After his debut appearance at the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge in December in Las Vegas, Garrett Shadbolt sought to improve his craft.
The Merriman, Neb., cowboy stuck to his word, claiming his first victory of the 2022 season at Rodeo Rapid City (S.D.), Feb. 4.
Shadbolt topped the bareback riding leaderboard at the 2022 PRCA Playoff Series rodeo with an 89-point ride on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Game Trail. He liked his chances after the horse took flight.
“He left there with a couple of big jumps and was really getting a lot of airtime,” Shadbolt said. “That first jump, he let it go and jumped way up in the air. I just threw that free arm straight back and set in there and knew things were going to be good.”
After failing to make it out of the qualifying rounds in Fort Worth, Texas, Shadbolt hoped to use Rapid City as an opportunity to remain in the mix in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, which he did after earning $5,041.
“This is really big for me because I didn’t get a lot done in Fort Worth,” Shadbolt said. “Everyone else was winning some money down there and I really wanted to make up for it and I think I did in Rapid City. That’s going to keep me in the wolfpack with all these top guys. I want to be right up there with them trying to beat them.”
Over his five-year career, Shadbolt has climbed the ladder each season in his world standings position, including his most recent fifth-place finish in 2021. The bareback rider credits his gains to film study.
“It’s just about continuously improving on your craft. I spend a lot of time analyzing my rides. I put a lot into just trying to improve,” Shadbolt said. “I don’t want to plateau. I want to keep improving.”
Shadbolt’s next stop is at the San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show and Rodeo, which begins Feb. 10, where he hopes to build off his recent success.
“For me, making that ride in Rapid City, it highlighted the way I want to be riding this year, the way I know I can be, and I hope to keep riding that well,” he said.
Other winners at the $189,332 rodeo were all-around cowboy Riley Wakefield ($1,698, tie-down, steer wrestling and team roping); steer wrestler Blake Knowles (3.8 seconds); team ropers Jake Cooper/Sid Sporer (4.2 seconds); saddle bronc riders Shorty Garrett (85.5 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Spark Plug) and Riggin Smith (85.5 points on Burch Rodeo’s Pip Squeak); tie-down roper Dallen McIntire (8.1 seconds); barrel racer Ari-Anna Flynn (13.05 seconds); and bull riders JR Stratford (87 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Rock N Roll Fantasy) and Tristan O’Neal (87 points on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Law Dog).
The information enclosed in this release is courtesy of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)