Tanner Aus tops the leaderboard in Rapid City, S.D.

Tanner Aus’ day took flight when he literally took flight. The bareback rider caught an early morning flight from Tulsa, Okla., to Rapid City, S.D., hoping to flip the switch when he arrived at the arena.

“There’s good parts about it,” Aus said. “You just grab a little bit of rest here and there when you can and just hope to show up and turn it on. It worked tonight.”

By night’s end, Aus captured the win at Rodeo Rapid City (S.D.), collecting the $5,006 winning check. He topped the leaderboard with an 88-point trip on Muddy Creek Pro Rodeo’s Hot Mocha. The cowboy anticipated his matchup would present him a path to victory.

“Well, it was a horse I’d never been on but seen a time or two and knew I had a really good chance. She was just sweet,” said the 32-year-old. “She just bucked right out in front of the chutes. She hung in the air, and it was great. It’s everything a bareback rider wants.”

It marks the first win for Aus at Rodeo Rapid City, a stop he admitted to “always being a tough rodeo.” The Minnesota native was ecstatic about breaking through, noting his pride in capturing a win close to home.

“Oh yeah, it’s just great. I’ve been coming here for a long time and it’s the first time I’ve won it,” Aus explained. “This is one that I try to make it to every year and it being only one state away from my home state, it feels really good to pull up here, ride well, and get the win.”

The seven-time Wrangler NFR qualifier recently finished his fourth-consecutive stint in Las Vegas, finishing eighth in the world standings. Even as a seasoned veteran, Aus still believes the NFR can provide him with more knowledge and a jumpstart into the following season.

“There’s no better opportunity to test your metal than at the NFR. It presents every type of horse and it’s good to leave there feeling stronger and more experienced,” said Aus. “It makes a difference during the regular season.”

Despite the six top-10 finishes and a successful ProRodeo career, Aus is keeping his eye on a gold buckle. For him, it would mean everything.

“That’s everything right now. I’ve had years where I’ve been closer than others but that’s ultimately the goal,” Aus said. “That’s the one that everyone sets out on the horizon. As long as I’m healthy and still able to go out there, I’m going to keep trying.”

Other winners at the $166,886 rodeo were all-around cowboy Jase Staudt ($2,599, tie-down roping and team roping); steer wrestler Billy Boldon (4.1 seconds); team ropers J.C. Yeahquo/L.J. Yeahquo (4.6 seconds); saddle bronc rider Shorty Garrett (89.5 points on Sutton Rodeos’ South Point); tie-down ropers Britt Bedke and Roy Lee (7.7 seconds each); barrel racers Kelly Allen and Bobbi Olson (13.08 seconds each); and bull rider Chance Schott (87.5 points on Sutton Rodeos’ One Chance).

courtesy of the PRCA

More about: