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HEMPSTEAD, Texas â€“ Like every cowboy who tries his hand on the ProRodeo trail, Darrell Petry has gold buckle dreams.
He just needs to get to the sportâ€™s championship first. In his distinguished career, Petry has yet to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He hopes that changes in 2015, and he got the season off to a good start Thursday night during the first performance of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo. The Beaumont, Texas, cowboy wrestled his steer to the ground in 4.0 seconds to take the lead.
â€śIt wasnâ€™t pretty, but they donâ€™t put pictures on checks,â€ť Petry said. â€śThatâ€™s what Iâ€™m hoping is that I get a check so nobody will know.â€ť
Heâ€™ll wait through the final two performances â€“ set for 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead â€“ to see if his time will hold up for the victory.
â€śThis has been a good rodeo for me,â€ť he said, noting that this is the first week of the new season, so he needed a solid start if he hopes to secure a spot in Las Vegas in December 2015.
Petry finished the 2014 season way down the money list. In fact, he didnâ€™t conclude the campaign among the top 50 in the world standings.
â€śIâ€™ve got a good horse going now,â€ť he said. â€śWe went through a year and a half of training. I took him out on the road last year to get him seasoned, and this year I think he is 10 times better, so Iâ€™m hoping he packs me to the finals.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ve had him about two and a half years. He was pretty ornery when I got him. He turned out to be a really nice horse.â€ť
It showed during Thursdayâ€™s run.
Waller County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Wyatt Denny, 82 points on Pete Carrâ€™s Classic Pro Rodeoâ€™s Scarletâ€™s Web; 2. Ethan Assmann, 75; 3. Tucker Zingg, 71; 4. Jake Choate, 68; 5. Justin Miller, 67; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Darrell Petry, 4.0 seconds; 2. Jarret New, 4.9; 3. Matt Cupp, 8.4; 4. Clayton Hass, 10.4; 5. Tyler Gibson, 15.2; no other qualified times.
Team roping: 1. Nathan McWhorter/Cole Davison, 6.0 seconds; 2. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 8.6; no other qualified times.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jacobs Crawley, 80 points on Pete Carrâ€™s Classic Pro Rodeoâ€™s Icycle; 2. Bradley Harter, 79; 3. Dean Wadsworth, 78; 4. Nickolas LeBlanc, 72; 5. Aaron Lide, 71; 6. (tie) Cody Anthony and James Greeson, 65.
Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Matt Shiozawa, 7.9 seconds; 2. Colton Turbeville, 16.9; no other qualified times.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Mary Walker, 14.75 seconds; 2. Morgan Breaux, 14.89; 3. Christy Loflin, 14.91; 4. Kelly Allen, 15.05; 5. Kimmi Byler, 15.22; 6. Teresa Turbeville, 15.48; 7. Sydney Fuller, 15.41; 8. Scamper Cole, 16.39; 9. McKinley Goodger, 18.56; 10. Laura Kennedy, 20.33.
Bull riding: 1. Zeb Lanham, 85 points on Pete Carrâ€™s Classic Pro Rodeoâ€™s Rainbow; 2. Jay Turner, 83; Nile Lebaron, 81; 4. Toby Collins, 71; no other qualified rides.