Riding High in North Platte (Buffalo Bill Rodeo)

Ruth Nicolaus, Adams County Ag Society
Staff Writer

North Platte, Neb. (June 15, 2018) – Another cowboy edged his way to the top of the saddle bronc riding at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.
Leon Fountain, Lemitar, New Mexico, scored 81 points to match the 81 points put up by Hardy Braden during the Wednesday, June 13 show.
Fountain, who is 22 years old, described his ride on the Beutler and Son Rodeo Co. horse Chisum Trail, as “good. Everything went right. My feet were right, I had a good spur out, and it felt good.”
North Platte is the unofficial kick off to the busy summer rodeo run and the hectic Fourth of July run. Fountain has tomorrow off but by Sunday, will be in Reno, Nevada for two days, then hit the rodeo road, competing in Pleasant Grove, Utah, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Springdale, Arkansas, Pecos, Texas, and then on to Greeley, Colo. and Cody, Wyo.
He’ll travel with fellow saddle bronc riders Ross Griffin, Heith DeMoss, and Blaise Freeman. Of the four, DeMoss is the veteran and someone Fountain looks up to. “He’s a pretty energetic, funny guy,” he said of the nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “He always goes for the win, and that helps keep you motivated and in the right state of mind.”
Fountain grew up in a ranching family. His third cousin on his mom’s side is Taos Muncy, a PRCA world champion saddle bronc rider who is nine years his senior. As Muncy competed at the WNFR, Fountain was at home, watching on television ad getting bit by the rodeo bug. Muncy “did well in bronc riding, and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Fountain has a small cattle herd in New Mexico that his uncle, Chuck Muncy, takes care of while he is in the rodeo road.
Fountain finished the 2017 rodeo season second in the Resistol Rookie rankings. This is his second time to compete at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Nebraska favorite Steven Dent took the lead in the bareback riding with an 82 point ride.
The all-around hand who ranches near Mullen was also in the saddle bronc riding but got bucked off. Dent, an eight-time Wrangler National Fnials Rodeo qualifier, is ranked twelfth in the world standings.
In the tie-down roping, Cimarron Boardman, Stephenville, Texas, had a time of 8.1 seconds to take the lead in the second round.
Other fast times and high scores from the Friday night performance are steer wrestler Mitchell Gardner, Dover, Okla. (4.9 seconds), team ropers Jesse Stipes, Salina, Okla. and Jake Smith, Broken Bow, Okla. (5.5 seconds) and barrel racer Emily Miller, Weatherford, Oklahoma (17.47 seconds). In the bull riding, four men made qualified rides: Joe Frost’s 82.5 point ride leads the pack, with Pleasanton, Neb.’s Bart Miller coming in second (79.5 points).
The final night of rodeo in North Platte wraps up on Saturday, June 16 when champions will be crowned and custom engraved buckles awarded to winners. The big rodeo parade takes place on Saturday at 12 noon. NebraskalandDays celebrates its fiftieth year in North Platte and continues with more activities through June 23. The celebration wraps up on June 22-23 with a concert on June 22 by Florida Georgia Line with special guest Brett Young, and on June 23 with a concert by Alabama with special guest the Charlie Daniels Band.
Results, 3rd Performance June 15, 2018
North Platte, Nebraska – Buffalo Bill Rodeo
Bareback Riding
1. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. 82 points on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Movie Madness; 2. Chance Merrill, Coffeyville, Kan. 73; 3. Whitten Hoover, Ainsworth, Neb. 65; 4. Logan Glendy, Oconto, Neb. 60.
Steer Wrestling 2nd go round
1. Mitchell Gardner, Dover, Okla. 4.9 seconds; 2. Blake Mindemann, Blanchard, Okla. 5.4; 3. Boyd Sawyer, Thedford, Neb. 5.7; 4. Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas 6.8.
Tie Down Roping 2nd go round
1. Cimarron Boardman, Stephenville, Texas 8.1 seconds; 2. Cody Rieker, Lexington, Neb. 10.5; 3. Will Howell, Stillwater, Okla. 11.8; 4. Patrick Martin, Lexington, Neb. 19.5.
Saddle bronc riding
1. Leon Fountain, Socorro, N.M. 81 points on Beutler and Son Rodeo Co.’s Chisum Trail; 2. Dalton Davis, Holcomb, Kan. 80; 3. Lane Wimberly, Belen, N.M. 79; 4. (tie) Shade Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. and Ross Griffin, Tularosa, N.M. 76 each.
Team roping
1. Jesse Stipes, Salina, Okla./Jake Smith, Broken Bow, Okla. 5.5 seconds; 2. Casey Hicks, Sperry, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. 12.9; 3. Joe Beaver, Okeechobee, Fla./McCoy Profill, Okeechobee, Fla. 15.7; 4. Jason Thorstenson, Rapid City, S.D./JD Gerard, Kennebec, S.D. 21.
Barrel racing
1. Emily Miller, Weatherford, Okla. 17.47 seconds; 2. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D. 17.69; 3. Christine Laughlin, Pueblo, Coo. 17.78; 4. Jody McKay, Red Oak, Okla. 17.82.
Bull Riding
1. Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah 82.5 points on Beutler and Son Rodeo Co.’s Scotland; 2. Bart Miller, Lexington, Neb. 79.5; 3. Tyler Bingham, Honeyville, Utah 79; 4. Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah 68.