DODGE CITY, Kan. – Derek Kolbaba is a man on a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo mission, even though he knows the odds are against him.
“We’re a little far out (of the top 15), but I’m not going to quit going until the old lady sings,” said Kolbaba, a 20-year-old bull rider from Walla Walla, Wash. “Hopefully I can get enough money win this last month and try to play a little catch-up and get there.”
He did his part Tuesday night with an 84-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie to win the Xtreme Bulls tour stop in conjunction with Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. With the win, he pocketed $4,991 and moved up four spots to 30th in the world standings.
“I knew he was going to be a good bull right there into my hand,” he said of the bull.
It worked well for the young cowboy, who outlasted a field that included past world champions Sage Kimzey, Shane Proctor and Cody Teel. He returns to Dodge City for Friday’s performance of Roundup Rodeo.
“Winning both the Xtreme and the rodeo is my goal for sure,” Kolbaba said. “That would mean a whole lot to me. For what little bit that I’ve been here, it’s a great town and a great rodeo. The fans get into it. My goal is to get my bull rode Friday and make it back to Sunday and just do the same there.”
While Tuesday’s Xtreme Bulls event was specialized, the next four nights of rodeo will feature the preliminary rounds. Only the top 12 times and scores from Wednesday-Saturday’s performances make it to Sunday night’s championship round; that’s where the 2016 champions will be crowned.
The Washington cowboy has been riding a hot streak this season. While he sits in the top 30 in the world standings in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, he is 10th in the PBR standings. Not often do cowboys cross over between the organizations, but it’s working for Kolbaba.
“I think a lot of (that success) is just settling down and knowing what I need to do,” he said. “I’ve been going a little bit these last couple years. I’m just getting comfortable and focusing on what I need to do, and, praise God, it’s all working out.
“Getting to come to these rodeos and riding against guys that have been to the NFR and that ride great, then still be able to get a little bit of success as well, means the world to me. This is definitely a dream come true.”
Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
Aug. 2, 2016
1. Derek Kolbaba, 84.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie, $4,991; 2. (tie) Garrett Tribble, Chase Robbins and Markus Mariluch, 83, $2,828 each; 5. Brennon Eldred, 82, $1,165; 6. Jacob O’Mara, 81, $832; 7. (tie) Dalan Duncan and Dylan Vick, 78, $582 each.