SAN ANGELO, Texas – Garrett Shadbolt had done his homework on the horse he’d drawn Friday night during the sixth performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
He knew Fettig Pro Rodeo’s Pop A Pop had bucked at the National Finals Rodeo and that the animal was part of a 90.5-point ride with Tim O’Connell there. He’s seen fellow bareback rider Taylor Broussard ride the horse earlier this year.
He didn’t know Pop A Top was a stallion, but Shadbolt is a bit of a stud himself. The two matched moves for 85 points to move into a tie for sixth place and have a great chance to return next Friday night for the championship round.
“That was definitely the horse you wanted to have, and I was excited to see my name next to his (on the random draw),” said Shadbolt, 25, the No. 8 bareback rider in the world standings from Merriman, Nebraska. “That horse is really well built. Just looking at him, you know he’s going to be fun to ride.
“When he went straight across the arena, I was just having fun. When he made the corner, is speed picked up but was still just as strong. That does increase the degree of difficulty.”
The judges rewarded him for managing the ride, but that’s happened quite a bit. He was the 2018 PRCA Bareback Riding Rookie of the Year, and he’s finished among the top 25 each of the past two seasons. He won both the year-end and circuit finals average titles in the Prairie Circuit last fall, and all that money counts toward the 2021 season.
He then advanced to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which took place a week ago in Kissimmee, Florida. While there, he finished second overall and pocketed more than $8,600. It all adds up to a top 10 spot in the standings with a great chance to add to that in San Angelo.
“I’m getting better, I’m riding better and I’m drawing better,” he said. “I have goals of getting better than I did the year before. I’m sitting right where I want to be. My goal is to finish the season in the top 10.”
Anywhere among the top 15 at the end of the regular season will earn Shadbolt a spot at the NFR, which is scheduled for December in Las Vegas. It’s the dream of every rodeo contestant that has ever played the game, and he has five and a half months left to secure his inaugural bid to ProRodeo’s marquee event.
“You learn as you go along,” he said. “I’ve been on more bucking horses, and that teaches you a lot. I didn’t finish last year the way I wanted. I’m not going to do the same thing and get the same results. I got to the gym and started working out during those cold months where we weren’t going anywhere. I think it’s paid off for me.
“My confidence is through the roof. They’re not going to slow me down.”
While Shadbolt looked to solidify his spot in the short round on Friday, April 23, there were some lead changes in other events. Jesse Brown took the lead in the second round of steer wrestling; Jake Orman and Brye Crites took the aggregate lead in team roping; Kolby Wanchuck rode Hampton Pro Rodeo’s Desert Stomper for 86 points to take the lead in saddle bronc riding; and Lacinda Rose and Michelle Alley were 14.22 each to tie for the second-round lead in barrel racing.
And they all got a chance to compete inside the legendary Foster Communications Coliseum.
“It’s awesome that there were so many people in that building,” Shadbolt said. “In a time when rodeo has been struggling with this pandemic, everybody seems to have had enough of this. I think it’s the rodeo spirit to take a little bit of a risk. You’ve got to take a risk to get the reward.
“It embodies rodeo to have a packed coliseum.”
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Cole Franks, 88 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s Hot Flash; 2. Tilden Hooper, 87; 3. Caleb Bennett, 86.5; 4. Tim O’Connell, 86; 5. Chad Rutherford, 85.5; 6. (tie) Luke Creasy and Garrett Shadbolt, 85; 8. Kaycee Field, 84.5; 9. Cauy Pool, 84; 10. Kody Lamb, 83; 11. Tanner Aus, 82; 12. Trenton Montero, 81.5.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Jesse Brown, 3.4 seconds; 2. (tie) Brandon Harrison, Jacob Edler and Jacob Talley, 3.5; 5. (tie) Dakota Eldridge, Gavin Soileau and Kalane Anders, 3.6; 8. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Cody Devers, 3.7. Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Jay Williamson, Gavin Soileau, Termaine Debose and Cody Harmon, 3.8 seconds; 5. (tie) Nick Guy, Bill Boldon and Tory Johnson, 3.9; 8. (tie) Will Lummus, Tucker Allen, Gary Gilbert and Talon Roseland, 4.0. Average leaders: 1. Gavin Soileau, 7.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Cade Stanton, 8.0; 3. (tie) Taz Olson and Nick Guy, 8.1; 5. (tie) Shane Frey, Billy Boldon and Ryan McKay Nettle, 8.2; 8. (tie) Remey Parrott and Tory Johnson, 8.3; 10. Gary Gilbert, 8.5; 11. (tie) Tanner Milan and Garrett Oates, 8.6.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 3.9 seconds; 2. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 4.0; 3. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 4.2; 4. (tie) Clay Smith/Jade Corkill and Cooper White/Tucker White, 4.3; 6. Hayes Smith/Justin Davis, 4.4; 7. (tie) Tyler Wade/Trey Yates and Zach Kilgus/Ben Gambrell, 4.6. Second round leaders: 1.Cyle Denison/Brady Norman, 3.5; 2. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jake Long and Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins, 3.6; 4. Jr. Dees/Rich Skelton, 3.7; 5. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 3.8; 6. Clint Summers/Rosh Ashford, 3.9; 7. (tie) Kal Fuller/Coleby Payne and Wyatt Muggli/Casey McCleskey, 4.0. Average leaders: 1. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 8.2 seconds on two runs; 2. Clay Tryan/Jake Long, 8.4; 3. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 9.5; 4. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 8.6; 5. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 8.9; 6. Cooper White/Tucker White, 9.0; 7. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 9.4; 8. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 10.0; 9. Cory Clark/Wyatt Cox, 10.8; 10. Jaguar Terrill/Sid Sporer, 11.0; 9. Wyatt Muggli/Casey McCleskey, 13.8; 11. Wyatt Muggli/Casey McCleskey, 13.8; 12. (tie) 10. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates and Charly Crawford/Billie Jack Saebens, 14.3.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Kolby Wanchuck, 86 points on Hampton Pro Rodeo’s Desert Stomper; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 84; 3. (tie) Cort Scheer and Isaac Diaz, 83.5; 5. (tie) Allen Boore, Chase Brooks and Sage Newman, 83; 8. Lucas Macza, 82.5; 9. Cash Michael Wilson, 82; 10. Brody Cress, 81.5; 11. (tie) Mitch Pollock, Taos Muncy and Tyrel Larsen, 81.
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 7.3 seconds; 2. Bradley Bynum, 7.5; 3. Tanner Green, 7.6; 4. Reid Zapalac, 7.9; 5. Riley Pruitt, 8.0; 6. (tie) Beau Cooper, Seth Cooke and J.D. McCuistion, 8.1. Second round leaders: 1. Sy Felton, 7.4 seconds; 2. Clint Robinson, 7.8; 3. Cooper Martin, 8.0; 4. (tie) Tuf Cooper and Caleb Smidt, 8.1; 6. Trent Creager, 8.2; 7. Colten Wallis, 8.3; 8. (tie) Zack Jongbloed and Richard Newton, 8.4. Average leaders: 1. Tuf Cooper, 15.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Cooper Martin, 16.6; 3. Seth Cooke, 17.1; 4. Garrett Jacobs, 17.4; 5. (tie) Jake Booze and Beau Cooper, 18.0; 7. Chance Thiessen, 18.2; 8. (tie) John Clark and Sy Felton, 18.3; 10. Westyn Hughes, 18.4; 11. Reese Riemer, 18.5; 12. Tyler Prcin, 18.6.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. (tie) Michelle Alley and Lacinda Rose, 14.22 seconds; 3. Megan Champion, 14.28; 4. (tie) Kelly Bruner and Jimmie Smith, 14.36; 6. Liz Pinkston, 14.41; 7. Sara Withers, 14.43; 8. Keyla Polizello Costa, 14.44; 9. Sissy Winn, 14.45; 10. Kriss Griffin, 14.46. Average leaders: 1. Megan Champion, 30.24 seconds on two runs; 2. Kelly Bruner, 30.28; 3. Michelle Alley, 30.49; 4. Keyla Polizello Costa, 30.62; 5. Paige Jones, 30.64; 6. Andrea Busby, 30.67; 7. Steely Steiner, 30.68; 8. (tie) Savannah Bennett and Timber Allenbrand, 30.73; 10. Liz Pinkston, 30.78; 11. Sara Withers, 30.79; 12. (tie) Sherry Cervi and Stevie Perkins, 30.81.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Boudreaux Campbell, 92.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Oyster Bayou; 2. Laramie Mosley, 89; 3. Trey Benton III, 88; 4. Jace Trosclair, 87; 5. Wyatt Gregg, 86.5; 6. Maverick Potter, 86; 7. Joao Veiera, 85; 8. Josh Frost, 84.5; 9. Dakota Eagleburger, 84; 10. J.C. Mortensen, 83.5; 11. (tie) Fulton Rutland and Quentin Vaught, 82.5.