Top cowboys show their skills while a few steers outfoxed their would-be captors
With the pungent smell of cow dung in the air, the second Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo came to the former home of Miss America last night and went off without any of the technical glitches that marred last year’s opening night.
Of course that doesn’t mean some of the animals didn’t triumph over the would-be steer wrestlers and team ropers trying to bring them down. I have to admit I found myself rooting for the steers and calves when they proved to be too clever and elusive for the cowboys trying to either pull them down and flip them for the bulldogging, or double rope them in the front and rear for the team roping event.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo is a contrast in skill level. While the top competitors showed the 3,622 fans on hand how it is done with seeming ease, people like Caycee Feild, a top bareback rider and the Torres brothers, Joshua and Jonathan, who pulled off the team roping event in an amazing 7.1 seconds, there are a lot of regional cowboys from New Jersey and Pennsylvania who are not fulltime competitors. The skill level of the cowboys from Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah who are regulars in major competitions is far superior.
Feild and Luke Branquinho, a top steer wrestler, really showed dedication to their craft, and the opportunity to win prize money. Both competed Thursday night in the Ram National Circuit Finals in Oklahoma City, then hopped on a plane in time to compete in the Atlantic City event. Branquinho did not quality in his event, but he is in first place in Oklahoma and will fly back to compete there today.
Feild, meanwhile, took a third place in the bareback event Thursday in Oklahoma City and is currently leading the Atlantic City field in that event after an opening run that earned him 81 points.
The other leaders in the first round in Atlantic City are:
A taste of the wild west comes east this weekend with the second annual Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo at Boardwalk Hall. While the initial event was a solid success last year, even more is expected this year as a revenue-generating bonanza for a region that could use an economic boost.
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