Aus Reaches Top Flight for Family

Tanner Aus rides Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight for 87 points Friday night to take the bareback riding lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.
(PHOTO BY PEGGY GANDER)

By LUKE CREASY
For Twisted Rodeo
LOVINGTON, NM – Earlier this week, bareback rider Tanner Aus met the newest member of his family, Emery Gwen.

He and his wife, Lonissa, welcomed their third child into their brood just a day after he’d returned to their home in Minnesota from the final round at the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days Rodeo. She was born at 9:05 pm Monday, tipping the scales at 7 pounds and 20 inches long.

His focus was on home, not the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, but he’s a man who knows how to handle business. As the week rolled on and big brother Rowan, 2, and big sister Bristol, 4, helped take over the care for the newborn, Aus made the nearly 1,200-mile drive from his home to Lovington to ride one of the greatest bucking horses of this generation.

That’s a “world champion bucking horse,” said Aus, 32, a six-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Granite Falls, Minnesota. “(I’ve) never been on her as long as I’ve been going, as long as she’s been going. We’d never matched up, so then I finally drew her.”

The meeting paid off, and Aus jumped into the lead after matching moves with Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, the 2020 Bareback Horse of the Year.

“She leaves out (of the chute) cool,” said Aus, who won the Lea County Fair and Rodeo title just three seasons ago with a 90-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie. “She bucks hard all the way across (the arena). She gets stronger as she goes. When you’re trying to win big rodeos, that’s the one you want.

“I felt like I rode her pretty well, but that horse is the standout.”

It’s been a solid season for the veteran of the game, who won the intercollegiate title in 2012 while competing at Missouri Valley College. He earned his first trip to the NFR three years later and is on his way to a seventh qualification in eight years; he missed the 2018 championship after missing a good portion of the season to injury and still finished 18th in the world standings – only the top 15 on the money list at the end of the regular season qualify.

With two months remaining in the 2022 regular season, he sits seventh in the world standings with just shy of $100,000.

“I’ve been pretty busy all season,” Aus said. “I had an OK winter, but it really picked up this spring. So far this summer, I’ve just been clipping along. I’ve been drawing pretty good pretty much everywhere.”

He will compete Saturday night in Dodge City, Kansas, with the potential to ride again Sunday there during the championship round, but he already has his sights set on getting home to his family.

“I’ll get to go home after Dodge City for a few days,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to that.”

Lea County Fair and Rodeo
Lovington, NM
Aug. 3-6
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Tanner Aus, 87 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight; 2. Garrett Shadbolt, 86.5; 3. RC Landingham, 86; 4. Caleb Bennett, 85; 5. (tie) Leighton Berry and Lane McGehee, 84.5; 7. Orin Larsen, 83.5; 8. (tie) Waylon Bourgeois and Kody Lamb, 79.

Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Sterling Lee and Cimarron Thompson, 4.0 seconds; 3. (tie) Tyler Pearson, Gavin Solieau and DJ Joos, 4.1; 6. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Remey Parrott, 4.2; 8. (tie) Cade Goodman, Chance Howard and Trell Etbauer, 4.3. Second round leaders: 1. Rowdy Parrott, 3.8 seconds; 2. Stephen Culling, 3.9; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 4.0; 4. (tie) Joe Nelson and DJ Joos, 4.1; 6. (tie) Talon Roseland, Chance Howard, Stetson Jorgensen and Cimarron Thompson, 4.2; 7. (tie) Kyle Irwin and Trell Etbauer, 4.3. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, DJ Joos and Cimarron Thompson, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 4. Chance Howard, 8.5; 5. Trell Etbauer, 8.6; 6. Sterling Lee, 8.9; 7. Gavin Soileau, 9.3; 8. (tie) Ryan Shuckburgh and Joe Nelson, 9.5.

Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Taylor Santos, 8.1 seconds; 2. Lane Livingston, 8.4; 3. Macon Murphy, 8.7; 4. Caleb Schmidt, 8.9; 5. (tie) Cooper Martin and Chance Thiessen, 9.1; 7. Cody Waldrop, 9.2; 8. (tie) Cash Edward Hooper and Riley Webb, 9.6. Second round leaders: 1. Ryan Thibodeaux, 7.3 seconds; 2. Quade Hiatt, 7.4; 3. John Pereira, 7.6; 4. Paul David Tierney, 8.2; 5. Shawn Poag, 8.5; 6. (tie) Taylor Santos, Kincade Henry and Caleb Smidt, 8.7 Average leaders: 1. Taylor Santos, 16.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Caleb Schmidt, 17.6; 3. Quade Hiatt, 18.1; 4. Ryan Thibodeaux, 18.5; 5. Kincade Henry, 18.7; 6. Chase Webster, 20.0; 7. Cash Edward Hooper, 20.5; 8. (tie) Dylan Ward Murphy and Kase Bacque, 21.0.

