Matt Palmer had never competed at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
He’s making his inaugural appearance one to remember.
The rookie bull rider rode like a veteran, making the whistle on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Record Rack’s Crash Course for an 81-point ride (Feb. 12) and Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Dark Thoughts for an 82.5-point trip on (Feb. 13) to advance to the semifinals.
“I was nervous a little bit,” said Palmer, 22. “Sometimes eight seconds can feel like a lifetime. The first bull I got on, it didn’t look too fun to ride. I got that one out of the way and that was a relief. I could breathe a little bit. The second one, Dark Thoughts, was just a nice one to ride.”
Palmer earned a combined $2,250 for his 16 seconds of work and more importantly advanced to the semifinal round at 7 p.m. (CT), Feb. 25 at Freeman Coliseum.
“It was a blessing to get into the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and compete against the top guys,” Palmer said. “I think I have a shot and I’m going to roll with it. I know this is a rodeo where you don’t want to get bucked off. This is a big chance for me. Now, I’m focused on getting through the semifinals so I can qualify for the finals.”
Palmer was 23rd in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $4,243.
Over the past week, Texas faced record-low temperatures, snow and ice that made roads impassable, and the state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply, leaving millions without electricity.
Palmer was in San Antonio, Feb. 14 to compete in the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Xtreme Bulls. He had an 86-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Ridiculouness to split third place in the first round and earn $875.
“I was expecting that warmer weather going down to Texas, and it was very cold,” Palmer said. “I knew what my job was when I got to the arena and I knew I had to get it done. I was ready to get home (to Claremore, Okla.) and get off those snowy roads.”
Palmer spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons on his PRCA permit. He did well, earning $38,849 in 2019 and $4,006 in a COVID-19-marred 2020.
“They let you be on your permit to get experience, like how to enter and where to enter,” Palmer said. “(Bull rider) Garrett Tribble helped me quite a bit when I was starting out. I didn’t really know anybody or how things worked. It was a lot to learn and figure out. I love getting to drive all over and meet new people, and I love rodeoing. I want to win rookie of the year and make it to the NFR.”
Courtesy of PRCA