LAS VEGAS – Tanner Aus has placed in just three go-rounds, but he earned at least a share of two victories.
He added his second Wednesday night during the seventh round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, earning $26,231 in the process. He’s ridden well, but missing out on four round checks is a testament to the bareback riding inside the Thomas & Mack Center.
“The competition is just so tough,” said Aus, 27, of Granite Falls, Minn. “I had to wait out a re-ride with Orin (Larsen), and he’s been riding outstanding, so you never know if he’s going to get past you.”
Aus matched moves with Three Hills Rodeo’s Jr. Bonner for 87 points to claim the round title. He knew he had a great opportunity when he saw the posted random draw Wednesday evening.
“I’ve been on that horse before, so I’ve been looking forward to it,” he said. “He had a great trip today. He just angled across there to the end. He felt good. He got a little wolfy there at the end.”
Wolfy or not, it paid off. Aus has earned more than $65,000 over seven nights of competition. After falling a bit in the standings, he returned to the No. 2 spot behind Iowan Tim O’Connell. He is about $87,000 behind the reigning world champion, but more big paychecks can make up most of that ground in a hurry.
“Getting this second round win is a dream come true, and we get to go back to the South Point,” he said of the Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation, where the round winners earn their prizes. “To be able to stand out one night or even two nights in this field of competition is just an outstanding feeling.
“I’m very thankful.”
He should be, but he also took advantage of the opportunity provided him. That’s what made the most difference.