Texas bull rider Learmont earns career-defining win in San Antonio
March 4, 2015
Tanner Learmont couldn't stop smiling as he clutched his shiny new buckle.
The 26-year-old bull rider from Cleburne, Texas, won the Feb. 28 San Antonio Xtreme Bulls event with a score of 175 points on two head.
After tying for fourth in the long go with an 87-point ride on C5 Rodeo's Moe, Learmont placed third in the finals with an 88-point trip on D&H Cattle's Movin On Up.
"This hasn't sunk in yet," an ecstatic Learmont said moments after his victory lap. "Looking down at this buckle that is so beautiful, it couldn't have worked out any better. I had a strong visualization of what the bull was going to do in the short round. I didn't know the bull, but I visualized how the ride would go, and I think that's something successful people do. Know what they want to happen, and then go out and get it."
Learmont says this is the biggest win of his five-year PRCA career. In 2014, he earned $24,553 to finish 53rd in the world standings, and as of the beginning of 2015, he had total PRCA career earnings of $56,543.
On Feb. 28 alone, he earned a total of $20,022, which will go a long way toward his goal of making it to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
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"This win doesn't change my plan for this season at all," he said. "My plan all along has been to get to the NFR, and this win definitely helps toward that goal. If anything, this win lights a fire in my eyes to go out and win more, and lets me know that I belong here and can win."
As thrilled as Learmont was to leave the AT&T Center with a big check and a new buckle, he says someone else was probably even more excited – Colista, his wife of a year and a half.
"She's my biggest supporter," he said with a big smile. "She wasn't here (Feb. 28) because she is with her cousin shopping for wedding dresses, but I know she was watching live on the stream (on WranglerNetwork.com), so I probably have some missed calls from her. She's going to be stoked about me winning, and probably will be more excited than I am."
The list of men Learmont topped was quite impressive. His score of 175 points on two head was 4.5 better than reigning World Champion Sage Kimzey. Bobby Welsh placed third in the average with 170 points, and 2013 San Antonio Xtreme Bulls champ Josh Koschel was fourth with 169.
"A win like this will help get me down the road; you don't make a living by showing up at rodeos, you make a living by winning at big events," Learmont said. "This win will make it easier to execute my plan of getting to the NFR and winning a world title."