Bayle Warden was in a slump.
The bull rider, who bought his PRCA card in 2012, couldn’t remember the last time he won a rodeo.
That changed on Saturday night.
The Charleston, Texas, cowboy won the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club 72nd Annual PRCA Rodeo with an 87.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Concho Lizzard.
“He was just a good bull,” said Warden, 27. “They told me before the rodeo that bull was going to be good and fall out and go around to the right. Sure enough, that’s just what the doctor ordered. I had never seen that bull before, and that ride felt good. A bull like that, you just do your job and he will take you around pretty easy.”
Warden earned $2,332 for his performance, which left him smiling.
“It feels good, especially this time of year with not being able to go much (because of the COVID-19 pandemic),” Warden said. “Since I have not been able to ride much, I have not been riding up to par lately. Things have been getting a little tight around the home front and I have been working a little bit. This little bit of extra cash will dang sure make you feel better. That eight seconds felt like a long time because it seems like it has been a long time since I made it to eight seconds.”
With rodeos on hiatus, Warden was working with his traveling partner, Jeff Askey, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2016, 2018-19.
“Jeff and I have been building fence lately,” Warden said. “Maybe that’s what it was, doing all that sweating out there and hard work made me hold on a little tighter. I know when I was out there working, I was wishing I was at a rodeo right then. You just have to keep your head down, keep going and put one foot in front of the other. I sure appreciate when we get to rodeo, and it feels great to win.”
In 2016, Warden had a career-best season, finishing 17th in the world standings with $70,395.
“I have had tough luck since then, but that’s part of it,” Warden said. “My goal is to get to the NFR, I believe that’s everybody’s goal that’s going. If it isn’t, you should probably stay at the house. I’ve had a tough year and had not been riding the greatest. It was pretty nice to get to come here (to Crossett) and make it count when I can. I showed up Saturday and got the job done.”
Other winners at the $99,191 rodeo were bareback riders Orin Larsen (86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hometown Girl) and Jayco Roper (86.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free); steer wrestler Riley Duvall (10.4 seconds on two head); team ropers Jake Orman/Brye Crites (11.0 seconds on two head); saddle bronc rider Lane Wimberly (85.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Daisy Duke); tie-down roper Andrew Burks (9.5 seconds); barrel racer Emily Taylor (17.67 seconds); and all-around cowboy Wyatt Muggli ($673, tie-down roping and team roping).
Courtesy of PRCA