Winning the PRCA Division 1 Xtreme Bulls event in Ellensburg, Wash., has always been a primary goal for bull rider Braden Richardson.
But the Texas cowboy never had much luck in accomplishing that mission – until Saturday night.
Richardson, the last rider out in the short round, had an 84-point ride on Outlawbuckers Rodeo’s Wild Child to win the two-head average with 173 points, earning more than $38,000.
“This feels amazing,” said Richardson, 26. “It is hard to believe because I always wanted to win it and now it’s here.”
The victory could not have come at a better time for Richardson. He was sitting 20th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $55,743. The win rocketed him into the top 10 as he earned $38,273.
“That’s the most money I have ever won at a PRCA rodeo, by far,” Richardson said. “I was on the bubble by about $10,000, and this should bump me up there in the standings. It’s starting to sink in, and I can’t believe it.”
Richardson just missed breaking the record for most money earned at an Xtreme Bulls event. Jordan Spears holds that mark at $39,386 when he won the Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale in Ellensburg in 2017.
“I had never been on Wild Child before,” said Richardson, who is trying to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time. “It was a lot of hanging on, and the bull didn’t really have a set pattern. He didn’t do his normal trip. Man, I was just hanging on. I don’t really know how else to explain it. If I could make it to the NFR, that would mean I would achieve the dream I have had since I was 12 years old, when I started riding bucking bulls.”
Richardson and six-time world champion Sage Kimzey were the only two riders to stay on two bulls. Kimzey, who leads the world standings, won the short round with an 88-point ride on Corey & Lange Rodeo’s Billy Hell and finished second in the average with 171 points.
Check out Ellensburg Xtreme Bulls results
Richardson put his victory in motion by winning the long round with an 89-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Not Today, which earned him $10,364.
“In the short round, I just tried to keep the same mindset as I had in the first round, and that was just do my job,” he said. “I had no nerves. Honestly, I didn’t even hear the whistle because the crowd was so loud, it was crazy.”
With his win, Richardson joins Clayton Sellars (San Angelo, Texas, and Reno, Nev.), Fletcher Jowers (Austin, Texas), Dustin Boquet (San Antonio), T.J. Gray (Del Rio, Texas), J.B. Mauney and Sage Kimzey (tied at Spanish Fork, Utah), and Creek Young (Lovington, N.M.) as winners on the 2021 Division 1 Xtreme Bulls Tour.
Richardson wasn’t in the top 20 in the Xtreme Bulls Standings, but he moved into the top five. He will try and add to his windfall when he competes in the Ellensburg Rodeo Sunday.
“I want to just keep this momentum going,” he said.
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