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Missouri Bull Rider Cashes in at American Royal Rodeo

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John Mincey and his family moved to southeastern Missouri just seven years ago because they wanted to live in cowboy country.

Now he’s a professional rodeo cowboy, and he loves it. On Sept. 27, he rode Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Black Velvet for 81 points to place fourth in the bull riding, pocketing $869 in the process. That was well worth the 275-mile drive from his home in West Plains, Mo.

“When I saw that I had that big ol’ thing drawn,” he said of Black Velvet, “I was scared to death. But if you breathe and let it all hang out, God will be with you, so you just stick it on them.”

It worked out quite well for the 20-year-old cowboy, who moved to West Plains seven years ago from southern Louisiana. Now a rookie in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Mincey is chasing his dreams on the rodeo trail.

“I finished the season strong, and I feel like I did everything I can this year, so I’m happy with it,” he said.

Mincey was one of five contestants in the final performance of the 2014 American Royal who earned money by finishing among the leaders. Saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, a six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa, paved the way with an 85-point ride on Three Hills Rodeo’s Big Jet, finishing in a first-place tie with two-time world champion Taos Muncy.

Bronc rider Tyler Corrington, a three-time NFR qualifier from Hastings, Minn., placed fourth with an 83 on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Hammer Cocked. Bareback rider Casey Breuer of Mandan, N.D., finished in a tie for fourth place with a 78-point ride on Three Hills Rodeo’s Heaven on Earth, and barrel racer Laura Kennedy rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 14.35 seconds to finish sixth.

For Kennedy, it was important to finish well at the final rodeo of the season, which also counts toward the Great Lakes Circuit, the ProRodeo region made up of events across the Midwest, including Missouri.

“This is very good for me, because I would love to win the circuit again this year,” said Kennedy, who won the regional title a year ago.

The Quitman, Ark., cowgirl had success on her horse, Lexus, before he was injured. On July 7, she purchased Tall Boy and has found quite a gem in the 7-year-old sorrel.

“Tall Boy is a very nice horse,” she said. “He’s been very good to me. I’ve had him almost three months, and I’ve won $22,000 on him. He’s very athletic, easy-going and wants to please.”

She certainly was pleased Saturday night.

Courtesy of PRCA