The Champs are Crowned

I am playing catch up after a crazy month. I have been crazy busy behind the camera, in the office and on the ranch. Don’t worry, today I am sharing the results you’ve been waiting for. It all came down to this. The fifth was the last open rodeo for True Western Roundup. I will share rodeo results and who was crowned the winner of the series.

Ranch Bronc:

  1. Kevin Faulk 79 points
  2. Kolby Burt 77 points
  3. Josh Bridge 65 points

Faulk topped the leaderboard one last time with a great ride on Camp Creek from W/A Rodeo. There were also two other notable rides. Bridge’s 65 point ride was his first ever entry into a rodeo for ranch bronc riding.

Kevin Faulk is the 2023 True Western Roundup Ranch Bronc Champion.

Chute Doggin’:

  1. Kelby Oliver

Oliver held strong all three rodeos being the only contestant to get his steer to the ground two of the three rodeos. Dax Kunch of Durango who brought this event to True Western Roundup had great sportsmanship towards his competitor and we hope to see him have success next year.

Kelby Oliver is the 2023 True Western Roundup Chute Dogging Champion.

Mutton Bustin’:

  1. Terrell Begaye 90 points
  2. Diesel Thompson 85 points

The mutton busting became a close race and it all came down the the draw of the sheep. There were many qualified rides, the competition was at a stand still as Begaye and Thompson tied on their ride. Once the scores were tallied Begaye came out on top.

Terrell Begaye is the 2023 True Western Roundup Mutton Busting Champion.

Calf Riding:

  1. Kiara Davis 73 points
  2. Kash Canterbury 68 points

Another head to head battle with Davis and Canterbury. These were the only two qualified rides. The scores came in and Davis pulled ahead barely to claim the win.

Kiara Davis is the 2023 True Western Roundup Calf Riding Champion.

Tie-down Roping:

  1. Rance Rathjen 10.5 sec
  2. Holland Taylor 11.8 sec

Rathjen came to win his prize at the finals, hitting the top again with a solid 10.5 second run. A new name graced the leader board for tie down roping, Holland Taylor who we typically see on the team roping side of things had a great time putting him in second place. There were many other qualified times by some who have been noted, Hardy Tozer and Wade Hatch. None could catch up to Rance making him the champ.

Rance Rathjen is the 2023 True Western Roundup Tie-Down Roping Champion.

Saddle Bronc:

  1. Tyler Beebe 72 points
  2. Jake Herndon 68 points

Saddle bronc has had some crazy twists and turns. This rodeo we had two new names at the top of the leaderboard. Beebe a local cowboy from Bayfield was in attendance easily securing the win of the night. Herndon has been in attendance as a young high school rider. He has gotten some great practice over the summer and managed to make a ride and place second. The overall winner managed to miss the last two rodeos but snuck away with the win.

Mitchie Story is the 2023 True Western Roundup Saddle Bronc Champion.

Open Team Roping:

  1. Taylor Dean, Wasy Brady 6.1 sec
  2. Bodhi Hine, York Gill 6.9 sec

There have been new names each week on our leaderboard for the series and this week is no different. Hitting the top is Dean and Brady along with a familiar name, Hine and Gill taking that second spot. This was all up to the secretary to find out who our overall winners were for the series and they are the one names we’ve seen a few times at the top.

Chance Hine & Bodhi Hine are the 2023 Open Team Roping Champions.

Open Bull Riding:


A devastating way to end the series with no qualified rides once again. You may recall that there were only four qualified rides this entire series leaving it up to the scores to see who was crowned the champion. Our winner attended two rodeos at the beginning of the season setting himself up for success early.

Luke Mackey is the 2023 True Western Roundup Open Bull Riding Champion.

Novice Bull Riding:

  1. JW Nasland 67 points
  2. Noah Higgins 59 points

There was a little bit of luck left in the chutes to end the night with two qualified rides in the novice bull riding. JW has been in attendance the entire season and finally got his name on the board. Higgins had to make a ride to secure his win. It wasn’t a great looking ride but he stuck it out for the eight seconds.

Noah Higgins is the 2023 True Western Roundup Novice Bull Riding Champion.

Steer Wrestling:

  1. Trace Krueger 4.6 sec
  2. Andrew Galloway 6.1 sec

There are some new leaders on the board that are some big names around the local pro-am circuits. Krueger and Galloway made a stop in Durango after a full week at Red Ryder Roundup and other local Cowboy Christmas stops. Krueger has been on our leaderboard before and attended all five performances. It all came down to this and it was a little bit exciting. A coin toss happened in the middle of the arena as Krueger and his traveling partner Reese Polk. Polk made the call for heads and as it hit the dust settled on the arena dirt it came up tales.

Trace Krueger is the 2023 True Western Roundup Steer Wrestling Champion.


  1. McKenzie Watkins 2.3 sec
  2. Codi Reed 2.7 sec
  3. Shylene Drumm 2.7 sec
  4. Kourtney Sherman 3.0 sec

It was another close battle in the breakaway roping. Watkins stole the show with a 2.3 second time followed closely by the two high school athletes, Reed, Drumm and Sherman. These quick times made it a tight race for the overall champion. All four of these ladies at the top have been in attendance throughout the summer working their way towards the buckle.

McKenzie Watkins is the 2023 True Western Roundup Breakaway Champion.

Junior Breakaway(13 under):

  1. Taylor Armenta 3.0 sec

Armenta showed up swinging being the only qualified time. This shook up the board but wasn’t enough to beat out the champion.

Riggin Foster is the 2023 True Western Roundup Jr Breakaway Champion.

Businessman’s #10 Team Roping:

  1. McKenzie Watkins, Clay Rathjen 7.1 sec
  2. Kasey Edwards, OD Edwards, 10.5 sec
  3. Taylor Dean, Teagan Taylor 12.2 sec

Another scramble of the leaderboard, new names taking the lead this week. Watkins and Rathjen took it home with a hefty lead of a 7.1 second run. The times were a little slower this week but a time made all the difference to who would make it out on top. There were no buckles given for the number 10 roping.


  1. Bayler Faulkner 17.71 sec
  2. Kate Brofft 17.85 sec
  3. Teagan McGinnis 17.97 sec

What a tight race is was for the last rodeo. Faulkner has been in attendance the whole season and has clocked good times. This week she managed to slip into first place going home with over $300. Brofft made it into the top again but it wasn’t enough to take home the buckle.

Jaida Woody is the 2023 True Western Roundup Open Barrels Champion.

Jr Barrels:

  1. Jayleigh Gordanier 18.45 sec
  2. Kodi Mae Rima 18.85 sec
  3. Lexi Taylor 19.12 sec

These girls were running quick this week keeping them in the 18 and 19s. These local cowgirls battled it out but one kept her name at the top to claim the buckle.

Jayleigh Gordanier is the 2023 True Western Roundup Jr Barrels Champion.

I am sad to see the short season come to an end but am glad to see the successes each contestant had throughout the five weeks. True Western Roundup only has three more events until they wrap up the summer.

Check out this gallery of the TWR Finals.

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