Return to Eugene brings redemption.Byline: Chris Hansen <noinclude></noinclude>
Christopher Edward Hansen (born March 26, 1959) is an American television journalist best known for his work on the Dateline NBC television segment To Catch a Predator. The Register-Guard
A year ago, bull rider Clint Johnson Clint Johnson (born in Fish Branch, Florida) is an American historian and author of nonfiction, primarily about the American Civil War. He is a graduate of the University of Florida. competed at the Eugene Pro Rodeo rodeo (rō`dēō, rōdā`ō), public exhibition of the skill of cowboys in various activities. Events include riding broncos, riding steers, "bulldogging" steers, roping and tying steers and calves, the use of the lasso, and and left with nothing but an injury so severe, he would eventually have to sit out nearly seven months.
Tuesday, Johnson returned to Eugene and got in a ride that he hoped would kick start a healthy run of success.
Before an estimated crowd of 8,400 at the Oregon Horse Center, the 23-year-old from Hines scored an 83 to take over the lead in the bull ride competition after two rounds.
The final show of the 15th annual rodeo will begin tonight at 7:30.
"I couldn't be happier how it worked out," Johnson said of his return to Eugene. "I love this rodeo and this crowd. It's a really fun rodeo and I couldn't be happier to be leading it right now."
Johnson injured in·jure
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.
2. To cause damage to; impair.
3. his groin at the Eugene rodeo last summer but continued to compete sporadically throughout the summer before he finally took some extended time off.
"I never would let it heal," Johnson said. "I would give it just a week or two off and then it got worse and worse. I finally made up my mind that I had to let it heal up. I'm back at it now and I feel good."
Johnson's score moved him ahead of Willy Ives, who led with 76 points after Saturday's opening round. Johnson was the only one out of nine bull riders to officially record an eight-second ride on Tuesday. He earned $530 in day money.
Joe Meling, who is ranked 16th in the world and was second at the Firecracker Bull Ride on Sunday, did have a 56-point ride on Tuesday but was bucked off on a reride to officially record a no-score.
"I've only been on five bulls since I came back and it hasn't gone real good for me, so I needed that real bad," Johnson said. "It felt really good to get past that bull. He wasn't easy to ride. I feel a lot better now with some money in my pocket."
He'll have a lot more if no one passes him tonight.
"I hope so, but I don't wish any ill will on anybody," Johnson said. "There's some real good bulls out here and there's some real good riders coming in. I won't be surprised if it held up and I wouldn't be surprised if they moved me down some."
Also moving into the lead on Tuesday was saddle bronc rider Matt Marvel in what was his first rodeo in Oregon.
The 29-year-old from Winnemucca, Nev., who typically competes in California, recorded 79 points to jump ahead of Ben Londo, who scored a 77 on Saturday.
"I felt really good," said Marvel, who came within one point of moving into the Eugene rodeo's top five all-time scores. "That was a good horse. It bucked good and I was able to ride real good."
While some cowboys prefer to have a leaderboard lead·er·board
A board that displays the leaders in a competition.
a board displaying the current scores of the leading competitors, esp in a golf tournament established so they know what type of score they need, Marvel said it wasn't an important factor in his ride.
"You just come and try and do the best you can do," Marvel said. "Whether it's a 74 you're looking at or an 84 that's leading. You're still going to try and get the most points you can get."
The only other event that was in danger of losing its first-round leader was tie-down roping, where Mike Arnold recorded a time of 8.9 seconds.
That was good enough for second place behind Cody Jones Cody Jones (born in 1951) was a former NFL football player. He is a graduate from San Jose State University who played pro football from 1974–1982 for the Los Angeles Rams. , who has set the pace at 8.8.
Arnold, a five-time National Finals Rodeo The National Finals Rodeo, organized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is the premier championship rodeo event in the United States. Wrangler Jeans is the title sponsor for the 10-day event, commonly just called the National Finals or NFR, which is also sometimes qualifier qual·i·fi·er
1. One that qualifies, especially one that has or fulfills all appropriate qualifications, as for a position, office, or task.
2. , is back competing after a 12-year layoff. The 45-year-old horse trainer In horse racing, a trainer is responsible for preparing a horse for races. As such, he takes responsibility for exercising it, getting it race-ready and determining which races it should enter. from Flatonia, Texas Flatonia is a town in Fayette County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,377 at the 2000 census. Geography
Flatonia is located at (29.686981, -97.107728)GR1. , decided to make a return to help guide 20-year-old travel partner Stan Branco through his first season on the road.
Branco, the son of one of Arnold's old rodeo friends, also competed in tie-down roping and steer wrestling.
"I haven't rodeoed in a long time," said Arnold, who won the competition at a rodeo in Molalla on Monday. "It's so much less stressful when I'm not actually doing this for a living. Whatever I get is a bonus."
A fireworks fireworks: see pyrotechnics.
Explosives or combustibles used for display. Of ancient Chinese origin, fireworks evidently developed out of military rockets and explosive missiles and accompanied the spread of military explosives westward to show will follow tonight's final performance.
EUGENE PRO RODEO
Today, 7:30 p.m., at the Oregon Horse Center. Gates open at 5 p.m.