Bareback horses are unpredictable creatures, but Austin Foss had Nutrena’s Foxy Lady’s dance moves figured out in the Buffalo Bill Rodeo finale on Saturday.
"It’s kind of unreal," Foss said. "You ask any of these guys what horse they got on two weeks ago and they can’t remember, so I couldn’t tell you the names of the horse I got on the last two times I was here. But I can tell you it’s always going to be a good ride on Saturday night."
The 26-year-old Terrebonne, Oregon, rider mounted, held on and controlled his ornery partner’s every buck to score 89 points and snag his third consecutive bareback title in front of a roaring Wild West Arena.
"I definitely didn’t expect to win three in a row," Foss said. "That horse was a little stronger (than I thought). She kind of had those moves that made her a little more challenging, but it’s definitely one of those that makes you want to win."
And win he did, riding another horse to the top of the leaderboards on Saturday night to top Thursday’s leaders Joel Schlegel (86 points), and No. 2 world-ranked Orin Larsen (83.5).
Foss’ success in North Platte over the past three years carries an air of familiarity, but Saturday’s 89-point performance topped his previous two title wins.
His title run began in 2017 on Pendleton Whisky’s Red Bandana, which he mounted and rode for an 87.5 score. Then last year, riding Nutrena’s Anything Goes, Foss finished on top again with an 87-point performance.
Foss’ $2,233 purse on Saturday goes towards his already hefty $54,609.91 earnings for 2019 so far, which currently sits him as the No. 7 ranked bareback rider in the world.
But Buffalo Bill Rodeo didn’t just save the best for last in the bareback event.
Mitch Pollock’s 88-point score on Nutrena’s Rage earned him the saddle bronc title over a strong eight-man pool that included former Wrangler NFR champions Jacobs Crawley (2015) of Boerne, Texas, and Spencer Wright (2017) of Milford, Utah.
Crawley, who didn’t place on Saturday in his saddle bronc title defense, currently sits as the No. 6 ranked rider in the world, while Wright, sitting at No. 8 in the world, finished in third place with 86.5 points.
Bareback riding – 2019 champion: Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore.
1. Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore. 89 points on Nutrena’s Foxy Lady; 2. Joel Schlegel, Burns, Colo. 86; 3. Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba 83.5; 4. (tie) Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga., Jamie Howlett, Rapid City, S.D., and Mason Clements, Draper, Utah 82 each; 7. (tie) Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb. and Blaine Kaufman, Pretty Prairie, Kan. 81 each.
Steer wrestling – 2019 champion: Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla.
1st go round
1. Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla. 3.4 seconds; 2. Bridger Anderson, Alva, Okla. 3.6; 3.(tie) Sam Goings, Fallon, Nev. and Tyler Pearson, Atoka, Okla. 3.7 each; 5. J.D. Struxness, Milan, Minn. 3.8; 6. Kyle Whitaker, Chambers, Neb. 3.9.
1. Reed Kraeger, Elwood, Neb. 3.7 seconds; 2. (tie) Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas and Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 3.8 each; 4. (tie) Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla. and Jarek Van Petten, Meriden, Kan. 3.9 each. 6. (tie) Riley Westhaver, Alva, Okla., Nick Guy, Parker, Colo., Del Ray Kraupie, Bridgeport, Neb. and Stetson Jorgensen, Blackfoot, Idaho 4.0 each.
1. Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla. 7.5 on 2 head; 2. Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D. 7.8; 3. (tie) Jarek Van Petten, Ingalls, Kan. and Stetson Jorgenson, Blackfoot, Idaho 8.0 each; 5. (tie) Tanner Brunner, Ramona, Kan., Tyler Pearson, Atoka, Okla. and J.D.Struxness, Alva, Okla. 8.2 each.
Tie-down roping – 2019 champion: Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla.
1. (tie) J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas and Justin Smith, Leesville, La. 8.4 seconds; 3. Cody Huber, Albia, Iowa 8.5; 4. Cody McCartney, Ottawa Lake, Mich. 9.1; 5. Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D. 9.5; 6. (tie) Ty Baker, Van Horn, Texas, and King Pickett, Collinsville, Texas 9.6 each.
1. (tie) Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla. and Blake Chauvin, Raceland, La. 7.8 seconds each; 3. Joey Dickens, Loveland, Colo. 7.9; 4. (tie) Caleb Bullock, Boise City, Okla., and Luke Madsen, Marshalltown, Iowa 8.0 each. 6. Kody Mahaffey, Sweetwater, Texas 8.3.
1. Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla. 17.6 seconds on 2 head; 2. Luke Madsen, Marshalltown, Iowa 17.9; 3. Kody Mahaffey, Sweetwater, Texas 18.0; 4. Trey Young, Dupree, S.D. 18.4; 5. (tie) Cody McCartney, Ottawa Lake, Mich., Justin Smith, Leesville, La. and J.D. McCuistion, Collinsville, Texas 18.8 each.
Saddle bronc riding – 2019 champion: Mitch Pollock, Winnemucca, Nev.
1. Mitch Pollock, Winnemucca, Nev. 88 points on Nutrena’s Rage; 2. Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D. 87; 3. Spencer Wright, Milford,Utah 86.5; 4. (tie) Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa and Ross Griffin, Tularosa, N.M. 85 each; 6. (tie)
Jade Blackwell, Rapid City, S.D. and Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash. 83.5 each; 8. Brody Cress, Hillsdale, Wyo.82.
Team roping – 2019 champions: Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo./Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo.
1. Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo./Carson Johnson, Casper, Wyo. 5.0 seconds; 2. Bubba Buckaloo, Kingston, Okla./Shay Dixon Carroll, La Junta, Colo. 5.3; 3. Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. 5.7; 4. Jay Tittel, Pueblo, Colo./Richard Durham, Henrietta, Texas 6.1; 5. Corey Whinnery, Powderhorn, Colo./Robert Murphy, Congress, Ariz. 6.4; 6.Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D./Jesse Dale, Timberlake, S.D. 6.5; 7. Denton Taylor, Craig, Colo./Dusty Taylor, Craig, Colo. 6.6; 8. Travis Bounds, Clifton, Colo./T.J. Watts, Eads, Colo. 6.7.
Barrel racing – 2019 champion: Shali Lord, Lamar, Colo. 1. Shali Lord, Lamar, Colo. 17.44 seconds; 2. Emily Miller, Weatherford, Okla. 17.64; 3. Jana Bean, Ft. Hancock, Texas 17.85; 4. Chris Gibson, Windsor, Colo. 17.89; 5. Skyla Whitters, Glencoe, Okla. 17.91; 6. Tammy Fisher, Ledbetter, Texas 17.92; 7. Tamara Reinhardt, Canadian, Texas 17.95; 8. Lacinda Rose, Willard, Mo. 17.96; 9. Michelle Darling, Medford, Okla. 18.03; 10. Carly Taylor, Andersonville, Tenn. 18.04; 11. Deb Cox, Mullen, 18.06; 12. Cally Kindred, Harrold, S.D. 18.11.
Bull riding – 2019 champion: Parker Breding, Edgar, Montana
1. Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont. 83 points on Bullet Proof; 2. Tom Patrick, Loveland, Colo. 80; 3. Kyle Gardner, Kersey, Colo. 79; 4. Luke Gee, Stanford, Mont. 77; 5. Zach Parker, Ft. Scott, Kan. 76.5; 6. Wyatt Rogers, Tahlequah, Okla. 74.
** All results are unofficial.