Colletti wins fifth go-round at NFR

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LAS VEGAS – If Casey Colletti had a one-horse trailer, he’d haul Scarlett’s Web with him to every rodeo.

Casey Colletti
Casey Colletti

He proved why on Monday night by winning bareback riding’s fifth go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with an 88.5-point ride on the Classic Pro Rodeo bucking horse. It helped Colletti to an $18.257 payday and gave him a much needed boost of confidence heading into the second half of the 10-round championship.

“I knew a lot about her, actually; I had her at the short round at Cheyenne (Wyo.) this year, and I was an 89 on her there,” Colletti said. “Every time I’ve seen her, she circles around to the right and stays close to the bucking chutes.”

Classic owner Scotty Lovelace told Colletti just before the ride that the horse has been known to circle left. That’s just what the mare did.

“I’m glad she went left,” Colletti said with a laugh. “I’ve been wanting to get on Scarlett’s Web at the NFR. This is a dream come true for me.”

Colletti was the first cowboy to go, meaning he had to watch with great anticipation as the remaining 14 cowboys rode.

“I just hoped nobody beat me,” he said. “I wanted them all to win, but I wanted them to be 88 and below.

“I was a little bit bummed out earlier this week, missing one out and getting bucked off. To win the TV pen, it’s pretty cool to win this (go-round) buckle.”

Midway through the rugged 10-round finale, most of the bareback riders are feeling the pressure of tying themselves to the rankest bucking beasts in the business. There are sore arms, shoulders and hands. It just comes with the territory.

“Right now, the adrenaline’s pumping, so I don’t feel anything,” he said. “I’m a little bit sore today. We’re five rounds in. I’ll probably wake up a little sore tomorrow.”

This is the second go-round victory for Colletti, who won the ninth round last December with an 87.5-point ride.

“Any time you can top your highest score is great,” said Colletti, who has pushed his NFR earnings to nearly $33,000 – his season total is $99,614.


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