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Feb 23rd
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Home Things to Do Rodeos Tyson Durfey Sets Arena Record at Oregon’s Sisters Rodeo

Tyson Durfey Sets Arena Record at Oregon’s Sisters Rodeo

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Tyson Durfey says he wants to live his life "like a snowball coming down a mountain, getting bigger as I go."

He seems to be on his way.

Durfey has qualified for each of the last three Wrangler National Finals Rodeos and improved his spot in the final world standings each year, advancing from 11th in 2007 to seventh a year later and third last year when he won $85,236 in Las Vegas.

Tyson Durfey
And he is off to the best start of his career in 2010.

When Durfey broke the arena record at the June 11-13 Sisters Rodeo in Sisters, Ore. with a two-head time of 16.9 seconds, he secured his seventh title at a PRCA rodeo this year.

With a third-place result on his backup horse, Hemi, at the Lea Park Rodeo in Marwayne, Alberta, Durfey banked $6,317 for the weekend. That pushed his season total to $42,985, good for sixth place in the PRCA World Standings.

The Colbert, Wash., cowboy tied for second in the first round at Sisters with a time of 8.6 seconds on his primary mount, Bailey. He had to send Bailey on to Pleasant Grove, Utah, for a rodeo there this week, so when he came back from Canada for round two, he borrowed a horse from fellow tie-down roper Sterling Smith.

No problem: Durfey won the second round in 8.3 on the loaner to break the Sisters average record of 17.2 seconds set by Jerry Alley in 1997.

"It was a pretty cool experience," Durfey said. "I'd been to Sisters five times before and never won anything. I thought those two runs might be good enough to win, but I never even thought about an arena record."

Durfey tries never to get caught up in those things. He says he never looks at the world standings because he doesn't want to take away from his single-minded approach to making the best run he can each time.

His father, Roy, a horse trainer, always taught him to stay focused on the basics. He has tried to model his practice and mental preparation after proven champions like Cody Ohl and Trevor Brazile.

He also gives a great deal of credit for his consistency this year to the maturity he has seen in Bailey, the horse he bought in 2008, and his only slightly different approach to tie-down roping.

Durfey doesn't try to run off his horse real fast. He likes to hesitate just a little bit in the stirrup and watch where the calf is going. He feels the style has two benefits - it helps his horse stop, and he can get a better read on the approach he wants to take.

Durfey's two-head average was one of three records set at the Sisters Rodeo Arena.

Saddle bronc rider Scott Miller, of Hemet, Calif., had an 87-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo's Kool Toddy that broke Jesse Kruse's year-old record by a point and earned him $4,646.

Shawn Greenfield, of Lakeview, Ore., had a 3.6-second run to win the second round of the steer wrestling and break the record of 3.8 seconds set by Sam Willis in 1991 and tied by Pat Nogle in 2005. B.J. Taruscio won the two-head average with a time of 9.5 seconds.

The other champions at Sisters were bareback rider Ryan Gray (83 points), team ropers Clay Tryan and Travis Graves (11.3 seconds on two head), bull rider Mikey Allison (86 points) and barrel racer Kelli Tolbert (17.38 seconds).

In other news, Justin McDaniel returned to competition this past weekend in Garden City, Kan., after six months lost due to back surgery.

He scored 79 points on a colt from the Korkow Rodeo string - it was actually a re-ride - and placed sixth. It was his first ride since the ninth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last December.

"It was awesome," said McDaniel, the 2008 world champion bareback rider. "It felt good to be back. I was a little rusty, but I hadn't been on anything in a long time. I had to get on two horses, and the second one felt really good. "I've just lost a lot of muscle memory, but it'll come back."

Also, Three-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote made his return to competition this weekend after a two-month pause to recover from surgery to ease impingements in his neck.

Mote had a 71-point ride at Sisters, Ore., and then a 76-pointer in Livermore, Calif., where he tied for eighth place. He reported his free arm is still weak, but that otherwise he feels good.

Editor's Note: Story courtesy of the PRCA.

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