CHEYENNE – Competing at Cheyenne Frontier Days is on the bucket list of almost every team roper.
What’s better than team roping at the “Daddy of ’em All,” though? Team roping alongside your brother.
Casper, Wyoming, natives Kellan and Carson Johnson have been roping together since they were old enough to throw a lasso.
“It’s just great to be out here and compete, let alone when it’s with your brother,” said Kellan, who is competing at CFD for his second time. “It’s something you dream about when you’re roping dummies. It’s just an experience I can’t describe and an incredible feeling.”
The brothers have some Frontier Days history in their family. Their father, Jhett Johnson, has competed in team roping in Cheyenne for more than 30 years. Jhett, who won a world title in 2017, never managed to win a CFD title. Kellan and Carson hope they can be the ones to bring the first Frontier Days title to the family.
“There’s not much you can say you did before your dad,” Kellan said with a grin. “So, if we could do something like that, it’d be something we could hold over his head every once in a while.”
That title will have to wait as Kellan and Carson clocked a time of 12.9 seconds Saturday, which wasn’t enough for them to advance to the final round today.
However, it’s not the end of their reign together.
Carson, who is 18 years old, will be beginning his freshman year at Casper College next month. He’ll also compete for the rodeo team underneath his dad, who is the head coach. This was Carson’s first year competing at the “Daddy of ’em All.”
His older brother, Kellan, who is 20, competed for the Gillette College rodeo team this past season, and is transferring to Casper to compete with his brother and underneath his dad, as well.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Carson said. “To be able to rodeo in college with my brother, especially with our dad being our coach; that’s going to be sweet, man. It’s going to be amazing.”
The Johnson brothers had a tremendous season last year when they were able to win more than $80,000 apiece, and earn themselves a first-place finish in Salt Lake City’s Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo, which led to more than $50,000 in each of their bank accounts.
The young duo has created a name for themselves early in their careers and are hoping they can leave a lasting impression.
“(Kellan) and I can do some big things,” Carson said. “It’s just great I can do it with my brother.”
Kellan and Carson Johnson aren’t the only siblings to be competing at the 123rd Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.
The only thing is, they’re the only siblings to be competing on the same team as one another.
Rylea Fabrizio and Jordan Jo Fabrizio were competing against each other during Saturday’s performance in breakaway roping.
Jordan, who is from Canyon, Texas, made her way into today’s final round with a time of 5.23 seconds.
Rylea, of Stephenville, Texas, ended her run with a no time and will not advance to the finals to compete against her sister.
Bull riders Tim and Tyler Bingham of Honeyville, Utah, were both thrown from their bulls.
Saturday’s semifinal round of bareback riding included four past CFD champions.
Richmond Champion (2014) rode for an 86.5. That score put him in third for the day and will send him to the final round. Tanner Aus, of Granite Falls, Minnesota, scored an 86 to advance to the next round. Aus won the CFD title in 2015.
Orin Larson, an Ingles, Manitoba, native earned an 85.5 to advance, as well. The Canadian won the Frontier Days title in 2016. Tim O’Connell, who won the Frontier Days buckle in 2017, rode for an 80.5. The Zwingle, Iowa, resident did not make it into today’s final round.
Lipan, Texas, resident Patrick Smith took first at Frontier Days in 2012 in team roping, but didn’t record a time today, which will end this year’s run at the CFD buckle just short.
Jade Corkill, who also team ropes, fell shy of making the finals after a time of 12.9. The Fallon, Nevada, resident won the CFD team roping title in 2009 and 2013.
Steer wrestler Cody Moore couldn’t quite tip his draw quick enough to make it to the next round. Moore, who is from Hart, Texas, won the CFD title in 2010.
Barrel racers Stevi Hillman of Weatherford, Texas, and Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi of Victoria, Texas, both tied at 17.77 seconds to put themselves in the last spot to advance to the final round. Hillman won the barrel racing title in Cheyenne in 2017, and Pozzi-Tonozzi took first place in 2007.
Chance Ames of Big Piney, Wyoming, couldn’t quite make the cut for the finals after his 75-point bareback ride.
Jay Em, Wyoming, resident Wyatt Hageman rode for a 72.5 in saddle bronc during Saturday’s semifinal round to keep him out of the top six and from competing in the final round today.