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By Mike Sweeney
Special To Ropers Sports News

CHOWCHILLA, CA – The Chowchilla Fairgrounds hosted the California Chapter Finals Sept. 20-23 and 923 members punched their ticket to the ACTRA National Finals. This year the Board made some changes and it made a big difference in how smoothly things ran. When the dust settled on Sunday, over $250,000  in cash and prizes were awarded.
  Big thanks to the “awesome office ladies,” Toni Machado, Tonja Sweeney and Cory Couch. Ladies announcing and timing who did a fantastic job were Cyndi Mitchell and Brenda Robbins. The flagger duo of Billy Butler and first timer Buck Cardoza handled the flagging duties, great job.
  Steve Simons of S Bar J Cattle Co. certainly held up his end of the bargain as he was able to have the right cattle for the right ropings...great job and thank you, Steve.
  Awards Committee Chairman Larry McGrady did a great job getting all the awards ready so the awards ceremonies came off without a hitch.  Larry did make one mistake as he handed out the Dummy Roping buckle in the #10.5 Roping to Danny Leslie. Would have given anything for a picture of Danny’s face when he brought it to our attention. Speaking of awards, wow, what an outstanding awards program the Board put together. The championship Cactus saddles had a new look with a pencil roll cantle, which seemed to be a big hit.  Skyline Silversmiths did a great job on the buckles and stirrups – thanks Ryan. Yeti was another popular award, and Professional’s Choice held up their end with some outstanding pads, and value pack splint boots.  Weaver Leather did their part with some great looking headstalls. Cactus and Fastback Ropes also gave away four rope sponsorships valued at over $1,800. Wrangler also made sure the winners were wearing “Wranglers.”
  Now, how about a pat on the back to those folks behind the scenes who made the Finals a big success: Director Wayne Hicks worked the ground for five days before anything got started, this might not have been possible if it hadn’t been for Lawrence Tractor of Visalia, Calif., and the great John Deere tractor. A big thank you to Jack Stuhaan for making sure the tractor was here for us to use, and thank you to Parma for the arena groomer, and to Steve Simons and crew for handling the arena setup. Another Director who went above and beyond the call of duty was Bryon Abshire, Bryon spent days getting the communications set up between the arenas and the office, among other jobs. Super job, Bryon.
  Another job that doesn’t get noticed unless it’s not done is keeping the dust down. Chowchilla’s own Steve Branco made sure that wasn’t an issue. Steve spent days prior to and during the event and we thank him. Speaking of Chowchilla’s own, how about Jodi Branco, cool, calm and in control, I don’t think there is anything you could throw at her that she couldn’t handle. Thanks Jodi!
  Now let’s talk about the Chowchilla Fairgrounds and their staff. First and probably the most important, is that no doubt they want us there and are willing to do everything in their power to make sure our event is a success. I can honestly say without a doubt of all the places we have been it has never been more evident than our last two years in Chowchilla. Thanks, Gene Beels.
  One of the more intense events that takes place at the Chapter Finals is the Dummy Roping. The last several years Debbie and Richard Santos have taken on the daunting task.  There have been years when they didn’t have the buckles or enough awards, never their fault. This year everything went absolutely perfect. A big thank you to Debbie and Richard and our wonderful rope companies Cactus and Fast Back. A big thank you to Jim Pfeffer of Ropes Galore for allowing our kids to play in his playground.
  The Catastrophe Fund banquet took on a new look this year. Because the year-end awards program was changed, it gave more time for the auction. With a huge amount of items donated, the auction generated over $4,700. The big ticket item was one of the late Red St. Clair’s trophy saddles – Ellen St. Clair felt Red would have wanted the ACTRA Catastrophe Fund to benefit from the sale of the saddle. Thank you to Jake Pettyjohn for being the high bidder. Another big job at any auction is the bookkeeping, thank you to Shelley Kuhr and Amanda Amis for doing a great job. We would also like to thank Teena Blair, Ellen St. Clair, Betty and Vikki Sweeney for setting up the tables and silent auction items.  
  The Farmers Den catered the dinner and it was absolutely delicious.  A big thank you to Jeff, Joe and the Farmers Den Crew.  
  ACTRA would call this year’s Chapter Finals one of the best of all time. Next it was on to Corning for the Final Chapter of the 2018 California year, and of course to the ACTRA National Finals Oct. 21-27 in Reno, which will be reported on in the December issue of Ropers Sports News.
Congratulations to the following California ACTRA Scholarship winners for 2018: Brittany Dias, $800; Jillian Murray, $800; Casey Tidwell, $600; Brooke White, $400; and Dry Tilton, $400.
