By Brian Park
South Orange County got its annual taste of Western competition during the 2014 Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in San Juan Capistrano this weekend.
The grandstands at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park were packed with rodeo fans over the weekend to watch some of the top cowboys on the professional rodeo circuit compete in six different events.
Trevor Knowles secured his No. 1 overall spot in the steer-wrestling rankings with a 3.3-second ride. He won $5,295, according to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Tilden Hooper won the bareback riding competition, riding atop Comanchero, with 85 points. Aaron Tsingine and Cole Davison won in team roping with a time of 4.2 seconds. Other winners included Cort Scheer in saddle-bronc riding with 87 points; Clint Cooper in tie-down roping with a time of 7.6 seconds and bull rider Wesley Silcox with 83 points.
The Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo is an important stop in the professional circuit. For many, it is one of the last opportunities to secure a spot in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December. The rodeo is considered the richest two-day rodeo in the country. This year, more than $215,000 was given out to the top finishers.