Austin Foss is dealing with back issues this season, specifically a couple of herniated discs. So, he’s had to pick his spots on when to rodeo and when to, well, back off.
The bareback rider picked a good spot at the Mountain Valley Stampede, held from Aug. 3-6 in Heber City, Utah. Foss rode under the Saturday night lights on the final night of the Stampede and spurred out an 88-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s Rich N Fancy.
That was enough to split the win with Cole Reiner, who likewise put up 88 points on Powder River’s All Eyes On Me at the NFR Playoff Series presented by Pendleton Whisky.
“That horse has been around a little while, goes to saddle bronc and bareback bronc riding. He’s been to the NFR a few times,” Foss said of Rich N Fancy. “When I drew him, I knew that was a pretty nice one. I’d never been on him, but I’d seen him a couple times, so I kind of knew what to expect.”
Indeed, the ride went pretty much as Foss expected.
“He’s a little bit of an older horse, with a couple of different tricks. A few moves go pretty straight, and another is to go the left and make a circle,” Foss said. “He jumped out and stopped in the same spot, then jumped three times, and I knew he was gonna go to the left. Then when he went to the left. I was like, ‘Ah, sweet!'”
Sweeter still was the $2,989 check Foss cashed for the ride. And the first-place effort came against a top-notch field that included Reiner – currently No. 2 in the PRCA | RAM World Standings – Rocker Steiner (fourth in the world), R.C. Landingham (fifth) and Kaycee Feild (sixth).
For someone now at 33rd in the world, at $30,393, it was a banner night.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. Anyone can beat anyone during the summer. It’s professional rodeo,” Fosss said. “Things have to line up, and tonight, it lined up for me. I lucked out by having a good animal. A huge part of it is the animal you draw.”
Particularly so for Foss, who with his back issues needs to be choosy about when he rides. If he draws well, he’s going to do all he can to take that ride and make it pay. The four-time Wrangler NFR qualifier noted that reaching Las Vegas isn’t a realistic goal this year, so he’s trying to be practical.
“I’ve just been taking my time, letting my back heal up. But it dang sure is a good deal to win some money,” Foss said. “I’ll only get on ones I know I can win on. We’ll play it by ear, see how I draw, and go get on the good horses. I’ll have fun the rest of the year and try not to aggravate the back.”
Other winners at the $133,299 were all-around winner Stetson Wright ($3,164, saddle bronc riding and bull riding); steer wrestler Bridger Chambers (3.5 seconds); team ropers Jake Jarvis/Taylor Winn (4.6 seconds); saddle bronc rider Lefty Holman (85 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Good Lord Lori); tie-down roper Brayden Roe (8.5 seconds); barrel racer Lynette Clyde (16.97 seconds); and bull riders Ky Hamilton (87.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Flight Risk) and Stetson Wright (87.5 points on Powder River Rodeo’s No. 45f).
Article Courtesy of PRCA
Photo By: Amanda Dilworth