LOVINGTON, N.M. – Brennon Eldred knew the Lea County Xtreme Bulls was a good event.
He had no idea that his victory on Tuesday night would push him to the No. 1 spot in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings.
Eldred, of Sulphur, Okla., rode two bulls for a cumulative score of 175.5 points, pocketing $10,102. That padded his season earnings to $100,464. He now owns a $5,000 lead over reigning world champion Sage Kimzey in the bull riding world standings.
“This is my first DI win,” he said, referring to the top level of the Xtreme Bulls Tour. “I’ve been waiting for a long time to get one, and I finally got it here in Lovington.
“It’s one of the greatest bull ridings of the year. Everybody looks forward to it, and everybody comes here ready to ride. Praise God it worked out tonight, and I’m walking out healthy.”
Well, somewhat healthy. Eldred limped out of the arena with a strained groin muscle, an injury he’s dealt with for a few weeks. But the victory is a major plus for the Oklahoma cowboy.
Eldred finished third in the opening round with an 87-point ride on Lancaster & Pickett’s Blowing Smoke. Brett Stall of Detroit Lakes, Mich., won the first round with a 90-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tobasco.
The championship round is where Eldred took the title. He matched moves with Salt River Rodeo’s Good Cop for 87 points. He added style points to his ride by spurring with his left leg.
“It’s kind of how I ride, but I got a little behind,” he said. “When you get behind, you’ve got to kick loose instead of clamping up; you’ve got to keep moving. I knew I needed to kick loose if I wanted to stay on.”
He was one of just two cowboys to ride two bulls – Guthrie Murray of Miami, Okla., scored 76.5 points to finish second in the final round and the two-ride aggregate.
“The committee’s great, and they work their tails off to take care of us,” Eldred said. “It always makes it fun to come to New Mexico for an event, and to get my first DI event win here is awesome.”
Lea County Xtreme Bulls
First round: 1. Brett Stall, 90 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Tobasco, $3,405; 2. Aaron Pass, 87.5, $2,611; 3. Brennon Eldred, 87, $1,930; 4. Chandler Bownds, 85.5, $1,249; 5. Guthrie Murray, 83.5, $795; 6. Steve Woolsey, 83, $568; 7. Joe Frost, 82.5, $454; 8. (tie) Bart Miller and Trevor Kastner, 81.5, $170 each. Final round: 1. Brennon Eldred, 88.5 points on Salt River Rodeo’s Good Cop, $2,497; 2. Guthrie Murray, 76.5, $1,892; no other qualified rides. Average: 1. Brennon Eldred, 175,5 points on two rides, $5,675; 2. Guthrie Murray, 150, $4,351; 3. Brett Stall, 90 points on one ride, $3,216; 4. Aaron Pass, 87.5, $2,081; 5. Chandler Bownds, 85.5, $1,324; 6. Steve Woolsey, 83, $946; 7. Joe Frost, 82.5, $757; 8. (tie) 81.5, $284.