Young Clarendon cowboy Franks tops field in bareback riding

The opportunity was wide open for the six bareback riders to take advantage of to start the final day of the 76th Will Rogers Range Riders Rodeo on Sunday at the Range Riders arena.

 

Nobody made the most of it like Clarendon’s Cole Franks did.

After two days, only one cowboy had posted a score in bareback riding, as Enzo Ferretti of Lake Charles, La. posted a 65. Franks became the second rider to post a score, and it proved to be the one to beat.

Franks, a junior-to-be at Clarendon High, held on for a 77, more than good enough to win the event and take home over $900. While that was a good score for a solid ride, it may seem unusual that Franks was one of only five riders to score in the event, but he knows about the quality of livestock that stock contractor Allen McCloy brings to the rodeo.

“Allen’s horses are always really good so it’s not surprising,” said Franks of discovering only one rider had scored in two days. “I just wanted to go out and make the best ride I could.”

Franks did just that as the second rider of the day. His 77 became the standard for the event, as the next closest scorer, Tyler Johnson of Athens, ended the event with a 75, two points short.

Despite knowing about the quality of McCloy’s stock, Franks had no read on the horse he rode to victory.

“I didn’t know the horse that well,” Franks said. “He was a real nice hopper.”

And being only the second cowboy in three days to go the full eight seconds, Franks made an impression. No matter how the event ended, he knew he’d had a solid ride.

“When I heard 77, I knew I’d at least get in the top eight,” said Franks, referring to the number of competitors who take home cash prizes. “I’m still surprised I came out on top.”

Franks still wasn’t finished for the day. He competed in the saddle bronc later in the performance and scored a 62.

While Franks has been riding since the eighth grade, he’s learned enough about local customs to make a decision about what events he wants to compete in during the summer. A lot of competitors were in Canadian on Saturday right in the middle of the event in Amarillo, but Franks decided to stick with the one in town out of sense of loyalty.

“It’s a hometown event,” Franks said. “Allen’s pretty much like a grandpa to me.”

Two other local performers also scored wins. Cany0n’s Cody Schneider had the top score in bull riding with an 84, while Amarillo’s Becki Mask had the best time in barrel racing with a ride of 17.33 seconds.

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