Breakaway roping: 1. Madalyn Richards, 2.0 seconds; 2. (tie) Brighton Bauman and Amanda Coleman, 2.1; 4. Erin Johnson, 2.3; 5. Jordan Joe Hollabaugh, 2.4; 6. Tierra Zapalac, 2.5; 7. Maddy Deerman, 2.6; 8. (tie) Faith Holyan and Jayme Marcrum, 2.7; 10. (tie) Lari Dee Guy and Mollie Bassett, 2.9; 12. Haley Waters, 3.5; 13. Kassidy Dennison, 3.6; 14. Montana Brown, 3.7; 15. Tacy Webb, 3.8.

Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Stetson Wright, 88 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Fox Hole Gunner; 2. Sage Newman, 87.5; 3. Lefty Holman, 87; 4. Sterling Crawley, 86.5; 5. Isaac Diaz, 84; 6. (tie) Chase Brooks and Riggin Smith, 83.5; 8. Jacobs Crawley, 83.

Steer roping: First round leaders: 1. Chet Herren, 11.1 seconds; 2. Scott Snedecor, 11.4; 3. Taylor Santos, 11.9; 4. Cooper Mills, 12.5; 5. Slade Wood, 12.6; 6. (tie) Cole Patterson and Clay Long, 12.7. Second round leaders: 1. Ivan Stuart, 11.2 seconds; 2. Kenyon Burns, 11.3; 3. Cole Patterson, 11.5; 4. Clay Long, 11.6; 5. Taylor Santos, 11.7; 6. Laramie Allen, 11.9. Third round leaders: 1. Garrett Hale 10.6 seconds; 2. Slade Wood, 11.0; 3. Cash Myers, 11.1; 4. Laramie Allen, 11.4; 5. Rocky Patterson, 11.8; 6. Chet Herren, 11.9. Average leaders: 1. Slade Wood, 35.8 seconds on three runs; 2. Taylor Santos, 37.8; 3. Chet Herren, 38.5; 4. Tuff Hardman, 41.9; 5. Logan Currie, 43.7; 6. JW Brown, 46.0.

Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 4.2 seconds; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 4.3; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.4; 4. Tanner James/Max Kutter, 4.7; 5. Quinn Kesler/Caleb Hendrix, 4.9; 6. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 5.0; 7. Kellen Johnson/Carson Johnson, 5.1; 8. Curry Kirchner/Reagan Ward, 5.2 Second round leaders: 1. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 4.3; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.4; 3. Josh Siggins/Lane Siggins, 4.4; 4. Zach Kilgus/Jake Edwards, 4.5; 5. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 4.6; 6. Jr. Dees/Levi Lord, 4.7; 7. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 5.0; 8. Jason Burson/Corey Hendrick, 5.1. Average leaders: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 8.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 8.9; 3. Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 10.4; 4. Chris Francis/Cade Passig, 12.2; 5. Nick Sartain/Austin Rogers, 13.1; 6. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 14.0; 7. Josh Siggins/Lane Siggins, 15.1; 8. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 18.3.

Barrel racing leaders: 1. Nicole Driggers, 17.42 seconds; 2. Cheyenne Wimberley, 17.43; 3. Cindy Smith, 17.46; 4. (tie) Halyn Lide and Shannon McReynolds, 17.52; 6. Heidi Gibson, 17.59; 7. Katie Pascoe, 17.60; 8. Jill Wilson, 17.68; 9. Annie Alexander, 17.72; 10. Sharon Harrell, 17.77; 11. Michelle Darling, 17.78; 12. Leia Pluemer, 17.80; 13. Kassidy Dennison, 17.85; 14. Taylor Johnson, 17.93; 15. Carrie Jankee, 17.94.

Bull riding leaders: 1. Josh Frost, 89 points on Stockyards ProRodeo’s Deplorable; 2. Brody Yeary, 87.5; 3. JaCauy Hale, 86; 4. Jesse Flores, 85.5; 5. Jace Trosclair, 82.5; 6. Justin Lane Rowell, 79; no other qualified rides.

Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com

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