LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Bull rider Lon Danley is becoming somewhat of a household name in the Turquoise Circuit, and he showed why Saturday night.
The 21-year-old native of Tularosa, N.M., won the second and third rounds to capture the average title at the RAM Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo.
It was the second straight year Danley has captured the RTCFR title – he almost had a three-peat, finishing second two years ago by one point to Scottie Knapp.
“There are a lot of guys in this circuit who ride well, so I wouldn’t say I’m the guy to beat, but they know I’m here,” Danley said. “Scottie is a very good bull rider who almost made it to the NFR, but he missed his circuit count by one, so he wasn’t here.”
After failing to ride his first-round bull, Danley won the second round with an 80-point ride on Salt River Rodeo’s Mr. Sam. He followed that with 84 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Blood Shot to win the third round, and the average title with a score of 164 points on two head.
Danley earned a total of $5,831, and his second trip to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., next spring.
After the rash of serious injuries he suffered during the 2014 season – which resulted in him finishing 110th in the world standings – Danley is thrilled to be healthy and riding well.
Last year, he shattered his jaw in Fort Worth (Texas) and was out for several months. He then broke his shoulder blade in Mulvane, Kan. Lastly, Danley got stepped on by a bull in West Jordan, Utah, and broke his leg.
“At that point, I thought I was cursed or wasn’t living right or something because I couldn’t catch a break,” he said. “Then I broke some ribs in Dalhart, Texas, in August and decided to pretty much shut it down for the season.
“I had been a little gun-shy all of 2014, but by the time the 2015 season started I figured they couldn’t hurt me much worse than I already had been – they’d have to kill me. But I’m a firm believer I’m going to Heaven if that does happen.”
Danley finished 62 spots better in the 2015 world standings – cracking the top 50 in 48th.
He plans on entering a lot of rodeos in 2016, with the help of three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Clayton Savage, and his father, Justin Danley.
“Clayton is teaching me a lot about being on the road, and hopefully we’ll both have big years in 2016,” Danley said. “My dad has also been a huge help. He has entered me in every rodeo I’ve ever been to. My dad has been 110 percent the biggest supporter of my career.”
Other winners at the $170,097 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trenten Montero ($9,353 in bareback riding and bull riding), bareback rider Montero (230 points on three head), steer wrestler Justin Simon (14.7 seconds on three head), team ropers Erich Rogers and Cory Petska (22.2 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (225 points on three head), tie-down roper Tristan Mahoney (28.2 seconds on three head), barrel racer Sherry Cervi (48.24 seconds on three head) and steer roper Brent Lewis (36.2 seconds on three head).
Courtesy of PRCA