Bo Pickett wins RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo again
In similar fashion, tie-down roper Bo Pickett returned to the Yakima Valley SunDome to defend his average title at the RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo and secure his second trip to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
A year ago, Pickett clinched the average title at the RAM CRCFR and not much has changed. The Caldwell, Idaho, cowboy won the three-head average in 27.0 seconds Sunday.
“I’ve had good luck here,” Pickett said. “The first round I knew I had a good calf from when we broke them in, and I knew he was going to be pretty soft. I just got a really good start and made a solid run, 8.9 (seconds) was winning the round when I went in.”
Pickett won the first round in 8.0 seconds and the second round posed the same scenario for him. Once again, 8.9 seconds was splitting first and second in the round, and Pickett finished in 8.3 to win the round.
“I had another really good calf – pretty much the same run – good start and made a good solid run. My horse worked really good all week,” Pickett said. “I just stayed behind the barrier and made good runs.”
Pickett went on to take fourth in the final round in 10.7 seconds.
“I had a second-and-a-half lead in the average and the second-place guy was 11 flat (Sunday),” Pickett said. “I knew I had some time and I missed the barrier a little bit more than I wanted to today. I kind of misread my calf and I went a little further down the arena, but when I got her caught, I knew all I had to do was tie her down. She was good on the ground, so I just made sure she stayed down to win the average.”
Pickett earned $6,337. His win came aboard his 15-year-old mare, Hollywood. Hollywood was injured in the fall and the RAM CRCFR was her first rodeo back since the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up in September.
“I’ve ridden Hollywood since my sophomore year in high school when I bought her as a 6 or 7-year-old, and I’ve ridden her for eight years,” Pickett said. “I have another horse too, and I’m going to pick and choose when I ride her. But in situations like this when there are good calves in these buildings, she’s hard to beat. I’m really comfortable on her, so it’s hard for me to get on anything else right now.”
Pickett’s return to the RAM NCFR in Kissimmee, Fla., in April is also one he’s looking forward to after his debut last year didn’t go as planned.
“I didn’t do any good – I didn’t rope good,” Pickett said. “I was 10 (seconds) on my first one and came back and tried to pull off a shot I didn’t need to, and I missed. So, to get to go back, I’m eager because I really thought I dropped the ball there.”
Although Pickett is a fourth-generation cowboy, he also played football and basketball. The offensive lineman was a 3A Snake River Valley Conference first-team selection his senior year.
“I played sports – roping was never pushed on me,” Pickett said. “There are so many other ways to make a living, but I was drawn to roping. My dad, Rich, taught me how to rope and then later my uncle stepped in and started helping.”
While athleticism may be the obvious crossover from playing sports to roping calves, it’s being coachable that Pickett describes as being his takeaway from sports that helps him pursue his goals in rodeo.
“Early on, I learned how to get coached and how to take criticism, and it’s helped me in the rodeo world,” Bo Pickett said. “A guy has to be coachable.”
In addition to his dad, those coaches are eight-time world champion and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Joe Beaver and Pickett’s uncle Dee Pickett, another ProRodeo Hall of Famer and two-time world champion.
“I’m not in this alone,” Bo said. “I’m sending all my runs to my dad, my uncle and Joe. My uncle has been a huge part of the horsepower part of it in the last few years, and Joe is where I get my fine tuning. They’re all helping me.”
Speaking of goals, the ambitious young tie-down roper has his sights set on big dreams.
“The goal I’ve set out for since I was a kid is my goal this year,” Pickett said. “I really hope to make the (Wrangler) NFR this year. That’s been my goal and that is why – for whatever reason – I keep going. Until I accomplish that I don’t see myself quitting.”
Other winners at the $153,154 rodeo were bareback rider Trenten Montero (245 points on three head); steer wrestler Blake Knowles (17.1 seconds on three head); team ropers Riley Minor/Brady Minor (16.7 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Tate Owens (235 points on three head); barrel racer Olivia Train (40.57 seconds on three runs); and bull rider Jordan Spears (173 points on two head). Caleb McMillan was the all-around cowboy ($2,988, tie-down roping and bull riding).