KALISPELL — Brady Tryan became the third member of his immediate family to win a team roping title and Kyle Callaway defended his steer wrestling championship during the final performance of the Northern Rodeo Association/Northern Women’s Rodeo Association Finals on Saturday night.
The NRA/NWRA Finals determined the year-end champions for the 2019 season. Held at Majestic Valley Arena for the first time, it showcased the top 10 competitors in each event.
Gerald Eash of Trego won his fourth all-around cowboy championship and Shai McDonald of Gardiner won her first all-around title and third consecutive barrel racing crown. Eash was the high money winner of the season with $12,576. He qualified for the Finals in both saddle bronc and bull riding.
McDonald is only the third barrel racer to win three straight titles, joining Donna Idland (1976-78) and Cadee Tew (2000-02). McDonald also won money in breakaway during the regular season and the Montana State freshman finished with $10,717 for her year.
Tryan, of Huntley, roped with Sid Sporer of Cody, Wyoming. The two placed first, second and second in the three rounds and won the average for $2,800. Tryan, a two-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier, jumped from ninth to first in the standings, while Sporer moved up from third to first.
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Tryan’s father Dennis won NRA team roping titles in 1989 and 1991, and older brother Travis won in 2000. Travis Tryan was also competing at this year’s NRA/NWRA Finals. An uncle, Rick Tryan of Helena, won year-end team roping titles in 1995 and 1996.
Callaway, of Billings, was the high-money winner for an individual event. He placed second, first and first to easily win the average and pocket $2,975. He was 14.2 seconds for three runs.
Worden’s Ryan Siemsen won his fourth year-end tie-down roping title, winning six events during the regular season to have the title clinched before the NRA/NWRA Finals began.
Other year-end champions were: J2 Bridges, bareback; Tyler Friend, saddle bronc; Payton Fitzpatrick, bull riding; Drew Zipperian, breakaway roping.
Bridges, of Dillon won his third straight bareback title and fourth overall, and Fitzpatrick was also a repeat champion. He is from Polson. Friend, of Arlee, won his second saddle bronc title in three years.