The last two times bull rider Cole Echols has participated at rodeo events in Dodge City, he left a lot richer.
Echols finished second as a substitute in the team roping and in the final all-around standings in last year's Roundup Rodeo to roper/bareback rider Cody DeMoss, then came back in March to claim a $43,500 check due to his success in the bonus round of the Cinch Championship Bull Riding event at United Wireless Arena to claim the title in that event.
"That was a good deal any time you win that much in one time," Echols said about his CBR win. "I just wanted to hang on. I knew I did my part, it was just a part of him doing his job."
The bull rider continued his good fortune a week later when he claimed the RodeoAustin PRCA Xtreme Bulls event to win over $60,000 combined that month, by far his biggest payday during that time frame. It also has allowed him to build on his confidence and move him to eighth in the current PRCA standings.
"I was just feeling confident and having a little money in my pocket and feeling good about life," Echols said about his career after the wins in Dodge City and Austin. "I don't know what has kept my focus: I just try really hard and just hang on tight."
Echols' good luck started just before last year's Roundup when the Louisiana cowboy helped Brady Tryan as the heeler when Tryan's usual partner wasn't able to make the event. Echols and Bryan finished tied for second in the final standings, winning more than $3,500 apiece for both riders.
"I didn't think much of it because if I had stayed on my bull in the first round, then I would have gotten the all-around because I had drawn a pretty good bull," Echols said.
Echols admits he is looking for a little bit to avenge last year's buck off, so he has decided to just again compete in the bull riding event.
"I really want to do good in the bull riding there and I haven't," Echols said. "That would be a good place to get a 'W'. I hadn't had a good summer in the bull riding last year and to win money helped me continue going to the rodeo.
"I want my good luck in Dodge City to continue this week."