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Columbia River Circuit wraps up season

Clint Corey leads local riders with average title in bareback competition
Clint Corey's fans cheered loudly after his name was announced over the loudspeakers Sunday afternoon at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.
   Performing for his hometown crowd for most likely the last time, the 42-year-old bareback rider from Powell Butte failed to disappoint.
   Corey posted an average score of 236 at this weekend's Columbia River Circuit Finals to earn the tenth average title of his career.
   "It feels great," he said. "Anytime you win first place, its great. It never gets old winning."
   With the win, Corey receives an automatic berth to the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for March 16-19, 2005, in Pocatello, Idaho.
   He has not yet decided if he will attend.
   "I have mixed emotions," said Corey, who earlier stated this weekend's event might be his last. "It's a couple months away. I am going to wait until then to decide. If I do end up going to Dodge, that will be my last."
   Other average winners include Robert Alexander in the steer wrestling, Billy Gallagher and Bucky Campbell in team roping, Jerad McFarlan in the saddle bronc, Cindy Woods in barrel racing and Vic Dubray in bull riding.
   Several local riders also performed well at the event.
   Dean Tuftin, of Prineville, and partner Matt Funk, of Wenatchee, Wash., held the average title lead in team roping, entering Sunday but were edged out after a 20-second performance that included a penalty.
   They finished third with total earnings of $683.22 each.
   Mike Beers, of Powell Butte, and Charly Crawford, Prineville, did not place this weekend but qualified for the DNCFR championships by ending the circuit as the overall money leaders in team roping.
   Hadyn Reece, of Prineville, posted Sunday's top score in bull riding, but did not have high enough scores Friday or Saturday to place.
   This weekend's rodeo was the culmination of 53 events on the northwest circuit. Cowboys and cowgirls came from Oregon, Washington and part of Idaho and a total of $82,000 in prize money was doled out over the three days.
   Saturday night's performance began with an opening ceremony highlighting Corey's contributions to the sport.
   Afterwards, Corey extended his gratitude back to the fans.
   "I have had so much support in this area, everyone has just been really super to me," he said. "I really appreciate that. There's nothing like a hometown crowd standing behind you."