LAS VEGAS – With one round remaining in the 2013 ProRodeo season, Caleb Bennett has a major league plan for Saturday’s final go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“I’m approaching Round 10 with a go-round win on my mind,” said Bennett, a two-time NFR qualifier from Morgan, Utah. “I want to go out with a bang, be 90 points and win the round.”
It would be a great way to conclude a great week and a half at ProRodeo’s grand finale. Through nine nights, he has pocketed more than $47,500, $1,002 of which came Friday night when the Utah cowboy rode Three Hills Rodeo’s Cherries N Cream for 79.5 points to finish in a three-way tie for sixth place.
“I just told myself, ‘Go with the mindset of wanting to be 90 and win the round, then see what happens,’ ” he said. “We’ll see where it can push me in the average and how far it can push me in the world. Either way, I’m pretty happy with the way this week’s went.”
He should be. Bennett has a nine-ride cumulative score of 719.5 seconds and is fourth in the average race. Should he stay in that position through the end of the NFR, he’ll pocket a $22,536 bonus. If he moves to third in the average, the payout is $30,649.
On Friday, he expected a little different bucking trip from Cherries N Cream.
“I got on that horse here last year, and she’s supposed to be a little more than she was,” Bennett said. “I made sure I got a good hold of her (with his spurs), then it just took me three or four jumps to get them really going.
“That little horse felt good, but she was just not quite as powerful. I was ready for a little more power. I guess it got me money.”
That matters. In rodeo, money equals points, and the contestants in each event with the most money won through Saturday’s finale will be crowned world champions. While Bennett won’t claim this year’s gold buckle, he has moved from 15th to seventh and has a great opportunity to move up the money list Saturday night.
“That 10th round gets us excited,” said Bennett, who has placed in six of nine rounds so far. “It’s the pen of horses that puts you on the edge of your seat because it’s so good watching. It’s fun to watch, and it’s fun to ride in.”
Yes, it is.