Hayden bull rider comes up empty at big rodeo

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— Jake Booco was reluctant at first, but finally admitted it was a great experience.

Still, he had a hard time remembering fondly last week’s trip to the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Pocatello, Ida­ho, where he was tossed from both his bulls and failed to make the semifinal round.

Booco won the Mountain States Circuit Finals bull riding event last fall to earn one of just 24 tickets to compete in the event, but he couldn’t capitalize.

It still was eating at him days after the event.

“Everybody is saying it was good, that at least I made it that far and that a lot of guys never make it,” Booco said. “I’m not that kind of guy.”

Booco first rode April 14, then got another ride on Saturday.

Neither went the way the bull rider — red-hot entering the event — expected.

“My first bull really bucked, and I at least started out really good on that ride,” he said. “The second one was a pretty good bull, but I messed him up. I didn’t do my part. That is a bull I should have ridden any day of the week, and I didn’t ride him.”

Booco won’t spend long nursing his wounded pride. He’s off today to an invitation-only bull riding event in Nebraska.

“I shouldn’t be so negative,” he said. “It was really a good experience, a lot of fun. My wife and me got to hang out up there for a week and do our thing. I just wish I had done better.”

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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