National Chance: SC bareback rider makes best of final CNFR trip

Home|Sports|Local Sports|National Chance: SC bareback rider makes best of final CNFR trip

SHERIDAN — Chance Ames couldn’t quite describe what it meant taking a victory lap around the Casper Events Center Saturday night. The Sheridan College bareback rider had just won the national championship — a feat he had chased for three years — but expressing the impact in words escaped him.

“I can’t really explain it,” Ames said. “It felt like it was too short.”

Ames has eyed that lap for three years. The Big Piney native qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo all three of his years at SC, but didn’t perform his best when it mattered most.

With two disappointing finishes — but more importantly learning experiences — in his back pocket, Ames approached his final one with a focused mindset.

“I definitely expected myself to win, for sure,” Ames said. “I went out there with the intention to take care of business. I didn’t really look forward to meeting a whole bunch of girls and going out and doing all that fun stuff. I just wanted to go there, do my job, take care of business and try and perform to the best of my ability.

“I tried to treat it like a business trip almost.”

Ames set forth from day one, and the results reflect that. Ames recorded a 79.5-point ride in the first go to put him ahead of the pack. Ames’ 75.5-point ride in the second go allowed the field to creep up on, but he swiftly reaffirmed himself as the rider to beat with an 81.5-point ride in the third go.

Ames saved his best performance for last, scoring 82.5 in the short go. While that was the third best ride of championship Saturday, the work done throughout the week gave Ames a comfortable victory.

Ames average of 319 positioned him 7.5 points clear of the second-place rider. He was the only rider to score in the 80s twice, and tallied 330 team points, which when combined with teammate Coby Johnson’s third-place finish in bull riding, the Generals placed fourth as a team.

Following the all-too-short victory lap, Ames returned home to Big Piney. He didn’t remain in Casper to marinate in celebration or come home to a large championship welcoming, and that’s exactly what Ames wanted.

The humble cowboy simply punched his time card and went back to work as a welder’s helper.

“It was just another day, and I like that,” Ames said. “I’m not real high on getting a whole bunch of publicity. I just like doing my best and rolling on because I think a guy can get lost in all that.

“… I got a bunch of phone calls with folks congratulating me, and the folks I see at work congratulated me and shook my hand, and we carried on from there.”

Ames has one more year of collegiate rodeo eligibility, but he doesn’t plan to transfer to a four-year school and utilize it. He looks forward to the professional rodeo circuit and whatever else the world has in store for him.

Bur Ames won’t forget his last CNFR. He won’t forget finally capturing the belt buckle he chased for three years. The small-town Wyoming rider won’t soon forget that victory lap in his home state that was all too short at the time, but will last in his memory for a lifetime.

By |Jun. 21, 2019|

About the Author:

Bud Denega joined The Sheridan Press in November 2017 as the primary sports reporter. He is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from the University of Wyoming. Prior to working in Sheridan, Bud spent time as a sports reporter for the Minot Daily News in Minot, North Dakota, before being a sports reporter for the Laredo Morning Times in Laredo, Texas. Email Bud at: bud.denega@thesheridanpress.com

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