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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hurn turns ride into double-payday

Steve Christilaw Correspondent

Kristie Hurn almost didn’t make the five-hour drive from Elgin, Ore., north to compete in the final day of the 2005 Cheney Rodeo. She’d heard the weather reports of rain Saturday night and expected a wet, sloppy arena – a condition not conducive to fast times by barrel racers.

Hurn was sitting on the second-fastest time at the Elgin Rodeo, and the possibility of a payday there made the prospect of a long drive with two kids, her horse and a dog just to ride in mud unappealing.

“I almost cancelled it,” said the Underwood, Wash., native who regularly schedules two and three rodeos per weekend. “But I talked to a friend up here and she said the arena was still in pretty good shape.”

Hurn made the drive, turned Sunday’s fastest time, 17.72 seconds, and earned a third-place paycheck Sunday. Minutes after the rodeo finished up here, she got a call from a friend in Elgin.

“They had a monsoon down there,” Hurn said, trying not to sound too gleeful at her competitors misfortune. “My second place held up, so I have a payday there, too.”

Rain for both the Friday and Saturday performances made for tricky footing for many events. Sunday, with the mud drying visibly throughout the performance, the footing changed depending on which part of the arena you were in.

“It was different at each barrel out there,” Hurn explained. “The first barrel was pretty muddy and you had to be careful coming around. The second barrel was pretty dry and you could cut around it pretty hard, but it was pretty slick behind the third and you had to be careful.

“I’m pretty fortunate. My mare is pretty freaky about things like that. If I just sit in the middle of her and let her pick her own way, she does a great job of handling the mud.”

Hurn said her nine-year-old mare is just now entering its prime as a barrel racer.

National collegiate champion Jessica Tatone’s 17.38 time Friday night held up to take the top prize of $988.85.

Steer wrestlers had difficulty with footing as well. Where the cowboys’s feet would normally slide through dry dirt, the mud would grab and hold. Many cowboys would find themselves popping up and off balance and lose their steer.

Tyler Brockhorst’s 5.3 second effort Saturday night earned top money of $1,556.57.

Glen O’Neill turned in the top performance in saddle bronc riding, posting a 79-point ride to earn a $1,316.70 check.

Bobby Mote, the leading bareback rider on the Columbia River Circuit, needed a re-ride to score a 78-point ride to win the event Sunday, earning the $1,112.92 purse. Mote’s original mount refused to stand up in the chute long enough for the cowboy to get aboard.

Shane Erickson, challenging for CRC all-around cowboy honors, won the tie-down roping with his Saturday night time of 9.7 seconds.

Colby Reilly, who posted an 86 in Friday night’s bull riding competition, saw his score hold up to earn a first-place check for $1,222.65.

Of the 28 bull-riding entrants, only six – two per performance – managed to stay up to earn a score. That meant that an eight-second ride earned a minimum of $220 in day money.

Jack Fischer and Tyler Saunders turned in a 6.9 to earn a share of first-place in team roping with Josh Bruce and Patrick Woodcock, who posted the same time Saturday night. Each of the four ropers earned a check for $1,009.14.

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