They're back and they're winning. Six-time world champion saddle bronc rider Dan Mortensen and 2002 world champ Glenn O'Neill both made impressive returns to the rodeo arena last week after being sidelined with broken ankles and missing the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
Mortensen, who returned to competition in February at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, swept the saddle bronc riding competition at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nev.
The Billings, Montana, cowboy won the first round with an 82-point ride on John Growney's Bad Moon. He followed that with a Wrangler Tour round score of 89 aboard Painted Feathers, also from the Growney string. He finished three points ahead of O'Neill of Didsbury, Alberta.
Mortensen captured the aggregate title with 171 points over two rounds and earned $6,022. The win moved Mortensen from eighth in the tour standings to second with 84.33 points. O'Neill took second with 165 points and pocketed $3,093. O'Neill is 25th in the tour standings with 21 points.
Todd Suhn won the Wrangler Tour round in bulldogging with 4.8 seconds and captured the aggregate title with a time of 14.4 seconds on three head. Suhn of Brighton, Colo., moved to 11th in the tour standings with 38.5 points. He picked up a check worth $5,782
Another Colorado cowboy won the tour round in bareback riding. Matt Mosher of Wildhorse scored 90 points on Growney's Sock Dancer and is ranked 20th in the tour standings with 30.6 points. Ryan Gray of Cheney, Wash., won the aggregate title with 171 points on two head, just one point ahead of Mosher. Gray, a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, pocketed $4,545.
Other tour-round winners were Charles Pogue of Ringling, Okla., and Boogie Ray of Mabank, Texas, (6.2 seconds, team roping); Justin Maass of Giddings, Texas, (7.5 seconds, tie-down roping); Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, (17.5 seconds, barrel racing) and Zeb Lanham of Sweet, Idaho, with 86 points on Western Rodeo's Louisville Slugger in bull riding.
Other aggregate winners were Colter Todd of Marana, Ariz., and Cesar De La Cruz and Tucson, Ariz., (25.9 seconds on three head, $5,505, team roping); Mike Johnson of Henryetta, Okla., (25.7 seconds on three head, $6,255, tie-down roping); Amanda Clayman of Naylor, Mo., (52.69 seconds on three runs, $5,613, barrel racing) and B.J. Schumacher of Hillsboro, Wis., (170 points on two head, $4,788, bull riding).
Logandale marked the ninth of 12 stops on the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour. The top 12 contestants in the standings after the final Wrangler Tour stop on May 8 in Guymon, Okla., will qualify for the Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out scheduled for June 17-18 in Reno.
Justin McBride is at it again. The 25-year-old bull rider from Elk City, Okla., won his sixth Professional Bull Rider's Built Ford Tough Series Event on Sunday at the conclusion of the PBR NILE Invitational.
McBride brought the crowd to its feet with a thrilling 93-point ride in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Bruce, Berger and Leo's bull Deuces are Wild. The win marked the sixth of the year for McBride and ties him with Cody Hart for the most wins in a season. McBride also walked away with $38,951.
"As far earning the high-marked ride of this season so far, it feels great, particularly with the bonus incentives offered by sponsors ... ," McBride said. "Tying Cody Hart's record is a thrill because I remember how amazing it was watching Cody set that record, and it doesn't seem like I'm having the kind of year he did then, but it's awesome."
Butch Thurman has covered professional rodeo for 25 years. His e-mail address is email@example.com.