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Local companies producing top-notch broncs

On the strength of one of the best bucking horses in the business, Big Bend and Fly 5 rodeo companies are becoming known for top-notch saddle broncs.

Spring Planting, officially belonging to the Flying 5 Rodeo Company, is tied for the top spot in Saddle Bronc of the Year, as voted on by the best PRCA riders headed to the National Finals Rodeo.

Big Bend and Fly 5 are owned by Don Hutsell of Ritzville and Sonny Riley of Pomeroy.

Spring Planting also won the award in 2009 and is perennially in the top three. Spring Planting is the offspring of Spring Fling, the 1997 Bareback Horse of the Year and 2000 Saddle Bronc of the Year.

The horse will be at the National Finals Rodeo again, along with seven other saddle broncs from the two contractors.

Flying 5’s horses are Blue Feather, Broken Saddles and Sundance. Crash Gate, Feature Attraction, Kool Toddy and Holly Blues are from Big Bend.

The only bareback headed to the Finals is Big Bend’s Cajun Queen.

No bulls are headed to Las Vegas in December. They had a string of six Bulls of the Year in the eight years from 1997 to 2004. That includes Tahonta, which passed away two weeks ago. Tahonta was the Bull of the Year in 2003 and 2004 when no cowboy rode him in more than 50 attempts.

College volleyball

Katelyn Peterson and Jessica Hastriter each had a team-high 11 kills as Idaho erased a 2-0 deficit to beat Utah Valley (13-12, 7-3) 16-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-12 in a Western Athletic Conference match in Orem, Utah. Junior Alyssa Schultz added nine kills and five blocks for the Vandals (13-8, 6-3). Taylor Wilkinson tallied nine kills and added six blocks for UI.

• Katie Messing had 20 kills and Becca Strehlow tallied 56 assists as Pepperdine (10-8, 4-6 West Coast Conference) stormed back from a 2-0 hole to defeat Gonzaga 19-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17, 15-13 in Malibu, Calif. Savannah Blinn had 20 kills and Lauren Joseph added 29 assists to lead the Bulldogs (8-11, 4-6).

Women’s soccer

Marissa Nimmer scored from 10 yards out on a cross by Niki Fernandes in the 10th minute and BYU (10-4-1, 4-0-1 WCC) held on to beat host Gonzaga 1-0. The Bulldogs (5-8-1, 1-3-0) appeared to grab an early lead when Karley Baggerly’s shot from 15 yards hit the crossbar and bounced down into the goal, but officials ruled the ball did not fully cross the line.