Battaglia, Saenz place at Lakeside Rodeo

Two Ramona High School graduates placed at the Lakeside Rodeo.

Marcus Battaglia had a time of 10.3 seconds to place second in the first tie-down roping go-round, and Junior Saenz had an 82-point ride on Little Joe to split third and fourth in the bull riding.

Saenz’s only rodeo between the January circuit finals and the Lakeside Rodeo was in Palm Springs the final week of March. Battaglia roped in the April 9-10 Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo and spent April 15 at the Red Bluff Round-Up.

He went directly from Oakdale to Red Bluff and borrowed a horse there. Battaglia left his horse Ghost with fellow Ramona resident Cameron Elston, who rode Ghost in Battaglia’s absence.

Ghost was ready when Battaglia rode in the April 16 afternoon performance at Lakeside.

“When I got there I just got on him and did the best I could,” Battaglia said.

Wes Lockard of Susanville won the go-round with a time of 10.0 seconds.

“I had a good calf and I got a good start,” Battaglia said. “Everything worked out perfect.”

Battaglia earned $827 for his second-place go-round position. He did not rope successfully on his second run April 17.

“That’s how it goes,” he said.

Saenz rode in the April 17 performance.

“I was pretty lucky on that guy. Nice little bull,” he said.

Saenz had not previously been on Little Joe, nor had he previously seen the bull Don Kish provided for Growney Brothers. Saenz was able to research the bull’s past performance, learning that he had bucked off six of his eight previous riders.

“I knew he was OK,” Saenz said.

Saenz learned the bull’s bucking attempt habits first-hand.

“I thought he was going to spin to the left, and he went the other way,” Saenz said.

Saenz was bucked off at Palm Springs, so the successful ride was the first since his son, Joaquin, was born on Jan. 28. Joaquin’s mother, Jackie, held their son as he witnessed his father’s ride. The split of third and fourth earned Saenz $1,176.

“This is going to start me again for the year,” he said of his earnings.

Cody Taton, the great-nephew of the late Ramona rodeo legend Casey Tibbs, had an 82-point ride April 17 to split fourth, fifth, and sixth in the Saddle Bronc Riding and take home $542.



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