The grind of a rodeo season can be difficult to manage, especially as a roughstock competitor. With the month of July winding down, the Granite Falls, Minn., cowboy had a decision to make – take a few days to recover or grind through.
“I was kind of banged up the week of Dodge City (Kan.),” Aus said looking back to the Aug. 4 weekend. “The day I was going to have to leave, I was kind of on the fence and I thought, ‘If there’s a question in your mind, you might as well stay home and spend the time with your family and get recuperated.’ So that’s what I did.”
Sometimes, the horse unridden turns out to be the most important one.
Aus’ time away from the arena allowed him an opportunity to heal and refresh, which translated to a big showing in his return.
At the Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in Sikeston, Mo., Aus rode On Second Thought from The Cervi Brothers for an 88-point trip, good enough to pick up a win in his first rodeo back since the brief time away.
Aus knew very little about the horse coming in, aside from a few videos he saw online and some secondhand information from other competitors.
Despite the minimal intel, Aus was excited for the opportunity as he heard fellow bareback rider Garrett Shadbolt had ridden the horse for 89.5 points at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver earlier this year.
The ride not only gave Aus a much-needed victory, it also provided something he’s never had before – a victory in Sikeston, which also was a stop on the Playoff Series.
Despite competing at the rodeo nearly a dozen times, success at the event has been downright elusive for the seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. He’s placed several times at Sikeston, but never been able to secure the top spot.
With a new buckle in his collection, a healed body and some renewed confidence, Aus heads into the home stretch of the current rodeo season focused on what’s ahead.
Though he sits among the top 10 in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, there’s not much room for comfort with so many rodeos ahead and a tight margin between the competitors.
August certainly won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge Aus is up for. And, along the way, he hopes to keep making a little personal history.
“I don’t want to be that guy dreading the end of the month. I want to show up when I’ve got good horses drawn, capitalize on my opportunities and qualify for the Finals. That’s always the goal,” Aus said. “It’s kind of the time of year where guys are getting tired, horses are getting tired, but you can see the finish line. I’m just hoping to finish strong and I’ve got a couple more rodeos that I’ve been trying to win for the last 10 years that I’d like to cross off the list.”
Other winners at the $182,641 rodeo were steer wrestler Emmett Edler (10.4 seconds on two head); team ropers Clint Summers/Jake Long (10.7 seconds on two head); saddle bronc rider Brody Cress (91 points on The Cervi Brothers’ Womanizer); tie-down roper Chance Oftedahl (18.3 seconds on two head); barrel racer Summer Kosel (16.00 seconds); and bull rider Lucas Mooningham (89 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Vitalix Hard Knox).
Courtesy of the PRCA