Levi Stepp of Pierce overcame the efforts of some ornery bulls and 28 rival competitors to be crowned champion in the 18th Annual Gateway to the Sandhills Bullride Classic, held Sunday night at the fairgrounds in Albion in conjunction with the Boone County Fair.
Stepp was one of six cowboys to advance from the opening field of 29 and compete in the final round, where he earned the top score and 2012 champion’s belt buckle.
Dalton Cunningham of Bloomfield took second place in the event, with Paddy Church, all the way from New Zealand, third after posting the top ride in the opening round.
Judging the event were Jim McMillan and Pepper Rasmussen of Albion. Delores McMillan of Albion and Diane Arnold of Cedar Rapids were timers.
Getting plenty of action this year were bull fighters Ryan Davis (Beaver City) and Bruce Hamlin (Hoyt, KS), who had their hands full protecting fallen riders from an aggressive array of bulls.
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