PASADENA, Texas – Aaron Pass and Chandler Bownds sent the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, presented by Justin Boots, off in style.
The bull riders each posted 90-point rides to split the win at the Pasadena Livestock Show & Rodeo – which was the last Wrangler Million Dollar Tour event of the 2014 season.
Pass rode Frontier Rodeo’s Centerfold, while Bownds covered Frontier Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie.
The wins are extremely important to both men as the season heads into the final stretch. For Pass, the victory enabled him to move closer to the top 15 in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
“It’s no fun to be on the bubble,” said Pass, who entered the week 17th in the world. “I’d rather be in (the NFR) already and sitting on the couch at home watching everyone else fight for a spot, but that’s not how it works. I got hurt and had to sit out for a little while, and then my baby was born (daughter Lakelynn, on June 7), so I took about a month off. I’m confident things are going to work out these next few weeks for me to be in the top 15.”
Pass’ 90-pointer on Centerfold – and resulting check for $4,126 – only happened after some bad luck on his first bull turned into a golden ticket for a big ride.
“Centerfold wasn’t the bull I originally had, and I only got him for a re-ride after my first bull fell down,” said the 25-year-old Pass. “I knew Centerfold was good, and I was pumped to get him because I rode him earlier this year in Jackson (Miss.) and was 89 points. It was just meant to be that I was able to ride him, and it all worked out well for me.”
As Pass chases his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification, he’s kept a level head and knows it’s going to go down to the wire.
It’s all going to come down to Omaha, so if I can just stay steady this next week before Omaha, it’ll be fine,” he said. “This was really my first year of going hard and rodeoing fulltime, so making the NFR would be very nice.”
For Bownds, a two-time WNFR participant who sat 26th in the world standings at the start of the week, the $4,126 will go a long way toward giving him a shot at the WNFR.
“It’s really important to be able to win a big Tour rodeo like Pasadena,” Bownds said. “It’s a nice amount of money that will hopefully get me up there close to the top 20 and give me a chance to qualify for Omaha, and then a chance to make it to the NFR. You can win tons of money at Pasadena, Albuquerque and Omaha these last few weeks, and I’m just hoping to put myself in a position to grab some of it.”
The four-year rodeo veteran has experienced both the ups and downs that September can bring. He made it to Las Vegas in 2011 and 2013, while finishing 27th in 2012.
“You obviously want to be in that top 15 by this time of the year – like I have been in the past – but I’ve had some struggles this season,” the 23-year-old said. “I’m trying to stay confident and keep going as hard as I can, and to get as much money as I can. Being a four-year veteran makes this easier than when I was just starting, but I’d like to be closer to that 15th spot.”
Other winners at the $175,443 rodeo were all-around cowboy Josh Peek ($2,538 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Ty Breuer (85 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Times Up), steer wrestler K.C. Jones (7.6 seconds on two head), team ropers Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn (12.0 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere (86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Griz), tie-down ropers Cody Ohl and Cody Quaney (16.9 seconds on two head each) and barrel racer Kelly Tovar (16.40 seconds).
Courtesy of PRCA