Wyatt Denny wins bareback title | RecordCourier.com

Wyatt Denny wins bareback title

Wyatt Denny is the Resistol Rookie of the Year for 2015 for the PRCA in bareback riding.

No doubt, skill is needed to win a national rodeo championship. Wyatt Denny acknowledges, however, that there is an element of luck involved.

The Carson Valley cowboy saw it all fall into place Saturday night when he rode off with the bareback riding championship at the National College Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Denny finished No. 1 in the average by a three-point margin over Feather River College teammate Clayton Biglow.

"I was lucky enough to get a good draw all four nights," Denny said. "I was lucky enough to match up with great bucking horses … but you've still got to do your part."

Consistency was the key for Denny, who registered scores of 77.5 on Sunday (second only behind Bigelow's 80), 76.5 on Tuesday and then won the third go with an 82.0 on Wednesday. His effort on Wednesday was the best single-round score during the week-long competition.

Denny carried a 7.5-point lead into the short go Saturday night at the Casper Events Center and his 75.5-point score for the round was good enough to hold on for first-place. He knew the task at hand when he entered the chute for the final ride of the competition.

"I knew I had to have a 72 to win," Denny said. "I was on a horse that I'd been on before so I knew I was going to have a good shot at it. I just tried to have a businessman's-like ride … just a solid ride."

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There was no need to take any risks on that last ride. At the same time, however, Denny knew he would need a certain level of aggressiveness to earn the championship.

"There's a fine line between going full throttle and getting the job done," Denny said.

It was a lesson he had learned from previous bareback bronc riding experience, including his sixth-place finish for Panola College (Texas) at last year's national college finals in Casper.

As a high school senior in 2013, Denny was only four points out of the lead coming into the short go at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyo., only to receive an unfortunate draw that produced a 53-point ride and fifth-place finish in the average. Denny also tied for second-place at the high school nationals in 2012.

On Saturday night, he was able to celebrate his victory with the runner-up, Biglow, his Feather River teammate and traveling partner. Biglow, a product of Clements, Calif., won the national high school bareback championship in 2013.

"Clayton and I were 1-2 throughout the week … that's pretty cool to stay 1-2 with your traveling partner," Denny said.

Wyatt and his brother, Grant Denny, are also entered in the bareback riding this week at the 97th annual Reno Rodeo. Wyatt is scheduled to ride tonight at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

There is no rest after that, either, because Denny said he will ride Thursday at the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo in Utah, followed by the Wainwright Stampede in Canada this weekend. After that, he will be in Montana on June 2 for both the Livingston Roundup and the Red Lodge Home of Champions.

"I just love to ride," he said. "I don't want to stop."