Thurs., Sept. 20
#8.5 Roping: 4 for $60
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Corey Fitze and Ryan Fowler, 7.06, $375. 2. Craig Harrison and Ryan Fowler, 7.14, $225. 3. Sean Pascoe and Bobby Roberts, 7.15, $150.
Average: 1. Cole Bunting and Spencer Mitchell, 32.96, $2,030. 2. Sean Pascoe and Ryan Eaton Sr., 33.20, $1,420. 3. Keith Erickson and Paul Mullins, 34.89, $1,085. 4. Caleb Merrell and Rhett Kennedy, 34.93, $810. 5. Cole Bunting and Adam Fitze, 35.14, $610. 6. Darrick Hoskins and Dean Bell, 35.92, $475. 7. Jose Pantoja and Joe Robinson, 39.01, $340.
#10.5 Hdcp: 4 for $60
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Cody Mora and Jason Johe, 5.54, $355. 2. Lane Karney and Danny Leslie, 5.58, $215. 3. Lane Karney and Todd Humphrey, 5.65, $140.
Average: 1. Lane Karney and Danny Leslie, 25.36, $1,920. 2. Clay Simons and Danny Leslie, 26.20, $1,3450. 3. Bo Bacigalupi and Wyatt Hansen, 27.22, $1,025. 4. Cobie Dodds and Spencer Mitchell, 28.21, $770. 5. Hank Brown and Joey Acevedo, 29.83, $575. 6. Mike Potts and John Freeman, 31.76, $450. 7. Bert Ferrasci and Justin Farr, 32.20, $320.
Open Roping: 4 for $100, 61 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Tanner James and Ty Boesch, 6.72, $300. 2. Ryan Reed and Kyle Lockett, 6.78, $190.
Average: 1. CJ DeForest and Jeffrey Larson, 30.77, $1,755. 2. Cody Mora and Jeffrey Larson, 31.22, $1,320. 3. Tanner Kent and Matt Costa, 31.26, $880. 4. CJ DeForest and Andy Holcomb, 32.00, $440.
Fri., Sept. 21
Century #8 Hdcp: 4 for $60, 147 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Shawn Howell and Todd Hampton, 5.94, $345. 2. Sean McRoberts and Denny Watkins, 7.21, $205. 3. Darrick Hoskins and Virgil Williams, 7.44, $140.
Average: 1. J.T. Bradley and Steve Mitchell, 31.99, $2,045. 2. Shawn Howell and Todd Hampton, 33.32, $1,425. 3. Hank Brown and Joey Acevedo, 34.75, $1,055. 4. Nick Paboojian and Cris Robles, 36.30, $745. 5. Ed Cohn and Blaine Santos, 36.34, $555. 6. Sean McRoberts and Denny Watkins, 38.96, $370.
Super #7 Hdcp Down: 4 for $60, 331 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Caden Clay and Will Cowden, 6.78, $520. 2. Kyle Manes and Clayton Vincent, 6.97, $360. 3. Josh Verburg and Justin Bruecker, 7.23, $270. 4. Jimmy B. Smith and Ryan Eaton Sr., 7.24, $190. 5. Joseph Pedota and Tanner James, 7.47, $140. 6. Jenney Pereira and Danny Leslie, 7.53, $95.
Average: 1. Zachary Toberer and Stoney Boy Joseph, 28.61, $3,115. 2. Cobie Dodds and Clayton Vincent, 33.70, $2,410. 3. Chris Roderick and Mike Christensen, 34.28, $1,700. 4. Ryan Bettencourt and Colt Cowden, 36.86, $1,275. 5. Kelsey Mauro and Tony Lee Boggs, 37.03, $1,135. 6. Darrick Hoskins and PK Kennedy, 37.78, $990. 7. Wilson Redfeairn and Ty Boesch, 38.39, $850. 8. Rich Bakke and Jeff Sparrowk, 38.68, $710. 9. Paul Devine and Tom Hardin Sr., 39.12, $565. 10. Tyson Porter and Cole Dodds, 39.47, $565. 11. Jamie Anthony and Ted Williams, 40.55, $425. 12. Ed Cohn and Vernon Green, 41.54, $425.
Sat., Sept. 22
#5.5 Roping: 4 for $60, 486 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Jimmy B. Smith and Edwin Balaam, 7.05, $675. 2. Ryan Phun and Cody Alvernaz, 7.11, $475. 3. Alan Eastman and Dillon Almason, 7.30, $360. 4. Casey Sabin and Hec Hurley, 7.65, $270. 5. Courtney Boesch and Clay Scott, 8.02, $205. 6. Rylee George and Will Cowden, 8.16, $160. 7. Nolan Scott and Kade Holeman, 8.25, $115.
