When the win comes it’s more than just a rush. You also feel the magical spell, that single focus on life in ‘the zone’ disintegrate and sprinkle down to your spurs with the rest of the arena dust. In the shining moment those gold buckle dreams come true, there’s a little bit of bitter in the whole lot of sweet, for really? What’s a warrior without the war? In Tim O’Connell’s case, a man of faith who’s feeling beloved.
Tim O’Connell has turned heads from the moment he jammed his glove in that first bareback riggin’. Old hands knew he had that special talent, younger hands wished they did. There’s a great family, coaches and friends that all played supporting roles in building the road to bareback riding glory but let’s just tell one story at a time.
Three Hills Rodeo Company’s ranch isn’t far from O’Connell’s hometown of Zwingle, Iowa. In the spring, the Morehead’s gather the young hopeful bucking horses they’ve raised and give them their shot at stardom at the Three Hills Spring Buckout. It isn’t just the colts who get a chance, the riders who show up to get on them all ride for the joy of it, but the company offers the winners PRCA Permits and free entry to all of their regular season rodeos and that’s good, too.
O’Connell won that permit, made good on his commitment to attend those rodeos, stayed focused and humble, true to his roots and values. That all paid off as he made ride after ride at the WNFR leaving no one with the impression that he could be beaten and he wasn’t. His focus stayed on God and everything else rolled right into place.
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