LAS VEGAS – An equipment change is coming for Clayton Biglow.
Even after earning just his second paycheck of this year’s National Finals Rodeo, the 2019 bareback riding world champion knows there’s something funky going on.
“My rigging is feeling a little bit dead right now,” Biglow said after Monday’s 86.5-point ride on Harper & Morgan Rodeo Co.’s Sippin’ Firewater to earn $1,451. “When things aren’t working, you have to change something.
“I feel like I’m riding good. My confidence is fine. My body feels good. I just believe my rigging is getting a little worn. I just need to line some things out.”
The past five days haven’t been typical for Biglow, who set records in winning that Montana Silversmiths gold buckle two seasons ago. He’s earned just $20,596 in five days, and part of that came with a $10,000 bonus for qualifying for the NFR. He was just glad to scratch out a check in the fifth round.
“I thought the horse was pretty good, but a little on the weaker end,” he said. “I made a couple of bobbles, so I’m going to try to change things up a little bit and just keep plugging away.
“I didn’t know anything about the horse. When I got the draw, I looked it up, and it’s only a 6-year-old. It’s cool that they brought a young one that they put in the “TV Pen,” so it’s going to be real good someday.”
The fifth- and 10th-round horses are the most electric in rodeo, and high scores are the norm. For Biglow to collect a money score – he finished in a three-way tie for sixth place – says something about his ability as a bareback rider. Now in his sixth straight year playing on ProRodeo’s biggest stage, he understands the things that happen over 10 December nights in the Nevada desert.
“I need to get a lot more big checks,” he said. “I need to win every round from here on out if I want a chance to win the world title.
“Last year aught me a lot concerning how to keep my mind right. I’m riding better than I did last year. You have to roll with the punches; there’s no sense in digging yourself in hole because you’re frustrated. You’ve got the next day and another horse. There are five more rounds left and a lot of money left. I’ve been in this same position before, so I feel pretty good for the second half of the NFR.”