There’s a bay horse that loves North Platte.
Every time “Truck,” a bay gelding, makes the trek to North Platte from his home in Granbury, Texas, he makes money.
And this year, at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, Truck and his owner and rider, Stevi Hillman, won the barrel racing for the second time.
Hillman and his rider rounded the barrels in 17.44 seconds this year, after winning the championship in 2017.
She rode Truck at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in 2016-17 and 2020-22, always winning a check and never finishing lower than eleventh place, with a reserve title in 2021 and a first place finish five years ago.
A six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Hillman called the quarter horse her “golden child. He’s been with me every year I’ve been on the (rodeo road),” she said. “He’s my good old faithful, my reliable. I know what he’s going to do every run.”
Truck, whose registered name is Cuatro Fame, prefers the summer rodeos because they are usually in big outdoor arenas, which he likes. “He likes the big outdoor pens,” Hillman said. “This is his cup of tea when the summer starts.”
People are also reading…
Truck isn’t the only horse on Hillman’s trailer. She also has Famous Lemon Drop, “Lemon,” the palomino mare she’s ridden at the National Finals, and a 4-year-old in training.
She and her husband, Ty, are transitioning from training customers’ horses to raising and training their own. They have a five-year-old stud, TSH Pendleton, who they hope will be the foundation of a successful breeding program.
Breeding and raising their own horses has been their goal. “We have all the risk and the expenses, but the reward is greater, usually. It’s been our goal to build our own herd and to be able to sell horses that we’ve started and raised. It’s fun to share that with other people.”
During the rodeo, the 2022 Trail Boss Award was given posthumously to Garrett Nokes. The McCook cowboy died in 2021 at the age of 45. He was the rodeo coach at Mid-Plains Community College and a former pro rodeo contestant, qualifying for the 2005 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling. He was known for his encouraging personality, mental toughness, and ability to win. Via video, his wife Laura, sons Trevor and Parker, and extended family accepted the award.
In the bareback riding, it’s back to back for Garrett Shadbolt.
The Merriman cowboy won the 2021 title, setting a new arena record last year with a 90 point ride, and turned around and won it again this year with a score of 85.5 points.
It’s been a good couple weeks for the top-five PRCA cowboy. He’s won money at rodeos in Ponca City and Woodward, Oklahoma, Fallon, Nevada, and on June 18 in Newtown, North Dakota, split for the title.
He qualified for his first National Finals Rodeo last year, finishing fifth in the world standings. This year, his goal is to finish higher.
Bull rider Koby Radley added to his 2022 earnings.
The Montpelier, Louisiana, man ranked 22nd in the PRCA world standings, won the bull riding at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo with a score of 83 points on Beutler and Son’s Hot Spot.
The 24-year-old has had a good season, mainly because it’s been injury free. The last two years, he’s not been able to rodeo fulltime, due to injury. Knee surgery in 2019, fixing an ACL, took him out of commission for all of 2020, and a “messed-up” shoulder last year kept him out for six months. As for the shoulder, he hopes to put off surgery.
“We’ll fix it once we’re done,” he said.
It was Radley’s first trip to North Platte, and he enjoyed it. He considers it “the middle of nowhere,” but “it’s a big rodeo. It’s pretty cool to go to. I’ll definitely be back.”
Other champions at the 2022 Buffalo Bill Rodeo are steer wrestler Joe Wilson, Martin, South Dakota (9.6 seconds on two head); saddle bronc rider Brady Hill, Onida, South Dakota (86 points); tie-down roper Shad Mayfield, Clovis, New Mexico (15.8 seconds on two head); breakaway roper Taya McAdow, Keensburg, Colorado (2.8 seconds); and team ropers Jake Orman, Prairie, Mississippi, and Brye Crites, Welch, Oklahoma (4.3 seconds).
Buffalo Bill Rodeo
All-around champion: Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Bareback riding — 2022 champion: Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb.
1. Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb. 85.5 on Forward Motion; 2. Blaine Kaufman, Pretty Prairie, Kan. 85; 3. Ty Breuer, Mandan, N.D. 82; 4. Mark Kreder, Collinsville, Okla. 79.5; 5. Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn. 79; 6. Ben Kramer, Max, N.D. 78; 7. Nate McFadden, Elsmere, Neb. 77; 8. Bobby Reynolds, 76.
Steer wrestling — 2022 champion: Joe Wilson, Martin, S.D.
1st round results
1. Sam Goings, Fallon, Nev. 4.8 seconds; 2. Joe Wilson, Martin, S.D. 5.0; 3. Dru Melvin, Hebron, Neb. 5.1; 4. (tie) Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D. and Jarek Van Petten, Cimarron, Kan. 5.3 each; 6. Laramie Warren, Adair, Okla. 5.4.
