PENDLETON — When Parker Breding entered the short go, there were five other bulls he would have been happy to be paired with. Instead, he drew New West Rodeos’ Blackberry Smoke. If it weren’t for the failed relationship between these two, Breding would have entered the championship round riding high off of the 88.5 points he earned in his first ride.

But when the Edgar, Montana native saw his final ride of the Banner Bank Pendleton PBR Classic was on Blackberry Smoke all confidence was lost.

“When I saw I had him it was almost like a let down,” Breding said. “I didn’t have much confidence I was just thinking, ‘Gosh dang that bull kind of handled me pretty easily when I got on the first time.’”

The first time Breding is referring to was in his home state a month ago when he was atop this same bull but instead of getting a whistle on him, Breding was bucked off.

“Amazingly,” he continued, “it turned around.”

Breding took home the championship (177 points) in his first appearance at Happy Canyon and a $13,523.16 check. Despite this being his first time in the PBR Classic, Breding is no stranger to Pendleton. He’s been riding in the Round-Up for five years, and won the rodeo in 2012 when he was a rookie.

“That was like the highlight of my career so far,” he said of the 2012 championship. “So to be able to win this is going to be right up there with that.”

In the long go, Breding rode Pistol Whipped of Howell Rodeo Company Inc., and jumped into first place. He held on to the top spot until Rubens Barbosa of Iaciara, Goias, Brazil got a day-high of 89.5 points. The Brazilians had another successful day in the arena as Claudio Montanha Jr. earned the third most points (87) atop New West Rodeos’ Devil in Disguise.

Crowd favorite and Walla Walla, Washington native Derek Kolbaba had no problems getting into the championship round, as he finished the long go with 84.5 point on Cosmo Cowboy (Howell Rodeo Company Inc.).

Barbosa was the final rider of the night, and after getting bucked off with mere seconds of exiting the bucking shoot he opened up the top three for Montanha and Kolbaba to claim second and third place, respectively.

While the PBR has concluded, Breding isn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. He’ll be riding in Thursday’s rodeo on a bull he favors more than Blackberry Smoke.

Contact Alexis at amansanarez@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4542. Follow her on Twitter @almansanarez

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Pendleton PBR Classic

Event Results

1. Parker Breding, 177 points, $13,523.16; 2. Claudio Montanha Jr., 171.5, $7,083.56; 3. Derek Kolbaba, 170.5,

$4,869.95; 4. Luciano De Castro, 169, $3,139.31; 5. Alex Marcilio, 168, $3,783.27; 6. Aaron Williams, 165.5, $1,408.6

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