DODGE CITY, Kan. – At 18 years of age, Mason Moody’s bull riding career is just getting started.
He became eligible to be a professional bull rider in April, then purchased his PRCA permit two months later. In short order, he’s been to just five events, and he’s earned money at three of them. On Tuesday night, he put together the biggest ride of his young career by winning the Dodge City Xtreme Bulls at Roundup Arena.
“I’ve went to three rodeos, and this is my second Xtreme Bulls,” Moody said. “I’ve placed at two rodeos, and I won my second Xtreme Bulls.
“I haven’t gotten into much, but what I’ve gotten into, I’ve done really well at. I’ve got some points and some qualifications now.”
Rodeo is much different than most sports, where young athletes will work their way to the professional level. Only a handful are like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant and are ready right out of high school. Rodeo offers a professional opportunity as soon as a cowboy turns 18. In the PRCA, contestants must first compete on their permits and earn $1,000 before they can become full members.
The young cowboy in South Dakota will likely wait until the 2022 season before he does that, but he’s earned the right. His 88-point ride Tuesday night on 4L & Diamond S Ranch’s Space Unicorn earned him $5,471 and a new pair of Dodge City Xtreme Bulls spurs.
They will go on the trophy shelf at his home in tiny Letcher, South Dakota, which boasts of a population of 166.
“You have to drive a half hour to school, and you have to drive a half hour to get groceries,” Moody said. “We’re in the boondocks, but I like it that way.”
Things didn’t start off well for the cowboy. He was able to stay on 4L & Diamond S Ranch’s 870, but he scored just 58 points. ProRodeo officials rewarded him with a re-ride, and, as the last cowboy to ride for the night, he walked away with the win.
“This is super important,” he said. “To get a big win under your belt is big. You’ll get into bigger ProRodeos. You’re 18 years old, and you’ve already got a big win. Not very many kids get to do that. To do that at a young age is pretty special.”
Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 3, 2021
1. Mason Moody, 88 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Space Unicorn, $5,471; 2. Bubba Greig, 86.5, $4,194; 3. Tyler Hessman, 86, $3,100; 4. Shad Winn, 85.5, $2,006; 5. Trevor Reiste, 84.5, $1,277; 6. Denton Fugate, 83, $912; 7. (tie) Casey Fredericks, Tristen Hutchings and Trevor Kastner, 81.5, $426 each.