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Bowen holds on for Prescott victory

PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Bull rider Dustin Bowen was busy heading up and down the rodeo road July 4, when he received a present better than fireworks or hotdogs – a big check.

The 26-year-old native of Fredericksburg, Pa., earned a $7,221 prize after his 83.5-point ride on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Sandi’s Dream held up for the victory at the June 28 through July 4 World’s Oldest Rodeo.

“I rode during the first perf (June 28), and I was hoping that my score would hold up,” Bowen said. “That bull has been around forever, and they win on him a lot. Plus, I knew that Prescott is traditionally a rodeo where they don’t ride too many, so I was optimistic about it.”

There aren’t many rodeos throughout the PRCA season that pay more than $7,000 for a one-header, and it was just the jolt Bowen was looking for.

“It’s great to be able to win that amount of money for one ride,” he said. “Most of the year involves just getting small checks wherever you go – whether it’s $1,000 or $2,000 here or there – but being able to grab that much money in Prescott that quick helps out so much.”

Bowen, who now resides in Waller, Texas, entered the Cowboy Christmas run 12th in the world. The windfall in Prescott, coupled with some other large checks, should put him firmly into the Top 10 of the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings.

Bowen – who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER in 2015 – has already surpassed his total money won from the 2016 season, in which he finished 29th in the world with $44,416.

“Last season, at this time of the year, I had my shoulder come out at two separate times, and then tore up my bicep,” Bowen said of his 2016 woes. “I was riding really well last year, too, but those injuries pretty much ended my season.”

Undeterred, Bowen has come roaring back in 2017 as he tries to make it back to Las Vegas this December.

He won the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver in January, and then split the title at the Southeastern Livestock Exposition in Montgomery, Ala., in March.

Now, he’s adding to that list with an impressive Cowboy Christmas run.

“This is one of the first Cowboy Christmas runs that I haven’t been hurt,” Bowen said. “I really haven’t had the chance to go to a lot of rodeos during this time of year without fighting a bad injury or being completely out. I tried to not worry about it in the past and to know that I would eventually have a healthy Fourth of July, and this has definitely been my best.”

Other winners at the $237,805 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trell Etbauer ($2,838 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Evan Jayne (85.5 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Smoke Jumper), steer wrestler Josh Peek (9.0 seconds on two head), team ropers Chad Masters/Travis Graves (13.1 seconds on two head), saddle bronc riders Sterling Crawley (86 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Ropin Dreams), and Zeke Thurston (86 points on United Pro Rodeo’s Ropin Dreams), tie-down roper Caleb Smidt (18.1 seconds on two head), steer ropers Bryce Davis and Mike Chase (37.3 seconds on three head each) and barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (34.59 seconds on two runs).

For more coverage of Prescott, check out the July 21 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.

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