McTaggart’s low score enough to win at rodeo
RENO – Colin McTaggart said he won’t be in a hurry to let people know his winning score from Wednesday night.
“I’m not going to tell anybody my score,” McTaggart said, his comment drawing a few chuckles from the media. “I’ll just tell them I won.”
McTaggart scored an 85 on Rough & Ready on his first ride to take the lead, and that was enough to win the Xtreme Bulls event before a record opening night crowd of 6,628 at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
McTaggart was dumped by Fire Bird 1.8 seconds into his second ride to finish with an average of 42.5 which was good enough for $11,000. The score held up because the other five finalists – Joe Meling, Marcus Michaelis, Casey Baize, Jarrod Ford and Jordan Edward Hooton – all were dumped on their second rides, too.
McTaggart, a 23-year-old from Las Vegas, said he got a good draw with Rough & Ready.
“It was kind of weird,” McTaggart said. “The bull kind of hesitated a bit and then started spinning. The longer he spun, the faster he got. He’s an awesome bull. He’s an old bull. I’d never had a chance to get on him before tonight. I thought I’d have a chance to score well.
“That second bull (Fire Bird) is big and he bucks. This is the third time I’ve been on him. I rode him once and then got thrown off once. Tonight was the fastest he dumped me.”
Ford was second with 83 (41.5 average) followed by Baize 82.50 (41.75 average) and Michaelis 79 (39.75). Hooton 75.50 (37.75) and Meling 75.50 (37.75) tied for fifth place.
It was a tough night for the riders as the above averages indicated. There were only seven clean rides out of approximately 50 attempts, meaning that five finalists were chosen at random to fill out the 12-man field for the finals. One of those five, Tyler Johnston, won the final round with an 88.
“It happens a lot more than it should,” Ford said. ‘Every event we’re having to draw back. This was a pretty good bunch of bulls.”
Before the start of the competition, past world champions Cody Hancock, Wesley Silcox, B.J. Schumacher and J.W. Harris were introduced to the crowd.
Unfortunately, none of the quartet was a factor, lasting a combined 17.2 seconds. Defending Xtreme champion Clayton Foltyn also had a rough ride, lasting just 3.4 seconds.
McTaggart, who has been hampered by a groin problem, hopes this is the start of things to come. He entered the event ranked 25th, and the win should enable him to jump a few spots in the world rankings.
“I think so,” McTaggart said when asked if this could give him some momentum. “I’m excited to have my summer start like this.”
NOTES: The crowd of 6,628 was more than a thousand above last year’s opening night … Virginia City’s Lacy J. Dalton sang the national anthem … Douglas Duncan, the leader in the world rankings, was a no show … Tonight is the official opening of the 90th annual Reno Rodeo, though some competition in tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping was held on Wednesday… Bull fighter Eric Layton was flipped in the air by a ball during the latter stages of the event, but appeared to be OK.