By Ted Harbin/for the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Justin Pollmiller plodded through the mud not knowing much about Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change, the horse he was to compete on May 23.
The more he learned about the athletic equine, the faster his pace got. By the second performance of the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo began, he was quite tickled to play his game in the rain. The smile got larger after the two matched moves for 80 points to allow him to take the bareback riding lead.
“I don’t really look up anything about the horses before I get on them, but once I got here and some guys told me about her, I felt like I had a good horse,” said Pollmiller of Weatherford, Okla. “On her back, she felt outstanding.
“I thought that horse was really good, and I felt like I was really able to get back and spur on her.”
One performance remains in the 69th edition of Claremore’s rodeo, so the cowboy will have to await the results of the May 24 show to see how he will place. Nonetheless, doing well in this damp northeast Oklahoma town is crucial for Pollmiller, who competes in the Prairie Circuit, a series of rodeos in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
“I love it here,” he said. “There are great horses, and it seems like it’s really well run. It’s awesome to have one of those in your circuit that you can go to every year.”
Pollmiller is from Littleton, Colo., but moved to the Sooner State to compete in college rodeo at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. He’s done pretty well at it, actually, clinching the Central Plains Region title again this past season and earning another qualification to the College National Finals Rodeo.
After the college finals is complete, he will return to Weatherford as a graduate assistant for the rodeo program.
“I really like it down here, mostly because of the weather,” Pollmiller said, mindfully ignoring the constant rain that fell throughout Saturday’s rodeo. “It’s still snowing and cold back home, but down here, we’ve actually bucked horses in November and December.
“There are a lot more rodeos, too, so this is the place to be.”
He proved it in spite of the rain and mud in Claremore.
Courtesy of PRCA