Caleb Bennett of Tremonton, Utah, the No. 5 ranked bareback rider in the world, won Tuesday night with an 84-point ride.
Bennett is likely headed to his fourth consecutive National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in December. He is also third in the Wilderness Circuit, which includes Idaho, Utah and Nevada. The Caldwell Night Rodeo is one of the highest paying rodeos in the Wilderness Circuit, so any money Bennett wins here counts in both standings.
“There’s nothing like taking a victory lap in front of that crowd,” Bennett said. “That horse was outstanding and gave me a real opportunity. I hope I get to do it all over again.”
The rodeo continues through the championship finals Saturday night.
There was an Idaho cowboy who also had success in bareback riding Tuesday night. Tyler Nelson of Victor had an 83.
In the saddle bronc riding, it was Isaac Diaz from Desdemona, Texas, who got to make the lap around the arena after scoring 86 points. Diaz is seventh in the world standings and on pace to qualify for his fifth NFR. His traveling partner, Taos Muncy, was right behind him with an 84-point effort.
The bareback and saddle bronc riding features one round of competition with the 12 highest scores advancing to Saturday night’s finals. The steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and women’s barrel racing all have two full rounds of competition. Their times are added together with the 12 fastest in each event advancing.
The bull riders all get one opportunity to make it to the whistle, giving more of them a chance to compete. It also ensures rodeo fans a full slate of riders Saturday night. There were no qualified rides in bull riding Tuesday.
Wednesday night’s performance includes the Man Up Crusade to raise awareness against domestic violence. Everyone is encouraged to wear purple and special activities will raise funds to support local shelters. It is also Family Night where all children under the age of 12 get in free with a paid adult.