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Hardwick tops WCC Spanish Fork field

June 2, 2015

SPANISH FORK, Utah – Since joining the PRCA in 2011, bareback rider Seth Hardwick has been chasing a coveted bid to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo – but has come up empty.

That appears to be on the verge of changing in 2015.

Hardwick has been near the top of the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings the last several weeks and only helped his cause at the May 30 Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.

The Laramie, Wyo., cowboy registered an 86-point ride on Bar T Rodeo’s Rockin Ruby to capture the title before a capacity crowd of 8,400.

“I had never even seen that horse before,” said Hardwick, 26. “I talked to Caleb Bennett about him because he knows a lot about the Bar T horses and he told me I had a good one. It was an awesome ride. I didn’t know if my score would hold up. There were some good guys and some great matchups after me, but it all worked out.”

Hardwick moved up one spot – to fourth – in the June 1 world standings, thanks to pocketing $5,440 at Spanish Fork.

“It’s absolutely great to fill up the bank account,” said Hardwick, who finished a career-best 17th in the world in 2013.

The Wrangler Champions Challenge events have definitely given Hardwick a jolt this year, as he also won the May 16 Redding (Calif.) WCC event with an 87.5-point ride on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Raggidy Ann.

“When I get to come to (Wrangler Champions Challenge events) it’s great because it gives me another opportunity to keep up with the other guys and the Champions Challenges have been treating me really good this season because I’ve won a lot of money at them,” Hardwick said.

With all his success this season, Hardwick has some lofty expectations.

“Step 1 is getting to the NFR, but I have higher goals than just making it,” Hardwick said. “I’ve tried to rodeo a lot smarter this season, and my traveling partner (Orin Larsen) and I haven’t killed ourselves with a bunch of overnight drives and stuff like that. There are a lot of rodeos left and we’re going into this summer run feeling fresh and healthy and we should do really well.”

Other winners at the $123,600 rodeo were steer wrestler Seth Brockman (3.8 seconds), team ropers Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill (4.6 seconds), saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss (88.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Maple Leaf), tie-down roper Hunter Herrin (7.8 seconds), barrel racer Lisa Lockhart (17.17 seconds) and bull rider Beau Hill (84 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Broken Arrow).

DeMoss’ score tied the WCC record set by Taos Muncy in Logandale, Nev., earlier this year.

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