by Tracy Renck | Dec 31, 2016
WACO, Texas – Just missing out on qualifying for the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER isn’t something bareback rider Bill Tutor has been dwelling about since Sept. 30.
Tutor, who finished 16th in the final regular season WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings by a mere $2,789 to 15th-place finisher Wyatt Denny, was in top form at the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo (Dec. 29-31) at Extraco Events Center.
With a score of 258.5 points, Tutor won the three-head average and also snared the Texas Circuit Finals year-end title for the second time in his career – the other coming in 2014.
“It’s great to come here and do this,” said Tutor, 25, whose finish in the 2016 standings was a career best. “It’s an honor to ride with the guys I’m riding with and I’m happy to be here and I’m even happier to have the results come out the way they did.”
Tutor clinched his inaugural RTCFR average championship with an 87-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Painted River in the third round. Tutor, who was the last rider out, placed second in the round to Jake Brown’s 87.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlett Night.
Tutor and Brown are actually good friends, and Brown gave his buddy plenty of advice about Painted River before he prepared to ride the horse for the first time. Brown has ridden the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo horse a few times, most recently at the 2016 WNFR in December. Brown placed second in Round 5 on Painted River and won $20,731.
“That horse was awesome,” Tutor said of Painted River. “She was real electric and everything that Jake built her up to be, that was her. With a horse like that I was wanting to get on her, I was going into to it hoping for the best and when you have an outcome like that, I really couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Tutor earned $8,697 at the RTCFR – $3,070 coming from the winning the average. Tutor was dominant throughout, taking the first and second round wins with an 84.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Ragin Angel, and an 87-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Assault, respectively.
That payday for Tutor is especially important since all money won at the 12 circuit finals rodeos, All American ProRodeo Finals and the RNCFR – per new PRCA bylaws – count toward the 2017 WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings.
“It’s just so important to capitalize here now at the (RAM) Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo,” Tutor said. “To come here and do as good as I did is just a blessing. This also just gives me more motivation to keep my nose to the grindstone and get the job done. My ultimate goal is to get to the NFR.”
Although Tutor came up just short of his first WNFR bid last season, he had no regrets about the final results.
“I went to all 100 of my rodeos and every horse I got on I gave it everything I had,” Tutor said. “The cards fell how they did and I’m just coming back with a vengeance this year.”
Other winners at the $200,981 rodeo were all-around cowboy Caleb Smidt ($5,372, tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Justin Shaffer (12.0 seconds on three head), team ropers Colby Lovell/Paul Eaves (23.0 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley (256 points on three head), tie-down ropers Marty Yates and Marcos Costa (24.7 seconds on three head), steer roper Cody Lee (34.9 seconds on three head), barrel racer Ari-Anna Flynn (49.09 seconds on three runs), and bull rider Tanner Learmont (164.5 points on two head).
For more coverage of the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo, check out the Jan. 20 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA