Chance Kelton has been a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association member for the past 20 years.
He qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1998, 1999 and in 2000 in team roping heading. In recent years, he has become a world class steer roper. Kelton qualified for the National Finals Steer Roping in Guthrie, Okla., from 2009-12.
During the past weekend, Kelton, who is from Mayer, Ariz., displayed his skills at the 41st Windy Ryon Memorial Roping. He clinched the Invitational Steer Roping title on Sunday and earned $7,650.
When the title was a stake during the final round, Kelton turned in a time of 10.6 seconds and clinched the title with a four-run aggregate time of 50.6.
Marty Jones, a 14-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Hobbs, N.M., finished second in the average with a 55.2. Jess Tierney, a Hermosa, S.D., cowboy who has qualified for the NFSR the past three years, finished third with a 55.9.
Kelton said he won because his roping horse performed well and he took advantage of drawing great steers.
“I tried to tell myself, ‘just don’t mess up and let everything take care of itself,’ ” Kelton said.
While competing on the PRCA circuit last year, Kelton missed qualifying for the National Finals Steer Roping after finishing 32nd in the world title race. In order to qualify, a competitor must finish the regular season ranked in the top 15.
But this season, Kelton is on pace to return to the National Finals Steer Roping. He was ranked No. 4 in last week’s PRCA world steer roping standings with regular-season earnings of $19,613.
A consistent cowboy
Justin Maass, an eight-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier who won the Ryon Roping featured tie-down match on Saturday, said he thrived on making solid runs.
Maass easily won the match roping title against Clint Cooper, a four-time NFR qualifier from Decatur. Cooper turned in no times in four of the eight rounds.
Maass won after turning in qualified times in the first seven rounds. He turned a no-time only in the last round.
“Clint had a bad day, but I felt like I stuck to my game plan all day,” Maass said. “I try to rope every match roping the same. I try not to make mistakes and hope that the other guy makes a mistake.”
Cassidy Boggs won the women’s break-away roping title on Saturday with a three-run time of 9.78. Lari Dee Guy finished second with an 11.38 and Kirsten Stubbs came in third with a 12.59.