Eagle alumni ride high at National Finals Rodeo
Feather River College rodeo alumni Clayton Biglow held the bareback riding lead for more than half an hour with a 90.5-point ride Dec. 5 in Las Vegas at the National Finals Rodeo, but settled for second place and nearly $21,000 to pad his lead in the world standings.
Biglow, originally of Clements before attending FRC on a rodeo scholarship, added his second paycheck of the 2019 NFR on Dec. 8 with a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s third go-round.
Two nights in a row, Dec. 9 and 10, Biglow won the fifth round of bareback riding. The first night he won with a 92.5-point ride. and the second night he rode Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Freckled Frog for 88.5 points to share the victory with Caleb Bennett and Tilden Hooper.
Biglow added another win Dec. 11 for the third round in a row, this time after posting a 91.5-point bareback ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Ankle Biter. Biglow remained No. 1 in the world standings and No. 1 in the NFR average at that point in the Las Vegas competition.
Friday, Dec. 13, proved to be a good day for Biglow. His performances cemented a dream run through the National Finals Rodeo. By winning the previous night’s eighth round, Biglow pocketed $137,064 in Las Vegas, and there were still two nights remaining in the big money competition.
Biglow took advantage of a re-ride Friday the 13th to finish in a tie for third place in the ninth round. That $13,327 payday helped him put a stranglehold on the world title heading into the final night of the National Finals Rodeo on Saturday.
The FRC wrangling Biglow put an exclamation point on the 2019 bareback riding world championship, winning Saturday’s 10th go-round by tying his arena-record 93-point ride on Northcott Macza’s Stevie Knicks to also win the average championship by setting an arena record and earning an NFR-best $243,891. In the process, Biglow set an NFR average record by riding 10 horses in a cumulative score of 886.5 points.
“It’s been a long 10 days, but it’s been a great 10 days,” said Biglow, age 23.
Another FRC alumni rodeo wrangler Jordan Spears, placed in the money at the NFR. Spears rode three of five bulls by Dec. 10 of the NFR competition. At the end the night he scored his first paycheck of the week’s championship.
Spears, originally from Redding, earned go-round money for the second straight night Tuesday. The wrangler scored 90 points to finish second in Tuesday’s sixth go-round.
The good rides continued for Spears as he rode five of eight bulls for 63 percent at the NFR. The night of Dec. 12, he earned 89.5 points to finish fifth in the eighth round, worth an additional $6,769.
Spears rode his sixth bull of the 10-day competition at NFR on Friday night, scoring 85 points on Corey & Lange’s Short Bus to finish sixth in the ninth round. He had placed four times and sat third in the NFR average race heading into Saturday’s final go-round of the 2019 ProRodeo season.
At age 27, Spears already has a total career earnings of $581,056.