Chadron cowboy headed to college finals | TSLN.com

Chadron cowboy headed to college finals

Chadron State College cowboy Wyatt Clark will be riding barebacks at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper this coming week. He's CSC's only entry at the finals rodeo this year.

Clark qualified by placing second in the Central Rocky Mountain Region bareback standings during the 2014-15 season. He also qualified as a freshman at Eastern Wyoming College in 2011 and last year when he was a senior at the University of Wyoming.

He was not able to compete at nationals in 2011 because he was recovering from a broken collarbone, but he placed fifth in the final bareback standings at the national rodeo last June.

"I'm looking to improve upon what I did last year," Clark said by telephone Tuesday morning from his parents' home near Wellfleet, Nebraska. "I hope to draw three decent horses, ride them well and make the finals again."

He competed at CSC this year as a graduate student who also helped coach the rodeo team.

There are 39 bareback riders at this year's CNFR. Clark will be in the sixth and final section of the first go-round during "Bulls, Broncs and Breakaway" on Sunday afternoon. He'll be in the first section of slack on Monday morning and ride his third bronc in the Wednesday night performance.

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The championship go-round featuring the top 12 contestants in each event after all of them have competed three times will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. All the action will be in the Casper Events Center.

For the second consecutive year, Clark was the runner-up in the region's bareback standings this season. The winner was Dantan Bertsch of Casper College with 1,210 points. Clark accumulated 1,025 points and another Casper College entry, Dylan Wahlert, was the third national qualifier from the region with 950 points.

During the past season, Clark won the bareback riding twice, placed second five times, was sixth once and rode his first bronc to reach the finals at the remaining two rodeos.

Clark said in order to make the finals at the CNFR he'll have to receive a score on each of his first three broncs. That means he can't "miss" the horse out of the chute by not spurring over the point of the shoulders on its first jump, and he'll have to stay aboard for eight seconds before the horn sounds.

He said he's tried to stay in shape for the college finals by entering a few recent rodeos, and won the bareback riding at Abbyville, Kansas, and was second at Enid, Oklahoma, in mid-May.

–CSC Sports Information

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