Two UTM rodeo team members, Josh Shackleford, 23, from Elkmont, Ala. and Scotty NeSmith, 20, from Russellville, Tenn. traveled to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the International Finals Rodeo (IFR) Jan. 16-19. The Tennessee-Martin cowboys competed in bareback riding.
The top 15 competitors in each event gathered to compete for money, saddles, and buckles. This year’s added money totaled $500,000, which was an increase of $150,000 from the previous year. Shackleford, a freshman, went into the finals sitting in fourth position for the year-end standings. NeSmith, a sophomore, went into the finals in the 14th position. In the end, Shackleford was fourth in the year end standings with a total of $24,150. NeSmith finished the year in 11th place with $12,309.
The second performance was profitable for both cowboys, who tied for third and fourth place with a score of 81 points.
The fourth performance brought a first-place finish with 81 points for Shackleford, and a second- and third-place finish with 79 points for NeSmith.
The horse, “Saturday Night Live,” is owned by 44 Bar V Rodeo Company. The rodeo company just recently purchased this horse and Shackleford was the first cowboy to have ridden him eight seconds since he was bought.