Guy Clifton, RGJ 9:12 a.m. PDT June 23, 2015
Texas bull rider Reid Barker came of age in Reno last year when he won the Xtreme Bulls event.
It propelled him to his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and, more importantly, gave him confidence that he could ride with the best.
Barker has been proving it all year on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and showed it again on Monday night at the Reno Rodeo Arena, riding the Flying 5 Rodeo Company bull YJC#2 for 79 points, the high-marked ride of the night.
Barker not only rode the bull for the required 8 seconds to get a qualified ride, he had to ride an additional 8 at least in order to get safely off.
"He turned back left into my hand and I couldn't get off," he said. "I'm glad it worked out."
While he said he had never been on the bull before, he knew it came from great bloodlines.
"It was a bull I hadn't been on before, but I guess it is the clone of a great bucking bull from the past," he said. The YJC#2 is an acronym for Yellow Jacket Clone. Yellow Jacket was one of the great bucking bulls of the 1990s.
Barker, 22, said his confidence swelled after winning in Reno last year.
"Winning here last year meant everything to me," he said. "It vaulted my career by leaps and bounds, not just physically, but mentally. It told me I could ride with the big boys."
He's hoping for one more ride in the championship round on Saturday.
"Winning this rodeo would be a huge way to start the Fourth of July," he said
Read more on this story via the link below from the Reno Gazette Journal....