Collbran’s Wallace sets big goals for bull-riding season
It’s known as Cowboy Christmas, when cowboys can make lots of money with their sights set on qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo.
Around July 4, there are a number of rodeos scattered around Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and other places, and it’s possible for cowboys to hit several of those rodeos trying to build up their earnings.
Collbran bull rider Ty Wallace went into the Fourth of July weekend ranked No. 4 with nearly $77,000, and he’s currently still No. 4, now at $89,595 in earnings.
He’s been to the NFR twice and earned a buckle by winning one of the 10 rounds in 2015, but this year the 23-year-old is having his best season.
“I’m healthy. It seems like every year I have something (injured),” Wallace said via phone about his success this season. “I’m really confident in my riding and I’ve matured a lot. I’m just comfortable knowing what I have to do, and it’s such a mental game.”
As usual, the race for the NFR heated up over the July 4 weekend and the standings were fairly tight going into this weekend.
Garrett Smith of Rexburg, Idaho, leads the standings and is up to $113,476, which is an increase of more than $19,000 from his pre-Cowboy Christmas total.
Current world champ Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, has earned more than $22,000 recently and sits second at $109,096. Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah, made a big jump to third and now has $92,899 on the season.
Roscoe Jabroe of New Plymouth, Idaho, is fifth with $87,376.
Wallace is the only rider in the top 5 who wasn’t at last year’s NFR. After qualifying in 2015, a groin injury derailed any plans for a return trip in 2016.
Wallace said the there’s plenty of big rodeos from now until the end of the season, and big rodeos mean big money.
The top 15 in prize money will earn a trip to Las Vegas and the NFR, and even though Wallace is confident he’s in good shape right now, he’s not planning on taking it easy.
“There’s still a lot of money to still be won, I’m going to keep going,” he said.
Currently the No. 14 and 15 riders have a little more than $54,000. The 10th ranked rider is just under $58,000.
The season ends at the end of October, so there’s still time for the standings to shift.
For the first time in his career, Wallace admits that the goal isn’t to just qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. He’s going for the overall world title, which goes to the top money winner after the NFR.
“I never really thought about it before but I’ve never been in a position like I’ve been in this year,” he said. “I get the feeling there’s not as much pressure on me. I’ve always been trying to make the finals, now I’m in a position I feel like I have the finals made, so why not try and do better, and be the guy who wants more?
“I’m now in one of those positions to try to set a goal to win the worlds,” he added. “It’s a big goal. It’s possible, I think I’m capable of doing it, I just have to stay healthy and keep riding.”
In 2015, he placed eighth in the final world standings.
The NFR is at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas from Dec. 7-16.