Cheyenne Frontier Days Returns for 125th Year - Wyoming Magazine


Cheyenne Frontier Days Returns for 125th Year


Story and Photography by Eric Salveggio & Katie Salveggio

For the first time in history, the 124th year of CFD was cancelled in 2020. The stadium was quietly empty. Many were left in disbelief, though everyone understood. There seemed to be a palpable pall that hung over the state.

That changed, however, when it was announced that the 2021 CFD would occur. The entire state, as well as those living in neighboring states and Canada, shouted in eagerness, and preparations got underway. And as always, the CFD did not disappoint anyone who attended. In fact, with a record number of days sold out, it was evident the “Daddy Of ’Em All” had been sorely missed. From the Lady Ranch Bronc riders to the bull fighters and everyone in between, this year’s CFD seemed to be bigger, better and more exciting.

The last three days of CFD always seem to grow louder with each passing day, and this year was no exception. Flags were flying, people were singing, and even the horses themselves came into the arena each day with eagerness.
Newt Novich, CFD 2021 Steer Wrestling Champion
What a season this was. Newt Novich of Twin Bridges, MO tied the arena record in Steer Wrestling with an amazing 5.1 seconds. Clay Smith and Jade Corkill clinched the Team Roping event with a 10.2 second time, while Sawyer Gilbert of Buffalo, SD broke out of the chutes with a blistering 4.4 seconds in the Breakaway competition. Steer roping saw Cole Patterson of Pratts, KS eke out a win over Slade Wood of New Ulm, Tx by a mere .5 seconds with a score of 12.2 seconds. In Bareback, Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, IA came out of the chute like a bullet, and rode the horse like he stole it, winning the event with an amazing score of 89. Tilden Hooper of Carthage, TX took second with a score of 86.5 after riding like a man possessed. All competitors and even the horses rode and bucked with fire in their souls and seeming determination to make up for not being seen last year.
Tim O’Connel, CFD 2021 Bareback Riding Champion
Hailey Kinsel,  CFD 2021 Barrel Racing Champion
In Barrel Racing, Hailey Kinsel turned the event into a nail biter when she took edged competitors like Michelle Darling, Nellie Miller, and even Lisa Lockhart to win with a score 17.3 seconds. To give an example of how close the scores were, Lisa Lockhart came in second with a time of 17.47, with the rest of the field being measured in hundredths of a second in differences.
 Ky Hamilton, CFD 2021 Bull Riding Champion

The bull riders were certainly up the challenge as well. After narrowing the field to the final 14 riders, there was spinning, stomping, crow-hopping, and what looked like a night at the “twist n’ shout” as the bulls tried their utmost to displace their riders – and many succeeded. When the dust settled, and the bull fighters helped the last rider out of the arena, it was Ky Hamilton of Mackay, AU who walked away the CFD bull riding champion with a score of 89, followed closely by Sage Kimsey of Salado, Tx with a score of 86.5…and no, you did not misread, and that was not a typo – an AUSTRALIAN won the bull riding event, and his first CFD championship!

Along with an arena record being matched, an Aussie winning his first CFD championship, there was another event that continues to make the CFD the greatest outdoor rodeo of all. This year, like the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, the Wright brothers of Milford, Utah also made history by being the first of the Wright family to not only win at CFD in the Saddle Bronc division, but took second place as well! The competition was fierce; Sterling Crawley, Isaac Diaz and several others came out of the chutes with fire in their eyes. When the gate opened for Stetson, the horse exploded like a rocket, and Stetson not only had the fiery eyes, but lightning in his spurs as well. The horses the two brothers rode pulled every trick in their book to throw their riders, but they hung on with grim determination that paid off to secure the championship for Stetson and second place for Ryder. Adding to the championship buckle, Stetson also had the honor and privilege of being this year’s CFD overall champion! With this much excitement, one can only wonder what next year will bring.
Stetson Wright, CFD 2021 Overall Champion

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