Silcox taking southern route back to WNFR | TSLN.com

Silcox taking southern route back to WNFR

Wesley Silcox has reached the pinnacle of his sport.

The Santaquin, Utah, bull rider won a coveted PRCA gold buckle in 2007. Now, he's trying to end his three-year drought of missing the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Silcox took a big step toward achieving that goal by winning the Feb. 12-18 Dixie National Rodeo with a 90-point ride on Smith, Harper & Morgan's Harlem Shake.

"I knew that bull because I've seen him before, but I had never been on him," said Silcox, 29. "When I nodded, I didn't know if I was going to be in the dirt or if I was going to be able to stay on. I guess the keys were I kept my hand closed and kept trying."

Silcox pocketed $6,119 for his ride, which came on Feb. 15 at the Mississippi Coliseum.

There's never been a question of Silcox's talent, as he has six WNFR qualifications (2005-08, 2010-11).

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In addition to his title, Silcox also was a reserve world champion to B.J. Schumacher (2006) and J.W. Harris (2010).

From 2012-2014, however, Silcox's best finish in the standings was 23rd in 2013 when he won $46,519.

"It has just been a mind game for me the last few years," Silcox said. "It's just one of those deals where bull riding is a mental game."

This season, Silcox appears to be turning things around, as he was 16th in the Feb. 23 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $8,903. His win in Jackson vaulted him up to fifth place.

"I have it on my mind now that I want to be at the NFR, and that's my goal," Silcox said. "I love to ride bulls and I love to rodeo. That's all I know how to do. I definitely have my mind on the NFR and I feel like it is going to happen. To get a big win like this (in Jackson) really helps you out, and when you have a good winter it's going to go well from there."

Other winners at the $235,059 rodeo were all-around cowboy Clayton Hass ($3,009, steer wrestling and team roping), bareback rider Tim O'Connell (89 points on Korkow Rodeos' Inky), steer wrestler Charles Harris (8.5 seconds on two head), team ropers Jacob Dagenhart and Zack Mabry (10.9 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Chuck Schmidt (88 points on Frontier Rodeo's Short Stop), tie-down roper Hunter Herrin (15.9 seconds on two head) and barrel racer Benette Little (15.34 seconds).

The team roping champions in Jackson are a pair of permit-holders from the University of Tennessee-Martin who have had a good amount of success in the past two weeks. Dagenhart, a 22-year-old header from Statesville, N.C., and Mabry, a 23-year-old from Peadmont, Ala., also won in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Feb. 21 and took the title at the West Monroe (La.) ProRodeo on Feb. 14. Those three wins alone earned each man $4,155 – more than enough to buy their PRCA cards when they choose to do so.

–PRCA