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Matched Bronc Ride ready for second year

The autograph session will begin at 5:30 p.m. under the arena tent on the west side of the Philip Roping Arena. The session will run until 7:00 p.m., when the riding will begin.

There will be three progressive rounds where only the top scoring riders from one round go on to the next. From the first round of all 25 invited cowboys will come the top 12 for the second round of bucking bronc competition. Only six bronc riders will advance to the last round.

An amount of $5,000 has been added to make a total prize money of $8,500 for the riders, $4,000 more than last year. Each round's winners will earn prize money, with the big money being paid for the final go-round.

The five livestock contractors will each be providing five of the top bucking broncs in the rodeo world. "That first round is going to be phenominal for the riders and for the spectators," said event coordinator Branden West of Philip, who will also be competing. A $1,000 prize will go to the contractor with the best performing horse at the Matched Bronc ride. "This added incentive is to further ensure that we have the very best livestock available," said West. No one will know which cowboy will draw which horse until Tuesday, June 17, at the 73- Cowboy Auction.

The second round will display T.J. Korkow's Wild Ride Pen. "These special colts are a bunch of 'I don't know!' " said West. "Anything can happen."

The third round will show off Korkow's National Finals Rodeo horses. "These are the best in the world. Some may have already been named Best Bucking Horse in the PRCA," said West.

The Philip Chamber of Commerce is helping to sponsor this event, which was an over-the-top success its maiden year last year. More than 1,400 adults and children attended the night's events. The chamber will provide a buffalo burger feed as part of the entree fee, though other concessions will also be available for purchase. There are 11 other corporate sponsors for the bronc riding event: Kennedy Implement, Philip Livestock Auction, First National Bank in Philip, CHS Midwest Cooperatives, Ravellette Publications Inc., Shearer Angus, Motel West/73- Saloon, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Cattleman's Choice Loomix LLC, O'Connell Construction and the City of Philip.

Tickets at the gate will be two dollars per person more than advance tickets, which are available at six different Philip locations. Children 10 and under get in for free.

"It should be good," said Jesse Bail. "Last year the horses were good and they will be this year, too. Everyone got through it (the first Matched Bronc Ride event during Philip's Centennial Celebration) last year and it'll just get better each year now." Bail will be riding in Reno, NV, the day before and will be competing in Utah the next day.

Jeff Willert, who was visiting with Bail, said, "It's a pretty good deal. It worked out really well last year. It seems that its going to catch on pretty good. The stock will be good. Everybody wants to get on Korkow livestock. It should be a good year."

Last year, Chad Ferley tied for top money in the final go-round with Zach West. Going into the final round were Lemmel, 82 on Baldie; Ferley, 79 on Pocohantas; B. West, 78 on Shotgun; Z. West, 76 on Slinkey; Jeremy Meeks, 74 on Juke Box; and Elshere, 73 on Road Rage.

Again this year, the list of cowboys already registered to ride is a Who's Who of bronc riders. Barring any conflict of rodeo competitions on June 20, the cowboys are: JJ Elshere, Jeff Willert, Jesse Bail, Chad Ferley, Louis Brunson, Rollie Wilson, Tyler Corrington, Matt Hebert, Red Lemmel, OJ Heidler, Ryan Elshere, Wade Yost, Eric Addison, Branden West, DJ Martin, Ty Thompson, Zach West, Jeremy Meeks, Jamie Willert, Jake Costello, Ty Kennedy, Cole Elshere, Kaden Deal and Cole Hindman.

The 25th slot, regretfully vacated by a cowboy who ran into a rodeo conflict, will be filled very soon, said West. There are many professional bronc riders who have shown great interest in being invited to ride at Philip's Matched Bronc Ride on June 20.