Average: 1. Daren Lowry and Jeff Sparrowk, 35.74, $3,650. 2. Ed Cohn and John Flook, 38.68, $2,840. 3. Al Wiersma and Joe Robinson, 39.05, $2,535. 4. Brandyn Hartfield and Devin Lemmones, 39.79, $2,030. 5. Tres Porter and Peter Rincon, 41.48, $1,625. 6. Jeff Quarle and Matt Henry, 42.22, $1,420. 7. Brian Sharp and Jeff Sparrowk, 42.52, $1,320. 8. Mike Nizzoli and Kevin Pascoe, 44.36, $1,215. 9. J.T. Bradley and Steve Mitchell, 44.71, $1,065. 10. Bronc Rowland and Buddy Rhodes, 44.71, $1,065. 11. Dave Nuss and Turner Houston, 45.75, $610. 12. Josh Lynch and Steve Hatcher, 45.79, $505. 13. Keith Blevins and Buster Berna, 46.73, $205. 14. Kelsey Mauro and Steve Hatcher, 47.15, $205.
#3 Roping: 4 for $60, 269 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Chase Helton and Caleb Reese Cowden, 7.61, $445. 2. Tim Roberts Jr. and Jake Bourdet, 8.12, $320. 3. Jack M. Rasmason and Cody Barnard, 8.19, $240. 4. Cody Travis Jr. and Brody Manness, 8.49, $180. 5. Joey Rawls and Rylee George, 8.88, $90.
Average: 1. Daniel Stice and Brandyn Hartfield, 42.96, $2,640. 2. Blake Ricken and Mitchell Behling, 48.02, $1,950. 3. Cole Petersen and James Green, 51.32, $1,380. 4. Tyler Jones and Owen Redfeairn, 56.26, $1,150. 5. Wayne Gaither and Ernie Cardoza, 58.60, $1,035. 6. Chad Nunnelee and Tucker Alexander, 58.76, $920. 7. Justin Burgess and David M. Burgess, 63.43, $690. 8. Tim Gualco and Daren Lowry, 65.80, $575. 9. Keith Morgan and Kim Collins, 72.63, $460. 10. Chad Nunnelee and Paul J. Smith, 30.12 on 3, $345. 11. Joey Kourafas and Gavin Cardoza, 39.14 on 3, $345.
Ashley Escobar #7 Hdcp All Girl: 4 for $80, 69 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Karen Dias and Rikki Perezchica, 9.08, $115. 2. Peaches Mac­Kenzie and Stacey Brooks, 9.57, $80.
Average: 1. Karen Waggoner and Jeannie Cardoza, 60.04, $705. 2. Julie Harvey and Summer Tex, 48.54 on 3, $530. 3. Alexis Ingraham and Lori L. Nevis, 13.84 on 2, $350. 4. Blair Brown and Stacey Brooks, 20.26 on 2, $175.
Sun., Sept. 23
#4 Roping: 4 for $60, 386 teams
Rotation 1, Rd. 1: 1. Nathan Wohld and Allen Hagens, 7.23, $595. 2. Keith Blevins and Clayton Vincent, 7.99, $415. 3. Matt Maral and Robby Balaam, 8.14, $305. 4. Justin Dahlem and Trent Jones, 8.15, $215. 5. Devin Lemmones and Memphis Broby, 8.47, $160. 6. Jacob Hayhurst and Carl Pescosolido, 8.50, $110.
Average: 1. Keith Blevins and Clayton Vincent, 41.90, $3,570. 2. Judie Nielsen and Toni Bonfantini, 41.97, $2,760.  3. Sid Harvey and Colby George, 42.54, $1,950. 4. Sarah Brewen and Casey Sabin, 44.06, $1,460. 5. Chad Nickeson and Ernie Mauro, 45.97, $1,300. 6. Londyn Brazil and Jeff Brazil, 46.91, $1,135. 7. Brittany Dias and Kasey Correia, 48.25, $975. 8. Devin Lemmones and Memphis Broby, 48.91, $810. 9. Judie Nielsen and Bill Kaufman, 53.61, $730. 10. Chase Nevis and Lori L. Nevis, 53.76, $650. 11. Larry McGrady and Marlin Russum, 54.48, $405. 12. Nick Paboojian and Cris Robles, 56.41, $325. 13. Ron H. Roth and Frank Roth, 57.99, $160.