Former UT Martin rider finally earns rodeo cash
Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 12:03 pm
LAS VEGAS — Gold Coast Katie wasn’t the prettiest girl in the bareback riding dance on Tuesday night, but she was just what Matt Bright needed in his second trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Bright, a former UT Martin rodeo team member from Azle, Texas, rode the Classic Pro Rodeo horse for 76 points, good enough for sixth place in the sixth go-round and a check worth $2,885. More importantly, it helped change some momentum for the Tennessee-born cowboy, who cashed at ProRodeo’s grand finale for the first time this season.
“It’s a pretty big weight off my shoulders,” Bright said. “After five days of not winning a check, it was getting pretty frustrating. It’s nice to say I’ve won something here.”
He hopes it continues because he’s one of the elite bareback riders in the business. The proof is in his opportunity to ride the toughest horses in rodeo in Las Vegas, home of just the top 15 contestants in the world standings at the end of the rodeo season. The NFR has the biggest purse in ProRodeo, worth $6 million over 10 nights in the Nevada desert.
It’s where cowboys and cowgirls battle for big pay. Go-round winners earn nightly paydays of $17,885.
Published in The WCP 12.8.11