Coughlin claims first place in bull ride with 71 points
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
Only two riders stayed on the bulls during the first event of the Northern Bull Riding Tour (NBRT) held at Prairie Village on Friday night.|
Andrew Coughlin, the defending NBRT champion from Timber Lake, won the event with 71 points. Logan Beckett of Rapid City was second with 67 points. Both riders stayed on the bulls the full eight seconds in the first go-around.
Even though this was the first NBRT event of the year, Coughlin has been busy this year.
"I have been to about 20 shows this year," he said.
Coughlin, 26 years old and a former DeSmet resident, has been on the NBRT for six years.
"My mom's family was into rodeo," he said. "Dad tried to talk me out of it."
One of the young, up-and-coming riders is Ryan Knutson of Toronto. A former high school bull riding champion and a recent graduate of Deubrook High School, Knutson had only the crowd's applause as his reward Friday night, as he was unable to stay on either of his bulls for the full eight seconds.
Knutson, who helped the Dolphins capture the State 9AA football title last fall, said the two sports are similar.
"You need to be aggressive in both sports to succeed," he said. "Football is a team sport and bull riding is an individual sport."
Knutson had to miss a rodeo last fall due to football practice for the Dolphins as they entered the playoffs.
"My parents were a big influence on me getting into bull riding," he said. "I have progressed throughout my years as I started riding sheep when I was a youngster."
Knutson is heading to South Dakota State University to participate in rodeo and ride bulls for the Jackrabbits.
According to Coughlin, depending on the health of a bull rider, they can be in the sport for a long time.
"However, the average age of a bull rider is about 35 years old," he said.
Coughlin has had his share of broken bones throughout his career.
Coughlin will be in the sport of bull riding for a long time. After he hangs up his rope and spurs, he is hoping his bulls will be the ones that will be used in rodeos.
For the Young Guns portion of the NBRT at Prairie Village, Couglin's stock was used for the two riders.
There were 13 riders on hand at the NBRT at Prairie Village and two Young Guns.