Bareback bronc riding is traditionally the first event of a rodeo performance.
When the Fort Worth Stock Show’s traditional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show began its 16-day run Friday night at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, fans witnessed an array of solid bareback riding scores.
Austin Foss, an Oregon cowboy who last year finished second in the PRCA bareback riding title race, took the lead in the first round after turning in a score of 81 aboard a bronc named Tooke’s Pride, owned by the Montana-based J Bar J Inc.
Idaho cowboy Kash Wilson and Montana rider Jessy Davis are tied for second. Each cowboy turned in a 79.
Foss, 22, has been an attention-grabbing rider in the pro ranks over the past two years. Last year, he earned his second consecutive berth to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and finished runner-up in the world title race.
“It was an amazing feeling to step up that much closer [to winning a world title in 2014],” he said.
Foss is off to a great start in 2015. Two weeks ago, he won the bareback riding title at the Sandhills Stock Show Rodeo in Odessa.
“We start right over after the NFR,” he said. “Nobody wants it badder than I do.”
In barrel racing, Stephenville’s Shelby Herrmann leads after a first-round time of 16.75 seconds. Lisa Lockhart, who finished second in the WPRA world title race last year, is ranked second with a 17.00.
In bull riding, only one of a field of 12 cowboys made a qualified ride. That was Brock Russell of Rye, Colo., who is ranked No. 1 in the bull riding with a 77.
In tie-down roping, Sterling Smith of Stephenville turned in 9.9, the fastest time during Friday’s performance. However, he is tied for 17th place in the first round. Clint Robinson, who competed in the slack performance on Wednesday, is ranked No. 1 in Round 1 with an 8.4.