Featured Stories

S'Ba


   Capped by a win in the Wild Horse Race event by series' leading Pat Vargas and his team, the Alps Rodeo series concluded on Sunday.
   Numerous other series leaders joined the Pat Vargas team, which had to hold off the Tony Vargas team, in retaining their edge in the points race headed into the final days.
   Overall prizes will be distributed to the winners by the Alps family that put on the events.
   Some Saturday and Sunday winners trailed the leaders in their respective events by just a little too much for their 10 points for winning to move them ahead.
   Yet, there were a few of those winners who caught and unseated cowboys and cowgirls whose leads heading into those finales proved less secure.
   In goat tying, though, Melanie Mosby had enough of a lead that her high finishes only added to her margin. There were still some strong efforts to beat her, however, on Saturday and Sunday.
   Sammy Jo Willis downed and tied one of the goats used for the event in just over 13 seconds, but Melanie Mosby broke into the lead with a 12.6 effort that sandwiched Willis between her and Tara Smith, who also had done well in the standings for the series prior to Sunday's racing.
   Willis was impressive in both the Open and Junior divisions of the goat tying. Beckie Bowerman's Saturday win kept the overall battle close.
   Other events of Saturday and Sunday's final days of the Alps series included a mix of repeat and new winners.
   In the bull riding there was even a victory for the bulls on Saturday as none of the competitors could stay on.
   That left previous leaders Charlie Barker, Jimmy Floyd and Shawn Waite in position to wind up ahead in the standings for the full series in the bull riding.
   Yet another category which appeared to have the leader hold on during the final weeked was that of bareback bronc riding. Jacob Fiddy had 35 points heading into Saturday's events, with Mitchell Rickman still in striking distance.
   Saddle bronc standings were only slightly more settled than the bareback. The lead Jack Field owned, 27.5 to 18.5, was more than the difference between a first and second, so Field did not even have to win to claim first prize in his category.
   Bowerman's novice barrels' lead was 31-24 over Lisa Putnam at the start of the final weekend with Jenny Lee third.
   Those standings might have been slightly jumbled by the races Saturday and Sunday, but with Bowerman's lead at more than 10, it appeared Lee's strong riding Sunday was only going to boost her to second.
   In one of the more closely contested categories, wild horse racing teams headed up by Pat Vargas and Tony Vargas retained the top two spots which they owned coming into the event.
   For a good part of Sunday's Wild Horse Race it appeared Junior LeClaire, 14, was going to ride his team's horse through the finish line first, helped by mugger Tommy Ball and lead rope handler David LeClaire. A veer away from the finish area by the horse cost that team.
   In the end, Tony Cortizar and Jason Smith helped Pat Vargas get their team horse over the finish line first. They barely beat the Tony Vargas team.