CAVE CREEK, Ariz. – Saddle bronc rider Colt Gordon didn’t have a book on his draw Friday night, but it didn’t matter.
The Oklahoma cowboy climbed aboard The Cervi Brothers’ Mortician and it was a memorable trip.
Gordon had an 86-point ride to take the lead in the event at the Cave Creek Rodeo Days. The rodeo, which concludes May 24, is the first PRCA-sanctioned rodeo since rodeos were halted in the middle of the March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was a really nice horse,” said Gordon, 23. “As far as coming back for the first rodeo, you can’t ask for a better horse than that. I had seen a lot of guys get on him and he got the job done and I did my part.”
Gordon has been doing what he can in the practice pen to be ready to return to the arena, but none of that work compared to what he felt riding on Friday.
“I was telling the guys (other saddle bronc riders) that I had been going to the practice pen the last few weeks trying to get the rust knocked off,” he said. “But, being able to come here (to Cave Creek) and being in this environment just makes you want it so much more. Being back there in the practice pens, you are just kind of going through the motions and then you come here, and you want it.”
Gordon is hopeful other rodeos will follow Cave Creek’s lead.
“The more the merrier,” Gordon said. “I’m here to make the (WNFR) and hopefully do it as many times as I can, and you can’t do it without rodeos.”
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Bareback rider Caleb Bennett, who took the lead after day 1 at Cave Creek with an 84.5-point ride on The Cervi Brothers’ Little Bucker, concurred with Gordon.
“I thought I would be nervous tonight and I have never felt more at home than what I did tonight,” said Bennett, who has qualified for eight consecutive Wrangler NFRs. “I was back there, and I was relaxed and ready. I had it in my mind that I was here to win and do my job. It’s awesome to be back in the arena and do what I love. I would hope committees across the world, fans across the world, people and sponsors see this and enjoy it and love it keep the ball rolling.”
Gordon made his Wrangler NFR debut last season, he finished 15th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $112,635. At the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Gordon placed 10th in the Wrangler NFR average by placing in three rounds and finishing with 416.5 points on five head.
“After going year (to the NFR), I crave it even more,” Gordon said.
Courtesy of PRCA