The drama unfolds during the first performance of Puyallup Rodeo: VOICE of the Valley


The grandstand action at the Washington State Fair began with a bareback ride where Leighton Berry of Weatherford, Texas did the most notable ride of the night. Berry rode Calgary Stampede big horse Cinchy Whitney for 88 points to win the first round of his group.

It was a very important win for Berry which added some much needed money to his checking account. More importantly, those dollars count towards the global rankings. Berry, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2020, is looking for another opportunity to compete in the rodeo championships. Before the start of the Puyallup Rodeo, he was 13 years olde in the world ranking. The top 15 qualify for the NFR, so he needs to keep winning to secure his spot and hopes any moves in the leaderboard are up and not down.

Berry’s first NFR qualifier was held in his home state of Texas due to the pandemic. Last year he spent much of the season with a back injury that required surgery. He grew up the son of a rodeo cowboy who always dreamed of competing at the NFR in Las Vegas. His success at Puyallup could make those goals a reality.

He will ride here again on Friday evening. A solid score will put him in the top four who advance from that group to Sunday’s semi-finals. Finding themselves in a similar situation are team stringers Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp.

With Snow, of Los Olivos, Calif., in the lead and Thorp, of Throckmorton, Texas, they stopped the clock in 4.2 seconds to win the heat. It was a crucial decision for them too. Snow is 13 years olde in the world, while Thorp, the 2019 world champion is 14 years olde.

Friday’s rodeo will feature the same competitors that were here Thursday. Their scores and times will be added together to see who advances to Sunday’s semi-finals. The top four in each event will spend some extra time at the Washington State Fair as they compete for the championship and the lion’s share of the prize money.

Here are the unofficial Cinch Playoffs results at the Puyallup Rodeo, which is part of the Washington State Fair. Winnings are subject to change.

First performance—

Bareback riding: 1, Leighton Berry, Weatherford, Texas, 88 points over Cinchy Whitney of the Calgary Stampede, $3,600. 2, Will Lowe, Amarillo, TX, 85.5, $2,700. 3, Ty Breuer, Mandan, ND, 83, $1,800. 4, Chad Rutherford, Hillsboro, TX, 82, $900.

Breakaway rope: 1, (tie) Jordi Edens, Gatesville, Texas; Beau Peterson, Council Grove, Kan.; Tacy Webb, Midway, Texas, 3.1 and $2,700 each. 4, Lari Dee Guy, Abilene, TX, 4.0, $900.

Steer wrestling: 1, Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nevada, 4.2, $3,600. 2, Tristan Martin, Sulfur, Louisiana, 4.4, $2,700. 3, Trell Etbauer, Goodwell, Oklahoma, 4.5, $1,800. 4, Ty Erickson, Helena, Montana, 5.1, $900.

Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Kole Ashbacher, Arrowood, Alta., 86 points on Calgary Stampede Business Girl, $3,600. 2, (tie) Layton Green, Millarville, Alberta, and Damian Brennan, Injune, Australia, 83, $2,250 each. 4, (tie) Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah, and Mitch Pollock, Winnemucca, Nevada, $81,450.

Team stringing: 1, Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif., and Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas, 4.2, $3,600. 2, Quinn Kesler, Holden, Utah and Caleb Hendrix, Fallon, Nevada, 4.3, $2,700. 3, Erich Rogers, Seba Dalkai, Arizona, and Paden Bray, Stephenville, Texas, 4.4, $1,800. 4, Clay Tryan, Billings, Montana, and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nevada, 6.0, $900.

Tie-down rope: 1, Jake Pratt, Ellensburg, Wash., 8.2, $3,600. 2, Luke Potter, Maple city, Kan., and Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., 8.3 and $2,250 each. 4, Cory Solomon, Prairie View, TX, 8.8, $900.

Barrel Racing: 1, Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 13.64, $3,600. 2, Ivy Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 13.85, $2,700. 3, Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla., 13.90, $1,800. 4, Emma Charleston, Reeds, Mo., 2/14, $900.

Bull Riding: 1, Connor Murnion, Jordan, Mont., 84.5 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeo’s Catfish Clinger. 2, Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, 82.5, $2,700. 3, Ky John Hamilton, Mackay, Australia, 81.5, $1,800.

For more information and tickets: https://www.thefair.com/rodeo/

Where: Washington State Fair

110 9e Avenue SW, Puyallup, WA 98371

When: Thursday, September 8 to Sunday, September 11

The Washington State Fair is one of the largest fairs in the world and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It started in 1900 in Puyallup and hosts over a million guests to the state’s biggest event. Star-studded entertainment, the Puyallup Rodeo, rides, exhibits, food, flowers and animals are the mainstays of the 20-day event which kicks off Friday Labor Day weekend. For more information on the Washington State Fair Sept. 2-25, 2022 (closed Tuesdays and Sept. 7), visit www.thefair.com.

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