postheadericon Bright takes bareback riding lead

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Last May, the pain in Matt Bright’s right elbow was intense. In fact, the Texas bareback rider did not feel up to competing at the annual Will Rogers Stampede.

Things have changed over the last 12 months.

Matt Bright

Matt Bright

“This rodeo has been good to me my whole career,” said Bright, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stafford, Texas. “The first year I came here was the only time I didn’t win a check here.”

Bright is well on his way to another Oklahoma paycheck after riding Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Powerade for 80 points to lead the rodeo at the Will Rogers Round Up Club Arena. He’s ranked 32nd in the world standings and moving up, which is a big change from a season ago.

You see, Bright missed a big part of the 2013 season because of his injured elbow, which required surgery last summer.

“It took a few months to knock all the rust off and get in some kind of good shape,” he said, noting the rugged nature of bareback riding is just tough on a cowboy’s body. “The last few weeks, I feel like I’ve stepped it back up to the level I was before I got hurt.

“I feel like I’ve been riding about as good as I did when I left off. I’m gong to try to go to the same rodeos I did before. Hopefully I can make up some ground that I missed at the beginning of the year. My goal is to make it back to the finals and have a shot at the world title. I’m just barely out of the top 30 right now, so it shouldn’t take too much for me to get back in there where I need to be.”

Only the top 15 contestants in each event at the conclusion of the regular season qualify for the NFR, ProRodeo’s grand championship that takes place each December in Las Vegas. Injuries kept the cowboy away from Sin City last year, but he’s hoping it’s just a small hiccup in his career.

Of course, he needs good dance partners when the time comes, which is what he got from Powerade.

“I had that horse at Big Spring (Texas) a couple years ago, and I placed good on him there,” Bright said. “He’s a really nice horse, and he let me show off a little bit. I just tried to get as many points out of him as I could.”

Will Rogers Stampede
Claremore, Okla.
May 23-25
Leaders through first performance
Bareback riding:
1. Matt Bright, 80 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Powerade; 2. Lane Lerche, 78; 3. Tyler Pasour, 76; no other qualified rides.

Steer wrestling: 1. Clay Mindemann, 4.1 seconds; 2. Tooter Silver, 4.8; 3. Josh Peek, 5.1; 4. Stewart Gulager, 5.2; 5. Cody Kroul, 5.8; 6. Ryan Jarrett, 5.9; 7. Trell Etbauer, 6.1; 8. (tie) Riley Duvall and Jarek VanPetten, 6.3.

Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, 8.4 seconds; 2. Cody Quaney, 10.2; 3. Perry Dietz, 14.1; no other qualified times.

Saddle bronc riding 1. (tie) Nat Stratton, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s The Darkness, and Isaac Diaz, on Pete Carr Classic Pro Rodeo’s Miss Molly, 82 points; 3. Hardy Braden, 81; 4. Chase Miller, 76; 5. Andrew Harris, 69; 6. Dusty Hausauer, 57.

Team roping: 1. (tie) A.J. Horton/Kyle Horton and Branden Duff/Dustin Harris, 5.2 seconds each; 3. Ryan Jarrett/Austin Rogers, 5.3; 4. (tie) Mike Bacon/Joseph Harrison and Caleb Bullock/Shade Etbauer, 5.4; 6. Adam Wallace/Justin Pruitt and John Wayne Giles/Jake Fox, 6.0; 8. Steele Herring-Smith/Jeremy English, 6.7.

Steer roping: First round: 1. Bryan Reiter, 12.1 seconds; 2. Jay Sellers, 13.5; 3. Ralph Williams, 13.6; 4. Robert Fudge, 16.0; no other qualified times.

Barrel racing: 1. Callie Gray, 17.16 seconds; 2. Bailee Snow, 17.39; 3. Natalie Foutch, 17.44; 4. Jana Bean, 17.50; 5. Michele McLeod, 17.64; 6. Shelby Janssen, 17.65; 7. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Kara Posch, 17.68; 9. Cheyenne Shipps, 17.69; 10. Jammie tinker, 17.70.

Bull riding: 1. Ardie Maier, 81 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Lumberjack; 2. Brennon Eldred, 78; no other qualified rides.

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