Friday's rodeo results

Every Kansas cowboy has one title they want to own: Dodge City Roundup Rodeo champion.

Buddy Hawkins is no different. Raised 326 miles east of Dodge City in the tiny southeastern Kansas town of Columbus, he has had aspirations of collecting the most prized rodeo trophy in the Sunflower State.

"Being born and raised in Kansas, Dodge was a dream for me," said Hawkins, a heeler who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2013. "I didn’t even get to watch this rodeo until I was competitive in the PRCA because we couldn’t afford to come over here and buy a ticket."

He can afford to now but is hoping for a nice payback. During Friday’s third performance, he and his header, Lane Ivy of Adrian, Texas, stopped the clock in 5.6 seconds. That, combined with their 4.7-second run in the first round Friday morning, moved them to the top spot in the two-run aggregate heading into the final day of preliminary rounds.

Hawkins wasn’t the only Kansan-born cowboy to do well Friday. Bull rider Tyler Hessman of Beaver, Okla., was born in Dodge City, and he posted an 87-point ride on 4L and Diamond S Rodeo’s Foolish Dreams to take the lead.

They are almost guaranteed a good position at the top of the leaderboard for Sunday’s championship night, which will feature only the top 12 contestants in each event from the weeklong competition.

"We had a really good steer this morning," Ivy said Friday evening. "We knew we had to put on some sort of 5-second or 6-second run to put ourselves in good position for the short round Sunday. We drew a good steer and made a great run. We’ve got two really good horses and are drawing good steers."

It’s been working well. The tandem has earned four key victories over the last month and a half, including three during the Fourth of July run of lucrative rodeos. Ivy sits 15th in the heading world standings with $42,778, while Hawkins is 14th in heeling with $54,298.

Now they will wait out Saturday’s competition to see if they’ll hold down the No. 1 spot heading into the final night of Roundup.

"Everybody that’s out here rodeoing this time of year has done great, but the odds are that we’ll make it back to the short round in good position," said Hawkins, who earlier this year won the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, the national championship.

"This rodeo counts for the Prairie Circuit, which is more important now that the All-American Finals, the circuit finals and the RAM finals all count toward the world standings."

Now 30, he’s the veteran in the rig and has the NFR experience to boot.

"Buddy just makes your job a whole lot easier," Ivy said. "He’s an outstanding heeler and an even better person."

Now they stand a chance to win the biggest rodeo in Hawkins’ home state and one of the most prestigious trophy buckles in the game.

"Of the top five rodeos I’d like to win, it’s definitely going to be on that list," Hawkins said. "I’ve won a few big rodeos in my career, but it would be a big thing for a Kansas kid to win a big Kansas rodeo."