SAN ANTONIO – A second chance was all saddle bronc rider Brody Cress needed.
The Wyoming native had an 85.5-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Buck Owens to win the Wild Card performance at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo at the AT&T Center, Friday night.
“That horse was awesome,” said Cress, 24. “It was a little bit of work there at the end, but in the pen of horses they had out (Friday) that was not a bad one to have. He had a little bit of stuff, but he dang sure wasn’t as nasty as some of them and it worked out.”
The contestants in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding who failed to advance from the semifinals were eligible to compete in the Wild Card performance. This was the first time the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo had the Wild Card performance.
The roughstock winners Friday night – bareback rider Tim O’Connell (87 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Pendleton Whiskey’s Bar Talk), bull rider Dallee Mason (89 points on Powder River Rodeo’s XO) and Cress – joined the 10 contestants in each event who had already qualified for the finals, which will be Feb. 22.
Those finals and the Division 1 San Antonio Xtreme Bulls will be broadcast live. The Cowboy Channel will air the Xtreme Bulls at 2 p.m. (ET) and the final round of the rodeo at 8 p.m.
“It’s great that they put that wild-card round in there to give guys another chance to make it back, especially at this big of a rodeo,” Cress said. “Knowing in this round only one guy was going to make it out, I just gassed it.”
Cress earned $5,000 for his win Friday, increasing his total to $11,500 this year in San Antonio.
“This is my third (career) trip to San Antonio and the first time I have made it to the finals,” Cress said. “I have competed at a lot of big rodeos, and these winter ones are amazing where they pay so much with these bracket formats. Right now, I’m focused on getting my (right hip) to get better. The first horse I got on in the semifinals (in San Antonio) I got bucked off and landed and jammed it (my hip). I have some amazing people helping me out to get me where I need to be and it felt better (Friday), better than it has in any round here yet, so I’m excited for (Saturday).”
Cress will be part of the second cowboy draft Saturday afternoon, when roughstock riders choose the animals they will compete on for the finals.
“That’s cool,” Cress said. “We don’t have any rodeos where you get to pick a horse like that. I know they are going to have an amazing set of horses coming into that, and it will be fun to see who I pick.”
Cress finished second in the world standings in 2017 and 2019, winning the Wrangler NFR average both years.
“No. 1 on my list is winning a world championship,” Cress said. “I have been lucky enough to have a good winter so far, winning money at rodeos, and I just have to keep it going.”
SAN ANTONIO FINALS QUALIFIERS
Bracket 1 Finals qualifiers: 1. Tanner Aus, $10,250; 2. (tie) Mason Clements and Leighton Berry, $8,500 each; 4. Ty Breuer, $7,500; 5. Taylor Broussard, $6,625. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Jamie Howlett, $11,250; Jake Vold, $9,500; 3. Shane O’Connell, $9,250; 4. Richmond Champion, $8,750; 5. Dantan Bertsch, $7,625. Wild-card qualifier—Tim O’Connell.
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. (tie) Tyler Waguespack and Aaron Vosler, $8,250 each; 3. Bridger Anderson, $8,125; 4. Jacob Edler, $8,000; 5. Clayton Hass, $7,875. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Jule Hazen, $13,000; 2. Tanner Brunner, $9,500; 3. Curtis Cassidy, $9,375; 4. Blake Knowles, $8,500; 5. Jace Melvin, $5,000. Wild-card qualifier—Trever Nelsen.
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, $10,500 each; 2. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, $9,500; 3. Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin, $8,875; 4. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, $8,625; 5. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, $6,500. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden, $9,000; 2. (tie) Clay Smith/Jade Corkill and Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, $8,500; 4. Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates, $7,000; 5. Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza, $6,000. Wild-card qualifier—Blake Teixeira/Dillon Wingereid.
Saddle bronc riding
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. Wyatt Casper, $11,750; 2. Stetson Wright, $9,750; 3. Layton Green, $9,000; 4. Shorty Garrett, $7,417; 5. Hardy Braden, $7,000. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Allen Boore, $11,250; 2. Lefty Holman, $8,375; 3. Joe Harper, $8,000; 4. Tegan Smith, $7,500; 5. Ryder Wright, $6,250. Wild-card qualifier—Brody Cress.
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. Tuf Cooper, $15,500; 2. Caddo Lewallen, $7,000; 3. Monty Lewis, $6,500; 4. Caleb Smidt, $5,625; 5. Cory Solomon, $5,500. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Catfish Brown, $10,750; 2. (tie) Timber Moore and Shad Mayfield, $9,500; 4. Chance Oftedahl, $7,875; 5. Cody Huber, $7,250. Wild-card qualifier—Cody Quaney.
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. (tie) Kathy Grimes, Brittney Barnett and Carly Taylor, $8,500 each; 4. Brook Wills, $7,500; 5. Jimmie Smith, $6,875. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Ryann Pedone, $11,500; 2. Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi, $10,000; 3. Jill Wilson, $9,750; 4. Hailey Lockwood, $7,750; 5. Cindy Smith, $6,750. Wild-card qualifier—Wenda Johnson.
Bracket 1: Finals qualifiers: 1. J.W. Harris, $14,750; 2. Dustin Boquet, $9,750; 3. (tie) Jordan Hansen and J.T. Moore, $7,750 each; 5. Roscoe Jarboe, $5,500. Bracket 2: Finals qualifiers: 1. Ruger Piva, $16,222; 2. Colten Fritzlan, $9,472; 3. Trevor Kastner, $7,750; 4. Denton Fugate, $6,500; 5. Tyler Bingham, $4,250. Wild-card qualifier—Dallee Mason. *(All totals include ground money.)
Courtesy of PRCA