18-year-old steals show at National Western Denver Chute-Out
DENVER, Colo. (Jan. 16, 2013) – There is little doubt that a future bull riding super star made his debut at this year’s Denver Chute-Out. Joseph McConnel, Bloomfield, NM, had the biggest win of his career at the Professional Bull Riders Touring Division Finale here on Wednesday night.
McConnel was one of the most consistent bull riders at this year’s event with 86.5 point efforts in the first and semi-final rounds. He then came back in the finals and rode D&H Cattle Company’s bull Western Show for 89 points, the highest marked ride of the event. He had a total of 262 points, earning the 18-year-old $23,656.
Just six months ago, he was dominating the ranks of high school rodeo earning three major championships shortly after graduating. He was the New Mexico High School Rodeo Champion bull rider which earned him a trip to the National High School Finals where he was again crowned champion. He topped his high school career off with another championship at the International Youth Finals Rodeo.
“I got off of my third bull and was just looking at the clock,” McConnel said. “When I saw that 8.00, I just about lost it. All of my bulls here were perfect. It’s a little unreal to win an event this big.”
The money he won here is likely to move him up in the ranks of the PBR to the Built Ford Tough Series. McConnell started his career like many of today’s top stars riding sheep, then calves and steers. He is now headed to Pueblo, CO, for the next PBR event and is hoping to add to his earnings.
Finishing behind McConnel were three former world champions. In second was the 2004 world champion Mike Lee from Decatur, TX. His total of 261 points earned him $16,464. Colorado’s Kody Lostroh, who was the 2009 world champion, earned the third place title and $8,871 with 255 points. In fourth place was the 2008 world title winner, Guilherme Marchi from Brazil.
Competition in the Denver Coliseum continues on Thursday with the debut of Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competition. The first performance of the rodeo starts at 7 p.m.
Following are results from the Denver Chute-Out Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division Finale at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo.
Round 1: 1, Renato Nunes, Buritama, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 88 points, $3,197. 2, (tie) Wagner Luciano, Coronel Fabriciano, Brazil, Mike Lee, Decatur, TX, J.B. Mauney, Mooresville, NC, and Joseph McConnel, Bloomfield, NM, 86.5 points and $1,199 each.
Semi-Finals: 1, (tie) Ben Jones, Boyd, TX, and Guilherme Marchi, Leme, Brazil, 88.5 points and $2,797 each. 3, Michael Lane, Randleman, NC, 87, $1,598. 4, McConnel, 86.5, $799.
Finals: 1, McConnel, 89, $3,197. 2, Lee, 88.5, $2,398. 3, Kody Lostroh, Longmont, CO, 87.5, $1,598. 4, Marchi, 82, $799.
Total on three: 1, McConnel, 262, $18,462. 2, Lee, 261, $12,867. 3, Lostroh, 255, $7,273. 4, Marchi, 251, $5,035. 5, Lane, 222.5, $3,916.
(on two) 6, Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, WA, 172, $2,797. 7, Lachlan Richardson, Gresford, New South Wales, AU, 170, $2,238. 8, Jones, 169.5, $1,678. 9, Jarrod Craig, Hillsboro, TX, 161/5. $1.119. 10, Cody Johnson, Kaufman, TX, 156.5, $559.