LOVINGTON, N.M. – It was a night of firsts for Brennon Eldred at the Lea County Fairgrounds.
The 20-year-old bull rider had never won an Xtreme Bulls event before in his career, and he had never held the top spot in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
Both of those things changed Tuesday night when the Sulphur, Okla., cowboy took the Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo Xtreme Bulls title with a pair of magnificent rides.
Eldred rode for 87 points on Lancaster and Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Blowing Smoke to place third in the first round, then posted an 88.5-point trip on Salt River Rodeo’s Good Cop to win the average title with 175.5 points on two head.
“The bull riding in Lovington is always great,” Eldred said. “This is the third time I’ve been here and it’s an amazing atmosphere. The fans come prepared and they’re hollering and screaming and the bulls buck so hard here. I was fired up and ready to go.”
Eldred was certainly ready to go. Both of his bulls were big buckers and challenged the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. In the end, he was clearly the best bull rider of the night. Eldred was one of only two men (Guthrie Murray had 160 points on two head) to ride both bulls.
“The pen of bulls was great and the bulls showed up to buck, and the cowboys showed up to ride,” Eldred said. “I just knew I had to stay on my bulls and let the chips fall into my favor. I can’t describe how awesome it is to have one of these (Xtreme Bulls) buckles, and it feel great to get a win like this under my belt.”
Eldred entered the night second in the world, behind traveling partner and good friend Sage Kimzey – the 2014 world champion. The $10,102 he earned will put him atop the world standings for the first time in his young career.
“It’s something I’ve been chasing, but I have to keep it up and I want to build that lead now that I have it,” Eldred said. “I want to get as far ahead as I can and keep doing what I’ve been doing. It’s one of the coolest things ever having traveling partners being 1-2 in the world. It’s something we dreamed of, and I believed it would happen, but not this fast.”
It was also a big win in the Xtreme Bulls standings. Eldred entered the week 11th, and should move close to the top 5, which gives him a good look at catching his buddy Sage for the year-end Xtreme Bulls title.
“It was really important to me to be up there and have a chance to win the X Bulls title,” he said. “Everybody wants to win an Xtreme Bulls title, and that’s definitely one I’m shooting for.”