ARLINGTON, Texas – In a pen of really tough horses, Mason Clements found a familiar foe in Frontier Rodeo’s Show Stomper.
“That was the fourth time I’ve had Show Stomper,” said Clements, 28, of Spanish Fork, Utah. “That was definitely the hardest I’ve ever been hit by Show Stomper but not the rankest trip.”
Scores are based on a 100-point scale, with half going to how well the animal performs and half going to how well the cowboy rides the animal. In bareback riding, the cowboy is scored on how well he can spur in rhythm with the horse’s bucking motion.
On Saturday night, Clements and the big bay matched moves for 83 points, good enough for sixth place in the third round and worth $4,231. It was the second time in three nights Clements has earned a paycheck at this year’s National Finals Rodeo.
“I’ve just got to go back to the basics and be no different than riding my spur board at home,” he said. “You’ve got to be super strong and super-fast. You have to keep your chin tucked down and keep everything together.”
That’s easier said than done on horses like that. The third round featured the “Eliminator Pen” of bareback horses, meaning they were the toughest to ride. The cowboys will have one more sot to ride them this next Thursday during the eighth round. It can be a true test of man vs. beast.
“I feel good, and I feel like we’re just getting primed up,” Clements said. “It’s a marathon, so you’ve got to just keep your head in the game. My body is doing good, so it’s just mental work now.”
The NFR features only the top 15 cowboys on the money list from the regular season. This is set up to be a test of how well each man can ride different types of animals. There are 100 horses that the 15 cowboys select to be at Globe Life Field in Arlington, and they’re set up in five types of pens.
“The next few rounds are going to be really fun, especially with the horses like (Sunday), which are just going to be super nice, easy-to-ride horses,” he said. “Then the next night will be my favorite round and favorite pen of horses, the TV pen, a mix between the semi-eliminators and the eliminators. They will give you a shot to ride them, but if you stub your toe a little bit, they’ll make you look like you’re on and eliminator.
“I just love those horses. I eat those horses right up.”
He’s earned $32,423 in just three nights. He has moved up two spots to seventh in the world standings, and he’s hungry for more. The good news is he has seven more plates of bucking horses in front of him.