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Champion Wins Bareback Title at Prestigious Spanish Fork

SPANISH FORK, Utah – He’s only 21 years old, is traveling the country in his new motor home and seemingly has the world at his feet. But Richmond Champion remains driven to succeed.

“I guess I’m never satisfied,” Champion said late Thursday night while traveling in Colorado after he rode at the Eagle (Colo.) County Fair & Rodeo.

Told that he’d won the bareback riding title at the July 21-24 Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Rodeo – where he rode Tuesday – Champion was ecstatic.

“Winning at Spanish Fork is great,” he said. “That’s one of my favorite rodeos. The whole arena and atmosphere is great. The whole town comes out for it, and it’s an exciting place to ride. They’ve got good bucking horses there.”

He rode Sankey Rodeo’s Outclassed for 84 points in Spanish Fork, and that beat the 83 turned in by R.C. Landingham on Thursday.

“I had (Outclassed) last year in Billings (Mont.),” Champion said. “That horse bucks well, is strong, has direction change, drops – you can’t ask for much more. If you ride him, you’re going to win money on him.”

Champion was up Thursday night in Eagle, where he rode for 81 points, then headed to the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo, where he’s up Friday and Saturday. He was co-champion in Eagle a year ago.

Champion was 25th in the world standings last year with $36,124 while he was also riding for Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. He’s currently on hiatus from school while chasing his ProRodeo dream, and has surpassed last year’s winnings. Before winning Spanish Fork, he stood eighth in the July 21 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $48,718.

He added $6,035 to his bank account by winning in Spanish Fork.

“Points-wise, that’s needed,” Champion said. “I don’t want to be on the bubble at the end of the year. I want to be in a position I don’t have to sweat it.”

The top 15 in each event qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas; Champion is chasing his first qualification for rodeo’s Super Bowl.

“That’d be a dream come true,” he said. “It’s what I’ve been out here working for the last three years. It’ll be somewhat of a relief if I get there.”

If he does, the young cowboy from The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston, plans to enjoy the experience.

“You get 10 days of riding on the highest level,” he said, “every night, with nothing to lose. I’m just going to enjoy every minute of it and have fun.”

Other winners at this $226,663 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($3,694 in tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Seth Brockman (7.4 seconds on two head), team ropers Jake Barnes and Junior Nogueira (10.2 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer (86 points on Sankey Rodeo’s Tuca’s Warsong), tie-down roper Hunter Herrin (15.6 seconds on two head), barrel racer Sarah Rose McDonald (16.77 seconds) and bull rider Kanin Asay (89 points on Sankey Rodeo’s Soldier Boy).

Courtesy of PRCA