Mote having another magical year
June 14, 2007
Flashback to 2002.
Michael Jordan returned to the NBA with the Washington Wizards. The Oakland Athletics won their 20th straight game. Pete Sampras won a record 14th Grand Slam tennis event.
Bobby Mote remembers 2002 for a similar reason. It was the year that he won his first PRCA world bareback championship. It was a magical year, one he’ll remember for a long time to come.
Move forward to 2007, and the magic has returned for Mote, who is the world bareback money leader entering the opening performance of the 88th annual Reno Rodeo tonight at 7 at the Reno Livestock Event Center.
Mote, who has won $78,187 in 18 events, is obviously enjoying his success thus far, and hopes to keep it going with a good performance in Reno this week.
“It’s gone very well,” said Mote, who recently passed the $1million mark in career earnings when he won RodeoHouston. “I can’t complain about the draws. I’ve had a couple of good horses at the right places.”
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Mote opened the season when he averaged 83 points a ride to win the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa, Texas. He followed that up with a third-place finish in Denver.
In late February, he participated at RodeoHouston and reached the semifinals along with travel partners Ryan Gray, Jason Havens and Tyson Thompson thanks to an 87.5 ride on Coconut Roll. He headed home to be with his wife, Kate, who would deliver the couple’s third child on March 9.
Mote returned to action on March 14 at the Dodge National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho. He opened with an 84, but opted to turn out and go back to Houston for the semifinals.
It would prove to be a wise decision.
He drew Vitalix Goldilocks for the championship round and posted the top score of 85.5 which earned him a chance to compete for the $50,000 prize in the finals. He drew Coconut Roll again, and this time posted an 88.5 to win the event.
“That was the most lucrative eight-second ride I’ve ever had,” Mote said in his blog he now does for the PRCA. “I was so thrilled with the win.
“God has blessed me in so many ways from my family to my career and everything in between.”
Mote, who resides in Culver, Ore., has been rodeoing a little closer to home since the Houston event. He’s looking forward to a good performance here.
“I have always enjoyed it here (Reno),” Mote said. “I haven’t had great luck yet.”
And, he has some stiff competition week in and week out, guys like Kelly Timberman, Jason Jeter, former world champ Will Lowe, Royce and Heath Ford, Tom McFarland, Havens, Gray and Jess Davis.
“Anybody in the top 15 can win this thing,” Mote said. “It’s an outstanding field. It’s better than it was several years ago. You can’t have a bad day.”
Luck is something that has come and gone for Mote since his world championship in 2002.
He broke his collarbone and dislocated his shoulder in 2003, which caused him to miss most of the spring and early summer events.
And, then there was that pesky elbow injury, which lasted a couple of years, and forced Mote to wear a brace for support.
“It (the brace) has allowed me to ride the horse the way I liked to,” said Mote, who was ninth, ninth and 12th from 2003 to 2005. “It was bothering me all the way until 2006. I couldn’t pick up things. I couldn’t do a lot of things that I wanted to.
“I didn’t do surgery because I would have been out 4-to-6 months, and I didn’t want that.”
Mote credits being healthy as the main reason for his comeback which started in 2006. He won 10 rodeos, including the Grand National in San Francisco and the Red Bluff Roundup.
The veteran rider, who joined the PRCA in 1996, placed in eight of the 10 rounds at the NFR in Las Vegas last December. He won the seventh round with an 84.5 and tied for first in the final round with an 85.5.
Mote didn’t rest on his laurels. He was back in competition within a month of his NFR success, but he has found time to get home for a few days here and there.
“I was definitely carrying a lot of momentum into the season,” Mote said. “I seemed to have picked up where I left off.
“I take off as I can. I have three kids now and the oldest (Charlie) is in kindergarten. I take them when I can on the road.”
Another reason for Mote to come home more often is that Charlie is now starting to compete in pee-wee rodeo, and of course dad wants to be around to watch.
If you have been to enough rodeos, you always see cowboys helping each other out, whether its getting a horse settled down in the chute or making sure a saddle is tightened and solid.
“Guys always need help,” Mote said. “If a guy needs a hand, a ride, you help him if you can. Sometimes you might find yourself in need of something and want somebody to help you out.
“You can’t look at it as a competition against other guys. You worry about yourself and try to do the best with what you have.”
Translation. The riders ride different horses, so the competition is with the horse and not other riders. Everything is incumbent on what horse you draw. In the most simplistic of terms, that’s what it comes down to.
RODEO HOOKED HIM
Mote, like almost every kid in America, played other sports when he was younger.
“I played basketball and baseball,” he said. “I just never liked them well enough to put enough work in them to be good. I wasn’t very good. I was the last guy picked.
“I got interested in rodeo when I was just starting high school. Once I got hooked, it was all downhill from there.”
•Contact DarrellMoody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281
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