Broncs and bulls: "It's money or mud"

By Joshua Dillen/Baker City Herald July 22, 2013 09:39 am

Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald Sam Harper of Paradise Valley, Nev., scores a 74 during this ride at the Bronc Riding Blowout Friday night.
Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald Sam Harper of Paradise Valley, Nev., scores a 74 during this ride at the Bronc Riding Blowout Friday night.

By Joshua Dillen

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“In a previous life that horse was a carnivorous animal.”

That’s how announcer Steve Kenyon described one of the horses Friday night at the bronc riding event at the Baker County Fairgrounds.

Some of the rankest saddle broncs and bulls along with arguably the toughest cowboys in the West gathered at the Fairgrounds arena for Friday’s bronc riding and Saturday’s bull riding events.

Jake Wright from Milford, Utah, won the bronc riding event for the second year in a row. He also enjoyed a career high score of 91 while outriding 36 other cowboys.

Wright seemed to be walking on cloud nine after his high-scoring 8-second ride. He voiced respect for his fellow competitors while making a point about his profession.

“Count your lucky stars. It’s money or mud when you’re riding with this caliber of guys,” Wright said.

The stands at the rodeo arena were filled to capacity Saturday for the Bull Riding Blowout.

Brady Portenier from Caldwell, Idaho, was the champion of the evening.

“Riding bulls is fun and you get paid real good too,” Portenier said after getting the highest score and beating out 43 other cowboys. 

Portenier is only 18 and scored 89 points to win a first-place purse of more than $9,000. It was his biggest paycheck and the highest score he has ever received.