By: Keith Ryan Cartwright January 27, 2014@ 09:30:00 PM
Stormy Wing is currently seventh in the world standings. Photo by Matt Breneman / BullStockMedia.com.FORT WORTH, Texas ― The number 13 is often thought of as unlucky.
It’s not even a particularly high number either.
However, for Stormy Wing it’s a significant indication of just how talented the 24-year-old Dalhart, Texas, native is as a bull rider on the Built Ford Tough Series and the fact that he could be a viable contender for a world title if he ever developed the consistency of riders like J.B. Mauney, Silvano Alves and other past World Champions.
Prior to this past weekend, Wing won 13 rounds in his young career, which might not sound like a lot, but when compared to the fact that he’s only registered 76 qualified rides on the BFTS that equates to being the top score 17 percent of the time he makes the whistle.
That becomes a significant figure for Wing, whose past performances equates to not only round-wins, but also demonstrates a potential tendency to finish high in the average, when coupled with the fact that in the past five seasons the World Champions have averaged a combined 58 qualified rides in a season
In fact, Wing has won a total of 44 rounds when looking at BFTS, Touring Pro Division events and pro rodeos.
Wing won the third round just this past Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy Arena with 89.5 points on Mr. Showbiz for his 14th round win at a BFTS event.
“Make no mistake,” he said, “in this game whenever you’re not making the whistle, you’re not doing your job. That’s losing. I hate losing more than I like winning.”
After showing signs of progress in three consecutive seasons – he went from finishing 40th to 27th and then 17th in the world standings – Wing stumbled a bit last year finishing 28th.
More importantly, the bright side to the disappointment of making the whistle only 14 times was the fact that five of those times were for round wins. That’s just over a 33 percent average in which he was the top scorer when he rode.
It was feast or famine.
That brings up the mental game and figuring out how to be successful.
According to Wing, it’s different for various personalities. He said each guy has his own way in which he deals with everything—good or bad.
“It’s about how to use that stuff to your advantage and make those negatives a positive,” Wing explained. “It’s tricky to figure it out, but I’m starting to.
“I’ve said it before – it’s a mental game here. Even if you’re not fighting your head, you still are a little bit whenever times aren’t going your way and it’s just how you come out of it. Like I’ve said, pulling J.B.’s rope and being around him, I’m wanting to get better and do better. It’s turned around and the only person to thank for that is God and the people who support me.”
Currently he’s ranked seventh in the world.
He’s all but assured himself of a place in the draw for the upcoming Iron Cowboy V – the draw will be set following this weekend’s event in Sacramento, Calif. – and earlier this month he qualified for THE AMERICAN.
As a qualifier he’ll have a chance at winning his share of a $1 million bonus if he were to win THE AMERICAN, but a day earlier – Saturday, March 1 – if he wins the Iron Cowboy he’d earn the right to get on a $1 million bounty bull.
“I’m trying to focus on one bull at a time here,” he said, “keep it going on, so I have that confidence when I go in there that week.”
With seven qualified rides in 13 outs after four events, Wing’s riding average is up to a career-best 53.85 percent.
There’s obviously a long way to go, but one month in and already the standings are beginning to indicate where the top riders stack up against one another.
Wing has finished in the Top 10 three times and even had himself in position to earn his first BFTS event win three weeks ago in Chicago when he finished third.
“I’m starting off good,” Wing said, “and looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I’m excited about that, but right now I can’t really—I don’t know, I’m not going to accept that. I want more. I want to be No. 1. I want to be in that race, at least, anyway. We’re not holding back or slowing down by any means.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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