LAS VEGAS – When Clayton Biglow was preparing to make his bareback ride Friday, Sozo of Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics was doing everything in the horse’s power to not let it happen.
Just before he nodded his head, the official on the back of the chute tried to inform the California cowboy that he would have to take a re-ride. Biglow nodded his head, made the ride and scored 86 points. He was originally scheduled to finish tied for fifth in the round, worth $5,500.
After the bareback riding was over, Biglow was informed that he would either take his re-ride or be given a no-score. Leading the world standings and the National Finals Rodeo average race, he had no choice. It turns out, it may have been a blessing. Instead, he rode Wayne Vold Rodeo’s Mucho Dinero for 88.5 points and finished in a tie for third place in the ninth round.
With that, he received a pay increase of more than $7,800, which is never a bad thing. It improved his NFR earnings to more than $150,000 and his 2019 payout to $332,343. He has a stranglehold on the 2019 world championship, but it wasn’t without drama.
That’s OK, though. Biglow is on pace to break the NFR average record set in 2011 when Kaycee Feild scored 860.5 cumulative points on 10 rides. Biglow sits at 793.5 on nine rides, meaning he needs just a 67.5-point ride to break the record.
That payday would be worth $67,269 and would put Biglow’s annual earnings on the cusp of the $400,000 mark. All he would need is to place in Saturday’s 10th round, and he would surpass that. It’s been that kind of NFR for Biglow, who was the reserve national champion in collegiate bareback riding while helping lead his Feather River College rodeo squad to the men’s team title.
That same year, he was the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rookie of the year. Just four seasons later, he has a firm grasp on the Montana Silversmiths gold buckle.