The Mesalands Community College rodeo teams claimed the women’s reserve team championship and a bronc riding reserve championship at their eighth annual Grand Canyon Region Intercollegiate Fall Rodeo held Oct. 9 -10 at the Quay County Rodeo Arena.
“I was especially proud of the performance of our women’s team, they had a pretty good weekend,” said Tim Abbott, Mesalands rodeo coach.
The two-day event drew 609 people to Tucumcari and was preceded by Mesalands’ Stampede Week that featured daily events for the community to enjoy leading up to the rodeo. Mesalands’ women’s team finished in second place and the men’s team in third place.
“I thought the Mesalands Fall Rodeo lived up to the standards that we’ve set for our rodeos here,” Abbott said. “Just like we always say, Honeycutt Rodeo continues to do a phenomenal job from a production standpoint. The rodeo team, the college faculty and staff, and other community volunteers, worked very hard last weekend to put on an outstanding rodeo.”
Abbott said Arianna Assini from Oracle, Arizona, shined at the event. Assini competed in three events in the short round, including, goat tying, breakaway roping and team roping. Assini has qualified for the short rounds at other rodeos this year, however, this was her first time to make the short round in all three events. In team roping (header), she was third in the average with Justin Stegall (heeler) from Morristown, Arizona. She finished fifth in the average in breakaway roping. In goat tying, her goat came untied a half a second too soon and she ended the event ninth in the average.
Fellow teammate Sharli Macdonald, of Camp Verde, Arizona, also had strong performance at the Fall Rodeo. She made the short round in both the goat tying and team roping events. In team roping (header), she finished in sixth place with Dillon Smith (heeler) from Central Arizona College. Macdonald was fourth in the average in goat tying.
Assini and Macdonald together competed in five events in the short round, earning 290 points for the women’s team.
The saddle bronc riding event was close in the short round. Clay Stremler of Winnemucca, Nevada has placed in the top two in all three rodeos this semester.
Stremler and Jalen Joaquin from Cochise College have been battling for that top spot.
Stremler took second and won the reserve championship title with a total of 144 points. Joaquin earned 149 points and won first place in the average. Stremler is still leading in the regional standings with a total of 450 points.
Abbott said bull rider Holden Hedgepeth from Damascus, Arizona, broke his left forearm during the rodeo. He said Hedgepeth is in Albuquerque this week and will undergo surgery.
In steer wrestling, Chace Valdez of Estancia, placed first in the first round but struggled in the short round and took a no time. Valdez placed sixth in the average.
Valdez also competed in tie down roping. He had a strong performance in the long round and qualified for the short round. Teammate Kyle Jurney of Eunice, had a little more success in this event. Jurney made a good run in the short round and seized third place in the average.
“We had another exceptional 8th Annual Mesalands Fall Rodeo and Stampede Week and would like to thank all of the volunteers, supporters, and sponsors for making these events successful,” said Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, Mesalands’ president. “We welcome the opportunity to bring contestants and spectators, from not only New Mexico and Arizona, but from all over the country to our community and Quay County.”
The Mesalands rodeo team will kick off the spring season in March and will host its spring rodeo competition in April.
Below are Mesalands individual Grand Canyon Regional Standings:
Saddle Bronc Riding
1. Clay Stremler
Tie Down Roping
5. Kyle Jurney
7. Chance Stucker
8. Tyler Stegall
5. Arianna Assini (header)
8. Jacob Rounds (header)
10. Kasey Brown (header)
7. Koly Ray Spears (heeler)
8. Justin Stegall (heeler)
10. Clay Lee (heeler)
9. Arianna Assini
10. Sharli Macdonald