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Wyatt Denny flies to Livingston win



LIVINGSTON, Mont. – Bareback rider Wyatt Denny was determined to get to the Livingston (Mont.) Roundup, July 2.

That day, he traveled from Ponoka, Alberta, to Red Lodge, Mont., where he also competed.

He’d been told it was an impossible task to make Red Lodge and Livingston the same day, but he and a couple traveling partners disproved that theory in 2015.

On July 2, Denny was going to try and make the run alone, especially when he realized that only one other bareback rider would be in the perf because everyone else had turned out.

He called a couple of helicopter companies, but the cheapest deal he found was in the $1,600 neighborhood.

Then word got around, and a charter airplane pilot tracked down Denny to offer a flight for $800.

Done.

Denny made Livingston with just minutes to spare, climbing on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Make Believe and notching an 86.5-point ride to win the July 2-4 rodeo.

“It means a bunch to have that win under my belt,” said Denny, who won $4,907 for his effort. “There are all of these prestigious rodeos you want to win, and over Fourth of July, Livingston is one of them.”

As of July 2, Denny was 19th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings. Winning nearly $5,000 should bump him closer to the bubble for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, as he hunts for his third consecutive Finals berth.

Denny wasn’t sure what to expect from Make Believe, getting varying reports from cowboys. He has a report to give now.

“It was one of those rides where it was like you’re fist fighting a bear, it was chaos,” Denny said. “Nothing about it felt good, but that’s bareback riding – half the time it doesn’t feel good, but then you watch a replay and you’re like, oh, it did look good. … That was a bucking horse, for sure.”

The 22-year-old, Nevada cowboy has no fear of flying. But that small plane ride – about 20 minutes, according to Denny – won’t be one he forgets.

“I’m not a scaredy cat when it comes to flying,” said Denny, whose brother, Grant, is a pilot. “But when I came up in that thing, it was storming out. It wasn’t coming down, but there were big-old, black clouds around. It was an eerie feeling. It was rough for a bit. The pilot was just chatting away to his wife, and I’m back there holding on, like, oh, come on, let’s just get there.”

Once they landed, Denny jumped in a courtesy van provided by the rodeo committee and drove as quickly as possible to Livingston from the runway.

“I flipped the visor down, keys fell out and I hauled all the way over there,” he laughed.

Other winners of the $211,513 rodeo were all-around cowboy Tanner Green ($1,029, tie-down roping and team roping); steer wrestler Sean Mulligan (3.3 seconds); team ropers Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz (4.0 seconds); saddle bronc riders Cody DeMoss (86 points on Kesler Rodeo’s Nickels & Dimes) and Chase Brooks (86 points on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s No. 689); tie-down ropers Tuf Cooper and Caleb Smidt (7.8 seconds each); barrel racer Shelly Anzick (17.34 seconds); and bull rider Sage Kimzey (88 points on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Everyday Hustler).

 
 
 
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