Oregon cowboy rides bronc to $30K at National Finals Rodeo

Oregon cowboy rides bronc to $30K at National Finals Rodeo »Play Video
Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore. rides to a first place finish in the bareback riding competition during the sixth go-round of the National Finals Rodeo, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

LAS VEGAS, Ore. - An Oregon cowboy rode a bucking bronc named Wise Guy to $30,000 in prizes through Tuesday night at the Wrangle National Finals Rodeo.

Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore., hadn’t competed on a bucking bronc since suffering broken ribs and an internal injury in August before returning to competition at the Super Bowl of rodeos on Dec. 1.

Even then, Mote went winless in the first few rounds in Las Vegas.

That changed Tuesday, when Mote scored 87 points aboard a bronc named Wise Guy to win the sixth round and bring his total on the week to nearly $30,000.

“Wise Guy, owned by Classic Pro Rodeo, is a legend in bareback riding,” said Mote. “You’ve got to draw a great bronc here because everyone is on top of their game and it’s great competition. It feels good when you get a chance to win.”

The summer’s injury likely eliminated the four-time world champion from a shot at a third straight world title, according to rodeo insiders.

Competition continues in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Dec. 7, with the seventh round kicking off at 6:45 p.m. PST.

Knowles finds success in steer wrestling

Another Oregon cowboy with success at Nationals is Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Ore.

Knowles tied Jason Miller of Lance Creek, Wyo., for first in the opening round of steer wrestling, then won in 3.3 seconds in the second round.

The wins pushed Knowles to season's winnings of $107,139.

"Everyone here is as competitive as it gets," Knowles said. "So, when you see a 3.3, they want to be 3.2, and you've got guys behind you like Luke and Dean and Jason. They're going to be coming at you, and I'd be coming at them just as hard.

"We're off to a great start. I got hurt in late July and didn't do very good all fall. I just mentally wasn't ready, and physically it held me back. I feel as healthy as I've been since that day, and it feels great to open up and go at them and do my job as best as I can."