LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Brett Stall won’t be making a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year, so his win at the Ram Great Lakes Circuit Finals Rodeo was about as sweet as it gets in 2013.
The 24-year-old bull rider won the first and second rounds en route to winning the average at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 16 and punching a ticket to his first-ever Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
“I’ve been here four years now and it’s a great rodeo in Freedom Hall; it’s packed and the crowd gets loud,” said Stall, who won the average with a score of 169 points on two head.
“I came pretty close to catching Sunshine (Schwartz) for the year-end title, and I couldn’t ask for a better year in the circuit or to be in a better circuit.”
Stall is riding high now, which is a stark contrast to earlier in 2013 when he suffered a labral tear in his hip which required surgery in February and led to him missing more than three months.
When he returned during the summer run, Stall made some noise before eventually finishing 25th in the world standings.
“On paper, I probably had a better season this year than last year because I went to a lot fewer rodeos this season and was still able to make good money,” he said. “I can’t be down on myself for a year like this, and coming back from an injury like that would be tough on anybody.”
Stall had no pity party. Instead, he went to Louisville with one goal in mind – making the RNCFR for the first time.
After scoring 84 points on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Joe Cool to win the first round, Stall took the second round with an 85-point ride on Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Handle Bars. Even after being bucked off in round three, he took the average title by 12 points over Freeman Yoder.
“Winning your circuit and making it to the (national) circuit finals is something a guy always wants to accomplish,” Stall said. “There’s a lot of money to be won in Oklahoma City and it should be a lot of fun.”
Since he won’t be in Las Vegas for this year’s NFR, Stall is readying himself for what he hopes is a big 2014 season. He says winning the RGLCFR has boosted his confidence even more and that he’s hoping to use it as a springboard.
“I’ll be ready to go in Oklahoma City and my confidence level going into this new year is huge,” he said. “I’m mentally focused and physically healthy and I’m having fun. I’m not burned out and now I have that craving and itch to get back out there and ride bulls.”
Other winners at the $125,566 rodeo were all-around cowboy Kyle Whitaker ($3,662 in saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and tie-down roping), bareback rider Kyle Brennecke (238 points on three head), steer wrestler Justin Morehouse (14.0 seconds on three head), team ropers Troy Kitchener and Antonio Savedra (20.6 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Weston Pierschbacher (248 points on three head), tie-down ropers Chris Neal and Jody Green (30.4 seconds each on three head) and barrel racer Shelby Janssen (47.39 seconds on three runs).