By Susan Kanode
DENVER, Colo. – Action in the Denver Coliseum got off to a good start at the National Western Stock Show on Monday night.
The first night of the Denver Chute-Out, part of the Professional Bull Rider’s Velocity Tour saw 11 riders get scores. At the top of the list were two cowboys who will also participate in the rodeo during the show’s 16-day run. Cole Melancon, the 2017 College National Finals Rodeo champion has stepped up his game and is the early leader here.
Melancon, of Paris, Texas, rode Hodges, Shuler and Flying S Bucking Bulls Let’s Gamble for 90 points. He was followed by Boudreaux Campbell who had an 88.5-point effort. Campbell, from Crockett, Texas, was on the bull named Redman, owned by Cottonwood Bucking Bulls LLC.
They will have to wait through 45 more bull riders on Tuesday night to see how they finish in the long round here, however, they are both assured a spot in the progressive round here on Wednesday night. If they have another qualified ride then, they will advance to the finals and have an opportunity to ride for the Denver Chute-Out Championship.
Winning the title is important for two reasons. It comes with a big paycheck and very important points that could advance one of them to the Unleash The Beast tour, the premier series for bull riders. But before any of that happens, Melancon and Boudreaux will be hoping to win a piece of the prize money at this year’s rodeo. Boudreaux will be at the rodeo this Thursday and Friday afternoon. Melancon will compete on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The Denver Chute-Out features 90 bull riders who all compete once. Half of them competed on Monday with the remaining 45 advancing to Tuesday. Then the top 30 will ride in a second round on Wednesday night. Scores will be added together with the best 15 getting to ride one more time.
Competition on Tuesday night starts at 7 p.m.
The following are leaders from the PBR Denver Chute-Out at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo.
First round: 1, Cole Melancon, Paris, Texas, 90 points on Hodges, Schuler and Flying S Bucking Bulls Let’s Gamble. 2, Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas, 88.5. 3, Santiago Castellanos, Dixon, Mexico, 86.5. 4, Marcus Mast, Middlebury, Ind., 85.5. 5, Brock Radford, Dewinton, Alberta, 85. 6, Jessi Petri, Palestine, Texas, 84.5. 7, (tie) Lane Mellers, Queensland, Australia, and Jonny Perez, Madera, Calif., 84 points each.