SAN ANGELO, Texas It's become so popular that two more performances were added to the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo this year. The rodeo, the fifth stop on the 2006 Wrangler ProRodeo Winter Tour, was sold out for three of nine performances, and estimated attendance was more than 30,000.
The performances were added because more than 1,000 contestants entered last year's event. This year, 1,240 cowboys and cowgirls entered the rodeo.
Tie-down roper Cody Ohl was busy, winning both the average and the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Round. His total time of 36.0 seconds on four head put him ahead of reigning World Champion Fred Whitfield for the victory.
Ohl pocketed $10,660 for his efforts. In the Tour Round, his 7.5-second run was one of the quickest of the rodeo, and he also won the third round with a 7.9-second run.
"I had a great calf tonight, and you feed off these fans here in San Angelo. They're great," Ohl said after his 7.5-second run. "I got a good calf, and I love to put on a show, so they got it all in one run."
Ohl has already earned some Tour points this year at other rodeos and said he hopes his win in San Angelo was enough to put him in the lead.
Whitfield finished second in the average, in 37.7 seconds on four head, followed by Joe Colletti in 37.8 seconds.
In bareback riding, D.V. Fennell won the average with 168 points on two head. Fennell won the first round with an 88-point ride aboard Brookman Rodeo's Cop Out, a horse that intrigued him.
"I didn't know the first horse I had," he said. "I called around to a lot of my buddies, and nobody knew him. At the last minute, someone said they usually bucked him in the saddle bronc riding and he was pretty phenomenal, so I came down here. That was just a great horse."
Jason Jeter, the Tour Round winner, finished second in the average with 167 points on two head.
Saddle bronc rider Chad Ferley won the average with 173 points on two head after winning the first round with an 86-point ride on Brookman Rodeo's Rough Stuff. He tied for second place in the Tour Round with an 87-point ride.
Ferley said he'd never been on his Tour Round horse before, but took advice from Cody DeMoss, who told Ferley to "give her a bunch of rein and have fun."
DeMoss won the Tour round and finished second in the average with 172 points on two head.
In bull riding, Bobby Welsh took home a majority of money in the event. He won the average with 174 points on two head, placed second in the first round and won the Tour Round. His $11,948 in winnings was the most for any cowboy at San Angelo.
Zack Oakes was second in the average with 170 points on two head, followed closely by Jesse Bail with 169 points.
Steer wrestler Luke Branquinho, the 2004 world champion who missed most of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, won the average in 18.5 seconds on four head, including a 3.9-second run to win the Tour Round. Curtis Cassidy was second in the average in 20.4 seconds on four head.
"I had good steers here and just tried to make good runs on them," Branquinho said. "I've always done well in San Angelo. Every year I've been here I've placed."
In team roping, Nick Sartain and Shannon Frascht won the average in 22.5 seconds on four head. They won the Tour Round in 5.2 seconds.
The duo has been roping together for about six years, and will compete in the upcoming Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Team ropers Tanner Bryson and Byron Wilkerson finished second in the average in 23.9 seconds.
Barrel racer Kelly Yates won the three-run average in 44.27 seconds. Lena Floyd and Tour Round winner Kelly Maben tied for second in the average in 44.49 seconds on three runs.