SAN ANGELO, Texas – Wade Sundell recorded the highest-scored saddle bronc ride of the season and broke the arena record Feb. 27 when he rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Manhattan Moon for 91 points to win the final round and clinch the average title at the San Angelo Rodeo.
The 30-year-old veteran also won the first round when he rode for 86 points on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sioux City Sue. He won the average title with 177 points on two head and cashed checks in San Angelo worth a total of $8,526. It was his second win in San Angelo.
“I didn’t know a lot about that horse, but he was amazing,” Sundell said of Manhattan Moon. “He jumped high, and I just had to keep my chin down. They say great rides are a blur, and that one went by pretty fast.”
Sundell had the highest-scored ride of 2014 when he rode Medicine Woman for 92 points at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup.
“Being the highest score is cool,” he said. “It’s good to get something that high this early, and it’s nice to throw that out there and see if the guys can beat it.”
Sundell will try to cap his already successful weekend Saturday when he competes in the finals of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, where he’s the defending champion in the saddle bronc riding.
“It’d be amazing to win San Antonio back-to-back, and win San Angelo, too,” he said. “Words couldn’t explain it.”
He said a different sort of celebration might be in order.
“I might do a backflip if I win tomorrow,” he said. “I was doing backflips on the trampoline the other day, and people were saying, ‘Wow, you really can do one.’”
About the only accomplishment left for Sundell is to win a gold buckle. That goal is uppermost in his mind.
He finished third in last year’s Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $180,726. At the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last December, the stylish rider with the flamboyant personality won Rounds 3, 5 and 9 to place fifth in the average.
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound native of Boxholm, Iowa, has always been a terrific athlete. He was a wrestler in high school and qualified for the state tournament three times, placing twice.
Sundell now lives in Coleman, Okla., and has won nearly $1.2 million in his career, with his lowest earnings total in the last five years being $167,345 in 2013. He was runner-up to World Champion Cody Wright in a close race in 2010 that went down to the final ride at the WNFR. He was also third in the world in 2011, fourth in 2012 and sixth in 2013.
“I’ll just keep pecking at ’em and going hard and see what I can do,” Sundell said. “It’ll all fall into place.”
Other winners at the $452,408 rodeo were bareback rider Austin Foss (174 points on two head), steer wrestler Beau Clark (11.9 seconds on three head), team roping brothers Eli Lord and Levi Lord (15.9 seconds on three head), tie-down ropers J.C. Malone and Bart Brunson (26.0 seconds each on three head), barrel racer Dena Kirkpatrick (44.92 seconds on three head) and bull rider Dalan Duncan (162 points on two head).
Courtesy of PRCA