by ProRodeo.com | Jan 30, 2017
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Earning his inaugural berth in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER is front and center on Cole Melancon’s mind.
The bull rider continued his quest for that goal with a strong weekend in Rapid City, S.D.
The Liberty, Texas, cowboy extended his hot early-season start, taking first place at one of the Division 2 Xtreme Bulls events, and finishing third in the other.
“I wanted to start the year off on a good note, and so far, it’s going pretty good,” said Melancon, 22. “This was a great weekend, especially for being my first time in Rapid City.”
Melancon’s 89.5-point ride on Sutton Rodeos’ Judas was good enough to win the Division 2 Xtreme Bulls event Jan. 28 and earned him $3,807. That was the third highest-scored ride of the 2017 season.
“That was a little bit of a wild ride,” Melancon said. “I didn’t feel completely comfortable, but I was able to get some big points.”
Melancon now has two career Xtreme Bulls victories. The other came at the Division 2 event in Albuquerque, N.M., in September of 2016.
On Jan. 27, Melancon posted an 84.5-point ride on New Frontier Rodeo’s Spitball to place third and cash in for $2,141.
Dalan Duncan won the Xtreme Bulls Division 2 event Jan. 27 in Rapid City with an 87-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Scarface.
Melancon’s Rapid City performance pushed him up to second place in the Jan. 30 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings with $27,592.
In addition to his success in South Dakota, Melancon also won $7,026 at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, which concluded Jan. 22. He earned $4,368 by finishing second in the average with a score of 247 points on three head. Melancon also won the final round at Denver with a 90-point ride on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Red Image.
“This is my third year competing in the PRCA, and this is the most money I’ve ever won this early in the year,” Melancon said.
Melancon finished a career-best 25th in the world standings last season with $46,275, and would love nothing more than to end his 2017 season at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“Everyone who rodeos, it’s their lifelong dream to be in Vegas come December,” Melancon said. “Being 25th in the world last year lit a fire under me to try even harder and made me want to be at the NFR 10 times more. The main thing for me is to stay healthy and stay positive, and try to ride everything I get on.”
Courtesy of PRCA