The third time was a charm for saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz, who even surprised himself when he rode for an arena record 93 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman to win the Dodge City (Kan.) Round-Up.
Diaz won the final round by a whopping six points and took the two-head average with 173 points on two head.
“This was the third time I’ve had her,” Diaz said of Medicine Woman, the two-time Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year. “This was by far the best she’s ever been for me. She was phenomenal.”
Diaz rode Medicine Woman for 87 points to split the win in Corpus Christi earlier this season, and split third in his other trip on her.
Medicine Woman carried Wade Sundell to the Dodge City Round-Up arena record of 92 points just one year ago.
Diaz was ecstatic after setting the new record.
“I’m on Cloud 9,” he said. “This was my career best, too. I didn’t even know I was capable of going 93.”
It was the second-highest scored saddle bronc ride of the season, behind the 94-point ride of Spencer Wright on Beutler & Son’s Rebel Soul in a preliminary round at Rodeo Austin (Texas) in March.
Diaz had tied for fourth in the first round in Dodge City before setting a personal best with his 93-point ride. His previous high was 91 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting, the 2009 Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year, at Ellensburg, Wash.
It was the first win at the Dodge City Round-Up for the 28-year-old cowboy from Desdemona, Texas.
“I finished second here twice,” Diaz said. “Billy Etbauer got me by a point one year and J.J. Elshere beat me the next year.”
Like many cowboys, he grew up hearing about famous western Kansas rodeo.
“It’s awesome to win here,” he said. “You hear about Dodge City when you’re a little kid and you dream of winning here. In a bronc rider’s mind, Cheyenne (Wyo.), here and Ellensburg are the best short rounds all year long because of the stock they have. Guys just know when they’re coming into the short round at those rodeos that they have a chance to go 90 because of the stock.”
Diaz earned $4,684 in Dodge City to add his already successful season. When the week began, he sat eighth in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $56,350.
He’s on track to qualify for his fifth Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He made it to Las Vegas in 2007 (eighth in the world), 2009 (11th) and 2012-13 (10th both years).
“This year has been unbelievable,” Diaz said. “I’ve drawn better than ever, it seems, and I’m riding better than ever. I put my faith in God and I know he’s with me at all times. My faith is everything to me.”
His wife of about 18 months, barrel racer Britany Diaz, was 18th in the July 20 world standings but recently slipped just out of the top 20 when her horse was hurt. She qualified for the WNFR in 2011 and ’14.
“We’ll make it the same year one of these times,” Isaac Diaz said. “That’d be a dream to go together.”
Other winners at the $322,324 rodeo were all-around cowboy J.D. Yates ($1,648 in team roping and steer roping), bareback rider Matt Bright (164 points on two head), steer wrestler Stockton Graves (12.0 seconds on three head), team ropers David Key and Martin Lucero (16.5 seconds on three head), tie-down roper Caleb Smidt (27.0 seconds on three head), barrel racer Tillar Murray (51.34 seconds on three head), steer roper Scott Snedecor (36.8 seconds on three head) and bull rider Aaron Pass (176 points on two head).
Read more about the Dodge City Round-Up in the Aug. 14 ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA