Kennewick X Bulls title a Snap for Bownds

KENNEWICK, Wash. – A Rodeo Fame poll identified Chandler Bownds as the sport’s Hottest Bachelor of 2012 and while this did wonders for his self-esteem and raised his profile with potential sponsors, it is not exactly the meaning of “hot” that matters most to him these days at the arena.

With just 40 days left in the regular season, Bownds knows he needs to take advantage of every opportunity that comes his way if he is going to make his second trip in three years to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He needs to get on a hot streak in the Pacific Northwest.

Step one came Aug. 20 when he won the Horse Heaven Round-Up Xtreme Bulls Division 2 event with a total score of 165.5 points on two head. Bownds finished seventh in the first round, but came back to ride Flying 5 Rodeo’s Snap for 89 points and the win in the short go.

The Lubbock, Texas, cowboy’s total earnings came to $2,979, allowing him to move past Cooper Davis, Bobby Welsh and Steve Woolsey, into 10th place in the world standings.

“One of these days I’d like to win one of the big (Xtreme Bulls) Tour events,” Bownds said, “but everything counts and you just want to be sure to keeping adding to your total. I hadn’t been doing much good lately, so this sure helps.

“I took a few days off to clear my head and went camping south of Joseph (Ore.) on Lake Wallowa. We swam in the lake, did a little fishing … we didn’t catch anything, but you know how that goes, but it was a good break. A chance to relax.”

So, when Bownds arrived in Kennewick he was in a good place mentally and then he got a bit lucky with what came out of the random stock draw, “especially with the bull I got in the short go. He was real good.”

Bownds is not one of those guys who obsesses about scouting reports and statistics, so he didn’t know how good. He didn’t know, for example, that Shane Proctor had ridden Snap here last year for 89 points to win the Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo – by nine points over the second-place finisher – or that he’d only been ridden once in six tries this summer.

“Honestly, I didn’t know anything about either of the bulls I drew,” Bownds said. “He (Snap) worked out great. He bucked great … a lot of up and down spinning to his left. There was a lot of whip.”

The judges each awarded Snap 22 points (out of a possible 25) while Bownds earned a 22 from one judge and a 23 from the other.

Chris Roundy of Spanish Fork, Utah, was second in the first round and third in the finals to finish second overall with 160.5 points and banked $2,875. The only other contestant to complete two qualified rides was Dallee Mason of Weiser, Idaho (150 points). Trey Benton III of Rock Island, Texas, won the first round with an 84.5-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo Company’s Rat Patrol.

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