benefit Pro Rodeo, sanctioned by the Northwest Professional Rodeo Association.

After a no-score in bareback riding, Olson found out why his bull was named “Air Time.” It wasn’t for the Michael Jordan reference.

Rather, the bull showed Olson a little air time. The bull kept Olson from completing a successful run, but didn’t keep Olson from gaining a ton in his first pro rodeo.

“It’s pretty cool,” Olson said of riding with more seasoned rodeo veterans. “I don’t know. You want to do good so you don’t look like the kid trying to ride.”

Riding since the age of 9, Olson said he learned his day’s lesson pretty quickly.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “I learned you can’t dink around. You’ve got to have your stuff together.”

The 2006 Thunderbird Benefit Pro Rodeo went off without a hitch last weekend at Thunderbird Arena. With pro cowboys and cowgirls from Washington and Oregon, the local flavor mixed nicely with competitive skill, and some strong stock, to keep rodeo-goers entertained while raising money for some good causes: The Kitsap County Boys & Girls Club and Corey’s Day on the Farm.

“I like what we do, what we raise money for,” rodeo co-producer John Rosebeary said. “I love rodeo. This is a good chance to get together, have fun and raise money for good causes.”

Enrollment of cowboys was actually up this year, Rosebeary said, despite worries that the rodeo would suffer in terms of participants due to inflating gas costs. The rodeo saw an increase of 56 participants this year, bringing the total to 248. Thunderbird is the only NWPRA rodeo to increase in enrollment this year, Rosebeary and co-producer and announcer Don Frazier said.

For Frazier, the benefit is the iciing on the rodeo’s proverbial cake.

“(The rodeo) is what I do and I love it,” Frazier said. “And it’s a chance to help those in the community that are doing good things.”

As always, no Silverdale rodeo is complete without mention of the Corey family. In addition to Colen Corey being a co-producer and announcer, his niece Lylan was both the 2006 Thunderbird Queen as well as a participant. Nephew Cody also competed, doing his part to win the team roping competition along side partner Matt Erb, of Roy, Wash.

Lylan and Cody, who also helped out with Day on the Farm, said its a great way to give back to a community that has supported them all their lives.

“The Day on the Farm is a good cause,” Cody said. “And all the family. This is what makes it a hometown rodeo.”

“This community has given a lot to me,” Lylan said. “The rodeo has given a lot to me. It’s nice to give back to both the rodeo and the community.”

The win was extra nice for Cody, as he had just arrived in town earlier in the day from a Tillamook, Ore. rodeo.

“Well, we’ve been on the road today,” Cody said. “So we just did the best run we could.”

Corey and Erb’s time of 5.9 seconds held through the weekend, with Cody taking the heels. He earned $981.36 for the effort.

The stock came in from Kelly Bowcutt’s Gold Buckle Rodeo Company and drew praise from cowboys and event organizers a like.

“He takes it seriously,” Colen Corey said of Bowcutt. “When you ask him to bring bucking bulls and horses, he brings the best in the business.”

Kohl Dano, a Poulsbo native who competed in bull riding on Saturday, said he felt good about his run, which netted him a score of 74.

“I thought it was pretty good,” Dano said. “Especially since its only the fourth bull I’ve been on in two years. I was kind of wishy-washy.”

While his ride didn’t place him in the top five, he still netted $170. Dano agreed with everyone in saying this rodeo isn’t entirely about the money.

“When I was a kid, I’d help out Day on the Farm with the littler kids,” Dano said. “I did that for years. It was totally awesome to be able to do so.”

Being from the county, he said it was also nice because his family can come watch him compete; something they can’t do when he’s competing in other parts of the country.

“My whole family gets to come and watch,” he said. “It’s a total pleasure to be here with this one.”

For Lylan Corey, the rodeo served a dual purpose. As the rodeo queen, she said it was nice to be able to officially represent the rodeo. As a participant (she competed in barrel racing), she said it was great to show people that she has more than just looks going for her. She did say she anticipated a little rib-poking from her rodeo friends however.

“I knew I’d get made fun of,” she said jokingly. “I knew it wouldn’t be too long before I was harassed. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. And that’s the thing. At first they gave me a hard time, but then they see I can do it.”

Lylan Corey, who will attend Howard University in Texas on academic and rodeo scholarships, said she’s looking forward to taking her competitiveness to the next level.

“The competition down there is tougher,” she said. “I’m really excited to see what I can do down there. I’ll miss my family but it’ll be a good learning experience.”

George Gillespe of Midland, Wash., won the bareback riding competition, scoring 81 for a purse of $445.44. In barrel racing, Kathy Grimes of Evans, Wash., took the crown with a fast time of 17.05 seconds. She netted $640.32.

Mindi Primley was the fastest breakaway roper, with a time of 2.5 seconds earning her $709.92. Terrebonne, Ore. native Charlie Barker was the day’s top bull rider, scoring 89 for the crown and an $859.84 check. Levi Brunch, of Durkee, Ore., won the saddle bronc competition, scoring $431.52 for his 71-point ride.

In steer wrestling, Moses Lake’s Nik Hamm took just four seconds to wrestle his down, earning $793.44. Ellensburg’s Jason Minor won the tie-down roping event, with a time of 8.9 seconds for a $689.04 pay day.

Second Annual Thunderbird Benefit Pro Rodeo

Friday. June 23 and

Saturday, June 24

At Thunderbird Arena

Bareback riding — 1, George Gillespie, 81; 2, Zach Bright, 79; 3, Daniel Etsitty, 72. Barrel racing — 1, Kathy Grimes, 17.05; 2, Susan Pierce, 17.16; 3, Linzie Walker, 17.23. Breakaway roping — 1, Mindi Primley, 2.5; 2, Jennifer Erickson, 3.3; 3, Sally Jane Brown, 3.4. Bull riding — 1, Charlie Barker, 89; 2, Alllen Helmuth, 87; 3, Shane Ahrens, 82. Saddle bronc riding — 1, Levi Bunch, 71; 2, Russell Beatty, 69; t3, Brendan Fitzgerald and Jack Field, 67. Steer wrestling — 1, Nik Hamm, 4.0; 2, Charlie Barker, 4.5; 3, Keith Whitemarsh, 4.6. Team roping header — 1, Matt Erb, 5.9; 2, Dan Johnston, 6.4; 3, Bobby Alexander, 6.6. Team roping heeler — 1, Cody Corey, 5.9; 2, Chris Jones, 6.4; 3, Jim Jones, 6.6; Tie-down roping — 1, Jason Minor, 8.9; 2, Will Casey, 9.0; t3, Jake Pratt and Chris Jones, 9.3.

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