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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ellensburg’s Riley, Brady Minor find success at National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas

Kathy Grimes stands with Ruby, the horse she ran in the eighth and ninth rounds of the National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. (Kathy Grimes / Courtesy)
Kathy Grimes stands with Ruby, the horse she ran in the eighth and ninth rounds of the National Finals Rodeo earlier this month. (Kathy Grimes / Courtesy)
By Dave Trimmer For The Spokesman-Review

Success at the National Finals Rodeo, which ended last weekend in Las Vegas, was pretty limited for contestants from Washington.

Except for the Minor brothers, team ropers from Ellensburg.

Riley and Brady Minor placed in six rounds and finished third in the average with a time of 56.7 seconds on nine head. They tied for first in an amazing sixth round with a time of 3.70 seconds when it took a 4.10 to place in the top six for a check. They were also second the next night with a 3.80 but took a costly no-time in Round 8.

With more than $100,000 in winnings at the NFR, the Minors finished third in the year-end standings with $220,183.04. Little brother Jake, a heeler, was 13th with $133,068.69.

Jake, roping with Garrett Rogers of Pendleton, Oregon, started off with a pair of no-times and had five overall, but placed four times, including winning the final round. They won $36,795 at the NFR.

Tyson Durfey, a Missouri native who lived in Colbert for a number of years before moving to Texas, never got untracked. The defending world champion placed in the second round but didn’t get another check until finishing third in the final round. With a pair of no-times he finished 10th in the average, with only the top eight earning checks.

Durfey, who now calls Weatherford, Texas, home, ended the season in 12th place with $139,845.60, just more than $22,000 coming from the Finals.

Although barrel racer Kathy Grimes, an NFR rookie from Medical Lake, only picked up a pair of checks, fourth in her debut round, fifth in Round 4, she was well positioned in the average until knocking over barrels in the seventh and eighth rounds. Still, she was seventh in the average and finished sixth in the year-end standings with $111,785.38. She won $26,653.85 for her two go-round placings and another $16,500 in the average.

The combined stock of the Flying Five Rodeo Co. and Big Bend Rodeo Co., based out of Ritzville and Pomeroy and owned by Don Hutsell and Sonny Linger, were represented by four saddle broncs and two bulls.

Spring Planting, annually voted among the top broncs by the riders, and Kool Toddy were both out twice, earning a spot in the critical final round of bronc riding. Both came through with flying colors, taking their riders to the pay window tied for second. Jake Wright on Spring Planting and CoBurn Bradshaw on Kool Toddy, both scored 86.5 points.

Sundance also earned a second place check for Sterling Crawley with an 86.5 ride in Round 9 of bronc riding.

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