Rodeo fans like to root for their own, and a pair of cousins from McCammon gave their fellow Idahoans reason to cheer Thursday night at the Snake River Stampede.
Morgan Wilde had the second-highest point total of the night in the bareback bronc riding event. He scored an 80 on Orphan Child, and celebrated with the crowd after dismounting from the wild ride.
It felt real good, Wilde said. I was excited, because its good to be here in Idaho and do that good.
This is Wildes fourth time competing in the bareback at the Stampede, and hes never made it to Saturdays finals.
Ive always wanted to do good up here, but Ive just never had the horse, Wilde said. So, man I was excited. Hopefully, (the score) holds and brings me back Saturday night.
The odds appear to be in Wildes favor, as he sits in a tie for fourth after three nights of rodeo action. [0x14]
There will be two more rounds Friday night and Saturdays matinee before the top 12 riders advance to the finals.
Wildes cousin, Kip Lish, is sitting right on the bubble after his 78-point ride Thursday atop Sky Back Breaker.
She was kind of a handful, Lish said. I just went at her, and had fun at it, too.
Lishs 78-point ride has him tied with five other riders, and those six will all be crossing their fingers that they have enough points to hold on and compete in Saturdays final round.
I sure hope so, Lish said. That would be cool to ride in front of my family down here.
Either way, he was pleased to have made a strong showing in his first Stampede appearance.
It feels great, Lish said. It feels good to be healthy and riding great.
Lish, 21, turned pro last year.
The first year went great, he said. Won a little bit of money and made the circuit finals.
He said he knows his best days are still ahead of him.
I dont think Ill make it to the (National Finals Rodeo) this year, but Ill give er hell next year.
Wilde, on the other hand, still has lofty goals for this year. He is ranked No. 43 among bareback riders in the PRCA world standings with $13,230 in earnings.
A strong showing at the Stampede could boost him even higher in the standings.
A really good weekend could get me into the top 30, even top 20, maybe, he said.
Wilde, 24, turned pro in 2008, so he has a little more experience than his younger cousin.
But both riders know that their fate isnt completely in their own hands: The right horse can really elevate the points they earn from the judges.
A lot of those horses that are really electric, that really buck, they help you out a lot, Wilde said.
Thats why the 24-year-old Wilde was excited when he saw that he had drawn Orphan Child for Thursday nights ride.
He saw a cowboy ride the horse to victory in San Angelo, Texas, this winter.
When I seen that I drew him I was pretty excited, he said. Ive seen him on the road a couple of times and knew he was pretty good, so I was tickled to have him.
Thats how life is for bareback riders: Sometimes it literally comes down to the luck of the draw.
It can be really frustrating, Wilde said. Last year, I went the whole month of July without drawing a check. Then, all of a sudden, I drew a good horse and picked up a check. The (horses) are half the score.
And on Thursday night, the horses did their part and the two cousins from eastern Idaho did theirs.
I love the guts out of doing this, Wilde said. Bareback riding is a wild event. Your blood boils, your adrenaline is racing. Its addicting.
Chris Langrill: 377-6424