By Katie Brown
The Daily Inter Lake
BIGFORK — If you blinked, you probably missed most of the bull riding event at the 2nd annual Bigfork Summer Pro Rodeo on Friday night.
It was just one of those nights. None of the four registered cowboys, all from Montana, posted a qualifying time.
Among those riders was Cody Sorenson of Columbia Falls, just a few months removed from his PRCA debut at Majestic Arena in Kalispell.
Though his ride on a bull named Long Haired Outlaw didn’t go as planned, Sorenson took it in stride.
“I started my bull out pretty good though, for sure,” he said. “I’m really enjoying it a lot. I’m just going to keep getting on and I’m not going to get any better if I don’t ride.”
Since it was local rodeo, Sorenson may have had one of the larger cheering sections at the event.
“Definitely appreciate all the fans coming out and supporting me tonight,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson recently quit his ranching job and now is on the PRCA circuit full time. He’s ridden in four PRCA events since debuting in February and estimates there’s about 40 more that he’d like to get to. He also competes in amateur competitions while he’s on the road.
“It’s not any different than any other rodeo that I’ve been to,” Sorenson said. “My first ride in PRCA, I thought it was like the big times and now that I’m here, it’s the same old rodeo. A little bit more professional, anyway.”
Cowboys have to put in bids for each event, so they don’t always know where they’re headed all the time.
“Feeling like a contractor that builds houses pretty much, just calling around to all these rodeos and then I wait to hear if I get the bid,” Sorenson said. “So I don’t really know where all theses places I’m riding quite yet.”
His next stop is Cody, Wyoming, in about a week, he said. He’s not on the road as much as he would like, but that’s because for the last year, he’s been running a business called Wild Bill’s Bucking Bulls.
Sorenson bought the mechanical bull for his own practice, but it snowballed into bull riding classes for aspiring cowboys and rentals at weddings and other events. Wild Bill’s will be at the Big Sky Festival in Whitefish on July 13-14.
“I decided I might as well turn it into a business,” he said.
Between running a business and traveling the PRCA circuit, Sorenson has his plate full. But he’s optimistic about where he’s heading and has big dreams in mind.
“I’m just seeing where it takes me,” he said.
“I’m still just starting out and I’m kind of at the first step of the stairs for PRCA, but I hope to make the World Finals in a few years or so. Just going to keep pushing and trying hard.”
Rodeo action continues tonight. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the rodeo at 7.
The final performance is Sunday, gates open at 3:30 p.m. with the rodeo starting at 5.
Bigfork Summer Pro Rodeo
Bareback riding leaders — 1. Shawn Perkins, Bozeman, 75 points on New West Rodeo Productions’ Sage Brush; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling leaders — 1. Jordan Holland, Dillon, 6.0 seconds; 2. Cody Wiberg, Victor, 6.1; 3. Tyler Houle, Polson, 6.5; 4. Timmy Sparing, Helena, 15.2; no other qualified runs.
Team roping leaders — 1. Kal Fuller, Bozeman/Kasper Roy, Mossleigh, Alberta, 4.8 seconds; 2. Brayden Parker,Lipan, Texas/Justice Thompson, Lipan, Texas, 5.1; 3. Jason Carlson, Two Dot/Sam Levine, Wolf Creek, 8.8; 4. Shawn Bessette, Great Falls/Ike Folsom, Dillon, 10.6; 5. Brad Yerian, Corvallis/Brandon Yerian, Corvallis, 11.3; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding leaders — 1. Alan Gobert, Browning, 72 points on New West Rodeo Productions’ Can’t Get Right; 2. Tanner Hollenback, Dillon, 69; 3. Josh Davison, Miles City, 68; 4. Cody Miller, Dillon, 64; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping leaders — 1. Sam Levine, Wolf Creek, 10.2 seconds; 2. Jack Graham, Lakeview, Ore., 10.4; 3. Ryan Siemsen, Huntley, 11.0; 4. Caden Camp, Belgrade, 14.0; 5. J Billingsley, Glasgow, 17.6; 6. Deven Gerwatoski, Ponoka, Alberta,19.6.
Barrel racing leaders — 1. Ivy Hurst, Springer, Okla., 15.21 seconds; 2. Jennifer Sharp, Montgomery, Texas, 15.29; 3. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas,15.40; 4. Keira Simonson, Loring, 15.41; 5. (tie) Murphy Hirschy, Jackson, and Brittany Fellows, Loveland, Colo., 15.58 each.
Bull riding leaders — No qualified rides.