Hindman ends up in front at the Rapid City Xtreme Bulls | TSLN.com

Hindman ends up in front at the Rapid City Xtreme Bulls

RAPID CITY, SD – Talk about an underdog. Clay Hindman wasn’t even supposed to compete at the Jan. 29-30 Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour event, let alone win the thing.

He was admittedly “way down” on the list of qualifiers – he finished 66th in the world standings last year – but it so happened that the PRCA called him this week to see if he wanted to fill in for someone at Rushmore Plaza.

So, the South Dakota bull rider pinned his back number on with pro bull riding stars such as Steve Woolsey, Kanin Asay and Bobby Welsh – and promptly took their money.

The 27-year-old from Belvidere (just 100 miles from Rapid City) won the first round with an 89-point ride before scoring 78 points in round two to lead the top 12 into the short round. There, he watched his traveling partner Cole Hermanson make a great ride for 82 points, which fired him up to get on Dakota Rodeo Company’s black-and-white bull, The Breeze.

The Breeze had combined with Jarrod Ford for 85 points in the second round, and Hindman was prepared for the fast, flat spin and change of direction the bull offered. His 86-point score brought a roar from the local crowd and made Hindman the average champion by nearly 10 points over Jarrod Ford, who’d posted 82 points on Dakota’s Slim Biscuits in the short round. The win netted Hindman a cool $6,995.

That was a career-best paycheck and about 36 percent of what he earned during the entire 2009 season. It also moved him to fifth in the Xtreme Bulls standings and 10th in the world standings.

“I’d seen Jarrod ride him and thought he was really good,” Hindman said. “I was just wondering if he was going to turn back or not.”

Hindman said he felt no pressure at all, despite the good earlier ride by Ford and the hopeful eyes of all his friends and family.

“Cole just told me to get after it and give it all I had,” Hindman told the Rapid City Journal. “I was hoping it would come together for me this weekend, and I thought it could soon, because I’ve been riding well. I’m sure glad it did. With my friends and family (being in the stands), this is hard to top.”

Hindman started getting on bucking bulls at 12 years of age and works as a carpenter, along with doing some ranch work, in his spare time. He’s hoping to make his own debut at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2010, and will try to make further strides toward that goal Friday, when he’s up at the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo.

Rapid City was the second stop on this year’s 10-event PRCA Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour, presented by B&W Hitches, which offers a combined purse of $530,000 that counts toward the PRCA World Standings and qualification to the Wrangler NFR. The Tour finale is scheduled for Sept. 4 in Ellensburg, Wash. The event can be seen via Webcast for two weeks at http://www.ESPN360.com, or by clicking on the link at http://www.prorodeo.com.

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