LAS VEGAS – What is it about saddle bronc riding that’s so interesting to Tyler Corrington of Hastings, Minn.?
“It’s mostly about the fact that the horse is trying to kick your butt, and you’re trying to kick his butt,” Corrington said, referring to the heavyweight bout that takes place in any eight-second ride.
He’s right. It’s a slugfest, especially at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where the top cowboys in the game test their skills on the greatest bucking beasts. On Sunday night, Corrington matched moves with J Bar J Rodeo’s Tipped Off for 82.5 points, which earned him a third-place finish and a check worth $11,118.
“That was a really good horse,” he said. “I got on him as a reride at San Antonio, so I’d been on him before. It felt good to have him.”
Having a good horse is just half the equation. Corrington still needs to have a solid performance each night if he plans to do well. He’s holding up his end of the bargain, having collected $25,841 through four nights of ProRodeo’s grand finale. Most importantly, he has moved up one spot to third in the world standings and trails leader Cody Wright by $11,245. Finishing first or second in a go-round can move the Minnesota cowboy into the No. 1 spot on the money list.
“I’m feeling good, and my riding feels good,” he said. “I’ve been drawing good horses and have been having fun. I try not to worry about anything; I’m just showing up at the arena and having fun.”
He’ll try to maintain his momentum in Monday’s fifth round, where he’s matched with Big Bend Rodeo’s Kool Toddy. He loves the idea of competing on those type horses for 10 December nights.
“These are the best bucking horses in the world,” Corrington said. “You’ve got a pretty good chance every night, and they’re going to try to buck you off. You’ve just got to do your job, have fun and try to go with it.
“The fifth and 10 rounds feature the best pen of bucking horses there is. These are the horses that when you see your name by then all year long, you get a smile on your face when you show up to that rodeo.”
Corrington definitely is smiling.