SAN ANTONIO -- CoBurn Bradshaw didn't have a pleasant dismount, but that didn't matter - he still won the biggest rodeo of his career.
The 22-year-old saddle bronc rider from Beaver, Utah, rode Calgary Stampede's Stampede Warrior for 87.5 points. The ride was pretty - the dismount ... not so much.
Bradshaw was bucked off at the whistle, and landed back-first against the wall.
"I'm fine, just a little sore," he said. "It happened right at eight (seconds) - that's a good bucking horse, and you can't let your guard down. I don't know what happened, I guess I weakened there at the end a bit. As I was flying through the air toward the wall, I was thinking that I better win after this."
He indeed emerged from the final round of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo as the champion Feb. 25. Bradshaw split the final-round win with Hardy Braden, and made a total of $24,927 for the rodeo - nearly $3,000 more than Braden.
Bradshaw, who finished third in the world in 2016, also sat third in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings entering the weekend. He moved to the top, ahead of 2015 World Champion Jacobs Crawley.
"This definitely puts me in a good spot, and makes the year a lot less stressful knowing I got a good jump on the season," Bradshaw said. "This is the biggest rodeo I've ever won - this one and Pendleton (Ore.) were the two I really wanted to win, and now I have one of them. I bet this buckle would look really good on my wall, but it also would look good on me. I'm not sure where it'll go."
Out of the 10 saddle bronc riders in the finals, none of them had the last name Wright. Which meant Bradshaw, who's married to Rebecca Wright - the sister of bronc riders Cody, Jesse, Jake and Spencer Wright - didn't get to compete against his in-laws.
"They had some bad luck," Bradshaw said. "Spencer rode really well, he just ended up in a tough pen of guys. They all could have been here, easy, but it's hard to make the finals here and you need some luck. I wish they all could've been here so we could've had a battle. As far as I'm concerned, those are the best saddle bronc riders in the world, so it's a little easier to win when they aren't around."
Bradshaw may have had a rough ending to his ride, but the bumps and bruises were worth the victory lap in the back of a truck, in addition to the money, buckle and $5,000 gas card, which was provided to each winner.
"This is a dream come true - this is the best rodeo all year, and it's always been on my list," he said. "Winning it is awesome, and I hope to win it more times in the future."
Other winners at the $1,480,500 rodeo were bareback rider Tyler Nelson ($25,881), steer wrestler Ty Erickson ($21,604), team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira ($21,692 each), tie-down roper Hunter Herrin ($22,745), barrel racer Amberleigh Moore ($29,339) and bull rider Roscoe Jarboe ($27,033).