Saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz knew he had a challenge out of the chute after drawing Sutton Rodeo’s South Point. But he also knew if he could match that challenge, he’d have a good shot at winning Round 3.
Diaz did what he had to do and not only won the round but also tied the Round 3 record with a 90-point ride on South Point.
“Yeah, that horse is a little tricky out of the chute, but after that she does everything you could ask in a bucking horse,” said the 32-year-old from Desdemona, Texas.
Diaz’s ride tied the round record set by Billy Etbauer in 1999 and equaled by Etbauer again in 2005.
“That horse is half the battle,” Diaz said. “I had him in Pendleton (Ore.), and it went well. They said South Point will take you to the South Point, and she did it last year for Jacobs Crawley, too.”
Crawley won aboard South Point in the third round of the 2017 Wrangler NFR.
Diaz moved from seventh to fourth in the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $161,970. Defending champion Ryder Wright ads the pack with $195,809.
“I try to not keep an eye on it (the standings), but the whole year has been unreal,” Diaz said. “If I can go into Round 10 with a shot at it, that would be a dream come true.”
With seven rounds remaining, Diaz is ready to keep working.
“It just motivates me,” Diaz said. “I have been working at it every day to stay in shape and stay focused, and this motivates me to continue and let God take care of the rest.”
Being at the Thomas & Mack Center and tying a round record left an impression with Diaz.
“There’s so much magic in that arena, you can hear the crowd go nuts,” he said.