As Boyd Polhamus announced his credentials, the full-house crowd packed into Dodge City Roundup Arena began to build for a Kansas-born cowboy that owns three world championships.

Will Lowe didn’t disappoint, either. On Saturday night during the final preliminary performance of Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, the bareback rider who was raised on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro spurred Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Cactus Black for 90 points to win the first round and own a decent lead heading into Sunday night’s championship round.

"I’ve been coming to this arena since I was about 14 for high school rodeos," said Lowe, 36, who was raised in Olathe, Kansas, and graduated from Spring Hill (Kansas) High School. "I bulldogged my first steer at a rodeo here in the mud, so it’s always been great to me here. You don’t always win money, but the committee’s great and the crowd’s great. They have such a great fan base.

"Of course, it’s Kansas, so it’s given that the people are going to be good."

He’s lived in Canyon, Texas, most of his ProRodeo career, but he’s quite proud of his Kansas roots. He’s also proud of the resume that Polhamus spoke about, including his three world championships and 15 qualifications to the National Finals Rodeo.

"(Sunday) is going to be a tough day, because you know some buckers will be out tomorrow," he said Saturday night. "I felt pretty confident that as long as I did my job, that horse would do his job, and I’d be pretty good to slide into the short round."

Lowe did more than slide into the final performance, which features only the top 12 contestants in each event from the previous four days of competition. The champions in eight disciplines will be crowned and awarded those highly identifiable Roundup buckles.

Lowe owns one, a title he earned a dozen years ago, but it’s just one of many prestigious awards for the cowboy. Of course, he’s now in his 18th season in ProRodeo – he was only 19 years old when he qualified for his first NFR and 20 when he won his first Montana Silversmiths gold buckle.

He’s a bit behind the eight-ball heading into the final two months of the regular season; he is 26th in the world standings, and only the top 15 when the season ends Sept. 30 will advance to the NFR, ProRodeo’s grand finale.

The $3,085 he earned Saturday night will help, but winning the whole thing would be a major boost.

"It’s great to start August off strong," Lowe said. "This is the big rodeo of the week this weekend. The Fourth of July is Cowboy Christmas, but it keeps rolling all the way through. You could be at a rodeo just about every day to about the end of September."

Of course, it helps to have good horses. At rodeos like Dodge City’s, cowboys are matched to their animals via random draw. The better the bucking horse, the better are his odds to get a good score.

"I had him at Coleman (Texas) earlier this year and was 87 points," he said. "I knew he was going to stack up. I just got done watching him in the short round at Cheyenne, and he was really good there.

"It worked out perfect. You can’t say it enough; I’m blessed. Thank God I’m still healthy and still able to go."

In bareback riding, 36 is considered old. When he first started competing, Lowe was fascinated to be riding alongside his heroes; now he’s the guy they all look up to when it comes to achieving greatness. Sometimes, though, other things in life adjust the priorities – two of those are Garrett, 10, and Levi, 7.

"I’ll go until I don’t want to ride anymore," Lowe said. "I don’t think I’ll ever retire; if I want to get on a bucking horse, I’m going to get on a bucking horse.

"There are so many good rodeos down there. I’ve got kids now, so I’ll ease around to some rodeos. If it goes good and crack at a good one, you go to a few more. If not, you stay at the house and have fun with the family."

For now, though, he’s looking forward to the championship round in Dodge City.

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo July 31-Aug. 4

Bareback riding: First round:

1. Will Lowe, 90 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Cactus Black, $3,085; 2. Tilden Hooper, 87.5, $2,365; 3. Steven Dent, 86, $1,748; 4. Leighton Berry 85, $1,131; 5. (tie) Zach Hibler and Logan Patterson, 84, $617 each; 7. Mason Clements, 82.5, $411; 8. Paden Hurst, 82, $309; 9. Blaine Kaufman, 79; 10. Wyatt Bloom, 78.5; 11. (tie) Justin Polmiller and Briar Dittmer, 77.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Aaron Vosler, 3.7 seconds, $2,629; 2. Dakota Eldridge, 3.8, $2,286; 3. (tie) Nick Guy, Shane Frey, Clayton Hass and Tyler Waguespack, 3.9, $1,429 each; 7. Cody Devers, 4.0, $571; 8. (tie) Blake Mindemann, Denell Henderson, Riley Duvall and Levi Rudd, 4.2, $57 each.

Second round:

1. Nick Guy, 3.7 seconds, $2,629; 2. (tie) Dakota Eldridge and J.D. Struxness, 3.9, $2,114 each; 4. Denell Henderson, 4.1, $1,600; 5. Tyler Pearson, 4.2, $1,257; 6. Riley Westhaver, 4.3, $914; 7. Cody Devers, 4.4, $571; 8. (tie) Blake Mindemann and Jule Hazen, 4.8, $114.

Average leaders:

1. Nick Guy, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 2. Dakota Eldridge, 7.7; 3. Denell Henderson, 8.3; 4. Cody Devers, 8.4; 5. Blake Mindemann, 9.0; 6. Jacob Edler, 9.3; 7. Matt Reeves, 9.4; 8. Clayton Hass, 9.7; 9. Kyle Irwin, 10.0; 10. (tie) Trever Nelson and Jule Hazen, 10.2; 12. Blair Jones, 10.5.

