For the past five weeks, it’s been all or nothing for Cody Nance.
He either goes home with a lot of cash, or he’s carrying nothing.
He won at Tacoma, Wash., followed by not placing at Albuquerque, N.M. Nance followed with another win at Fresno, Calif., but came up empty last week in Nampa, Idaho.
“We’ve got to start filling in the blanks,” said the Tennessee bull rider with a grin.
He was all in this weekend in Billings, riding four bulls to win the Professional Bull Riders Stanley Performance in Action event on Sunday at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark.
The 26-year-old Nance finished with 339.5 points to collect $35,016 and earn his third Built Ford Tough Series victory of the season.
“It always feels good to be successful,” said Nance.
Two-time world champion Silvano Alves was second with 336 points, while Matt Triplett of Columbia Falls was a career-best third with 258.75 points.
Alves won the championship round with an 89.75-point ride, while Triplett was 89 points to win the third round.
Nance had scores of 86.75, 78.75, 85.5 and 88.5 en route to the title.
“It’s just a trust factor. Trusting in the ability that God gave me,” Nance said of his weekend.
Nance’s winning ride came aboard Smackdown, the bull he selected with the second pick of the draft for the final round.
“I was going to choose between King Buck and Smackdown,” said Nance. “I prayed about it and was led to Smackdown.”
Alves rode King Buck. Alves has ridden 11 of his last 15 bulls and has climbed to fifth in the standings.
Nance had a good reason for choosing Smackdown. He scored 92 points on the bull last June at a PBR Touring Pro Division event in Bismarck, N.D.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and he tries to push you to the outside. And he’s smart,” Nance said of the bull.
Smackdown, which is going to be retired at the end of this year, had Nance in trouble the first few jumps. “He had me pulled over the top,” said the bull rider. “I hustled to get back down.
“The big thing was, don’t panic.”
Triplett, the last rider out, needed just 81 points or better to win his first BFTS event. However, he was bucked off in 1.52 seconds by Shepherd Hills Stockman. The Montana cowboy hit the challenge button, feeling he didn’t get a fair chance out of the chute. The challenge was denied, costing Triplett $500.
He couldn’t be found following the event for comment. He won $13,655 at his first PBR event in Billings and jumped from 13th to seventh in the BFTS standings.
“I feel bad for Matt,” Nance said. “He’s got a long future ahead of him in this business. He’ll have a lot of success down the road.
“Matt’s a good person. Even though he wants to win the event, he’s always helping, pushing you.”
And the win will give Nance enough money to purchase more bandanas for a while. After every ride, he tosses a bandana into the crowd. Each bandana carries a biblical verse.
“I did it for a while, then stopped,” said Nance, who is involved with Riding High Ministries. “It’s just something I like to do.
“It just feels great to win.”
Notes: Nance and Alves were the only competitors to cover all four bulls. Each declined re-rides in the early rounds to remain in the average. … Emilio Resende qualified for the final round but did not ride after straining his right elbow and right thumb during the second round and aggravating the elbow injury in the third round. ... Browning’s Dakota Louis was bucked off by Mass Destruction in 3.21 seconds. … Gage Gay was originally disqualified from his third ride after taking too much time in the chute. Gay challenged and the decision was overturned after the judges ruled he had nodded his head before time expired. The decision got Gay into the championship round. … Invitee Guytin Tsosie placed sixth, his second top-10 finish, putting him 30th in the BFTS standings which earns him an official spot on tour. ... J.W. Harris, another invitee, was seventh and is 33rd in the standings. ... There were only four qualified rides, out of 15, in the final round. … Working the arena Sunday was Montana bull riding legend Clint Branger of Roscoe. Branger is one the founders of the PBR and in its Ring of Honor. … The Billings event featured bull riders from three countries and 13 different states. There were 11 bull riders from Brazil in the field. … The PBR’s next event is April 26-27 in Des Moines, Iowa.