Saddle bronc rider Ben Andersen had 300 reasons not to compete last weekend. It’s calving season and Andersen is running 300 head of cattle near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.
But as the saying goes, “money talks” – or neighs in this case.
Drawing Dakota Rodeo’s Cash Deal for Osage Xtreme Bronc Days in Pawhuska, Okla., March 26-27, was reason enough to make the 1,800-mile trek to Oklahoma.
“I actually was in Canada calving cows and was thinking about not going because we had so many calves coming, but then I drew that horse (Cash Deal) and I had to go,” said Andersen, 21.
It was Andersen’s first time riding Cash Deal, but he was well-versed in the bronc’s history. Earlier this month, he saw Cash Deal get the best of Allen Boore at The American. He also learned that Cash Deal had been part of the eliminator pen at the National Finals Rodeo in recent years.
Andersen rode Cash Deal for 88.5 points, winning the Xtreme Broncs event and cashing in for $4,033.
“My travel partner, Logan Hay, knew about Cash Deal since he stays up to date on his horses, and he said, ‘You have to get on him,'” Andersen said. “He’s an electric little horse. Having to get back is the hardest part since he wants you at the front of your saddle.”
Along the way, he also hit the High Desert Stampede in Redmond, Ore., March 25-27. There, Andersen originally drew Bridwell Pro Rodeos’ Capone but was issued a re-ride on Bridwell Pro Rodeos’ Beaver Bend. Andersen earned $1,335 there.
“Capone ducked out and slipped, so I got a re-ride on Beaver Bend, and that was a nice horse,” Andersen said. “He goes to the left, and I was just happy to see he was my re-ride.”
That single decision and those two rodeos combined for the biggest jump across all events within the Top 15 of the PRCA | RAM World Standings for March 22-28. Andersen launched 25 spots, from 35th to 10th, but it’s worth more than just the money he earned.
“It’s the realization that the NFR isn’t that far out of a guy’s grasp,” Andersen said. “A dream is just something that can be obtained. I’ve never been 10th in the world before, and that makes it all seem very possible.”
Scoring $5,368 made it one of the most profitable weekends in his ProRodeo career.
“It was a good little push, I haven’t made that much in a weekend before, aside from maybe Denver,” Andersen said.
Andersen earned $4,153 at the 2020 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver by winning the progressive second round with a 91-point ride on C5 Rodeo’s Trump Card and tying for fifth in the finals with an 85-point ride.
“Now we’re going to calve these cows out for a couple of weeks and then it’s Red Bluff (Calif.) and San Angelo (Texas),” Andersen said. “I’ll keep rodeoing hard.”
With more major rodeos on the horizon, big jumps such as Andersen’s are sure to happen again. The 24 cowboys who advanced within the Top 15 of their respective events March 22-28 are listed below.
• Dalton Massey moved from 32nd to 13th in steer wrestling.
• Brady Minor moved from 17th to seventh in team roping heeling.
• Riley Minor moved from 17th to ninth in team roping heading.
• Cole Davison moved from 19th to 13th in team roping heading.
• Logan Cook moved from 15th to 11th in saddle bronc riding.
• Marcos Costa moved from 16th to 13th in tie-down roping.
• Will Lummus moved from fourth to third in steer wrestling.
• Chase Brooks moved from fourth to third in saddle bronc riding.
• Josh Frost moved from fourth to third in bull riding.
• Kyle Lucas moved from fifth to fourth in tie-down roping.
• Dustin Boquet moved from fifth to fourth in bull riding.
• Wyatt Casper moved from sixth to fifth in saddle bronc riding.
• Tyler Wade moved from seventh to sixth in team roping heading.
• Marty Yates moved from eighth to seventh in tie-down roping.
• Jess Pope moved from ninth to eighth in bareback riding.
• Corey Ross moved from 13th to 12th in steer roping.
• Matt Palmer moved from 14th to 13th in bull riding.
• Roger Branch moved from 15th to 14th in steer roping.
Cowboys on the bubble for a spot in the Top 15 can find themselves a few dollars short of qualifying for the Wrangler NFR. The end of the 2021 season is a ways off, but it’s still noteworthy to see who is on the cusp of breaking into the Top 15.
• Bareback rider Wyatt Denny moved from 20th and is $285 away from breaking into the Top 15.
• Team roping header Tate Kirchenschlager moved from 18th and is $496 away from breaking into the Top 15.
• Steer roper Chris Glover moved from 20th and is $228 away from breaking into the Top 15.
Check back with ProRodeo.com next week to see who the new leaders are in the world standings.
Courtesy of PRCA