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Panhandle Rodeo Keeps Winning Tradition Alive

Submitted by Kashly Schweer on 05/02/2016 Shelbie Weeder finished her college rodeo career on a high note at the “Doc” Gardner Memorial Rodeo earning the Women’s All-Around title. —Photo by Dale Hirschman Shelbie Weeder finished her college rodeo career on a high note at the “Doc” Gardner Memorial Rodeo earning the Women’s All-Around title. —Photo by Dale Hirschman

Guymon, Okla. — Rain is always a welcome blessing in the Panhandle, even if it causes less than desirable conditions for the “Doc” Gardner Memorial Rodeo. Collegiate athletes from the Central Plains Region battled through the rain, wind and chilly temperatures inside the Hitch Pioneer Arena April 28-30 for the chance to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo. The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Team members were busy pulling double-duty hosting the final rodeo of the season and competing for regional titles. They succeeded in both efforts with a well-ran rodeo in the books and three regional champions crowned, plus another men’s team title.

Leading the women’s team at the hometown rodeo was senior Shelbie Weeder. The past student director and instrumental team member tied a bow on her collegiate rodeo career by claiming the women’s all-around championship. Her fourth place run in the short go of the breakaway roping was fast enough to jump her into fourth for the weekend aggregate. She continued to earn points with a rope in hand in the team roping. Partnered with Clayton Morlan, the duo split third and fourth in the short round and placed fourth overall. Weeder received a Todd Sloan saddle sponsored by PTCI.

In the breakaway roping, Weeder was joined by Lucy Lawson. The California-native was second in the long round. Unfortunately, she broke the barrier during Saturday’s short go, but still placed fifth overall.

Randi Buchanan and Sadie Latham qualified for the short round of the goat tying. Buchanan placed sixth for the weekend average.

In the barrel racing, the sloppy conditions did not slow down Jessie Jones. The outgoing senior placed fourth in the short round and sixth in the aggregate.

On the men’s side, the “Doc” Gardner Memorial Rodeo men’s all-around saddle sponsored by TCEC also stayed in Goodwell. Junior Josh Frost worked both ends of the arena during Saturday’s short go. Frost stayed consistent in the tie-down roping posting times of 11.7 and 11.9 in the long round and short go, respectively. He split third and fourth overall. At the bucking chutes, Frost ended the season on a high note with an 82-point ride in the bull riding.

Also finding success at the bucking chutes was senior Shade Etbauer. The Goodwell-native had a perfect weekend in the saddle bronc riding winning the long round, short go and weekend championship. He was joined by teammate Jake Finlay who was second overall.

Logan Patterson was also able to capitalize atop McCloy Rodeo bucking horses. The outgoing senior was second overall. He was joined by Will Martin and Ty Pellam.

Peyton Holliday paired with Ben Whiddon from Southeastern Oklahoma State University to place third in the long round of the team roping. The pair experienced tough luck on Saturday evening. Casey Hatcher and Luke Meier also grabbed long round points, but they too struggled during the short go. Meier double-dipped by qualifying for the short go in the tie-down roping as well.

The men’s team capitalized on the home arena advantage to win the team championship.

After the final points were tallied, Etbauer claimed the year-end men’s all-around title. He also qualified for the CNFR in the tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding where he finished second and third in the region, respectively.

Keeping with the Panhandle tradition, Finlay commandingly won the saddle bronc riding championship. Clay Elliott and Taylor Tupper finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Patterson was crowned the Central Plains Region Bareback Riding Champion. As a whole, the OPSU Men’s Team claimed the regional title and will enter Casper in full force once again.

Two OPSU women qualified for the big dance. Kaylee Burnett was the Reserve Champion Barrel Racer while Lawson made the cut in the breakaway roping.

The OPSU Rodeo Team will round out the school year with the annual Deke Latham Memorial Bronc Riding School May 12-15 in Goodwell. As the curtain falls on this season, the team would like to extend sincere thanks to its numerous supporters. The winning tradition could not continue without the generous support of the community.