LOVINGTON, N.M. – A year ago, Brett Stall parlayed Xtreme Bulls Tour victories into his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He’s hoping history repeats itself.
Stall rode two bulls for a cumulative score of 171.5 points to win the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday night, earning $9,701 in the process. That’s key, because those dollars stand as championship points, and only the top 15 cowboys in the bull riding world standings earn a shot to compete at ProRodeo’s grand finale.
“This is huge this year,” said Stall, 24, of Detroit Lakes, Minn. “I had hip surgery at the beginning of the year. It’s been up and down all year. This bull riding is a blessing to me this year. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
The stand-alone bull riding tour features the top 40 cowboys in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and has its own championship. It all counts toward the final world standings, which is a big reason why Stalls was in Las Vegas last December. He won the Xtreme Bulls events in Rapid City, S.D., (a Division 1 event) and Greeley, Colo., (Division 2).
“Last year I was top five in the year-end Xtreme Bulls,” Stalls said. “I’m right inside the top 30. This is going to help me tremendously put a whole new outlook on the rest of the year. Instead of hitting a few of them circuit rodeos, we’ll head to the Northwest and try to make the top 15.”
Stall was one of just two cowboys to ride both his bulls, and he edged fellow NFR qualifier Beau Schroeder of China, Texas, by just two points to claim the championship. In fact, Stall just squeaked into the short round, joining young gun Sage Kimzey with 82.5-point rides – Lon Danley of Tularosa, N.M., also scored 82.5, but he was left off the short-round list because of a tie-breaker.
Stall rode Salt River Rodeo’s Sure Enough to move into final round, then matched moves with Lineman of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo for 89 points to stake claim to the coveted buckle. Tyler Smith of Fruita, Colo., won the first round with a 90-point ride on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Blue Duck.
“Rapid City was my biggest career win,” Stall said. “It got my name out there. It made me to where I got to the NFR. I think this one tops it, because it’s going to make a huge impact on this year for me.
“This is going to rank up there with top wins in my career.”
Lea County Xtreme Bulls
First round: 1. Tyler Smith, 90 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Blue Duck, $3,384; 2. J.W. Harris, 87, $2,594; 3. Josh Koschel, 86.5, $1,918; 4. Parker Breding, 85.5, $1,241; 5. Tyler Willis, 85, $790; 6. Elliot Jacoby, 84.5, $564; 7. (tie) Beau Schoeder, Shawn Proctor and Clayton Foltyn, $263. Final round: 1. Brett Stall, 89 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lineman, $4,061; 2. Beau Schroeder, 85.5, $3,459; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Brett Stall, 171.5 points on two rides, $5,640; 2. Beau Schroeder, 169.5, $4,324; 3. Tyler Smith, 90 points on one ride, $3,196; 4. J.W. Harris, 87, $2,068; 5. Josh Koschel, 86.5, $1,316; 6. Parker Breding, 85.5, $940; 7. Tyler Willis, 85, $752; 8. Elliot Jacoby, 84.5, $564.