Horse Drama Decides San Angelo Cinch Chute-Out Champion

SAN ANGELO, TX — Let's light the fires and kick the tires in our final report from inside the arena at the 2021 San Angelo Rodeo that concluded with the electric Cinch Chute Out on Friday, April 24.

Saturday night marked the 10th anniversary of the Cinch Chute-out in San Angelo and the fellas riding the broncs did not disappoint.

In the opening round of saddle bronc riding, talk about taking a beating. From ugly falls to getting stepped on, things weren't looking good for the cowboys.

But there were a few that made the whistle and not to mention made it look pretty easy like the Canadian Kolby Wanchuk taking the Pete Carr bronc River's Ghost for an 88-point ride. Another guy that would join Wanchuk in the short go was the two-time all around world champion Stetson Wright who was doing work riding the Pete Carr horse Downtown for an 84. Allen Boore also joining the two to make it out of the long round and into the Chute Out's finals.

In bareback riding, brace yourself because this is likely a ride we'll be talking about for ages. In the video, you can watch Will Lowe hopping on the Butler and Son's bronc Killer Bee. The ride looked great until the horse bucked off the 38-year-old cowboy and hoofed him on the way down. It was a scary moment for Lowe who managed to get up and walk off the arena floor. Unfortunately his 84-point ride wasn't enough to make the short round.

Now to Tim O'Connell, the defending Cinch Chute-Out champion. His 94-point ride on the horse named Stevie Knicks tied a world record last year. But this year, on saturday night, O'Connell rode San Angelo Sam for an 88 score that would send him to the short round finals for the Chute Out.

If one O'Connell is in the short go is good, two is better. Shane O'Connell, no relation to Tim, took on the bronc Coor's Original and like the other O'Connell notched an 88-point ride.

But there was still one slot to be filled and for the number 1 bronc rider in the world aka the "Yellowstone" star Tilden Hooper it was his for the taking. The cowboy from Carthage hopped on the Butler and Son's bronc South Sud's and did his thing for an 89-point ride.

Let's head to the short round shall we?

To the money round following an Allen Boore 83-point ride. Stetson Wright climbed atop Big Tex and, in the video above, watch at him go! Wright was good for an 88.5-point ride on the Pete Carr bronc. Wright set the bar high for Kolby Wanchuk.

Wanchuk, the Canadian cowboy, trying to one-up Stetson, the all-around world champion, and what a ride he assembled on the back of Dirty Jacket, but in the end his 86.5 wasn't quite enough to outlast Wright, the Utah cowboy, as Stetson Wright took home the 2021 Cinch Chute Out saddle bronc title and the cash.

In the bareback riding short round finals, there was some confusion. Normally the number 1 rider from the long round goes last in the short round finals. Tilden Hooper the number 1 guy from the previous round went first, however. He notched an 85.5-point ride on Exotic Dancer.

Next, here's where it got even more sideways. Shane O'Connell was set to ride the Pickett Pro rRdeo bronc named Uncapped. This is the horse that last year was part of a 92.5-point record-setting ride in Dodge City, Kansas. Somehow Shane ended up with the horse Tic-Tack notching an 87.5-point ride besting "Yellowstone" star Tilden Hooper. But O'Connell wasn't exactly a happy camper to begin with since he was originally assigned to ride Uncapped heading into the final round. The score is made up of 50 percent for the horse and 50 percent for the rider.

So it all came down to the defending Cinch Chute Out champion Tim O'Connell riding Uncapped somewhat out of turn. And look at the champ go! He scored an 89.5-point ride, giving him back-to-back San aAgelo Cinch Chute Out titles as the first cowboy to ever do so. This is why there was commotion over who would ride the NFR bucking horse. The difference between winning first and second place was a cool $4,000.

Nonetheless, talk about two excitement filled rounds in bareback and saddle bronc riding presented by Michelob Ultra. Above, watch our last video installment from the 2021 San Angelo Rodeo arena and we'll see you next year!

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