2nd round results
1. Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 4.5 seconds; 2. Joe Wilson, Martin, S.D. 4.6; 3. (tie) Austin Eller, Glendo, Wyo. and Gage Hesse, Keenesburg, Colo. 4.7 each.; 5. Cody Devers, 5.0; 6. (tie) Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis. and Travis Munro, 5.1 each;
1. Joe Wilson, Martin, S.D. 9.6 seconds on 2 head; 2. Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 10.4; 3. Cameron Morman, 11.0; 4. (tie) Blair Jones, Colby, Kan. and Jake Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb. 11.1 each; 6. (tie) Sam Goings, Fallon, Neb., Cody Devers, Balko, Okla. and Dru Melvin, Hebron, Neb. 11.4 each.
Tie-down roping — 2022 champion: Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M.
1st round results
1. (tie) Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas and Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas 7.5 each; 3. Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M. 7.6; 4. John Pereira, Cameron, Texas 8.4; 5. Tom Joe Crouse, Gallatin, Mo. 8.4; 6. Ryan Thibodeaux, Stephenville, Texas 8.7; 7. (tie) Zaine Mikita, Byers, Colo. and Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla. 8.9 each.
2nd round results
1. Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont. 7.7 seconds; 2. Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M. 8.2; 3. (tie) Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas, and Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla. 8.3 each; 5. Cash Hooper, Carlsbad, N.M., Anthony Jordan, Houston, Texas, and Quade Hiatt, Canyon, Texas 8.5 each; 8. Riley Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb. 8.6.
1. Shad Mayfield, Clovis, N.M. 15.8 seconds on 2 head; 2. Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas 16.4; 3. Anthony Jordan, Houston, Texas 17.7; 4. Riley Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb. 17.9; 5. Zaine Mikita, Byers, Colo. 18.0; 6. Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas 18.4; 7. Cash Hooper, Carlsbad, N.M. 18.7; 8. Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla. 19.0.
Saddle bronc riding — 2022 champion: Brady Hill, Onida, S.D.
1. Brady Hill, Onida, S.D. 86 points on #615 Rage; 2. Jake Burwash, Nanton, Alberta 85.5; 3. Lefty Holman, Visalia, Colo. 83.5; 4. Jacob Kammerer, Philip, S.D. 83; 5. (tie) Dylan Hancock, Golconda, Ill., Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D. Jake Foster, Meadow, S.D., Wyatt Casper, Miami, Texas, and Jake Clark, Crane, Ore. 80 each.
Breakaway Roping — 2022 champion: Taya McAdow, Keenesburg, Colo.
1. Taya McAdow, Keenesburg, Colo. 2.8 seconds; 2. (tie) Linsay Rosser Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., Shawnee Sherwood, San Tan Valley, Ariz. and Addie Well, Edna, Kan. 2.9 each; 5. Amber Carson, Grassy Butte, N.D. 3.0; 6. Cedar Jandreau, Kennebec, S.D. 3.1.
Team roping — 2022 champions: Jake Orman, Prairie, Miss. and Brye Crites, Welch, Okla.
1. Jake Orman, Prairie, Miss./Brye Crites, Welch, Okla. 4.3 seconds; 2. Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala./Tyler Worley, Berryville, Ark. 5.0; 3. Kreece Thompson, Munday, Texas/Chad Williams, Stephenville, Texas 5.1; 4. (tie) Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla./Logan Medlin, Tatum, N.M. and Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. 5.3 each; 6. Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn./Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo. 5.4; 7. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb./Jett Hillman, McAlester, Okla. 5.5; 8. (tie) Coy Rahlmann, Ellsinore, Mo./Douglas Rich, Herrick, Ill., Cooper Brott, Gothenburg, Neb./JW Nelson, Alta, Iowa and Jr Dees, Aurora, S.D./Levi Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 5.6 each. Barrel racing – 2022 champion: Stevi Hillman, Granbury, Texas
1. Stevi Hillman, Granbury, Texas 17.44 seconds; 2. Peyton Stepanoff, Keenesburg, Colo. 17.48; 3. Tamara Reinhardt, Canadian, Texas 17.50; 4. Emily Beisel, Weatherford, Okla. 17.51; 5. Michelle Darling, Medford, Okla. 17.57; 6. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla. 17.58; 7. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb. 17.64; 8. Ivy Hurst, Springer, Okla. 17.69; 9. Ivy Saebens, Nowata, Okla. 17.70; 10. Paige Jones, Wayne, Okla. 17.72; 11. Korrina Hughes, Glenwood, Iowa 17.76; 12. Cassidy Champlin, Pilot Point, Texas 17.78.
Bull riding — 2022 champion: Koby Radley, Montpelier, La.
1. Koby Radley, Montpelier, La. 83 points on Hot Spot; 2. Dawson Gleaves, Amarillo, Texas 80; 3. Riggen Hughes, Kemper, Texas 79; 4. Kole Bowman, Pawhuska, Okla. 74; 5. Coy Pollmeier, Ft. Scott, Kan. 72.
** All results are unofficial.