Repeat performance OK for Mote
OKLAHOMA CITY – Bobby Mote has been in this position before.
Actually, it was just two years ago during the 2011 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. Mote, a four-time world champion bareback rider from Culver, Ore., won the semifinals, then shared the final-round victory.
On Saturday night at State Fair Arena, Mote rode Mo Betta Rodeo’s Wind Walker for 83 points to win the semifinal round of ProRodeo’s National Championship. About an hour later in the finals, Mote matched moves with Southwick’s Rocky Mtn. Rodeo’s Hard Times for 87 points, a score that was matched by Jared Keylon of Uniontown, Kan., on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket.
The tie may go to the runner in baseball, but it goes to the semifinal-round winner in this tournament-style rodeo format. Keylon has posted an 81 on Rafter G Rodeo’s Assault in the semifinals.
“I guess that’s the way it’s been,” said Mote, whose only two national championships have come in the three years the RNCFR has taken place in Oklahoma City’s historic State Fair Arena. “I’ll take it any way I can.”
Mote actually squeaked into the Saturday night field in eighth place based on his two-round cumulative score – of the 24 qualifiers in each event, only the top eight earned the right to compete in the final performance.
“I almost went home yesterday, because I was fifth in the average; I thought there was no way I was going to make it back,” he said. “My wife talked me into staying. We went to the zoo today, and I got a text that I made it back eighth.
“With this format, it doesn’t really matter as long as you make it back.”
Mote actually rode three horses Saturday night; he was awarded a re-ride in the finals after the flank strap fell off his first horse, Painted Pony Rodeo’s Festus.
“He’s one they win on quite a bit,” Mote said of Hard Times. “I didn’t really know him, but I didn’t really have time to think about it.”
Mote is one of three world champions who won this year’s RNCFR title, joining heeler Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., and barrel racer Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas. Pozzi repeated her title, joining tie-down roping champion Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck, Idaho, in defending their 2012 crowns. Other winners were steer wrestler Ethen Thouvenell of Wittman, Ariz.; header Shane Erickson of Terrebonne, Ore.; bull rider John Young of Orient, Iowa; and saddle bronc rider Curtis Garton, a New Zealand cowboy now living in Louisiana.