The Days of '47 Rodeo people called Mark McClure and told him the bull he'd drawn for Monday night's ride in the Salt Palace was injured. He could take a re-draw if he wanted. His original bull, he'd figured, was only worth about a 73, so it didn't break his heart to get another, even if he didn't know a thing about his new mount.
"He was juicier than I thought he'd be," said the Tennessee cowboy who rode the reride to the best mark yet - 86 - in the six performances of the rodeo.There were two performances left, today's matinee and tonight's 7:30 finale. Monday's event drew 8,298.
The reride bull was small but more athletic than bigger bulls - McClure likened his to a running back and others to linemen. "He had a lot of action at the rear and front end; a great big bull can't do that," McClure said.
The bull also stayed in front of his chute, rolling and bucking where the judges could see every twist and turn. "It gives them a good view and makes him look a little ranker," McClure said.
How'd he look from where McClure sat? "Rank," McClure said. "He kept blowing my feet, but I was doing the basics right."
McClure said he's scored 92s twice in his career, so Monday's wasn't his best ride, "but this is a good win for me; I'm borderline top 15," he said. McClure dropped out of the national top 15 moneywinners list in bull riding after spending two months out following surgery. He came back the first of June and had a good Fourth of July. He rides in the Cheyenne Frontier Days today.
Also taking the overall rodeo lead in an event Monday was two-time defending world champion bareback rider Marvin Garrett of Belle Fourche, S.D., who scored 80 to win the night's event. Travis Howe of Cedarvale, N.M., scored 79 Saturday, but Garrett beat it despite competition Monday from only three other cowboys in the event.
Another cowboy heading for Cheyenne after his Salt Palace performance was Farmington's Lance Robinson, who won Monday's steer wrestling with a 5.5-second time to 5.9 for St. George's Brock Andrus. Andrus' two-head time of 12.6 seconds is second in the second go-round that started Saturday. Robinson is third or fourth at 13.1.
Robinson, several times a National Finals Rodeo qualifier, had been in the top 15 PRCA money-winning all-around list until the past week.
Robinson, 33, said he plans to rodeo hard one more year, then devote most of his time to his Thoroughbreds. His first crop of 2-year-old racehorses comes up for sale in the next year, and if they sell as well as he thinks, he'll settle into that profession. "My kids are getting older, and I need to be around the house," he says.
Andrus is 10 years younger and never been on the top 15 list, but he's made a living rodeoing the past four or five years. "It hasn't been a real good year," he says.
Maybe that changed a little in the Salt Palace. He scored 6.7 bulldogging his first steer last week, and Monday's 5.9 was a good time "considering what I had," he said. The best time on that steer had been 10.1. "It wasn't one of the better ones," he said, noting this steer was stronger than many. "I had a real good catch and snuck by him," Andrus said.