ProRodeo Sports News - April 5, 2019

Bull rider Ricardo Gonzalez earned the most of any cowboy competing for the Mexico Circuit. Gonzalez left town after earning $3,791. PRCA ProRodeo photo by James Phifer

round, tying for second place with the teams of Paul David Tierney and Tanner Braden and Tanner Baldwin and Myles John, as they all recorded 5.2-second times. Gan Ruiz and Valenzuela advanced to the eight-team semifinals the afternoon of March 24, but narrowly missed making the four-team finals after registering a 5.5-second time. The last spot in the four-team finals was taken by Payden Emmett and Brent Miller with their 5.3-second run. “It felt really good to get into the top eight,” Valenzuela said. Gan Ruiz, who also resides in Chihuahua, concurred. “This feels awesome,” he said. “I got to rope against my idols and all the guys I see on TV. It is hard to explain, because I could never imagine I would be roping against my idols. It was an incredible experience. I was very nervous. When you come here (to the RAMNCFR) and see all the lights, it is something I had never seen before. “This is my favorite rodeo. I never imagined we would make it into the top eight. It feels awesome because a lot of people didn’t believe in us, and we showed we could do it.” As a team, the Mexico Circuit earned $12,920, by far its best performance in Kissimmee. Gonzalez, the bull rider, tied for third in the long round with Jeff Bertus, as each had 80-point rides and earned $3,032. Gonzalez also tied for fifth in the two-head average with his 80-point ride on one head, taking home another $758. In the semifinals, Gonzalez, like the rest of the bull riders in the round, failed to make the eight-second whistle.

He did not advance to the finals. “We talked about things as a team and said we are here, we need to give it everything we have got,” Valenzuela said. “We’re competing against the best in the world, and you just have to put all your effort and work into it. Competing against the best in the world makes you better and you learn more.” SUCCESS SHOULD IMPACT FUTURE Steer wrestler Carlos Ochoa, who has competed in all three of the RAM NCFRs for Mexico, is grateful for the opportunity. “We really feel honored to be here, and there is a lot of pride with our team,” he said. Ochoa added that the impact of his countrymen and women getting to compete at the RAMNCFR can’t be measured in money. “What we did this year (at the RAMNCFR) is a big deal for us,” he said. “The first year we came (in 2017), we really didn’t know what to expect. Then, the second one we did better and started getting things going. But this year, I know this was the best team we have ever brought here, and it showed because we did better. “This is going to encourage everybody over there in Mexico to hustle and try and do this because we proved we can do it. It is something we can reach. There are going to be a lot of people in Mexico who are going to try even harder to get here. The success we had is really trending (on social media) in the rodeo community. It is a great sense of pride, and we hope to keep getting better.”

ProRodeo Sports News 4/5/2019


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