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Saddle bronc rider Elshere scores 93.5 points

by Matt Naber | Feb 01, 2019

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere made PRCA history when he scored 93.5 points on Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic From Hell at the PRCA Xtreme Broncs Match in Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 30. 

His score was the third highest in ProRodeo history. The only cowboys to top Elshere’s score at a PRCA event are Doug Vold on Franklin’s Transport in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, and Glen O’Neill on Franklin’s Airwolf in Innisfail, Alberta, in 1996, both with 95-point rides, and Jeremy Harden on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Cool Alley in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, in 2003, and Spencer Wright in 2015 on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Rebel Soul in Austin, Texas, both with 94-point rides. 

Elshere wasn’t sure how the 93.5-point ride happened.

“I’m not real sure, but it was the right horse, I guess,” Elshere said. “Some days are chicken and some days are feathers, and you just hope for the best.”

Now, Elshere’s name goes into the PRCA record book. 

“I guess that’s pretty neat,” Elshere said. “It (the ride) felt good, I was just happy I didn’t fall off. I was a little surprised (with the score), I guess, you just never know what they (the judges) are going to see or think, so you hope for the best and I guess it worked out.”

Elshere, 39, brought 19 years of ProRodeo competition experience to Rapid City. The South Dakota cowboy qualified for the Wrangler NFR four times (2006, 2008-10) and ended the 2018 season on the bubble, ranked 16th with $75,774, a mere $367 shy of making his fifth Wrangler NFR qualification.

“Everything happens for a reason, so you go with the flow.”
Elshere’s ProRodeo career began in 2000.

“Things are little bit slower now, I don’t go hard and travel much,” Elshere said, adding that he stays in shape by riding and starting colts. “I’m riding all day long, and that keeps me in shape.” 

Lunatic From Hell was voted top saddle bronc in the 2018 PRCA | Pendleton Whisky “Let er’ Buck” awards. 

Standing at about 15.3 hands tall and weighing 1,350 pounds, the 10-year-old, light-colored bay gelding has improved with age. Lunatic From Hell ranked among the top 3 saddle broncs of the year in 2014 and 2015. Clay Elliott placed fifth on him during Round 10 of the 2017 Wrangler NFR with 83.5 points. In 2018, he was the top bronc in Clovis, Calif., for Jake Wright and in Fort Pierre, S.D., for Wade Sundell – both with 87-point rides.

Last year, Dusty Hausauer won the Deadwood (S.D.) Days of ’76 Rodeo with 89 points on the bronc. A few days later, Allen Boore won the Home On The Range Champions Ride in Sentinel Butte, N.D., with 92 points and Dawson Hay made a 92.5-point ride at the United States Open Xtreme Broncs Match in Faith, S.D.

Lunatic took CoBurn Bradshaw for an 87.5-point ride in Round 5 of the 2018 Wrangler NFR and bucked off Taos Muncy in Round 10. 

Knowing Lunatic From Hell’s reputation, Elshere was excited for his draw.

“I was pretty happy,” Elshere said. “Any of them in that short round would have been good to have, but I was tickled to have him. I was hoping he would have his normal day and he did. I just had to try to beat him to the ground and not get behind or stub a toe, because if you do he can sure buck you off.”

Elshere also won the first round at Rapid City with an 89-point ride on Pro Rodeo’s Spider Woman. His efforts in Rapid City were worth $5,912. Before his win in Rapid City, he was sitting eighth in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $12,375. 

As of Feb. 1, he wasn’t sure if he would make a run for the Wrangler NFR or not. 

“But I’ll know after Houston,” he said. 

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