BILLINGS — Parker Breding heard his father. He just didn’t listen to him.
“It would go in one ear and out the other,” admitted the younger Breding. “I would sometimes come back with a negative comment.”
If anyone knows the mental rigors of bull riding, it is Scott Breding. The elder Breding is a five-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier who at times during his career returned home to recharge his mental and physical batteries.
“My father is such a big influence in my life,” said his son. “And he’s such a positive person. I never used it to my advantage.”
When his oldest son was struggling, “I would have a few bad bull rides and let it snowball into a bad situation,” Parker admitted, Scott would try to offer some advice.
“He told me not to worry so much,” Parker Breding continued. “He helped me learn how to shake things off easier. I’ve had some hardships … injuries, financial things … it made me grow up and see things differently.
“His advice helped me see things in a better way. It made me a better bull rider.”
The father’s words of wisdom have paid off handsomely.
“It’s the best year I’ve ever had,” said Parker Breding of the first four months of the 2018. “The only way I can describe it is, unreal.”
The 25-year-old Edgar bull rider recently won the National Circuit Finals bull riding title for a third time, now sharing the record with ProRodeo Hall of Famer Cody Custer who won three straight (1990-92).
Breding's weekend in Kissimmee, Florida, included back-to-back 90-point rides, “That was pretty cool. I’ve never done that at a PRCA rodeo in my life,” he said. “To see those 90-point scores, that’s something else.”
Breding pocketed $29,567 in Florida and rocketed up to second in the PRCA world standings.
The Joliet High School graduate also won national circuit titles in 2014 and 2016.
“I’d like to say it was the Florida atmosphere and treating it like a vacation,” said Breding. ‘But it also worked out in Guthrie (Oklahoma) for me too.
“I was able to make it a fun rodeo and relax a little bit. It’s a place, if you stay on one of your bulls, you’re going to make the finals no matter what. So that takes the pressure off.”
Breding also earned $12,500 at the San Antonio Xtreme Bulls event and another $2,973 at the rodeo. Along with the NCFR, he also earned another $6,603 at the rodeo in Austin, Texas.
Breding also won RodeoHouston for a healthy $57,500. The money won in Houston does not count in the PRCA world standings.
“I’ve drawn well and had some pretty good opportunities,” he said.
The two-time NFR qualifier has earned $81,807 for 2018 but hasn’t purchased his ticket to Las Vegas for this December just yet.
“With the way things have changed in rodeo, they’re allowing ground money to count, there’s more rodeos and more money, I don’t want to say I have the NFR made,” Breding said. “I try not to look at this being overconfident.”
Along with almost $30,000 in money, NCFR winners also receive a $20,000 voucher toward a new Dodge vehicle, along with a host of other prizes.
And according to Breding, the vehicle voucher couldn’t come at a better time.
“The last one, I bought a one-ton Dodge pickup,” he said of 2015. “I’ve worn it out. That truck is getting near the end.”
Breding then did some wishful thinking on his NCFR titles.
“Only you or a blood relative can use the voucher and you have to use it by January 1,” he added. “You have to be creative financially. If I was able to keep all three of those, save them, I could buy myself something without spending any money.
“But it’s time for a change.”