LAS VEGAS – Chet Johnson is having a roller coaster ride through the rigors of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The ride hasn’t been much fun.
Through eight go-rounds, Johnson has ridden just 50 percent of his broncs. When he lasted the full eight seconds, he placed, but he was at the bottom of the go-round pay scale – the NFR pays for just the top six places each night, and the Sheridan, Wyo., cowboy finished sixth in the first, second, third and eighth go-rounds.
On Thursday night, he matched moves with Big Stone, Moreno & Growney’s Big Muddy for 78.5 points, sharing sixth place with Texan Bradley Harter; each cowboy pocketed $1,502. With just two nights remaining in the 2013 ProRodeo season, Johnson has earned $8,514.
Heading into the championship, Johnson – and every other cowboy competing in the City of Lights – had big dreams for the sport’s most lucrative 10 days. Go-round winners earn $18,630, and some have scored quite well. Fellow bronc rider Jake Wright of Utah has earned more than $87,000.
Still, there is more than $120,000 available over the final two NFR go-rounds, and Johnson found some much needed confidence in his eighth-round ride.
In fact, the Wyoming cowboy will be matched in the ninth round on the bronc Kid Rock, a talented bucking beast from the Brookman-Hyland Rodeo Co. Johnson will have a quality shot at big time cash, and he’s ready to capitalize on the opportunity.