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DODGE CITY, Kan. â€“ Tim Bingham is on pace to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time in his young career.
On Tuesday night, Bingham took another step closer by claiming the championship at the inaugural Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls at Roundup Arena. The Honeyville, Utah, cowboy pocketed $5,261 on Tuesday night, pushing his season earnings to $56,363. Just as importantly, he moved up one spot to seventh in the world standings.
â€śIâ€™ve been in a similar position before, but not nearly what I am here,â€ť said Bingham, who finished 20th in the 2012 standings, just five spots out of qualifying for the NFR, the sportâ€™s year-end championship. â€śItâ€™s pretty much a dream coming true before your eyes, and itâ€™s not even finished yet.â€ť
Bingham won the first round with an 86-point ride on Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Centerfold, earning more than $1,500 for that. He then came back in the final round with an 85.5 on Frontierâ€™s Swamp Dog; he finished second in the round behind Jordan Spears, who posted the highest marked ride of the night with an 89 on Frontierâ€™s Kojack. Binghamâ€™s two ride total of 171.5 was eight and a half points better than Spears, who had a 74 in the opening round.
â€śYou have to be consistent enough to back up your first ride,â€ť said Bingham, who has victories this season in Spanish Fork, Utah; Clovis, Calif.; San Francisco; Sisters, Ore.; Salt Lake City and Elizabeth, Colo. â€śThatâ€™s where Iâ€™ve been struggling. I can get my first ones rode, but I struggle in the short round. Finally I got a short-round bull covered and won.â€ť
The Xtreme Bulls tour is a part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Money won not only counts toward the Xtreme Bulls standings but also the bull riding world standings. His Dodge City winnings will move Bingham from 48th to 23rd. He is in good position to qualify for the Xtreme Bulls Finals, which will take place Labor Day weekend in Ellensburg, Wash.
The bigger picture is the NFR qualification and a shot at the elusive world championship. Bingham knows he must follow a simple clichĂ© of taking advantage of every ride and every opportunity, but heâ€™s placed himself in great position heading into the final two months of the season.
He is scheduled to compete again Friday night during the third performance of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. A good showing later this week could make all the difference, and he has a pretty good track record in southwest Kansas.
â€śIâ€™ve only ever been on one bull here and rode it, but I missed the short round,â€ť he said, referring to Sunday nightâ€™s championship, which features the top 12 contestants from the preliminary rounds that take place Wednesday-Saturday. â€śI was one for one here, so now Iâ€™m three for three.â€ť
It all adds up quite well inside Roundup Arena.
Dodge City Roundup Xtreme Bulls
Dodge City, Kan.
First round: 1. Tim Bingham, 68 points on Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Centerfold, $1,508; 2. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,182; 3. Triston Boor, 76, $903; 4. Jordan Spears, 74, $624; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $438; no other qualified rides. Short round: 1. Jordan Spears, 89 points on Frontier Rodeoâ€™s Kojack, $1,875; 2. Tim Bingham, 85.5, $1,427. Average: 1. Tim Bingham, 171.5 points on two rides, $2,326; 2. Jordan Spears, 163, $1,784; 3. Tate Stratton, 81.5, $1,318; 4. Triston Boor, 76, $853; 5. Ty Wallace, 69, $543.