RENO, NEV. — Colin McTaggart won his first Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour event after three years of trying in his adopted state of Nevada on June 18. The extremely athletic pen of bulls made the Reno competition a survival of the fittest, and McTaggart managed to hang on when needed.
No bull rider was able to cover two bulls, and six cowboys had to be drawn into the 12-man finals to fill the field.
McTaggart clinched the title with an 85-point ride on Western Rodeo's Rough And Ready to win the Tour stop, presented by B&W Trailer Hitches, at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.
It was the first competition for new title sponsor Seminole Hard Rock, and McTaggart collected $11,336 in prize money.
"At every one of those (Xtreme Bulls) stops, it's in the back of my mind that I haven't ever won one," said McTaggart, who turns 24 next month. "To finally win one, it's a big weight off my shoulders. I wouldn't mind winning some more, that's for sure."
McTaggart, from Brentwood, Calif., has been embraced by Nevada bull riding fans, especially those in Las Vegas, since he started going to college at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas a few years ago. He also competed on the UNLV rodeo team and was a crowd favorite in 2007 and 2008 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.
It seems fitting then that McTaggart would finally break through to win his first Xtreme Bulls stop in Nevada.
McTaggart wasn't a favorite on paper, with cowboys such as reigning World Champion J.W. Harris in the field. However, McTaggart's 85 points in the first round held up down the stretch.
Tyler Johnston scored 88 points on Growney Brothers' West Coast Offense in the finals, but he was not eligible for the average title since he was drawn into the finals, so the overall title was awarded to McTaggart.
"The bulls bucked a lot of guys off at the six-to-seven-second range that were going to be a lot of points," McTaggart said. "It was kind of a weird night."
Strange or not, McTaggart will take it. He was outside the top 25 in both the Xtreme Bulls standings and the PRCA World Standings and used Reno to vault to 11th in the Xtreme Bulls and 13th in the world standings.
"I was surprised I would win the long go with (the score)," he said. "I had no idea I would be able to win the event with it."
Call it good Nevada karma if you like, but McTaggart is already heading down the road looking for more prize money.
The Reno Xtreme Bulls stop will be broadcast at noon (ET) on July 5 on ESPN2. The program will re-air at noon (ET) on July 25 and July 26 on ESPN Classic. Complete Reno Xtreme Bulls results are on ProRodeo.com.