SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (September 18, 2010) - Brent Atwood nearly spun himself in a circle looking for someone to high-five when PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert walked up to congratulate him.
“He said, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing at those amateur rodeos,’” Atwood recalled. “He said, ‘You need to be up here where the money is. You ride too good to be going to any little amateur rodeos.’
“After that, it just made me feel real good about myself. I don’t know, I guess I was looking for somebody to tell me good job.”
And what a debut it was for the 23-year-old from Texas.
Atwood drew Iron Horse in the opening round of the PFIwestern.com Invitational and covered him for 87.75 points. He was the second man out, and his score nearly held up for the round win. Atwood ended up splitting second and third with Valdiron de Oliveira. Listen to the full interview with Atwood here.
Mike Lee won the round on Friday night.
Atwood took Twist Off – on the advice of Cory Melton – with the third pick in the bull draft. Atwood said that he could have made a safer choice, but if he wants a chance to qualify for the PBR World Finals, he’ll need to win this weekend’s Built Ford Tough Series event in Springfield, Mo.
One of five central region invitees, Atwood said it’s been a dream of his to have an opportunity to compete among the best bull riders in the world.
“When they called me, I was like, ‘Shoot yeah, I’ll go,’” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was 12 years old.”
Originally from Pampa, Texas, Atwood now resides in Amarillo, Texas.
Atwood said that he’s been working on a drilling rig during the week, and trying to earn his way onto the BFTS on the weekends.
In the past four years, he’s barely earned $1,000 at PBR events. In 2010, he’s made an effort to primarily enter PBR Touring Pro events. Atwood ranks 51st in the Touring Pro standings, but sits among the top competitors in the central region.
As a reward, he was invited to Springfield this weekend.
“Everybody talks about how it’ll play mind games with you,” he said, “and I just blocked everything out – just cleared my mind and nodded my head like I do at the (Touring Pro events).
“I’ve been on most of these bulls, so it (isn’t any) different. It’s just a little more money, and I’m riding against the top of the top bull riders. I went out and (did) my part – did all I could do – and let the judges take care of the rest.
“It was a little nerve wracking,” Atwood admitted, “and, like I said, I had to take control of my mind and just clear it.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Follow all the action from this week’s BFTS event in Springfield, including the second of five bonus rounds for the Top 10 riders, by logging on to the Live Event Center at www.pbr.com/live. The multimedia center provides live scoring, live photos, live blogging and event-related interviews.
The three-day long event continues Saturday night at JQH Arena, beginning with the second round at 7 p.m. CT. The round will be immediately followed by the Final Five Showdown.The event concludes with the final two rounds Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.