Australian bull rider Greg Potter felt the pressure to win one for his country.
In his words, he bared down.
"Brendon Clark reminded me that Troy Dunn won it a couple years ago, and he won it last year, and he said to me, 'This'll make three in a row if you get it done, so bare down.' I bared down, and we got three in a row," said Potter, now of Whitt, Texas.
Potter led wire-to-wire on the second day of the U.S. Bank/Pendleton PBR Classic on Tuesday night, notching 88.5 points on Bull Frog with the first ride of the evening. He then matched that with an 88.5-point ride on Dippin' Shock N Awe for a combined score of 177 and the Pendleton PBR Classic title, the third in a row for an Aussie rider.
"Everything worked out for us. The crowd was awesome. When the atmosphere's right, everyone seems to ride right," said Potter, who will take home an $18,576 purse.
He got the crowd on his side early with an electrifying ride on Bull Frog.
"I didn't really know him but I'd seen him before, and I talked to a mate of mine, he said he was just outstanding. I got out on him, he did his thing; I did my thing - it all worked out," he said.
Many in the capacity crowd in Happy Canyon clamored for a score in the 90s after Potter's first ride. They were just as vocal in their disapproval when the judges awarded the 88.5.
"I thought I might have had a few more with that ride, but I'll take that score and go on with it," Potter said.
After riding first in the preliminary flights, he appropriately rode last in the championship, where he met an old nemesis.
"Come back on that short round; I'd had that bull (Shock N Awe) before ... and he bucked me off. Wanted to get him rode, and I bared down. He bucked, I got it done, again," he said.
Potter was the lone standout on a night that was tough on bull riders.
Though scoring in the early rounds was up from Monday night, just two riders scored in the championship round - Potter and Justin McBride of Elk City, Okla.
McBride had an 86-point ride on Joe Dirt to advance, then posted 84 points on Jaboroo to finish sixth in the two-day event with 170 points.
"(Jaboroo) didn't have a very good day I don't think. He was supposed to be a little bit tougher than that. He was just going straight when he was supposed to be spinning, and that's what judges like to see," McBride said.
Walla Walla's Charlie Barker satisfied the local crowd with an 85.5-point ride on Achy Breaky, but got tossed by Wolverine in the short round at about seven seconds.
"The first bull was a really good bull. I was loose and rode him like I know how, I guess. ... In the short round I kind of just messed up a good one, but I guess that's the way it goes sometimes," Barker said.
Russ Johnson, Everret Erickson, Steven Shelley, Tony Mendes, Cory McFadden, Chad Denton and Mike Lee also failed to score in the championship.
Day one leader Cauy Hudson's 172.5 failed to hold up, but the Nebraska rider won a second-place purse worth $9,936.
Paulo Crimber of Fort Worth, Texas, finished third at 172, and Gary Richard of Houston placed fourth at 171.5. Chance Robison of Colorado City, Colo., was fifth with 170.5 points.