Peebles captures coveted California Rodeo Salinas title

by Siri Stevens
Steven Peebles

Peebles captures coveted California Rodeo Salinas title

Courtesy of the PRCA

SALINAS, Calif. – While growing up in Salinas, Calif., bareback rider Steven Peebles always dreamed of winning the California Rodeo Salinas.

His dream became a reality July 20.

Peebles registered a two-head score of 165 points to win the average at the July 17-20 California Rodeo Salinas.

“This is my hometown rodeo, and one I always wanted to win,” said the 25-year-old Peebles. “It’s pretty awesome to get the victory. I was born and raised and lived in Salinas until I was 14 years old; we moved to Oregon right before I went into high school and I’ve lived in Oregon ever since, but this is still a special win for me.”

Peebles, who lives in Redmond, Ore., tied Clint Laye for the first-round win with an 83-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Black Orchid. He then clinched the average win with his 82-point score aboard Four Star Rodeo’s Black Ice in the finals.

“I was really nervous,” said Peebles, when asked if he thought his two-head score would hold up. “But I was really glad everything worked out the way it did.

“I remember sitting in the grandstands (at California Rodeo Salinas) for most of the first 14 years of my life, and once I bought my PRCA card when I was 18 years old, I’ve been trying to win in Salinas. Now, I’ve finally won it. As far as personal goals, this is one I wanted to win. I wanted to win a gold buckle, and a Salinas buckle.”

Peebles remained in third place in the July 21 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings, with $80,344. He adds Salinas to his 2014 victory list, which also includes wins at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and the Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, in Rapid City, S.D.

“I’ve won some big rodeos this year, but this one (Salinas) definitely sticks out the most,” Peebles said. “All my family from all different states were here watching – and it was just awesome.”

Peebles finished a career-best second in the 2013 world standings with $198,187. He was also second in the average at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last December, with $116,386 in earnings. He’s qualified for the last five WNFRs.

“I just need to stay consistent and keep having fun and not over-think things,” Peebles said about his plan for the remainder of the season. “I want a gold buckle so bad I can taste it.”

Other winners at the $402,385 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($7,659 in tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Dru Melvin (22.3 seconds on three head), team ropers Brazile and Travis Graves (44.4 seconds on five head), saddle bronc rider Jesse Wright (166 points on two head), tie-down roper Hunter Herrin (34.5 seconds on three head), barrel racer Christine Laughlin (64.04 seconds on four runs) and bull rider Elliot Jacoby (178 points on two head).

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