The Friday crowd at Frontier Park watched as Semifinals 1 set half the field for Sunday’s Championship Finals at the 126th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (CFD). Twelve rodeo athletes competed in each event (12 teams in team roping) with just six advancing to Sunday’s competition.
In the bareback riding Garrett Shadbolt of Merriman, Nebraska, went to the winners’ circle for the second consecutive day. The father of two won Quarterfinals 6 on Thursday, then took first place in Semifinals 2 with a score of 86 points on United Pro Rodeo’s bucking horse named Pow Wow Nation. Shadbolt is currently ranked 12th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) standings and aiming for a second trip to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in December. Another cowboy advancing to Sunday is Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas. At age 39 he is competing, and winning, against men half his age. The three-time world champion has won the bareback riding title at CFD three times. If he wins the championship round, he will become the only bareback rider to win the “Daddy of ‘em All” four times.
Three-time world champions Clay Tryan of Billings, Montana, and Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nevada, also won for the second day in a row at Frontier Park. The pair won the CFD team roping championship together in 2013. A win Sunday could make Corkill the first four-time team roping champion at the “Daddy of ‘em All”. He won in 2009 with Tennessee roper Chad Masters and last year with Oklahoman Clay Smith.
A couple of Texas women tied for the win in Semifinals 2 of breakaway roping. Tiffany Schieck of Floresville and Martha Angelone of Stephenville both roped their calves in 4.6 seconds. Angelone has qualified for the National Finals Breakaway Roping (NFBR) twice, winning the inaugural event in 2020, and is currently third in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) standings. Schieck, on the other hand, is not among the top 50 in the standings and a win at Frontier Park on Sunday would be the biggest of her career.
Reese Riemer of Stinnett, Texas, set the pace early in the tie-down roping with a 10.5-second run. The three-time NFR qualifier has not qualified for rodeo’s season finale since 2018. Today’s win, plus a win on Sunday, could put another trip to Las Vegas within reach for the 31-year-old Texan.
Two-time world champion Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, rodeo Summit Pro Rodeo’s bucking horse Corina for 89.5 points to win Semifinals 2. Thurston has never won a championship at CFD, but his father Skeeter Thurston was the rookie saddle bronc riding winner at Frontier Park in 1982. With a winning ride on Sunday, Zeke could take another CFD title home to Canada for the Thurston family 40 years later.
Justin Shaffer of Hallsville, Texas, took first place in steer wrestling in Semifinals 1 with a time of 6.5 seconds. One of his biggest career wins was at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2017. Winning here could be another. There is at least a 50-50 chance that Sunday’s steer wrestling winner will be a first-time CFD winner since none of the men advancing from Semifinals 1 have won in Frontier Park.
Summer Kosel made history at Cheyenne Frontier Days during last week’s qualifying round of barrel racing by clocking the fastest time recorded at the “Daddy of ‘em All” in barrel racing. The South Dakota barrel racer proved that was no fluke by winning Semifinals 1 with a time of 17.34 seconds.
Josh Frost of Randlett, Utah, tallied 91 points when he rode Harper & Rodeo Company’s bull Blackout to win the Semifinals. Frost, who won the 2021 NFR title in bull riding for the highest cumulative score over 10 rounds, is currently ranked second in the PRCA standings. The younger brother of retired bull rider Joe Frost and second-cousin to bull riding legend Lane Frost is striving to become the first in his family to win a CFD championship.
Semifinals 2 will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Friday. The six fastest times or highest scores will join those who advanced on Friday in Sunday’s Championship Finals to round out the field of 12 in each event.