LAS VEGAS – No other cowboy at the 2015 National Finals Rodeo rode a bigger roller coaster than bull rider Wesley Silcox.
He bucked off five bulls, missed two rounds because of injury, placed third in the ninth round and won on the fifth and 10th nights of ProRodeo’s grand finale. It added up to $74,462 in 10 days in the Nevada desert.
On Saturday night, the 2007 world champion rode Rafter H Rodeo’s Breaking Bad for 88 points to win the round. That check pushed his season earnings to more than $190,000 and became an exclamation point to his campaign with a fourth-place finish in the world standings.
“I had my head clear,” said Silcox, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Santaquin, Utah. “I was ready to ride and wasn’t really worried about anything but riding my bulls. I’m happy to come back riding and be healthy.”
He should be. Silcox suffered two concussions over the course of the NFR. After his second occurred in the sixth round Tuesday, he opted to sit out the seventh and eighth rounds to heal. It was a good thing he did.
He returned Friday to finish third in the round, then collected the go-round win on the final night of the ProRodeo season.
You win the 10th round, and you’re on top of the world,” he said. “You’ve got some good guys in the locker room, and you’ve had some fun. It’s great to keep a good attitude.”
That final ride was the first time he had matched moves with the athletic Breaking bad. He knew just a little about the bull from his fellow Crown Royal Rider Chandler Bownds, who had ridden the bull earlier in the week.
He blew out of there and was leaping in the air,” Silcox said. “It felt really good.”
He should know. He’s been on a few hundred head of bucking bulls over the course of his ProRodeo career. Now he will take some time off, make sure his body is fully healed and spend a little time with those closest to him.
“It’ll be nice to be with family,” said Silcox, who will enjoy several days with his wife, Jerika; daughter, Rivers; and son, Ledgen. “They’re all here and ready to go home and relax for a little while.”
They’ve all earned the break.