Nobody likes a quitter. I'm just going to keep on riding. —Wesley Silcox
SALT LAKE CITY — For a bull rider, months of mediocrity can change in eight seconds.
Santaquin’s Wesley Silcox has been literally limping along this season waiting for a ride that will turn this season around for the former world champion.
“It’s pretty tough when you’re not winning a whole bunch,” said Silcox, who earned the highest score of the night at the Days of ’47 Rodeo Friday night with an 89-point ride. “But you keep going because it could change at any time.”
Silcox, like many cowboys, has been hampered by injuries this season. He broke his collarbone, which required surgery, and has a hip that’s sore most of the time.
“This year’s been a little bit slow because I’ve been injured,” said the 27-year-old, who rode Koma King for the night’s top score.
Silcox has relied on his cowboy toughness and the Justin Sports Medicine team to keep him competing. Cowboys admit they don’t always take the medical advice they're given, but they are more likely because the Justin Sports trainers and physical therapists understand that the cowboys can’t pay their bills if they don’t ride.
“They see us every week and they know who has what injuries and what we need,” said Silcox, who will ride in Spanish Fork Saturday night.
Despite his struggles this season, he said he has no intention of taking any time off.
“Nobody likes a quitter,” Silcox said. “I’m just going to keep on riding.” Friday’s 89-point ride was his best of the season. Minnesota’s Matt Pojanowski was second in the bull riding with 84 points. He’s enjoyed fairly good health, he said after strapping a bag of ice to his strained shoulder.
“I’m in the top three right now, and this is my best shot to make my first NFR,” said the 32-year-old. He’s had plenty of seasons like Silcox talked about having this year.
He gave some thought to changing professions, but not a lot.
“I don’t want to be a 50-years-old in my rocking chair and regretting what I didn’t do,” Pojanowski said. “It’s been one of my goals since I was a little kid, and I don’t want to give up yet.”
If a cowboy’s luck is going to change, it would be nice if it shifted in July. This is the heart of rodeo season, and competitors have a chance to earn a lot of money from the end of June to early August.
“We pretty much have a rodeo every day from now until the 5th of August,” said Silcox.
Silcox rode the bull that JW Harris rode last year when he won the Days of ’47 Rodeo. Harris finished fourth with a 78-point ride on Bush Baby. The 27-year-old is currently ranked No. 3 in the world and hopes to earn his fourth title this November.
The three-time NFR champion said winning only makes him hungrier for another title.
“I’ve got three and I want as many as I can get,” said Harris, who will travel to Idaho on Saturday. Shawn Hogg was third with an 80-point ride.
The results from the other events were:
Saddle bronc riding: Joaquin Real, 81 points; Jade Blackwell, 81 points; Sam Spreadborough, 77 points.
Bareback riding: Ty Breuer, 87 points; Joe Gunderson, 84 points; Richmond G. Champion, 82 points.
Tie down roping: Nate Baldwin, 8.1 seconds; Ryle Smith 8.9 seconds; Trampus Quarnberg, 9 seconds.
Steer wrestling: K.C. Jones, 4.1 seconds; Dru Melvin 4.1 seconds; Hunter Cure, 4.2 seconds.
Team roping: Jimmy Tanner and Shawn Harris, 5.3 seconds; Rob Webb and Dan Webb, 6.0 seconds; Pete Jones and Ben tibbits, 7.9 seconds.
Barrel racing: Benette Little, 13.59 seconds; Jessi Eagleberger, 13.89 seconds; Jamie Gee, 14.16 seconds.