It wasn’t scripted, but Joel Schlegel had himself some success on Thursday.
The bareback rider from Burns, Colorado, rode Movie Madness to the top of the leaderboards in the second day of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo at Wild West Arena.
"I’ve been on it before," Schlegel said with a smile. "It’s one of those really nice, fun ones that can be pretty bucky, but is a good horse."
Schlegel exited the arena with an unofficial score of 86 points, topping Canadian sensation Orin Larsen — currently the No. 2 ranked bareback rider in the world — who ended the bareback event with 83.5 points to move No. 23 world ranked Tanner Phipps of Dalton, Georgia, into third place with 82 points.
The Schlegel name sitting atop the leaderboards isn’t something new, though.
In 2014, Joel’s brother, Jerad, was a co-winner of the bareback riding purse at Wild West Arena.
But Joel admitted that in the many years competing in the Buffalo Bill Rodeo, the 86-point performance on Thursday sits atop the rest for him.
"I just turned 30 this year, so I’ve been coming here for 10 years now," he said. "Trying to make it every year, but I’ve never won it or nothing. I’ve placed a couple of times, but this is the highest score I’ve ever had here."
With two nights remaining in the rodeo, Schlegel hopes his lead holds up long enough to score him a slice of the purse.
"We’ll see how it holds out for the next couple of nights, and hopefully I can get some money," he added.
The bull riding portion of the evening also yielded better results from Wednesday’s opening day.
Parker Breding of Edgar, Montana, topped Kyle Gardner’s 79 points a day ago. Breding finished with 83 points after taming Bullet Proof, while only two more riders had qualified rides.
Zach Parker of Fort Scott, Kansas, finished the day with a 76.5, and Wyatt Rodgers of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, added 74 points to his day at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.
Parker currently sits in third place, and Rodgers is behind him with a fourth place on the leaderboards through the second day of action.
1. Joel Schlegel, Burns, Colo. 86 points on Movie Madness
2. Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba 83.5
3. Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga. 82
4. Mike Fred, Wamego, Kan. 74
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.
1. Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla. 7.8 seconds;
2. Joey Dickens, Loveland, Colo. 7.9;
3( tie)Caleb Bullock, Boise City, Okla, Luke Potter, Maple City, Kan. and Luke Madsen, Marshalltown, Iowa 8.0 each.
Saddle bronc riding
1. Shane Proctor, Grand Coule, Wash. 83 points on Conviction;
2. Jake Finlay, Goodiwindi, Australia 81.5;
3. Roper Kiesner, Ripley, Okla. 79.5;
4. (tie) Connor Murnion, Jordan, Utah and Preston Barr, Stratford, Texas 73 each.
1. Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, Okla./Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla. 5.7 seconds;
2. Brian Dunning, McClave, Colo./Toby Mentzer, Ensign, Kan. 6.4;
3. Tory Shaffer, Ft. Lupton, Colo./Jason DeVore, Ft. Lupton, Colo. 7.6;
4. Ty Blasingame, Casper, Wyo./Jerren Johnson, Casper, Wyo. 10.6.
1. Emily Miller, Weatherford, Okla. 17.64 seconds; 2. Carly Taylor, Andersonville, Tenn. 18.04; 3. Kelly Reichmuth, Humphrey, Neb. 18.12; 4. Abby Phillips, Marshall, Texas 18.38.
1. Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont. 83 points on Bullet Proof; 2. Zach Parker, Ft. Scott, Kan. 76.5; 3. Wyatt Rogers, Tahlequah, Okla. 74; no other qualified rides.