By BUTCH THURMAN
For the Capital Press
PENDLETON, Ore. -- Winning a title at the Pendleton Round-Up is a dream for many contestants. Not only for the rich prize money and a chance to climb the world standings late in the season, but also because of the rich tradition the Round-Up offers.
"This is a cowboy's rodeo. I've always wanted to win Pendleton," said all around champion Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo.
Peek was also thrilled with the many prizes given away with the championship.
"We can't say enough about Pendleton and the sponsors that back this deal," he said. "We wouldn't be able to come here if it wasn't because of the committee members from Pendleton and their backing."
Peek placed in both calf roping and steer wrestling to win a leg on the coveted Let'er Buck Trophy.
The father-and-son duo of Allen and Joel Bach out of Texas won the team roping -- both calling it special. Allen has qualified for the National Finals more than 30-times, but he says winning Pendleton with his son tops it all.
"To win one of the greatest rodeos in the world with your son is really hard to explain right now. It's pretty cool." He said. "We'll cherish these prizes forever. It's one of the most prestigious rodeos in the world. There's no other rodeo that gives you a buckles, a saddle, a Pendleton blanket and coats. They really treat the contestants special here."
Linzie Walker of Conway, Wash., is collecting a lot of the champion's prizes with her fourth straight win in barrel racing.
"This is by far my favorite rodeo."
C.A. Lauer of Buffalo, Okla., won the steer roping and says Pendleton is the best.
"This one is way above of all the rest of them," Lauer said. "There are some good rodeos, don't get me wrong, but here they bend over backwards for you."
Jared Keylon of Fort Scott, Kan., won the bareback riding and was overwhelmed with the cash and prizes handed out in the winner's circle.
"I think it is great. It's the neatest rodeo in the world."
In the saddle bronc riding, 24-year-old Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, rode Shining Mountain, to an 89 for the day, winning $7,596.
Jerrad Hofstetter, Portales, N.M., and Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, split the calf roping title.
The steer wrestling champ for the 2009 Round-Up is Olin Hannum, West Haven, Utah, who took home $6,252 for his win.
Colin McTaggert of Las Vegas topped the field in bull riding and won $7,364.
The 99th Pendleton Round-Up paid out nearly $740,000 in prize money, including trophy saddles, buckles, boots, cowboy hats, blankets, a champion's jacket, a sterling silver watch and many memories.
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World champion Guilherme Marchi of Brazil rode out of JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo., with more than $30,000 in cash and the title at the Professional Bull Rider's 27th stop on the Built Ford Tough Series Tour.
Marchi covered all three of his bulls for 264.75 points and his second event win of the 2009 season. Marchi also helped himself by closing the gap between current world leader Kody Lostroh of Longmont, Colo., and J.B. Mauney from Mooresvile, N.C.
"I picked a good bull for the short-go and I'm happy to get more points for the World Finals," Marchi said. "I'm getting better and better as the Finals gets closer and I need all the points I can get. My dream is to win back-to-back titles, and from here on out, its one bull at a time."
Butch Thurman of Pendleton, Ore., has covered professional rodeo for 29 years and is a former president of the Pendleton Round-Up board of directors. E-mail: email@example.com.