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Garrett Shadbolt wins two big firsts

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Nebraska’s most successful pro rodeo cowboy, Garrett Shadbolt of Merriman, has been riding high lately in bareback riding, to say the least.

This past week, Shadbolt won first at both the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte and Newtown, N.D., while increasing his earnings by more than $5,500 during the two eight-second rides.

Initially, he scored 85.5 points on Buetler and Sons’ Forward Motion in North Platte to win top honors worth $2,075. Later in the week at Newtown, he racked up 87.5 points on Baily Pro Rodeo’s Pop A Top to claim the $3,490 paycheck.

The two victories boosted Shadbolt’s winnings so far in 2022 to $60,631, putting him sixth in the Pro Rodeo bareback standings. He also won the bareback title at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo a year ago with a 90-point ride that set the arena record. That ride was worth a whopping $2,869.

He also was sixth in the national standings a year ago following the North Platte win, but his total for the year was $43,848 on June 20. Therefore, he’s won about $16,800 more so far this year.

Shadbolt finished 2021 at fifth in the world standings, earning $96,000 during the regular season and a bit more than that at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, where he placed in every other go-round. He was the only Nebraskan to qualify for nationals last year.

Earlier this month, Shadbolt won his pet event with an 83-point ride at the Wild West Rodeo in Ponca City, Okla., worth $1,849 and was second at Woodward, Okla., with 84.5 points that paid $1,883. He also placed second at the American Royal in Kansas City in May, scoring 85.5 points to earn $1,678.

His most lucrative ride so far in 2022 was in February in Rapid City, when he scored 89 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Game Trail and received $5,041. He also did well at the National Western in Denver in January, winning $5.200 while sticking three broncs.

He also won first at Batesville, Miss., and Lakeside, Calif., earlier this year.

Shadbolt’s wife, Katie, said this coming weekend he’ll compete at Granite Falls, Minn., and Kadoka and Clearview, S.D. Those rodeos will help set the tone for “Cowboy Christmas,” over the Fourth of July when an array of rodeos will be taking place. One of them will be Crawford’s Old West Trail Rodeo on July 3 and 4.

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