Joe Frost had a good day at the Utah High School Rodeo Association finals. Maybe even a better day than the bulls.
In the final event of a clear day in Heber City, Frost watched the eight bull riders who went before him get thrown, bucked and beaten before the buzzer sounded. It may have been the best 10 riders in the state competing Saturday night, but it also was the 10 highest-rated bulls.
The day started with a bull named Party Time, and he lived up to his name. It took nearly five minutes to calm the bull down inside the gates, and his rider, Dillon Rydalch, of Grantsville, was spun off in less than three seconds.
That set the mood for the rest of the night, as the next seven riders met the same fate.
Frost's little brother, Josh Frost, rode sixth on his 16th birthday and drew the biggest bull of the night, Riddler. His gift was becoming the sixth rider in six rides to hit the dirt. Riddler seemed to calm down immediately and stare down the entire crowd.
The energy was electric as Frost got ready for his eight-second journey. The reigning bull-riding national champion and member of the Uintah Basin Rodeo Club had already come from behind earlier in the day to win the overall bareback competition with 78 points.
Frost drew Yellowstone in the final, and started the night as one of only four riders to get a score in his first two rides. All he needed to do was hear the buzzer with his hand in the rope.
Yellowstone went into an immediate bucking spin. Frost held tight until the buzzer, the crowd cheering. He made a full sprint to the fence and nearly jumped the entire wall.
Frost scored a total of 235 on three rides to take the overall average. He'll next represent Utah in nationals with the hopes of bringing the trophy back to the state. Utah took second last year.
"There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to make the whistle," Frost said. "That's what I came here to do."
Frost said he next plans to attend college in Goodwell, Okla., and will pursue a pro rodeo career.
Saddle bronc • Coburn Bradshaw of Beaver was one of only two riders to hold on Saturday, garnering a score of 79 for his eight second ride. He finished second in total points on the year to Tyler Baeza of Dixie.
Steer wrestling • Garrison Cannon of Dixie had a remarkable time, finishing first on the night with a time of 4.05 to narrowly defeat Baxtor Roche, of Bear River, who clocked in at 4.67.
Pole bending • Jasmine Jones, of Uintah basin, had the fastest time of the night at 20.288, but Alexa Nielson, of Juab, came from behind to win the overall event after leader Shaylee Thacker, of Lehi, knocked down a pole and received a five-second penalty.
Team roping • Taylor Winn and Quinn Kesler continued their dominance with a time of 6.49 seconds to win the night. They came into the state finals with a 14-point lead over the nearest competitors, assuring them a place on the national stage. - Joe Frost is currently the national high school bull-riding champion
- Frost missed 17 of the first 29 rodeos this year after undergoing two surgeries.
- His father, Shane, competed professionally, and Shane's cousin, Lane Frost, was the 1987 Bull Riding World Champion.