Guy Clifton, RGJ | 10:21 p.m. PDT June 19, 2014
Uttering a dirty word might get you in trouble in some circles. In Reid Barker’s case, it helped him to a $11,985 payday and the championship of Reno Xtreme Bulls.
The Comfort, Texas, cowboy was preparing for his first-round ride on the bull Mr. Buddy of Corey and Lange Rodeo Company when, in an attempt to psych himself up, he uttered, in his words, a bad word. The men operating the chute gate, thought he called for them to open it. The bull exploded out of the gate and quickly bucked Barker off.
But he had not called for the gate, and the judges determined that he deserved a re-ride. He made the most of it, scoring 86.5 points. He followed that ride in the championship round with a 75-point effort on the Flying U Rodeo Company bull Wolf Deer and won the championship as no other rider was able to cover two bulls.
The 21-year-old Barker called it the biggest win of his career.
“Right now, it’s No. 1,” he said. “It’s only my second Xtreme Bulls. I was in Reno last year, but only for the rodeo, and I didn’t do any good, so I was here with a little revenge on my mind.”
Steve Woolsey of Payson, Utah, actually had the highest score of the night with a 91-point ride in the championship round, but he only made the round by a random draw, so wasn’t eligible to win the title. He still collected more than $8,000 and was designated as the second-place finisher.
Brennon Eldred of Sulphur, La., had the lead coming into the championship round after he rode Western Rodeo Company’s bull Bad Blake for 88 points. He won $4,230 for the top score in the first round and added another $3,995 for finishing third in the average.
But Eldred couldn’t make the 8-second whistle on his championship-round bull and had to settle for second place in the event.
Jordan Wacey Spears had the third-highest score of the first round with 84.5 points on Betray Me of Rosser Rodeo Company.
Barker said his mindset was “just to take care of business.”
“My dad always taught me to just take care of business and not worry about what the score is,” he said.
He said he doesn’t know where the nearly $12,000 payday will put him in the standings and doesn’t want to know.
“This winter I was worrying about where I was in the standings and I wasn’t thinking about riding bulls,” he said. “Now, I’m focusing on riding bulls, and the standings will take care of themselves.”
RENO XTREME BULLS
First round: 1. Brennon Eldred, 88 points on Western Rodeos Livestock & Wolf Creek Cattle’s Bad Blake, $4,230; 2. Reid Barker, 86.5, $3,243; 3. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $2,397; 4. J.W. Harris, 83, $1,551; 5. (tie) Jacob O’Mara and Josh Koschel, 82, $846 each; 7. Corey Navarre, 81.5, $564; 8. Chandler Bownds, 79.5, $423.
Finals: 1. Steve Woolsey, 91 points on Growney Brothers’ Crystal Deal, $3,102; 2. Shane Proctor, 86.5, $2,350; 3. Reid Barker, 75, $1,692; no other qualified rides.
Average: 1. Reid Barker, 161.5 points on two head, $7,050; 2. Steve Woolsey, 91, $5,405; 3. Brennon Eldred, 88, $3,995; 4. Shane Proctor, 86.5, $2,585; 5. Jordan Spears, 84.5, $1,645; 6. J.W. Harris, 83, $1,175; 7. Josh Koschel, 82, $940; 8. Corey Navarre, 81.5, $705.
Courtesy of the Reno Gazette-Journal