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Bullrider heading to school national Rodeo final
Shaun Greenhough never thought he would reach the 66th National High School Finals Rodeo only two years after entering the sport.
The Penticton/Princeton resident is going to Rock Springs, Wyo., July 13-19 to compete in bareback and bull riding.
It’s a good feeling for the 18-year-old after his hard work.
“It kind of just hit me. I just got the hang of it all of a sudden,” said Greenhough of his improvement. “I didn’t think I was going to make it for the bull riding. That was a shock.”
Greenhough ranks No.1 in bullriding in the B.C. High School Rodeo standings and is alone in bareback riding for the south. In the BCHSR, Greenhough won every bull riding event. In all-around boys leaders for the south, Greenhough is fifth out of nine. In the finals, Greenhough earned a $750 scholarship for his efforts.
“It was good. They were on their game,” said Greenhough of the riders in high school. “They wanted it as much as I did.”
In the B.C. Rodeo Association, Greenhough ranks fifth and recently won the 67th annual Kispiox Valley Rodeo.
Among his season highlights were winning his first bareback in Valemount a few weeks ago and riding 13 of 14 bulls into the finals. Even an injury makes the list such as when he was knocked out in Merritt.
“A bull stepped on the back of my neck. I tried to get up and they were tackling me to the ground because my neck might have been broken,” said Greenhough, who lucked out with just a cut. “The next day I show up and get a 76-point ride (for the win). Everyone was so shocked I showed up. The doctor said I couldn’t ride. I asked for a note because I wanted to.”
Greenhough credits Trevor Thompson and new trainer Nik Smith, a fellow bull rider, for his success. Greenhough has put time into training and working on things such as getting over the bull and not pumping his arm too much when spinning.
When asked about what Greenhough has done, Thompson said he has come a long way because of his work ethic.
“Shaun has developed more patience,” said Thompson, who won the 1985 National High School finals bullriding championship and is also a 1985 All-American Team-Bull Riding/Bareback. “Before he would be upset with himself when being bucked off. He now knows you won’t ride every one but you will learn from every one you get on. He also has better control of his upper body, which is crucial.”
Greenhough has been focused on qualifying for the NHSFR from the start. Greenhough has benefited from Thompson’s support as he is more critical of his performances now.
“He is picking out all my little errors, correcting them,” said Greenhough. “It just makes me work harder to fix that. It gives me more motivation.”
What excites Greenhough about nationals is the chance to be a North American champ and the experience.
“They are going to be very good,” said Greenhough of the riders he goes against. “I just hope I get the right bull and horse. Good bulls will give you high points.”
Thompson is confident that Greenhough will do fine, it’s just important he doesn’t get ahead of himself.
“Treat the nationals as just another rodeo,” said Thompson.
To become a national champion, contestants must finish in the top 20 base on combined scores and times in the first two rounds. National champs are then determined by three-round combined scores and times.