Caleb Bennett Enters 10th NFR With a Chance at First Gold Buckle
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
Caleb Bennett has what is possibly the best chance of his career at a Gold Buckle this December.
His 2022 trip to the NFR will mark his 10th, but despite winning at least $188,000 in five of the last six seasons, he has never finished better than No. 4 in the world. This year that could change as the Montana cowboy is No. 3 in the PRCA World Standings
Rodeo Austin, $15,607
Bennett did not have a ton of luck at Fort Worth, San Antonio or Houston, which is usually not a recipe for cracking the Top 5. He, however, saved his best for the fourth Texas Tour event. All three of his rides were between 85.5 and 87 points in Austin with the top one coming in the Finals on South Suds of Beutler & Son Rodeo. Bennett was a half-point better than 2021 Resistol Rookie of the Year Cole Franks in the deciding round.
Mandan Rodeo Days, $7,121
Bennett was selective over the Fourth of July run as he was still working his way back from an elbow surgery that sidelined him for six weeks after the San Angelo Cinch Chute-Out on April 16. The decision paid off as he placed at Killdeer and Red Lodge in addition to claiming the title at Mandan with an 88-point ride on Sippin’ Firewater.
HIGHEST MARKED RIDES
Central Montana PRCA Rodeo, 89.5 Points
Bennett did not have any 90-point rides all season and it took him until mid-July to break through for more than 89 when he did so in Lewiston to win the rodeo.
Gooding Pro Rodeo, 89.5 Points
From Aug. 18-20, Bennett was on fire. He made four rides of at least 85 points and won over $2,000 at all four rodeos, winning three of them. The most impressive ride (and highest paying) of the bunch was his 89.5-point outing on Game Trail to bank $4,371. That weekend earned him Cowboy Channel Roughstock Athlete of the Week honors.
Meagher County Labor Day Rodeo, 89.5 Points
Bennett’s final 89.5-point ride of the season came on Sept. 5 on Michigan Monster. He was two points better than fellow NFR qualifier Ty Breuer.
Bozeman Stampede, 89 Points
Bennett was 89 points to tie Kaycee Feild for the top spot in a loaded event as fellow NFR qualifiers Leighton Berry and R.C. Landingham were both 88.5 to split third.
Montana Circuit Finals, 248 Points on Three Head
In January of 2022, Bennett won the first two rounds of the Circuit Finals and held on to win the Average despite 77.5 in Round 3. Bennett was a half-point better than Tristan Hansen. He would go on to notch 8 of his 15 wins in 2022 in Montana.
MEET THE NFR ATHLETES IS PRESENTED BY MONTANA SILVERSMITHS #everybucklehasastory #goldbucklebound