RC Landingham wins in Montgomery

Landingham qualified for the WNFR in 2016-17. Photo by Dan Hubbell

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The road traveled for injury recovery has been a long one for R.C. Landingham.

The veteran bareback rider suffered a severe left shoulder injury in May 2017, and he’s been slowly trying to regain his top form ever since.

Landingham took another step in that direction March 16 when he captured the title at the Southeastern Livestock Exposition with an 86.5-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage.

“I don’t think I’ve ever won a check in Montgomery before, so it was great to get this win,” said Landingham, 28.

Landingham acknowledged his nerves were running high before he climbed aboard the highly decorated bareback horse, the 2011 and 2013 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year and the 2010 and 2015 Bareback Horse of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“I was pretty excited to have him,” Landingham said. “I tore my shoulder and missed last year and that was really the first horse that really tested my shoulder to see how it would hold up.

“I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how it was going to feel. I had a lot of stuff going through my mind. I had been on the horse a couple of times before and it felt really, really good both times. He was always a bucker. (Saturday night) I was second-guessing things and questioning how my shoulder was going to feel, and I made it a little harder than it should have been, but I was able to get the win.”

Landingham, who qualified for the Wrangler NFR in 2016-17, had left shoulder surgery on Jan. 5, 2018, and wrist surgery two months later on March 2.

The Hat Creek, Calif., cowboy initially hurt his shoulder at the Ramona (Calif.) Rodeo on May 21, 2017, and it wouldn’t heal on its own. He did compete at the 2017 Wrangler NFR but finished 15th in the world standings.

Following the surgeries, Landingham finally returned to action Oct. 1. Landingham was 13th in the March 11 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $20,122. Landingham earned $4,202 for his performance in Montgomery.

“It felt good to test my shoulder,” Landingham said. “I felt a little pain going across there, but they were mostly from mistakes I was making by hesitating. Every one I get on is a confidence-builder, and to get on one of that caliber really helped a lot. I have to keep building on it one at a time.”

In 2016, Landingham finished a career-best sixth in the world standings with $211,986. He won Rounds 7 and 10 and finished seventh in the average.

“I’ve placed at a lot of rodeos this year, and my riding is getting better,” Landingham said. “Most guys have been through injuries and have bounced back, and I have been down before and had to sit out. This shoulder has been a little more difficult than most injuries, but it will get better.”

On a personal note, Landingham is scheduled to be married Aug. 3 to Bliss Bidwell.

“In rodeo, I want to get back to the NFR, and I’m still shooting for that world title,” he said.

Other winners at the $104,038 rodeo were all-around cowboys Tim Pharr (tie-down roping and team roping, $1,805) and Bart Brunson (tie-down roping and team roping, $1,805); steer wrestler Austin Wake (4.2 seconds); team ropers Twister Vinson/Ben Gambrell and Tee Luttrell/Heath Williams (4.5 seconds); saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer (88 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Let ‘Er Rip); tie-down roper Kyle Lucas (9.0 seconds); barrel racer Sabra O’Quinn (14.34 seconds); and bull rider Koby Radley (86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Ugly Boy).