"That's why I'm here,"he said of Hermiston. "They add a lot of money and they bring the best horses so there's really no reason not to be here."
No bronc rider could match Bradley Harter's 88 from Thursday, though, and he took home the win.
The team roping, barrel racing and bull riding were not concluded in time for inclusion in today's edition but there were some pretty tough times to beat in those events coming into Saturday.
Cardoza put himself a couple of quick times away from the prestigious prize by clocking slack times of 9.5 seconds in tie down roping and 6.0 in steer wrestling, and after a strong performance by Saturday's bareback riders bumped Mote further down the money list, Cardoza's odds looked even better.
"I've been dreaming to get on Street Dance," Colletti said. "Just to be able to get her here in Hermiston, I've always wanted to win this rodeo and I've done pretty good here but not first place good I guess. It's just an honor to be able to win at Hermiston and win it on great animals."
"She turns out, she does about the same thing every time she bucks, so you can pretty much count on, like Iknew what I was getting on when I got here,"he said. "It doesn't matter if you watch her in January or in December at the NFR, she's going to do the same thing every single time. It makes the job up here easier when you know what you're getting on."
He didn't disappoint the near capacity Farm City Arena crowd and followed up with times of 9.4 in tie down and 5.3 in steer Nike Vapormax On Feet Women wrestling that moved him to fourth and sixth place in the aggregates, respectively.
He entered the week ranked No. 12, and Hermiston was just one of the rodeos he's fixing to earn a nice paydays. Counting Hermiston he's posted five 80 plus point rides this week and said his plans for celebrating included a few cold beers at the Chute 8 beer garden located adjacent to the arena.
Also wrapping up an event win early on Saturday was Jake Rinehart in steer wrestling. His 9.8 seconds on two head from Wednesday held up through the entire rodeo earning him the Mike Currin Memorial Buckle which is presented by the Walchli family each year.
The world's No. 3 rider for this season got his score on Calgary Stampede's Sergeant Whitney, a horse he's been very successful on in his career.
With about $200,000 in the overall pot to be doled out to winners, even splitting the winner's check with Riddle will be a boon to Colletti's hopes of a second straight Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification.
"I've been gone (from Oregon) for a month by myself out there and now Ifinally get to come back up here,"he said of his season. "Being up here makes it a little bit more relaxing and a little bit easier sometimes."
Rodeo was mutton bustin' champ Tate Neddo. The 5 year old from Hermiston held on to his sheep long after the 8 second horn had sounded and took the win with a 92 score. He was awarded a trophy that nearly equaled him in height and a $100 savings bond from Coca Cola.
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One of those bareback rides that helped Cardoza came courtesy of Casey Colletti and a ride he'd been waiting a long time to make.
The much anticipated ride lived up to expectations and Colletti tied Cain Riddle for the Farm City win with an 87 point ride.
Unlike in the timed events, the roughstock riders only get one chance to earn their money in Hermiston, and saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss said he likes it that way.
fastest time of the week at 17.03 in the performance round.
The previous three days had yet to produce a well rounded leader with only Culver's Bobby Mote set up to win money in two events while sitting precariously close to the eighth place cutoff for payouts in bareback and team roping.
Paul David Tierney and Cody Doescher led team roping with 10.3 on two head and Dustin Smith moved up to the top of the bull riding board on Friday with an 86 on Kessler Rodeo's Double Dragon.
Russell Cardoza of Terrebone had no idea when he pulled into Hermiston for the 25th anniversary running of the rodeo that he was already a favorite to win it all before he'd even taken on a single steer or calf in one of the three events he'd entered.
"The short round deal kind of messes it up in some ways,"he said. "If you draw a real good one in the first round you wish it was a one header. If you draw just mediocre to make it back you might not place. I would rather it be one head."
Also from Friday's action, Trula Churchill and her 6 year old blue roan gelding Worm burrowed deep into first place in barrel racing with 34.38 on two runs, including the new Nike Uptempo Gym Red
of the season for the six year pro who also competes in team roping and steer roping and is ranked No. 6 on the PRCA all around money list this year.
Cardoza wrangles all
"We did real good up there in Calgary, I think I probably rode her a little better up there,"he said. "She got me a little bit right out of (the chute) but it's a really nice horse coming from (Calgary Stampede). I'm glad they come down.
That sewed up the all around win, the fifth Women Nike Uptempo
Colletti had admired a bucking horse by the name of Street Dance out of the Kessler Rodeo pen since he entered the PRCA, and finally drew the 14 year old mare in Saturday's performance.
DeMoss scored an 84 to take Saturday's performance, moving him into the fourth place money slot for the week.
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