ProRodeo Sports News - Oct.4, 2019
WRANGLER NFR DEBUT
Matt Cohen photo Mitch Pollock traded baseballs for broncs five years ago and now he’s heading to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for saddle bronc riding. Pollock’s Wrangler NFR qualification was partially thanks to splitting the win at the Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo in June. NFR-qualifier Pollock switched from baseball to rodeo Arena of Dreams
BY MATT NABER T ransitioning from the batter’s box to the bucking chutes is taking saddle bronc rider Mitch Pollock to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. With no family ties to ProRodeo and only five years of experience, the Nevada cowboy quickly climbed the ranks. “I didn’t start college rodeo until I was 21, so I was a late starter to compete at a high level, but it helped me because I was more mature mentally and physically,” the 26-year-old said. “Not a lot of people know that. I did an interview with Steve Kenyon, and when I told him I started at 21, his mouth dropped.” The seed was planted for his future ProRodeo career when he competed in junior rodeos as a kid, but he hung up his cowboy hat as baseball moved to the forefront.
While most of his cohorts went to Pendleton, Ore., for the Pendleton Round-Up, Pollock went there to play baseball for Blue Mountain Community College. A shoulder injury in baseball there led to Pollock getting into rodeo. He transferred from Blue Mountain to the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls where he tried to walk onto the baseball team, but it didn’t work out. Although he didn’t have any relatives in the PRCA, Pollock’s uncle makes saddles and knew some bronc riders. “I was 20 years old then, and I wanted to ride bucking horses because my uncles did, so I went home on spring break and got an old saddle my uncle fixed up,” Pollock said. “I got on my first bronc and I fell in love with it. “I called (CSI coach) Cody DeMers and said I wanted on the team. And when he asked how many bucking horses I’d been on and I said just one, he wanted to see video of it.”
ProRodeo Sports News 10/4/2019
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