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Monday, June 6, 2011

Ropin' a championship

Elks Rodeo: Final day of ridin’Ropin’ a championshipBy Elliot SternThe youngest champion at the 68th annual Santa Maria Elks Rodeo is a seasoned veteran when it comes to cowboy competition.

The father-son team of John and Chance Machado smoked the competition to win the Elks Team Roping championship.

On Sunday’s final round, the Machados stopped their calf in 9.6 seconds - giving them a three round aggregate time of 32.8 seconds.
Bill Wineman and Mike DeVan had a faster time during the Elks Rodeo championship Sunday — 7.8-seconds — but they were behind after the first two rounds and, with a three-go total of 34.2 seconds, had to settle for second place.

Just fractions of a second behind (34.6 seconds), Tony Weldon and Craig Pritchard earned third place honors.

That made Chance Machado the youngest buckle winner at this year’s rodeo.
Chance is just 13 years old.

“It was fun. I was really dialed in today,” said he just moments after nailing down the title. “It’s fun roping with my dad.”

The win also gives the Machados bragging rights over John Machado’s Elks roping buddies for the next year.

Will Chance take the time to rub it in?

“No, I’m not going to give the guys a hard time,” said Chance. “My dad will.”
“I might,” said dad John. “I’m extremely proud of him. He had the harder job, being the heeler and catching the calf’s heels. We spend a lot of hard hours in the practice
“It was so much fun to watch,” said mom Sabrina. “I was so busy screaming while they were out there.”
Chance Machado is wrapping up the seventh grade at Orcutt Junior High.

He’s won a number of events at the Elks Mini Rodeo over the last few years.

He has also been competing in California’s District 7 junior high school rodeo division and this year took second place in the state junior high school team roping championships, earning him a trip to the Junior High Nationals.

“My team roping partner is Caden Cox. He’s in the sixth grade in Arroyo Grande,” said Chance. “We’re both excited about going to the Junior High Nationals Finals Rodeo.”

The national championship competition kicks off June 23 in Gallup, New Mexico.
Sunday got off to an iffy start. The skies were dark and threatening. There were
occasional raindrops but no real storm. The weather actually improved as the afternoon wore on.
The cloud cover was down to about 1,200 feet.

Skydiver Kent Lane really needs good
visibility from 2,000 feet but he didn’t let the low cloud cover stop him from flying in his giant American Flag.
Jumping through the clouds, Lane broke through a bit off course — landing outside the arena near vendors’ row.

“We were flying blind through the clouds but I was determined to fly the flag in,” said Lane. “Actually, I would have made it into the arena but the wind got to me. I guess I gave somebody else a show — the people outside the arena.”

Then it was time for Team Bronc
Riding. completed a four-day weekend sweep. The trio of Trace and Wade Agin, from Los Alamos, and DJ Stoneburner, from Nipomo, held off a late challenge from the Bill Agin team of Bill Agin (Trace and Wade’s father), Dan Stoneburner (DJ’s dad) and Chuck

In PRCA Team Roping, Manuel Gonzales and Tristen Luther had the days’ best time — 6.1 seconds.
The team roping championship went to Jake Cooper and Matt Garza whose two-round time was 11.6 seconds. At 11.7 seconds, Wade Wheatley and Santa Margarita’s Caleb Twisselman placed second and at 11.8 seconds, Waylon McCurley and Travis Woodard placed third.

Two-time World Steer Wrestling champion Luke Branquinho was home in Los Alamos for Elks Rodeo weekend.

Branquinho is currently leading the nation as he tries for another spot in the National Finals Rodeo and another shot at the title.

He had a 5.5-second run before the partisan crowd. Branquinho finished in the money but didn’t win the Santa Maria crown.

Josh Garner’s 4.8-second run Friday night held up over the weekend earning Garner the Steer Wrestling crown.

But the rest of the top performances were all on Sunday with Stan Branco (5.0 seconds) finishing second, Sterling Lambert (5.3) finishing third, Branquinho was fourth and Ethan Thouvenell (5.6) was fifth.

“You have to be focused on the ride, then just go and have fun,” said Branco, “That’s what I did today.”
Chant DeForest won the Tie Down Roping title with a two round total of 17.8 seconds. C.J. DeForest, Jr. (18.2) was second followed by Ryle Smith (18.3).

Christina Richman won the Barrel Race with a two round total of 35.12 seconds.

Sheena Robbins was Sunday’s fastest racer, completing the three-barrel course in 17.42 seconds.

Righetti High School and Cal Poly graduate Bailey Tuck finished in the money. Tuck was fifth in each of the two go rounds, ending up fifth overall in the competition.

Younger sister Shelby Tuck had a 22.99-second race Sunday. Paso Robles’ Annie Spurr had a 27.99-second race, Arroyo Grande’s Courtney Cline ran 17.71 —third best on Sunday— Paso Robles’ Brittany Kelly ran fourth on the day at 17.82 and Los Alamos’ Karla Sanchez ran 19.20.

Bareback Riding saw the second and third best finishers in action on Sunday.

Joe Gunderson had bareback rides of 82 and 75 points Sunday, good for a 157 total, just one point behind Clint Lear’s championship total of 158.

Tilden Hooper had 78 and 77 point rides Sunday. His 155 total tied him for third place with Tyson Thompson.
The top Saddle Bronc riders were in action on Sunday.

Roy Johnson had an 80-point ride to win the championship. Cody Wright had a 79-point ride, tying him for second with Joaquin Real.

The Bull Riders had their best day of the weekend with six of 17 riders going the full eight seconds — posting four of the top five scores.

Only Kris Matthews 84-point ride on Saturday night made it into the top five.

Chandler Bownds 88-point ride Sunday earned him the championship, bumping Matthews down to second.
Josh Daries (83) took third on Sunday with Neil Holmes and Steve Woolsey (78) tying for fourth.
The All-Around champion was Kyle Lockett.

“Everything went really, really well this weekend,” said Elks Recreation President Keith Barks. “The weather actually turned out great, The grounds crew did a remarkable job keeping the arena in top shape, the volunteers — well, they are the backbone of Elks Rodeo and we all know we couldn’t produce a great event without them. And the crowds — great, great people. We need to thank all of them for coming out to support the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo. Now, let’s get ready to do it all again next year.”

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