BY LUKE CREASY
Special to TwisTed Rodeo
LOVINGTON, N.M. – With the chips on the line in the final round, youthful vitality and the luck of the draw prevailed.
The Lea County Rodeo kicked off Tuesday night with the Lea County Xtreme Bulls. Though 11 riders covered their first-round bulls, it came down to two riders in the championship round to determine the winner.
The two riders, opposite ends of the spectrum, six-time world champion Sage Kimzey and the rookie sensation, Creek Young. In just his third year in professional rodeo – with two years on his permit previously – rookie bull rider Creek Young of Fort Scott, Kansas, edged Kimsey for the two-ride aggregate championship with 169.5 cumulative points.
Pointing to the match-up of Young and his bull Bayou Bengal, livestock producer Pete Carr said, “That’s my pick.”
“I drew him at the San Angelo Xtreme Bulls, and he bucked me off pretty easily,” Young said a bit bashfully. “I knew what I was getting on. I knew he was a bucker. I knew what to expect this time and got it done.”
He did, to the tune of 87 points to win the short round and collect the aggregate title. He also finished the opening round in a tie for fourth place with a score of 82.5 points. In all, he collected $10,247 in Lea County. It was a nice windfall for having a much better ride on the bull the second time he had the chance.
“I didn’t stay very forward (the first time),” Young said. “He leaves very high in the front end out of there, I got back last time and this time I made sure to stay forward, and it went a lot better.”
Young credits PRCA Xtreme Bulls events as a vital component of bull riding in the PRCA.
“This is probably where we get most of our money, so they help immensely.”
The end goal, of course, is to advance to the National Finals Rodeo, but only the top 15 in the world standings at the conclusion of the regular season earn that opportunity. Young’s chances gained intense momentum due to the Xtreme Bulls events, amongst other rodeos during the marathon Cowboy Christmas run around the Fourth of July.
“I placed high at Spanish Fork’s Xtreme, won the Red Lodge Xtreme Bulls and got third or fourth at the rodeo in Red Lodge,” Young said, also crediting a high placing at Cody, Wyoming, “I had a really good Fourth run. I think I made right at $18,000.”
Young also won rodeo in Mercedes, Texas, and Pleasant Grove, Utah, earlier this season.
“I haven’t really looked at the rookie race,” Young said, referring to the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings. “I’m just trying to make the NFR and stay in the top five.”
Young is the No. 1 man in the rookie race and has a good chance to move up in the world standings with his take; prior to this week, he was sixth with $74,040.
Lea County Xtreme Bulls
Aug. 3, 2021
First round: 1. Roscoe Jarboe, 90 points on New Star Rodeo’s Listen Linda, $3,236; 2. Matt Palmer, 85.5, $2,481; 3. Rugar Piva, 84.5, $1,834; 4. (tie) Clayton Sellars and Creek Young, 82.5, $971; 6. Jesse Hopper, 82, $539; 7. (tie) Parker Breding and Sage Kimzey, 81, 377 each. Championship round: 1. Creek Young, 87 points on Pete Carr Rodeo’s Bayou Bengal, $3,883; 2. Sage Kimzey, 84.5, $3,308; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Creek Young, 169.5 points on two rides, $5,393; 2. Sage Steele Kimzey, 165.5, $4,135; 3. Roscoe Jarboe, 90, $3,056; 4. Matt Palmer, 85.5, $1,978; 5. Rugar Piva, 84.5, $1,258 6. Clayton Sellars, 82.5, $899; 7. Jesse Hopper, $719; 8. (tie) Shane Proctor and Trey Benton III 80, $270 each.