Invitational Matched Bronc Ride
The fifth annual Philip Invitational Matched Bronc Ride, held Friday, June 17, drew over 1,400 at the gate. With spectators, contestants, their families and all the workers, over 2,400 people were in attendance.
The starting 25 cowboys were cut down to a continuing 12. The top bronc ride scorer of the first round was Jeremy Meeks, Alzada, Mont., who stayed on the horse Jukebox for a score of 82.
Three South Dakota cowboys earned a score of 81 in round one. Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, rode Boogers Pet; Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, stayed on Raylene; and Jamie Willert, Belvidere, lasted eight seconds atop Wasabee. Finishing the first round with a score of 77 on the bronc Mullin Road was Matt Herbert, Hyannis, Neb.
The score of 78 was held by three riders, Ryan Elshere, Elm Springs, on Yellow Desert; Branden West, Philip, on Sand to Stone; and Rollie Wilson, Buffalo, on Teddy Bear. Another three cowboys tied, this time with a score of 77; Jake Costello, Newell, riding Angry Bird; Shane Moran, Montana, atop Big Mama; and Troy Crowser, Whitewood, on Mojo. Finishing off the top 12 from the first round was Louie Brunson, Interior, who rode Crazy Smiles.
The progressive round saw six of these men stay on in the competition and move into the final short round. Topping them off was Meeks, who rode the wild pony Papa Georgio for a score of 81. Crowser stayed on Mr. Nasty to earn 79 points. Costello, on Hundred Dollor Habit, and Bail, on Nyquil, both finished up with 76 points. Moran stayed on Ripcord for a score of 74. Elshere survived the progressive round with a score of 73 on Once Again.
Five cowboys made scores in the short round. Costello just could not stay on top of the bronc Paint Chip. Meeks rode Holy Hoppin' Hell for a hard 80. Moran somehow stayed atop Rubarb to earn 83 points. Elshere and Little Jean Jacket had a go ending in 85 points. After a scrutinizing recount by the judges, Crowser took second place with 88 points on Vanilla Twist. Earning top honors for the 2011 Philip Invitational Matched Bronc Ride was Bail, who teamed up with the bronc Jim Dandy for the evening's absolute top score of 89.
Last year, Costello had ridden Jim Dandy for the winning score of 87.
Jerry Willuweit, a "good ol' cowboy" who passed away January 2010, was commemorated by the presentation of one of his cowboy hats and a certificate for a new cowboy hat to the winner of the progressive round.
Bail, winner of the short round and the prize money, also received a pair of handcrafted spurs presented by Philip's Irvin Jones, owner of Jones Saddlery, Bottle and Vet, who had commissioned them from John Bauman, Long Valley.