Gainful weekend for Durfey, Gray

The Sisters Rodeo had a distinct Eastern Washington look as the Columbia River Circuit PRCA event wrapped up in the Oregon town over the weekend.

Colbert tie-down roper Tyson Durfey set an arena record, Cheney bareback rider Ryan Gray won his event and California saddle bronc rider Scott Miller set a record on Kool Toddy, a horse belonging to Big Bend Rodeo Co. out of Ritzville.

Durfey made a big splash, tying for second in the first go-round on his main horse, Bailey, and then borrowing a horse to win the second round. His combined time of 16.9 seconds broke a 13-year old arena record.

“It was a pretty cool experience,” Durfey said in a PRCA release. “I’d been to Sisters five times before and never won anything. I thought those two runs might be good enough to win, but I never even thought about an arena record.”

Durfey won almost $5,000, which boosted him to sixth in the season standings with almost $43,000. He’s well on his way to a fourth straight trip to the National Finals Rodeo. He has won seven rodeos this season.

Durfey, who shipped Bailey to Utah between performances for a rodeo this week, told the PRCA he wanted to live life “like a snowball coming down a mountain, getting bigger as I go.”

After finishing 11th when he qualified for his first NFR in 2007 and improving to seventh and third the past two years, he is off to his best start.

Gray, who has been at the last four NFR’s, set the Sisters’ arena record with an 88 back in 2008 on Big Bend’s Faded Dice.

He won Sisters this year with an 83-point ride on Hi De Ho, picking up $4,845. That boosted his season total to more than $86,000, good for almost a $22,000 lead on second-place Kaycee Feild.

Feild, second at Sisters, broke his arm at a California rodeo on Saturday and is expected to miss at least six weeks. Gray missed more than a month earlier this season after a knee operation.


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