tim-oconnell

PHOTO: Wrangler Network

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from December 1, 2016 to Saturday, December 10, 2016.

KMZU’s Amanda Wagner speaks with Tim O’Connell, 2016 PRCA World Champion Bareback Rider.

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O’Connell is originally from Zwingle, Iowa and currently lives in Marshall, Missouri. He graduated from Missouri Valley College after transferring from Iowa Central Community College. O’Connell was part of the rodeo team at Missouri Valley.

“It’s kind of like a dream come true, i mean its everything you ever thought it could be and more,” said O’Connell. “…its every little kids dream when they decide they want to be a rodeo cowboy, to be a world champion and to do it in my first three years is pretty amazing.”

According to wranglernetwork.com O’Connell scored an 83 riding Sacred Nation in the first round. In round five he scored an 86 riding Scarlet Belle. At this point he was sitting 424.5 on 5. In the ninth round O’Connell scored an 82, barely making the buzzer. The final round scored O’Connell an 85 on Painted River.

“I averaged 84 points on each one of my horses but at the end of the day they said i pretty much shattered the season earning record by $60,000 by the end of the competition,” said O’Connell.

O’Connell also stated he can’t pick just one moment that was rewarding because every moment leading up to being the world champion played a factor. If he had to pick though, it would be getting that buckle.

When asked what was next for O’Connell he said, “Me and my wife are going to go on vacation and enjoy this and then its back to business. Now that I have won the biggest accomplishment I possibly could it’s time to refocus and try to write new goals and I think the next goal would be to be known as the best ever, the best ever bareback rider. To do that you have to win five world titles so, one down, four to go.”