Oregon cowboy wins title

Monday, October 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Ed Knocke / The Dallas Morning News

Bareback rider Bobby Mote was all smiles as he walked into the championship circle Saturday night in the Copenhagen Cup Finale at Resistol Arena in Mesquite, Texas.

And why wouldn't he be?

He had just won his first major championship in the pro ranks – the Copenhagen Cup bareback title, beating guys he had looked up to as heroes during his younger years.

The 24-year-old cowboy from Redmond, Ore., had never been close to going to the National Finals Rodeo, the sport's World Series. So this was the next best thing for him. An outstanding summer run got him here, and in the process he beat a host of the world's best competitors. Guys like world champion Mark Garrett, Lan LaJeunesse and current world leader Larry Sandvick.

"I think I was the only one here who had never been to the Finals [NFR]," Mote said, still smiling. "That really gave me the incentive to do well."

Other Copenhagen Cup champions crowned Saturday night were Dan Mortensen of Manhattan, Mont., saddle bronc riding; Lee Akin of Weatherford, Okla., bull riding; K.C. Jones, of Las Animas, Colo., steer wrestling; Ty Hays of Weatherford, Okla., calf roping; Sue Miller of Lott, Texas, barrel racing; and Johnnie Philipp of Washington, Texas, and Nick Rowland of Antlers, Okla., team roping.

Competitors in this weekend's rodeo earned berths in the three-day event by finishing in the top 10 after 13 designated PRCA rodeos on the summer Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour. The tour stops were the final rounds of events ranging from Clovis, Calif., and Reno, Nev., to Albuquerque, N.M.

The standings were compiled from the results of the final rounds of the rodeo. For Mote, it was a return engagement with the horse Yankee Doodle out of the Korkow Rodeo Company. He had the horse earlier this year in Deadwood, S.D., but the result was a lackluster 75-point ride.

This time he turned in an outstanding 88.5-point ride.

"So I was really happy to have another shot at him," Mote said. "The horse really bends back and kicks you in the back with every jump," Mote said of the horse's routine. "I was just lucky to stay with him. And what a place to do it."

Mortensen, the five-time world champion, was in his element Saturday night. All week he had dominated the event, and there was no difference in the finals. He reached the final round with an 86.5-point ride in the semifinals, then showed his championship style in the final round with an 87.5-point ride aboard MJM Rodeo's Copenhagen Little Stone. He beat two-time world champion Robert Etbauer by two points.

Scott Johnston from Gustine, Texas, the world money leader and the point leader coming into the Copenhagen Cup, failed to make the final round. He had an 82 in the semifinal round.

Akin proved he's ready for the big show. The Weatherford, Okla., cowboy marked an outstanding 95-point ride on Sammy Andrews' Sand Man in the final round after winning the semifinal round with a 91-point ride.

In barrel racing, Miller, a regular at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, used her knowledge of the arena to her advantage and beat a field that included 10-time world champion Charmayne James, reigning world champion Sherry Cervi and four-time world champion Kristie Peterson.

Miller turned in a 16.05-second run in the finals.

Calf roping turned into an Oklahoma duel. Hays, from Weatherford, won the title with an 8.1-second run in the finals, beating 15-time NFR qualifier Mike Johnson from Henryetta by 1.1 seconds.

Philipp and Rowland, a pair of newcomers, continued their strong performance for the week and walked off with the team roping title.