Tristen Hutchings claims victory in Red Bluff (Calif.)

Bull rider Tristen Hutchings practically needed a seatbelt strapped across the lap telling the story of his victory at the Red Bluff Round-Up.

“It was kind of wild and out of control,” Hutchings said. “I think anytime you score 90 points, it should probably feel that way and be that way.”

In a festive environment on a postcard perfect day, Hutchings delivered the win on Big Stone Rodeo Inc’s Dirty Dave, besting Braden Richardson (86) and Trey Benton (83) at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up.

“I watched a couple of videos of the bull and could tell he was pretty good. I did my job and had some fun,” Hutchings said. “That rodeo is awesome. It’s a unique arena with wild horse races going on, two sections of bulls, two sections of broncs, 12-to-18 bareback riders. So, there’s like 50-to-60 rough stock riders there cheering each other on. It’s really cool.”

Hutchings believes the win can microwave his season. The winter didn’t go exactly how he wanted after he finished third in the PRCA | RAM World Standings last season, earning $379,786.

“Getting back to the NFR and winning the gold buckle, that’s everybody’s goal. And that’s attainable,” said the 23-year-old from Monteview, Idaho. “This should get my foot on the gas pedal, and I need to keep it there,”

For Hutchings, the next few months will create lifetime memories. He graduates from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, on May 19 with a degree in agriculture. Then he makes one last appearance at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., in June where he’s claimed national titles. To make it work last season, he began flying to events. But that’s not really his style. He gets more uncomfortable in the air than on the road. Given the demands and his professional success last season, it begs the question: Why stay in school?

Hutchings did not hesitate when answering.

“I have done it for four-plus years, I might as well finish it. I told my coach, and I told my roommates that I was staying because that’s what I came here to do, to finish what I started,” Hutchings said of getting his degree. “It’s doable. There are only 10 college rodeos, five in the fall and five in the spring. It’s really only seven weekends where it can be difficult, where it’s a battle. But it’s definitely possible, and I wanted to show my teammates that they could do it, too.”

Other winners at the $360,755 Playoff Series rodeo were bareback rider Donny Proffit (90 points on C5 Rodeo’s Virgil); steer wrestler Bridger Anderson (14.1 seconds on three head); team ropers Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II (21.0 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright (87 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Yeti Rambler); tie-down roper Blane Cox (39.9 seconds on four head); and barrel racer Payton Schoeppach (34.54 seconds on two runs).

courtesy of the PRCA