Casey Heininger posted a strong early number Thursday night at the PRCA’s Xtreme Bull Riding event at the Bismarck Events Center.
The 22-year-old bull rider from Fort Pierre, S.D., rode Chills & Thrills to a score of 87.5 points.
The score stood until the tail end of the show when Texan Tristan Mize delivered the winning ride. Mize rode Bailey Rodeo’s Secret Agent to an 89 and the victory.
Between Heininger and Mize only 10 of 34 riders were able to stay on for the elusive eight seconds.
“You hope to get on a really good bull, but they’re all good here,” Heininger said. “You just hope to be able to stay on.”
Heininger, a rancher back in South Dakota, went the distance on the Mosbrucker Rodeo Company animal on just the third ride of the night, earning just over $3,000.
“I knew I had a good bull so I just took it to him the best I could and hoped for the best,” Heininger said.
It was just the second event of the year for Heininger, who’s been rodeoing since he was a youngster.
“You just kind of crave it,” Heininger said. “My grandma was involved in rodeo and we grew up on a small ranch. I just decided I wanted to ride bulls.”
Heininger’s score stayed on top until late in the night when Mize, from Bryan, Texas, secured the win, collecting $3,948.
Another South Dakota cowboy, Wyatt Gregg of Belle Fourche, S.D., had the third-best score with an 84.
The Ranch Saddle Broncs weren’t any more cooperative.
Only TeJay Fenster and Brittany Miller posted qualifying scores.
Fenster, from Hyannis, Neb., posted the top mark at 71 points.
Miller, from Dillon, Mont., was the first to stay on for the duration with a score of 66.
Full rodeos are planned for tonight and Saturday night with 250 contestants from 12 states and Canada, beginning at 7:30 both nights.