Junior Saenz scored 74 points to place second in bull riding at the Lakeside Rodeo.
The 2000 Ramona High School graduate was given the option of a re-ride after a 60-point ride. His score won that night’s performance and placed second to the 79-point ride of Elk, Wash., cowboy Zack Oakes. Three cowboys split third place with 71 points apiece.
In a rodeo bucking event, a rider must stay on his animal for eight seconds to make a qualified ride. Scores are given for the animal’s performance and for the rider’s performance, and those scores are added to give the rider his final score. If the judges believe that the animal did not buck sufficiently, the rider is given the option of keeping his score or making a re-ride for which a new score will be given if he makes a qualified ride.
Saenz took the re-ride opportunity after his 60-point ride.
“I knew that wasn’t going to place anything,” he said.
Despite being bruised while in the bucking chute, Saenz stayed on his re-ride bull for eight seconds.
“He came out and made two jumps forward and came into my hand,” he said of the bull.
Only seven of the 54 bull riders at Lakeside made qualified rides. While $1,809.18 of Saenz’s winnings will count toward circuit and world standings, the $235.98 that would have been paid to the eighth-place bull rider was split evenly between the seven successful cowboys to give Saenz an additional $33.71.
Saenz also earned “day money,” which is split among all cowboys who make a qualified ride during a specific performance.
The Lakeside Rodeo was the first competition for Saenz since he competed in the California circuit finals in November.
Last year, Saenz had a 90-point ride at Lakeside to win the rodeo.
He also won the 2004 Bulls Only rodeo at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds and won a tour rodeo at Lakeside in 2005.
“I get blessed when I come over here,” he said.
He plans to participate in the 30th Annual Ramona Rodeo, slated for May 21-23.