by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 08, 2014
LOVINGTON, N.M. – Dirty Jacket is a special bucking horse, and nobody in ProRodeo knows that better than bareback rider Bill Tutor.
“If you do your job right, he’s taking you to the pay window every time if not winning it,” said Tutor, a second-year pro from Huntsville, Texas. “I finished second in Eagle (Colo.) two years ago, and every other time I got on him, I won it.”
On Aug. 8, Tutor rode the 10-year-old bay gelding for 88 points to take the lead at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo with just one performance remaining Saturday night. It marked the fourth time in Tutor’s short career that he’s ridden the athletic equine – in 2013, the Texan won rodeos in Claremore, Okla., and Stephenville, Texas, on the horse.
Each of the past two years, Dirty Jacket has been recognized as one of the top three bareback horses in voting by Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association contestants.
“He’s great to ride,” said Tutor, the 20th-ranked cowboy in the world standings.
Oftentimes the toughest part of the match-up is securing the horse through the random draw. Tutor has a little more luck than most at that, though; few cowboys have been on the horse’s back as many times.
“It’s an awesome feeling when you draw him, because he’s absolutely the one you want to draw,” he said. “But you get worked up about it, and your heart’s pounding all week. I don’t want to mess up a horse that great.”
Friday’s ride seemed a little more comfortable for the southeast Texas cowboy.
“I think he was a little easier to ride this time, but I think it’s because I kept my chin down,” Tutor said, referring to one of the basics needed in riding a bucking bronc. “I’m just feeling better than I was back then. He still felt electric, but by riding better it made him feel better to me.”
It all adds up to his best season so far. Tutor has earned more than $33,000 in 2014 and will collect more out of Lea County in his first time to compete in Lovington. He’s in position move among the top 15 in the world standings and earn his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s year-end championship that will take place Dec. 4-13 in Las Vegas.
“This summer hasn’t been as great as I wanted, and I’ve made mistakes here and there,” he said. “I hope to finish out strong. I think I have some of the quirks figured out. I’m excited for the next two months.”
He also would like another shot at the great Dirty Jacket. So do all the other bareback riders in ProRodeo.
Courtesy of PRCA