LAS VEGAS – With every ride he makes, Cole Franks is becoming more of a bareback riding veteran. He takes the good with the bad, which is what happens in rodeo.
He found a lot of good with an 87-point ride on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Anything Goes to finish a close second in Thursday’s eighth round of the National Finals Rodeo, pocketing $21,336.
“I didn’t really know much about that horse,” said Franks, 20, of Clarendon, Texas. “I went back and watched a couple videos; Tim and Jess have both been on him before last year. He looked pretty good, looked like you’d rather get on in the (“Eliminator Pen”). He’s a pretty good pluck for that pen.”
The random draw matched the young bronc buster with the horse, which wasn’t quite as rank and hard to watch as most of the others that bucked Thursday. That worked out to Franks’ benefit; he pushed his NFR earnings to $91,898. He is third in the aggregate race with a cumulative score of 688 points on eight rides.
Anything Goes didn’t buck the first time the “Eliminator Pen” was out last Saturday, so he was a fresher than the others that have performed already. The animals are bred to buck, and they can anticipate the opportunities to do their jobs.
“I knew he was going to be pretty strong, and he was every bit of that,” Franks said. “I just had to keep gassing it. I wanted to quit halfway. It hurt really bad, but I just closed my eyes and kept going.”
He’s glad he did. He moved his season earnings to $169,291 and has moved up six spots to sixth in the world standings. Riding rank bucking horses isn’t easy, though. Riding the rankest horses in the world is even m ore difficult. He had to work harder Thursday to make she stayed in the middle.
“You just bury your feet in the horses and lift on your rigging like you’ve never lifted before,” he said. “You’ve got to put 110 percent out. If you’re only putting 100 percent, it’s not going to be good.
“They’re going to try to keep getting away from you, so you keep your feet in their neck. It drives you back up on your rigging and keeps them from leaping away from you. It keeps you there. I was just trying to get back to the front. I knew if I didn’t beat him to the ground, he was going to sit me up. He hits the ground really hard and leaves really hard. If you don’t beat him to the ground, he’ll get you.”
He has two nights remaining to collect as much Vegas cash as possible. If he can stay third in the aggregate, he will pocket a bonus of $44,414. He’s already had a huge week at the NFR, and the future looks bright.
“It has been really good, awesome actually,” Franks said. “It’s very special. I’m just ready to get a (go-round) buckle. There is going to be no reserve the final two nights of this thing. I’m going to ripping my feet to the sky. My boots are going to be flying.”