Bullrider Aaron Pass from Dallas, Texas capped the evening's performance with an 88-point ride to move to the top of the leader board through four of five performances.
Molalla celebrated the Fourth of July the same way it has for years with most of the town turning out to watch the local rodeo.
Only this time, a lot more people than usual from outside Molalla showed up, too.
An all-time record crowd estimated at between 12,000-13,000 packed the grandstands Friday night for the second of two Independence Day performances at the 91st Molalla Buckeroo PRCA Rodeo and post-rodeo fireworks display.
Bullrider Aaron Pass from Dallas, Texas, capped the fourth of five Buckeroo performances by taking Flying 5 Rodes Waakko for an 88-point ride and moved to the top of the leaderboard, relegating 2012 world champion Cody Teel to second place.
The four-day rodeo concludes Saturday with an 8 p.m. performance, but had already exceeded many of the expectations that Molalla Buckeroo Association president Tim Anderson had heading into the annual weeklong civic celebration.
This is easily the largest Fourth of July crowd the Buckeroo has ever had, Anderson said midway through Friday nights performance. Id guess were pushing 14,000. Thats a rough guess, but weve sold every seat and told people theyre welcome to come in, but they may have to stand.
Several different factors contributed to the impressive turnout, not the least of which was the fact the the Fourth fell on a Friday this year.
The non-profit, all-volunteer Buckeroo Association also expended more advertising dollars than it had in the past, trying to attract more families and more first-time rodeo fans than before. The strategy seemed to work, because there were plenty of both on the grounds for both shows Friday.
Off the charts, Anderson said. The last few years, weve promoted this as a place to come and bring your whole family. And its not just an rodeo. Its an event. Theres so much going on.
Were out and about more than weve ever been in the past, going to lots of parades, lots of concerts, and places weve never been before. Were always catered to the Western world that weve catered to, but those people know we have a rodeo. We needed to attract the people who have never been.
Ive had more people come up to me and say, This is our first rodeo and this is amazing, than Ive had in the last two years put together.
The cowboys noticed, too.
Its a great rodeo, said Adrians Jace Davis, who won Friday afternoons steer wrestling competition with a time of 4.9 seconds. The crowd is great and they get into it. Some rodeos you go to, the fans are just like, Blah, but here theyre great.
In Fridays other highlights, barrel racer Pamela Capper of Cheney, Wash., rode last and posted the nights fastest time of 17.20 to take the overall lead away from Brenda Mays, whose 17.42 had stood up as the time to beat since Wednesdays opening performance.
In team roping, B.J. Campbell of Agiula, Ariz., and Lane Siggins of Phoenix had the nights top time of 7.6 seconds, which also solidified their position in the two-head average with a combined time of 13.2 seconds.
Molalla Buckeroo Rodeo
Through four of five performances
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Kaycee Feild, 85 points on Big Bend Rodeo's Commotion Toddy; 2. Josi Young, 83; 3. (tie) Jessy Davis and Caleb Bennett, 82 each; 5. Seth Hardwick, 81; 6. Steven Dent, 79.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Blake Knowles, 4.6 seconds; 2. Clayton Moore, 4.8; 3. (tie) Nick Guy and Jace Davis, 4.9 each; 5. Casey McMillen, 5.0; 6. Trevor Knowles, 5.2.
Team roping: First round: 1. Keven Daniel/York Gill, 5.6 seconds, $1,059 each; 2. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 5.7, $877; 3. Jake Stanley/Bucky Campbell, 5.9, $694; 4. Spencer Mitchell/Russell Cardoza, 6.0, $511; 5. Jesse Beardsley/Casey Darst, 6.5, $329; 6. Bryce Palmer/Jake Minor, 6.7, $183. Second round leaders: 1. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 7.6 seconds; 2. Casey Mahoney/Jake Rodriguez, 12.5. Average leaders: 1. B.J. Campbell/Lane Siggins, 13.3 seconds on two head; 2. Keven Daniel/York Gill, 5.6 seconds on one head; 3. Jake Stanley/Bucky Campbell, 5.9; 4. Spencer Mitchell/Russell Cardoza, 6.0; 5. Jesse Beardsley/Casey Darst, 6.5; 6. Bryce Palmer/Jake Minor, 6.7.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Sterling Crawley, 85 points on Flying 5 Rodeo's Rough Going; 2. (tie) Bryan Martinat and Jacobs Crawley, 83 each; 4. Chase Bennett, 81; 5. Ben Londo, 80; 6. (tie) Jake Brown and Troy Crowser, 79 each.
Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Jake Hannum, 7.8 seconds; 2. Chant DeForest, 8.1; 3. (tie) Reese Riemer and Hunter Herrin, 8.2 each; 5. Matt Shiozawa, 8.7; 6. Marcos Costa, 9.2.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Pamela Capper, 17.20 seconds; 2. Brenda Mays, 17.42; 3. Kelley Carrington, 17.48; 4. Torri Longgood, 17.52; 5. Benette Little, 17.70; 6. (tie) Kimmie Wall and Whitney Kelly, 17.75 each.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Aaron Pass, 88 points on Flying 5 Rodeo's Waakko; 2. Cody Teel, 87; 3. Mike Sparks, 85; 4. (tie) Cole Echols and Austin Meier, 83 each; 6. Jason Beck, 78.
Total payoff: $121,625. Stock contractor: Big Bend Rodeo. Sub-contractors: 4L & Diamond S Rodeo and Flying 5 Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Edie Longfellow. Officials: Joe Locke, Monty Van Komen and Bill Pacheco. Timers: Stacey Dowton and Vikki Beck. Announcers: Kelly Kenney and Robert Smets. Specialty act: John Harrison. Bullfighters: Daniel Newman and Rowdy Barry. Clown/barrelman: John Harrison. Flankmen: Hans Hennings and David Belyea. Chute boss: Dennis Peckham. Pickup men: David Lewis and Rick Shannon. Photographer: William Bruce.