by Jim Bainbridge | Oct 16, 2015
By Ted Harbin/for the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo committee
DUNCAN, Okla. – Caine Riddle hasn’t been on a bucking horse in a month and a half, but it hasn’t shown through the first two rounds of the Chisholm Trail RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Riddle, a four-time Prairie Circuit year-end champion from Vernon, Texas, has now won the first two bareback riding rounds and added $3,531 to his earnings, padding his lead with one night remaining in the season.
“I had Miss Zandy tonight, and I’ve been on that horse eight times over the last 10 years,” Riddle said Oct. 16 after posting an 80-point ride on the Beutler & Son Rodeo horse. “I’ve been successful on her nearly every time. I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting old or what, but tonight was the buckiest trip I’ve ever had on her.
“I could dang sure tell she was dropping out of the air, so I just kept hustling and it worked out good.”
With his quick start, Riddle moved ever closer to his fifth circuit championship. If so, it would mark the fourth straight year he’s claimed the title. Yes, he’s been rather dominant in the region, but he needs to have a solid finish to the three-day finale on Oct. 17 to secure another crown.
“I knew toward the end of the season that there were a couple of young guys, Blaine Kauffman and Frank Morton, who were right there close,” Riddle said of the Nos. 2 and 3 bareback riders in the standings heading into this weekend. “I don’t pay attention to that; I just go ride every one the best I can. I know if you ride all three of them here and don’t mess up, you’ll get a pretty good check and be successful.”
That approach has worked out well for the 32-year-old cowboy. He has been on the verge of qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which features only the top 15 contestants in each event in the world standings. Three of the past four years, he was among the top 20, just missing out on the NFR.
“I love riding bucking horses, so I’ll keep going as long as I’m good and healthy,” he said. “I think I’m getting to the age where I can’t get on 150 horses a year, but there are a lot of good rodeos in our circuit.”
It also helps that he’s part of a big rodeo family, the Beutlers of Elk City, Okla. His uncle, Bennie, and cousin, Rhett, own Beutler & Son, which produces several events in the region that is made up of events and contestants primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
“I love going to Bennie’s rodeos,” Riddle said. “He’s got probably the best string of bareback horses in the PRCA. If you enter his rodeos, you’re going to get on something that bucks. As long as I’m healthy and can ride his horses, then I think I can ride anybody’s.”
Courtesy of PRCA