New Tarleton grad claims NFR saddle bronc average crown

Monday, December 18, 2017

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Brody Cress couldn’t make the Dec. 15 commencement exercises that marked his graduation from Tarleton State University with a degree in agri-business.

He was busy claiming the PRCA saddle bronc riding average title at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

“It’s been a great week,” he said. “Being able to compete against the top guys in the world, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The only NFR saddle bronc rider with 10 qualified rides, Cress earned 86 points on his final ride Saturday for a total of 841.5, more than 77 points better than the event’s runner-up.

“I came in here and did my job,” Cress said. “I took it one horse at a time, and rode ’em the best I could. It’s awesome to be able to walk away with an (NFR) average buckle.”

Besides becoming a new graduate and winning an NFR crown, Cress almost added another title Saturday, finishing close behind 19-year-old Ryder Wright in the final world standings. Wright pocketed $284,938 in total earnings for the year while Cress won $282,287. Cress won more than $176,000 at the 10-day NFR.

“I’m extremely happy,” Cress said, “but I expected to come here and do that. I’ve been riding good all year. I had a game plan coming in here, and I stuck to it.”

A two-time College National Finals Rodeo qualifier, Cress, now a grad student in his final season of eligibility at Tarleton, leads the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region heading into the spring season with the chance to earn a national title in Casper in June.

“What I try to focus on is the process,” he said. “Doing the best I can every time I get on a bucking horse. It’s the same thing whether it’s in the practice pen, in a college rodeo or on the biggest stage of the world.”

Tarleton, celebrating 100 years as founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. As a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, leadership, excellence and service.


Contact: Phil Riddle, News & Information Specialist
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.