Bareback rider Shane O’Connell eyes another trip to WNFR | TSLN.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Bareback rider Shane O’Connell eyes another trip to WNFR

It’s a position bareback rider Shane O’Connell is all too familiar with.

The Rapid City, S.D., cowboy has hovered around the bubble trying to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo several times.

In 2017, O’Connell narrowly missed the NFR, finishing 19th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings. The following year, he hung around the bubble before finishing 13th in the regular-season standings to make his lone appearance at the NFR.

Fast-forward to 2020 and O’Connell once again finds himself firmly entrenched in the bubble neighborhood. He was 22nd in the world standings as of Sept. 1 with $22,905. The regular season ends Sept. 30.

“I’ve been in this position a few times, and this is where I have to just grind it and start passing people,” said O’Connell, 24. “Everybody gets tired and worn out, or they may get a little sour of it, and that’s when I feel like I can excel and catch them. I just have to keep going and enter as many as I can.”

O’Connell has taken different approaches to being on the late-season bubble, and he believes he found an approach that fits him.

“You can sit there and worry about it all day or you can just keep having fun and let them pay you, and I’m just having fun,” O’Connell said. “I’ve stressed it out too much before where it’s not even worth it, and it makes rodeoing less fun. You just need to relax and let it happen.”

O’Connell is going to have a jam-packed schedule in the coming days. He’s at Cattlemen’s Days, Inc. in Gunnison, Colo., Sept. 3, the Magic Valley Stampede in Filer, Idaho, Sept. 4, the Iron County Fair and PRCA Rodeo in Parowan, Utah, Sept. 5, Evanston (Wyo.) Cowboy Days, Sept. 6, and the Yellowstone Riggin Rally in Darby, Mont., Sept. 7.

“There’s a lot of money still out there to be won, that’s why there’s no time to panic now,” O’Connell said. “There are dang sure some big (rodeos) left that will put you right back to where you need to be.”

O’Connell is riding some momentum after splitting the win at his hometown rodeo – the Range Days Rodeo in Rapid City, Aug. 29 to earn $1,633.

“I’d never won that rodeo before, so it was great,” he said. “I had a lot of family and friends there. I got on my first bareback horse there 14 years ago, and it was cool to win there.”

–PRCA


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User