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Long Valley bull rider Zane Monnett claims seventh place in National Finals College Championship

The National Finals College Rodeo in saddle- bronc, bareback and bull riding events, as well as steer-wrestling, barrel-racing, goat-tying, including roping, team-roping and breakaway roping were held forth during the week of June 10-15 in Casper, Wyoming. Zane Monnett, 2022 Valley High School alum, is home in Glendale these days making plans to ride the circuit this summer before returning to school for his sophomore season to continue his degree preparation in Farm and Ranch Management.

From left to right:

  • Bull-rider Zane Monnett of Glendale airborne with ‘true grit’ concentrating his eyes on the shoulders of his determined adversary in the Sun Bowl Rodeo in St. George on May 18 to the delight of smiling fans for a payday of $2,724.64! Photo by John Pyle Photography.

  • Zane Monnett

Discussing his career thus far, he says, “Well, I rodeoed for Western Texas College from the fall all the way to the end of the spring. I rodeoed with, I would say, the toughest region as far as college rodeo regions. It’s Texas! Rodeo is big in Texas! There’s a lot of competition. [I] had a really successful year in competition compared to my previous years. I had a rough time even competing just in the state of Utah with, specifically, Utah Rodeo Cowboys, but when I got down to college and got to experience the coaching, practice, I started riding way better than I have in years, which led to a lot of success.

“I won the biggest college rodeo this year in Lubbock, Texas. A lot of good things happened; a lot of improvement. I got to compete against some tough people, and, honestly, in today’s rodeo, those young guys are some of the best rodeo athletes in the world! That qualified me for the College National Finals, and I got to go up there and have a shot for the World Championship as a bull-rider. Unfortunately, I did not become a world champion, but I had a fun, successful time up there.

“My first bull [Easy Sid] was a really awesome bull and I started a really good ride on him. I got into my second round and was 77-and-a-half points on my bull [Hammer Time] and second overall in that round. The third [Bone-Breaker] and fourth [Fair Trade] [were] a little heartbreaking; I had a little bit of tough luck. I just kind of let the pressure get to me being there at the Finals, I think. At the moment, I was kind of hard on myself, but either way, looking back on how far I’ve come in just this year, it looks really promising. I was really happy, and my coach reflected on that, as well. I ended up seventh in the nation, competing against cowboys from Canada, Australia and all over the United States. [I’m] just super blessed!”

He noted that in his fourth round, Fair Trade was previously unridden and given 44 points out of 50 by the judges. Point scores are determined by the addition of bull and rider points on a scale of up to 50 each, thereby calculated down from 100 possibilities.

Considering his insightful creative process approaching the task at hand, he explains, “The main thing, the really important thing, is to be clear-minded when you get on. Before you get in the chute and start getting everything ready to nod your head, be clear-minded: don’t think about too much! Then, as I would crawl into the chute to start getting my rope ready, I would be aggressive and be confident and give myself a keyword like, ‘You can do this; you’re the best.’ Something to click your brain into the right motions.

“Once I get my rope set and I get it the way I want, I want to make sure that that bull is not pushing on me or anything in that chute; want to make sure he’s standing good, so me and him have a fair advantage coming out of the chute. Then, as soon as they open the gate, your adrenaline kicks in. The first jumps usually kind of overload for a second. Then, as you get through the ride, it kind of slows down a bit. What I usually watch is their head and their shoulders. A lot of the times you can see their direction, where they’re going with their shoulder movement. Also, looking down at that bull helps maintain your riding posture. You focus on that and keep having grit. That’s one thing you think about: having grit, and I think about having ‘try.’ Then, if you make the buzzer, just pull your wrap and wait for the bull to either be jumping ahead or just find a good opportunity to click your heels and land on your feet!

“You know, I tell my family a lot there’s not a thing I’d rather be doing in the world,” he shares with a note of spiritual solemnity and purposeful destiny. “By the grace of God, I was born healthy and a fully functioning body, and into a free country. And He said I can do whatever I want to do, and I chose the rodeo. Being a cowboy and a rodeo athlete isn’t just what I do and what I enjoy: it’s who I am. It’s everything I stand for, being that person [who] everybody sees is a cowboy: that’s who I am and who I want to be. People say when you’re old you’re going to be hurting, but I’m going to hurt anyways when I’m old. I’d rather be old and look back and say I went for everything I possibly could. That’s one thing my dad told me because he had a similar career to mine, but he stopped and slowed down and started a family. He always wondered what it would have been like if he kept that going, and he said, ‘don’t ever make yourself wonder that. Make yourself know how far you could have gone and how far you went!’”




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