SAN ANTONIO, Texas A year ago when bull rider Dustin Elliott came to the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo, no one really knew his name.
It didn't take long to change that.
Elliott won second at the 2004 edition of the Xtreme Bulls at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo as well as cashed in during the regular rodeo on his way to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification. He made the trip to Las Vegas in the No. 1 position and he left in the same position with a gold buckle.
The ability and confidence that earned the Tecumseh, Neb., resident a world championship came out loud and clear among a capacity crowd at the SBC Center in San Antonio on Friday night. Elliott walked away $30,210 richer with the San Antonio Xtreme Bulls title.
In the Coors Championship Round, Elliott posted the high score of the night 92 points on Guidry Rodeo's Hot Damn. He was one of only three riders to last eight-seconds in that round and it earned him $14,250. Prior to Friday night's event, Elliott was in eighth place in the Jack Daniel's World Standings. The money he won will move him into the top three. San Antonio has quickly become one of Elliott's favorite towns.
"I like the Spurs as a basketball team," he said. "And, I like this town because they keep paying me."
Bryan Richardson (Dallas, Texas) was second in the world standings after winning the first Xtreme Bulls last week in Guthrie, Okla. He carried that momentum forward finishing in a tie for second place in San Antonio. Richardson and Thomas Bert (Modesto, Calif.) each had 171.5 points on two rides. Because of how they placed in the rounds, Bert won more money with $15,105. Richardson collected $12,683.
In 2002 and 2003, Richardson edged into the top 15 and qualified for the Wrangler NFR with a successful ride on the final bull of the regular season. Last year he didn't make it at all. This year is starting out as his most successful ever and he is hoping to keep it going and do more than just edge into the Wrangler NFR.
San Antonio's Xtreme Bulls is part of the PRCA's $2.6 million tour presented by Coors.
While Richardson may be the most successful bull rider on the tour, Guidry's bull Hot Damn has to be the most successful animal athlete. At the Guthrie event, Jarrod Ford (Greeley, Colo.) rode the bull in the Coors Championship Round for 88.5 points. Ford took second at the event as a result of his ride on Guidry's bull. That is the same bull that carried Elliott to the 92-point ride on Friday.
"I've seen that bull a few times," Elliott said. "He's really honest, up and down and around. I was really happy to have him."
Elliott was the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) champion in 2001. He qualified for the College National Finals in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, he did battle with Chad Eubank (Cleburne, Texas), who was attending Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas . That year it was Eubank who finished at the top of the standings.
Eubank won the first round in San Antonio with a 90 point score on Andrew's Rodeo's Irks Me. He didn't make it to the whistle in the championship round but still managed to win $11,970 by winning the first round and placing fourth in the aggregate.