Team roping: First round: 1. (tie) Caleb Smidt/Ty Arnold and Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.0 seconds, $2,557 each; 3. (tie) Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison and Adam Rose/Jett Hillman, 5.1, $1,843 each; 5. David Key/Rich Skelton, 5.4, $1,308; 6. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 5.5, $951; 7. (tie) Casey Hicks/Steve Orth, Cory Clark/Douglas Rich and Cory Kidd V/Kory Koontz, 5.8, $277 each.

Second round:

1. (tie) Luke Brown/Paul Eaves and Garret Chick/Ross Ashford, 4.3 seconds, $2,557 each; 3. Mason Boettcher/Eddie Medina, 4.6, $2,022; 4. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 4.9, $1,665; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.0, $1,308; 6. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 5.2, $951; 7. Nick Becker/Dawson McMaster, 5.3, $595; 8. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 5.5, $238.

Average leaders:

1. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 10.0 seconds on two runs; 2. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 10.8; 3. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 11.2; 4. Cory Kidd V/Kory Koontz, 11.6; 4. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 11.8; 7. (tie) Clayton Van Aken/Cullen Teller and Nick Becker/Dawson McMaster, 12.4; 9. Adam Rose/Jett Hillman, 12.9; 10. Luke Brown/Paul Eaves, 17.2; 11. Casey Hicks/Steve Orth, 16.6; 12. Butch Levell/J.W. Beck, 17.2.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Rusty Wright, 90 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Let ’Er Rip, 89, $2,747; 2. Ryder Wright, 89, $2,106; 3. Tegan Smith, 87, $1,557; 4. Jacobs Crawley, 86, $1,007; 5. (tie) Wade Sundell and Allen Boore, 84.5, $549 each; 7. Spencer Wright, 83.5, $366; 8. Dean Wadsworth, 82.5, $275; 9. Dalton Kingery, 82; 10. (tie) Logan Cook and Sterling Crawley, 81; 12. Shorty Garret4t, 80.5.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Adam Gray, 9.0 seconds, $2,611; 2. Chance Oftedahl, 9.1, $2,270; 3. Ryan Thibodeaux, 9.2, $1,930; 4. (tie) Colt Papy and Chris McCuistion, 10.3, $1,419 each; 6. Wyatt Imus, 10.7, $908; 7. Trell Etbauer, 10.8, $568; 8. (tie) Blake Ash and Cooper Martin, 10.9, $114 each.

Second round:

1. Bryson Sechrist, 8.9 seconds, $2,611; 2. Marcos Costa, 9.2, $2,270; 3. Westyn Hughes, 9.6, $1,930; 4. Adam Gray, 9.7, $1,589; 5. Garrett Busby, 10.0, $1,249; 6. Colt Papy, 10.1, $908; 7. Trell Etbauer, 10.3, $568; 7. (tie) Trent Creager and Luke Potter, 10.3, $114 each.

Average leaders:

1. Adam Gray, 18.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Colt Papy, 20.4; 3. Trell Etbauer, 21.0; 4. Chance Oftedahl, 22.5; 5. Kody Mahaffey, 22.6; 6. Trent Creager, 22.7; 7. (tie) Luke Potter and Ty Baker, 22.8; 9. Westyn Hughes, 22.9; 10. Blake Ash, 23.1; 11. Hagen Houck, 23.5; 12. Chris McCuistion, 23.8.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. Michelle Darling, 16.70 seconds, $2,378; 2. Hallie Hanssen, 16.92; 3. Ericka Nelson, 17.22; 4. Cindy Smith, 17.24; 5. Shelley Morgan, 17.29; 6. (tie) Shali Lord and Kara Large, 17.31; 8. Jeanne Anderson, 17.32; 9. Leslie Smalygo, 17.36; 10. Sara Cheeney, 17.37.

Second round:

1. Jessica Routier, 16.93 seconds, $2,378; 2. Shannon Lillard, 17.01, $2,038; 3. Janie Johnson, 17.11, $1,698; 4. Ericka Nelson, 17.15, $1,472; 5. Kara Large, 17.16, $1,132; 6. Shelley Morgan, 17.20, $906; 7. Kynzie McNeill, 17.23, $679; 8. Jill Wilons, 17.25, $453; 9. (tie) Hollie Etbauer and Hallie Hanssen, 17.26, $283 each.

Average leaders:

1. Michelle Darling, 33.99 seconds on two runs; 2. Hallie Hanssen, 34.18; 3. Ericka Nelson, 34.37; 4. Kara Large, 34.48; 5. Shelley Morgan, 34.29; 6. Leslie Smalygo, 34.64; 7. Jeanne Anderson, 34.76; 8. (tie) Shannon Lillard and Hollie Etbauer, 34.77; 10. Sara Cheeney, 34.79; 11. Kiley Dalchow, 34.92; 12. Janie Johnson, 34.81.

Bull riding: First round: 1. (tie) Koby Radley, on Frontier Rodeo’s Master Charge, and Garrett Tribble, on Frontier Rodeo’s 99 Problems, 87 points, $2,663 each; 3. Stetson Wright, 86, $1,708; 4. (tie) Wyatt Rogers and Dustin Martinez, 85.5, $904; 6. Hayden Harris, 84.5, $502; 7. (tie) Elijah Mora, Cordell Curtis and Colten Fritzlan, 83, $324 each; 10. Jeff Askey, 81; 11. Cody Keathley, 80.5; 12. Trevor Reiste, 80.