BILLINGS — Everybody has a definition of fun.
Tucker Zingg’s definition might be a little more extreme than most.
The Glendive cowboy decided to double his fun this summer, competing in both bareback and bull riding during the rodeo season.
“It’s the hardest two events, my brain hasn’t caught on yet,” said Zingg with a laugh on whether it was a good idea getting tossed around by a horse and a bull.
“I can do this for only so long. I didn’t want to sit on my couch some day and say, ‘What-if?’ "
The 29-year-old Zingg competed in both Saturday night during the final performance of the PRCA Yellowstone River Roundup. The event, one of the highest paying in the state of Montana, handed out $133,884 in prize money this year.
The third and final performance closed out with the top four bull rides of the weekend. Drew Flynn, of Sheridan, Wyoming, survived being tossed at the buzzer for an 85-point bull ride. He was followed to the pay window boy Tristan O’Neal (81), Beau Nordahl (79) and Dakota Louis (77).
Canadian Ricky Warren also earned a share of first place in saddle bronc riding, with 82 points aboard Sankey Pro Rodeo and Robinson Bucking Bulls Sheridan WYO’s Tango, while Rocky Patterson won the average in steer roping.
Zingg, who was tossed by his bull, did not earn a check.
But it didn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
“It’s been a blast,” Zingg said of entering both this summer. “I have good days and bad days. It’s been up and down all year.”
He was 59 points on his bareback horse and didn’t place.
Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, Zingg rode bareback horses and bulls for the University of Montana Western rodeo program.
This was is his first summer riding bulls since college.
“I missed the adrenaline rush,” Zingg said of the world’s most dangerous sport. “There’s excitement in both bareback riding and bull riding.”
A mechanic for a company that runs trucks in the North Dakota oil patch, Zingg is ninth in the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit bareback standings and 14th for bull riding. The top 12 qualify in each event for the MPRC Finals this January in Great Falls.
“I have a great boss (Paul Eiker) who lets me work and when it’s time to rodeo he says, ‘Good luck.’" Zingg said. “He’s also got some practice bulls and we’ve gotten on a few.”
His first PRCA rodeo entering both was at Hardin.
“This isn’t going horrible, so I might as well keep doing it,” Zingg said. "I'm just kind of picking my spots."
Zingg added he’s trying to get his bull riding entries up to 15 so he can try to qualify for the MPRC Finals in both events.
“Actually, they hurt each other,” he explained of the riding styles. “In bareback riding, you’re kind of laid back and bull riding, you try to stay on top of things. The focus on your hands stay the same, but your hips are totally different for the events.”
And there can be a downside.
“In Circle, I got run over twice,” Zingg added with another laugh. “My bareback horse spun out on me and I got caught underneath him. The bull riding … we’ll, let’s just say he got me.”
NOTES: Jessy Davis (fourth), Buck Lunak (sixth) and Chase Erickson (eighth) all moved into the money Saturday night in bareback riding, while Miguel Garcia (fourth) and Will Stovall (fifth) did the same in steer wrestling … Taylor Santos tied for second in tie-down roping (8.5 seconds), while Ty Baker placed fourth (8.6) … Nikki Hansen’s time of 17.31 seconds in barrel racing was good enough to place third.