Upton wins again at Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals
LOVELAND, Colo. – Garrett Uptain is proving to be someone to keep your eye on in the RAM Mountain States Circuit.
Uptain left last year’s RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo as the all-around champion and he also won the average in bull riding. He returned this year competing in both the saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
Although the saddle bronc riding did not go as he planned, he was still able to pocket go-round money placing second in the second round and defend his titles in the all-around and bull riding.
During the final round Oct. 26, at The Ranch, déjà vu set in as Uptain was nearing the eight-second mark aboard Burch Rodeo’s Mobster, a bull that’s bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Just like a year earlier, he got bucked off right at the whistle, but he was able to register a 78-point ride.
“Mobster came around to the left really nice,” Uptain said. “I haven’t been on him, but I’ve seen him, and I asked Jesse Hill about him. He told me he takes a pretty hard corner so make sure to get around it.”
The Craig, Colo., cowboy claimed the bull riding average win after scoring 153.5 points on two head. Uptain placed second in the second round with 75.5 points and second in the third round with 78 points. He was the only bull rider to cover two out of the three bulls.
“My first bull, Fat Pat, of Rocky Mountain Rodeo was a really nice bull that came around to the left,” Uptain said. “I hadn’t ever been on him, but I had seen him a lot.
“In the second round, I just didn’t finish.”
The ag education major at Chadron (Neb.) State College will be making back-to-back appearance at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., the 2020 edition will be April 2-4.
After he graduates this year, Uptain plans to become a high school ag teacher and continue to pursue his goal to qualify for the Wrangler NFR.
“I want to hit it hard and try to make the finals,” Uptain said. “And of course, I want to come back to the Mountain States Circuit Finals.”
Uptain earned $7,081 in bull riding and $2,832 in saddle bronc riding to win the all-around title in Loveland with $8,498. Uptain also was the recipient of a prestigious award.
“The Richard Rule Cowboy Tough Award is an awesome deal,” Uptain said. “I was pretty excited to get an award that recognizes toughness and faith in Jesus.”
“As for the money, I’m going to use it to help pay for college,” Uptain said. “I’m glad my family was here to watch, and I have to give a shout-out to my travel partner, saddle bronc rider, Ian McGivney, for pulling my bull rope.”
Other winners of the $169,741 rodeo were bareback rider Logan Patterson (251.5 points on three head); steer wrestler Cody Pratt (17.1 seconds on three head); team ropers Jay Tittel/Richard Durham (17.8 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Wyatt Hageman (227.5 points on three head); tie-down roper Darnell Johnson (29.1 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Kelly Yates (47.63 seconds on three runs).
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.