Bronc Big Tex switches events, still produces winning ride at Rio Rancho, NM
RIO RANCHO, NM – When saddle bronc rider Alex Wright saw his draw for the New Mexico Stampede, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
“I saw ‘Big Tex,’ and I didn’t make the connection at first,” Wright said. “I asked around if anybody knew about this horse and I was told that, yeah, ‘Big Tex was the bareback horse of the year in 2010,’ and I was going to be the first guy to ride him with a saddle.”
Wright had to widen out his list of usual sources to get a scouting report, going to bareback riders Kaycee Feild and Tilden Hooper, who rode Big Tex for a world record-tying score of 94 points last year in Silver City, NM.
Although “they weren’t very happy” that Scotty Lovelace of Classic Pro Rodeo had taken Big Tex out of the bareback pen, they willingly passed along all the intel they had about the gelding’s tendencies.
“The main thing was figuring out how much rein to give him,” Wright said, “but it all worked out great. He stayed underneath himself, didn’t move much, and bucked high. I was really glad to have him.”
The 89 points he was awarded by the judges was enough to hold off Bradley Harter for the win by one point and was Wright’s career best in a PRCA rodeo.
Lovelace was just as happy as Wright with the outcome. He’d been thinking about trying Big Tex as a saddle bronc horse for a while and was so encouraged by what he saw that he is planning to saddle him again later in the season. For next week’s San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, Big Tex will return to bareback riding competition.
“There were a couple of things involved with this change,” Lovelace said. “For one, I think it’s best for some horses to go back and forth between the events, so they stay fresh in their main event. Besides, I had noticed he was starting to move a little bit when he bucks, and I was hoping the change of events might cure that.
“One day – not right now – I think he is going to be a saddle bronc horse full time. I’m not talking about now, because he is the bareback horse of the year, but one day. The thing is, we are kind of loaded with good bareback horses with Fancy Free, Scarlet’s Web, Wise Guy and Good Time Charlie. All of them are 10th-round NFR horses, and we’d like to balance things a little bit with the saddle bronc horses. I don’t know what it is: We just seem to find and raise good bareback horses.”
Lovelace would get no argument from the bareback riders at the New Mexico Stampede. Seven of them had scores of 85 or better on Classic Pro Rodeo stock, led by Jessy Davis, who won with an 89-point ride on Scarlet’s Web.
Lovelace even moved one of his top saddle bronc horses, Lori Darlin (Cody DeMoss was 90 points on her in Shreveport, LA), into the bareback pen.
“Lori Darlin did great,” Lovelace said. “The young rider who drew her didn’t fare so well.”
The other champions of the New Mexico Stampede were steer wrestler Clayton Tuchscherer (4.0 seconds), team ropers Ty Blasingame/Cody Hintz (5.3 seconds), tie-down ropers Wacey Walraven and Jon Peek (8.4 seconds each) and bull rider Myron Duarte (90 points).
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