UMW hands grind through unforgiving CNFR

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Hot start

UMW freshman bareback rider Trevor Kay opened the CNRF with a 74 point score aboard Highway Man on opening Sunday. Despite a no score in the second round Kay nearly made it back to the short go. Jackie Jensen/Winnett Cowgirl photo

For the University of Montana Western, the College National Finals Rodeo did not go as hoped or as planned. Neither the six-person men’s team nor the lone female wearing the red and black of UMW were able to score any team points during the week-long rodeo at Casper, Wyo.

“Honestly, for Bryce the draw just took him out of it in bulldoggin,” said UMW coach J.T. Robbins. “He just didn’t have a chance.”

Bryce Harrison returned to the CNFR after placing sixth in the nation as a junior. Harrison won the Big Sky Region steer wrestling title the past two seasons after winning the Northwest Region as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Dillon.

The draw is key and his first steer took a hard right and crossed in front of his horse for a no time. Things never did click after that.

Western’s bright spot rose out of the bucking chutes. Freshman Carson Klingler finshed 15th in the nation in saddle bronc and fellow frosh Trevor Kay placed 15th in bareback.

“I am super proud of the two freshmen roughies,” said Robbins. “To start where they started last fall, They could have both made it back with the right breaks. With Carson, a lot of people don’t realize is that when he showed up at Dillon last fall he had only been on five buckin’ horses. It wasn’t something that he has been at for a long time.”

Robbins sees the young roughies and other returners joining top recruits like Montana’s Gavin Knutson, a top bull rider and state champion tie-down roper, and transfer Jhett Murphy, a talented bulldogger, tream roper and calf roper transferring from Laramie county Community College. Murphy’s dad Mark rodeoed for Western.

Likewise, freshman recruits Tavy Leno of Wyo., and Brooke Richey of Wash., both state champ breakaway ropers and two event National HS Rodeo qualifiers, will help bolster the women’s team.

Montana Western at the 2022 College National Finals Rodeo, Casper, Wyoming

Carson Klingler, saddle bronc RND 1 - 74 points, 10th in round. RND 2 – No Score. RND 3 – 70 points. Final - 144 points on two, 15th in nation.

Trevor Kay, bareback RND 1 - 72.5 points, 15th in round. RND 2 – 70 points, 19th in round. RND 3 – 68.5 points, 16th in round. Final - 211 points on three, 15th in nation.

James Ramirez, tie-down roping RND 1 - no time. RND 2 – 11.9 seconds, tie 10th in round. RND 3 – 16.7 seconds, 26th in round. Final - 28.6 on two, 26th in nation.

Bryce Harrison, steer wrestling RND 1 - no time. RND 2 – 9.2 seconds, 27th in round. RND 3 – 15.8 seconds, 25th in round. Final – 25.0 seconds on two, 31st in nation.

Jake Cerini/James Ramirez, team roping RND 1 - 12.7 seconds, 20th in round. RND 2 – no time. RND 3 – no time. Final - 12.7 seconds on one, 29th in nation.

Kaycee Rogers, goat tying RND 1 - 6.7 secoonds, tie for 20th. RND 2 – no time. RND 3 – 6.6 seconds, tie 14th in round. Final - 12.9 seconds on two, 46th in nation.


In last week’s story on the CNFR, Western’s roughies Carson Klingler and Trevor Kay were identified as sophomores. They are freshmen.