You can always tell when the World’s Toughest Rodeo comes rolling into town as it does each year in St. Paul, Minnesota. Historically this is the last stop on the season tour and they know to save the best for last as the Excel Energy Center is the largest arena this organization and its cowboys and cowgirls see all year long. Not only do these folks bare no expense to bring you the best rodeo athletes in the Midwest today together but each and every year Tommy Jo Lucia and his team bring the best contract acts and support staff in the professional rodeo business.
This year was no different and the record setting crowds that poured through the doors both night’ proved that Minnesota loves the sport of professional rodeo. For those that were able to be in attendance, they witnessed some of the best story lines that any event throughout the country could write as historic comebacks and hometown athletes took center stage as the World’s Toughest Rodeo put on their biggest event yet! As soon as the doors opened and the fans were allowed down on the arena dirt you could feel the energy that was going to be unleashed as the second round was set to begin!
Whiplash Entertains The Crowd This Weekend
Even though there was the intense and exciting rodeo action that was happening down on the arena floor it was another man, well not really, a monkey that came in and stole the show at this weekend’s event. The ever so popular Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey made another appearance in Minnesota where he was “Knighted” a couple years ago as part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival happening the same time as the rodeo. Owner Kenny Petet has always said his trusty partner always loves coming to the frozen tundra to heat things up a bit!
Along with the popular monkey entertaining the 25,000 fans that made their way to the Excel Energy Center over the two nights of competition the fans that ventured out in the cold Saturday night were also treated to a fantastic country music concert to top off a very exciting event. National recording artist Granger Smith took to the stage to end the evening as the “Party On The Dirt” gave the rodeo fans a chance to come to the arena floor and enjoy this high energy concert.
Bareback Riders Coy Lutz And Joe Courville Getting Ready To Square Off
Tonight’s bareback riding event was one that, without a shadow of a doubt, started the night off on the right foot. All riders had their chance to obtain a qualified ride but in the the end there were two cowboys that outlasted their fellow competitors to receive the highest marked rides of the round. This is what it is all about as the top two superstars in the long go round have a chance to wipe the slate clean and compete head to head in the bonus round.
It was a classic match-up of great friends placing a school yard bet to see who could better the other on this fateful Saturday night. Although each wanted the title it was all about a good clean competition that these two wanted to put on for the 15,000 fans in attendance. Once the chute gates cracked open, the rides were completed and the arena floor was cleared it was one man that stood above the rest and tonight it was young gun Coy Lutz. Delila was his bucking horse that helped him to an event win and a rock solid ride.
Saddle Bronc Riders Cody Rud And Weston Piersbacher Advance To Bonus Round
The classic event of saddle bronc riding was next on the agenda as the action inside of the Excel Energy Center maintained its momentum. Weston Piersbacher and Cody Rud received the top two scores to be invited back to the bonus round in St. Paul, MN to see who would be crowned champion. Once it was all said and done it was Piersbacher who managed to come out on top and take home the title and the pocket full of money that came with it. Everyone knows that he could not have done it himself as half of the score is granted to the fantastic bucking horse. So tonight he paired up with a stout bucking horse that lit the fire for the fans heading into a dramatic bull riding bonus round.
Bull Riders Matt Pojanowski and Briar Dittmer Advance To Bonus Round
As the 2016 World’s Toughest Rodeo stop in St. Paul was about to wind down there was still one event that needed to be taken care of to see who would leave Saturday night as the new champion. Even though none of the competitors rode for the complete eight seconds in the long go round we had to have two come back and that was done by a random draw. The excitement and anticipation began to rise as we all waited for the announcement of who would be coming back for a shot at World’s Toughest Rodeo glory.
As the lights came up it was bull riders Briar Dittmer and hometown cowboy Matt Pojanowski that would have that honor of competing in the bonus round. Clearly the favorite of the 15,000 fans inside of the Excel Energy Center was Pojanowski who calls home Woodbury, MN. Jason had the chance to catch up with Matt Pojanowski before the start of the event to see what he had to say about riding this close to home and what it means to him. Check out what he had to say by listening to the video interview below!
When he climbed aboard his bull he could feel the energy that the passionate fans were feeding him. It was meant to be as the chute gate opened and they shot out onto the arena floor for what has to be one of the best bull rides that has ever been completed inside of the arena here in Minnesota. When the buzzer sounded and Pojanowski limped away to safety after being stepped on the crowd went insane as we all waited for the score to be announced.
After a few tense moments the music rose to a new level of loudness and the booming voice of the in arena host and professional announcer Anthony Lucia started to speak. He started talking about how special it was to see the ride that just happened before our eyes and that Minnesota should be proud as this talented bull rider just posted the biggest score of the entire weekend. As Matt looked up to the big screen of the Excel Energy Center it was announced that he had just ridden his bull to a HUGE 91 point score to win the Saturday night performance of the World’s Toughest Rodeo in St. Paul, Minnesota!
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