Athan Delights Hometown Fans with Epic Upset

by | Jun 15, 2014

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Teddy Athan couldn’t have drawn up a better blueprint for himself June 15.

Athan won the bareback riding title with a score of 85 points on Growney Brothers’ Sourdough at his hometown Livermore (Calif.) Rodeo.

“That was big deal and made it a little different,” Athan said about winning at the Livemore Rodeo for the first time in his career. “I’m been coming to this rodeo since 2008 and I have placed here and there, but never won it. I had all my family and friends in the stands and this is a win I will never forget.”

Athan’s winning score was one point better than three-time and reigning World Champion Kaycee Field. The victory is even more impressive since Athan, 27, hasn’t gone full time on the PRCA road since 2009, competing primarily at California Circuit rodeos.

“That’s about as good as it can get,” said Athan about capturing the win over stars like Feild and four-time World Champion Bobby Mote. “It has not really sunk in yet. I’m still having a good time. I’m sure by (Sunday) evening it will have sunk in that I won.”

If things weren’t improbable enough for Athan, Sunday was the first time he climbed aboard Sourdough.

“I had seen him a few times, but I had never been on him,” Athan said. “Everything went well for me on that ride. The horse had a good trip and that definitely helped and I rode him well. It was a lot of fun. There were two riders to go after me, but I knew when I saw that score I had a chance to win it. I also knew that anything could happen so it felt great when I did win.”

Thanks to the win, Athan collected a $2,307 check.

“That’s real nice,” Athan said. “I just bought a brand new Dodge pickup, so this check will help me make a few payments.”

Athan has spent the last couple of years working on cattle ranches near Livermore.

“I have just been cowboying and going to rodeos here in California and a few other rodeos,” Athan said.

The other winners at the $88,113 rodeo were all-around cowboy Russell Cardoza (tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping), steer wrestler Josh Garner (4.1 seconds), team ropers Hayes Smith and Tristen Luther, Ryan Reed and Joseph Shawnego, and Blaine Linaweaver and Jake Twisselman (5.2 seconds each), saddle bronc riders Levi Berry (81 points on Growney Brothers’ Cow Camp) and Taos Muncy (81 points on Growney Brothers’ Pearl Necklace), tie-down ropers Rhen Richard and Ryle Smith (8.8 seconds each), bull rider Steve Woolsey (80 points on Growney Brothers’ Silver Tongue Devil) and barrel racer Rachel Primm (17.33 seconds).

Courtesy of PRCA