ProRodeo Sports News - June 26, 2020

WOODWARD ELKS RODEO WOODWARD, OKLA. O’Connell increases lead with win

The No. 1 position is where bareback rider TimO’Connell feels most comfortable, and he extended that lead by winning the Woodward (Okla.) Elks Rodeo with an 89-point ride on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s PendletonWhisky’s Forward Motion, June 13. “I’m always hungry for a gold buckle,” O’Connell said. “I was hungry when the season started, when the pandemic hit and coming back.” With no offseason in ProRodeo, for the first time in ProRodeo history both the cowboys and the animal athletes are fully rested because of the coronavirus. “That’s another plus about this pandemic, if you want to call it that anymore,” O’Connell said. “Everyone’s horses had time off, and they brought their A-Team.” O’Connell and Forward Motion crossed paths at the 2015 Inter-State Rodeo in Coffeyville, Kan., to split the win with an 83-point ride. “I just don’t think my riding style had matured enough to ride her the right way back then, but she was just as good in 2015 as she was on Saturday night,” O’Connell said. Winning Woodward gave O’Connell a $3,218 boost in the PRCA | RAMWorld Standings. “The win was huge, every dollar is as good as gold,” O’Connell said. “Woodward might not be the biggest rodeo in the world, but it’ll be influential. On a regular season, $3,200 is a solid weekend, but that could really play a role in the world title.” As of June 22, O’Connell led the world standings with $79,913. He had a cushion of nearly $25,000. “I was red hot in the winter, and to have it pulled out from underneath you sucks,”

Phillip Kitts photo

Tim O’Connell won on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Pendleton Whisky’s Forward Motion.

rodeos are sticking their neck out for us, and we will support that.” The three-time world champion (2016-18) had one request of the sport’s fans. “If there’s ever a time to support the local rodeo committee and not go to the river and go to the rodeo instead, this is the year,” O’Connell said. –Matt Naber

O’Connell said. “It’s like leaving a heater at the blackjack table.” The 2020 season is unlike any other, as many ProRodeo events have canceled or rescheduled, and that throws a wrench in the works for scheduling and logistics for the competitors. “We will drive more miles for less money,” O’Connell said. “But the

ProRodeo Sports News 6/26/2020


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