Bareback rider Shane O’Connell nailed his first 90-point ride at the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson, Miss., Feb. 13.
O’Connell’s 90 aboard Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez also turned out to be the top bareback ride for the week of Feb. 8-14.
“That was my first 90 ever, and I’ve been riding bucking horses since I was a little kid so it meant a lot to me,” said O’Connell, 25. “I don’t know if it will hold up but it is still special to me since it’s the first time I cracked into the 90 club. I don’t know why it took so long, but it’s just one of those deals where I’ll feed off the momentum now.”
O’Connell will have to wait until Thursday to find out if his score remains at the top in Jackson.
“I’d been wanting to get on that horse for a long time,” O’Connell said. “I like big bays, and I knew it would be a good horse and fresh since they won a round on him at the Finals.”
Wilson Sanchez took Tanner Aus for an 87-point ride to win Round 2 of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, so making this draw was a welcomed change of pace from O’Connell’s winter of ranch work at home in South Dakota.
“I hadn’t been on a lot of bucking horses and the ones I were on were nice hoppers, so I needed to bring my A-game since that horse was going to test me,” O’Connell said. “He bucked hard and made me work.”
O’Connell got his first taste for the NFR in 2018, finishing 10th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings. He came close to qualifying last year when he finished 20th in the world.
“I’m just hungry for bucking horses,” O’Connell said. “I was stuck at the ranch for a long time, and it felt good to put the camper on the pickup and head out. It (finishing 20th) makes me hungry regardless. If a guy has a good winter it will help in the summer, and it’s a big part of rodeo especially now with corona (COVID-19).
“I’m going after that gold buckle, and I want to get back to the yellow chutes.”
The action is ongoing in Jackson as well as at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, though inclement weather has altered schedules. Fans in the stands and watching from home via The Cowboy Channel or PRCA on the Cowboy Channel Plus App witnessed some high scores and fast runs during the second week of February.
The following ProRodeo athletes rose to the top last week.
Steer wrestler Bridger Anderson made a 3.8-second run in Jackson, Feb. 10.
Team ropers Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves made a 4.0-second run in Jackson, Feb. 12.
Three saddle bronc riders had 88-point rides last week: Stetson Wright, Riggin Smith and Wyatt Casper. Wright made his ride in San Antonio on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Pendleton Whisky’s Rage, Feb. 12. In Jackson on Feb 13, Smith rode Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Border Town, while Casper rode Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Palindrome.
Tie-down roper Hunter Herrin made a 6.9-second run in Jackson, Feb. 10.
Barrel racer Randee Prindle made a 13.89-second run in Jackson, Feb. 12.
Bull rider Trevor Kastner had a 91-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Gas Hog in Jackson, Feb. 13.
Check with ProRodeo.com for more coverage on the rodeos in Jackson and San Antonio.
Courtesy of PRCA