By Matt Naber
OAKDALE, Calif. – In his second year of PRCA competition, bull rider Aaron Williams was out for redemption at the Oakdale (Calif.) Saddle Club Rodeo.
The Pismo Beach, Calif., cowboy took a re-ride during his rookie year in 2018 but didn’t get a qualified ride.
“They got me for a slap right at the whistle (last year), so it was good to go this year and redeem myself,” Williams said.
One year later, Williams cruised into the winner’s circle with an 89-point ride on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s War Car.
“I had a good bull, and Oakdale is pretty historic, so I’m excited to add that buckle to my collection and keep it growing right on into Red Bluff (Calif.) this weekend,” Williams said.
Williams had a good idea of what he was in for with War Car after talking to Chance Schott, his friend and fellow bull rider.
“He gave me the rundown and said he’s a good little bull, a little hot-acting at first, but once you get down on him he’s awesome,” Williams said, adding that Schott predicted Williams would score in the high 80s.
Williams’ ride was worth $3,440, which should give him a healthy boost in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings. Before winning Oakdale, the 22-year-old cowboy was ranked 17th in the world standings with $30,541.
“The year is still young, and I’m going to keep rodeoing and riding bulls,” Williams said. “They’ll let me know where I stand at the end of the year. It’s kind of out of my hands as far as where I get placed. I can only do so much, so I keep it simple and have fun riding and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.”
In true California style, Williams has a laid-back and relaxed mindset when it comes to competing.
“I just try to keep it as easy as possible and put the rest out of my mind,” Williams said. “It’s just bull riding – show up and have fun.”
His easygoing attitude has paid off at major rodeos before, as he won the 2018 Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo in September. He went on to finish second in the 2018 PRCA | Resistol Rookie Standings for bull riding with $67,066.
Williams took what he learned from his successful rookie year and is applying it to the 2019 season, getting started earlier than before.
Other winners at the $124,875 rodeo were all-around cowboy Doyle Hoskins ($568, tie-down roping and team roping); bareback rider Devan Reilly (85.5 points on Four Star Rodeo’s Black Ice); steer wrestler Hunter Cure (8.4 seconds on two head); team ropers Luke Brown/Jade Corkill (13.5 seconds on two head); saddle bronc rider Jesse Wright (88 points on C5 Rodeo’s Bad Intentions); tie-down roper Westyn Hughes (18.1 seconds on two head) and barrel racer Megan Champion (17.20 seconds).
For more coverage of the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo, check out the April 19 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA