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October 30, 2008 3:01 am

Asay enjoys strong showing at Xtreme Bulls Tour finale

Written by Tribune Staff

Smart takes season title

Last year, Mississippi's Chance Smart watched friend and Powell cowboy Kanin Asay claim the season title during the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour finale in Indianapolis.

After last Friday, however, Smart can now say he knows how Asay felt when he finished at the top of the Xtreme Bulls Tour standings.

Smart capped the 2008 Xtreme Bulls Tour season by placing first at the finale in Indianapolis. By doing so, he won the season title by more than $22,540.

Last year, Smart finished second in the standings behind Asay.

Asay, who missed two months of the 2008 season due to injuries sustained in a bull riding event in early July, wasn't able to defend his title, but he finished the Xtreme Bulls Tour season on a strong note and all but solidified a return trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

During last Friday's competition in Indianapolis, Asay finished with the fifth-best money total and had the sixth-best average. He rode two of three bulls for 171.5 points. His best ride netted 90 points.

“I'm glad I won some money, but I should've rode all three bulls,” said Asay when evaluating his performance. “But I'm happy for Chance. Last year, me and him were one and two going into the Xtreme deal, and I would have been happy either way it turned out. I managed to come out on top then, and he was able to win it this year. I'm happy for him, and I'm glad he was able to win it.”

The Xtreme Bulls Tour title was Smart's first. And unlike last year when Asay and Smart both had a shot at the season crown, Asay was well out of the title picture because of his two-month absence in July and August. During that time away from the sport, Asay recovered from a number of injuries he received during a single ride at an event in Oregon. That disastrous ride resulted in the removal of his spleen and left him with a fractured left eye socket.

The good news for Asay is that he's almost regained the form he showed when he qualified for his first-ever WNFR last year and from what started out as a promising 2008 bull riding season.

“I'd say I'm at about 90 percent if not better,” Asay said. “When I'm getting bucked off right away, it's not because I'm hurting. I've been able to ride some pretty rank bulls, and I feel like I'm about to where I was before I got hurt.”

That could spell bad news for Asay's fellow competitors. Currently, Asay is sitting in 12th place in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's world standings. As long as he remains among the top 15 after the conclusion of the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship in Dallas Nov. 7-9, he'll qualify for his second WNFR.

“I feel pretty good about where I'm at (in the standings),” Asay said. “A lot would have to happen for some of those guys outside the top 15 to change the standings. Right now it looks like I've made it.”

Asay, who mainly keeps up with the standings through reports from friends and family, said he's going to continue to ride using the same approach that has proven to be effective. That means riding one bull at a time, and letting the rest take care of itself.

“I'll just keep riding and wait for that call or that letter that lets me know I made it,” Asay said. “You just have to do the best you can, and the rest will take care of itself.”

• First round: 1. B.J. Schumacher, 90.5 points on Silverado Rodeo Company's Scorpion, $4,794; 2. Kanin Asay, 90, $3,675; 3. Colin McTaggart, 88, $2,717; 4. (tie) Logan Knibbe and Fred Boettcher, 87, $1,438 each; 6. Bobby Welsh, 86.5, $799; 7. Spud Jones, 86, $639; 8. (tie) Tate Stratton and Chance Smart, 85.5, $240 each; 10. (tie) Clayton Savage and Shane Proctor, 84; 12. Stormy Wing, 82; 13. Douglas Duncan, 81.5; 14. Allen Helmuth, 80; 15. Cody Hancock, 79; 16. Shawn Hogg, 78; No score: Nat Fly, Corey Navarre, Zack Oakes, Zeb Lanham, Shane Gordon, Jesse Bail, Seth Glause, Charles Zoss, Danny McDowell, Clayton Foltyn, Dave Samsel, Jordan Hooton, Marcus Michaelis, Jake Wade, Colby Reilly, Jay Morrow, Jarrod Ford, Will Farrell, Howdy Cloud, Luke Haught, J.W. Harris, Tater Hins, Mike Moore and Chad German.

• Second round: 1. Clayton Savage, 89 points on JK Rodeo's The Widow Maker, $4,794; 2., $3,675; 2. Clayton Foltyn, 87, $3,675; 3. (tie) Jordan Hooton and Mike Moore, 86.5, $2,237 each; 5. (tie) Bobby Welsh and Colin McTaggart, 86, $959 each; 7. (tie) Colby Reilly and Stormy Wing, 85, $559 each; 10. (tie) Will Farrell and Howdy Cloud, 84.5; 12. Tater Hins, 84; 13. Jesse Bail, 83.5; 14. B.J. Schumacher, 82; 15. (tie) Jay Morrow, Dave Samsel and Kanin Asay, 81.5; 18. J.W. Harris, 80.5; No score: Shane Gordon, Shane Proctor, Charles Zoss, Nat Fly, Douglas Duncan, Luke Haught, Danny McDowell, Chance Smart, Allen Helmuth, Zeb Lanham, Zack Oakes, Jarrod Ford, Jake Wade, Corey Navarre, Marcus Michaelis, Spud Jones, Logan Knibbe, Fred Boettcher, Chad German, Cody Hancock, Shawn Hogg, Seth Glause and Tate Stratton.

• Dodge Championship Round: 1. Chance Smart, 90.5 points on Silverado Rodeo Company's Alabama, $5,273; no other qualified rides.
n Average: 1. Chance Smart, 176 points on two head, $9,588; 2. Colin McTaggart, 174, $7,351; 3. Clayton Savage, 173, $5,433; 4. (tie) Bobby Welsh and B.J. Schumacher, 172.5, $2,876 each; 6. Kanin Asay, 171.5, $1,598; 7. Stormy Wing, 167, $1,278; 8. (tie) Clayton Foltyn, Logan Knibbe and Fred Boettcher, 87 points on one head, $320 each.
n Total money: 1. Chance Smart, $15,101; 2. Colin McTaggart, $11,026; 3. Clayton Savage, $10,227; 4. B.J. Schumacher, $7,670; 5. Kanin Asay, $5,273; 6. Bobby Welsh, $4,634; 7. Clayton Foltyn, $3,995; 8. (tie) Jordan Hooten and Mike Moore, $2,237 each; 10. Stormy Wing, $1,838; 11. (tie) Logan Knibbe and Fred Boettcher, $1,758 each; 13. Spud Jones, $639; 14. Colby Reilly, $559; 15. Tate Stratton, $240.

Unofficial final 2008 Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour standings:
(As of Oct. 24. Includes all divisions)
1. Chance Smart, Philadelphia, Miss., $72,788
2. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, $50,248
3. Zeb Lanham, Sweet, Idaho, $43,425
4. Mike Moore, Kankakee, Ill., $43,014
5. Wesley Silcox, Payson, Utah, $42,199
6. Colin McTaggart, Las Vegas, Nev., $38,679
7. Logan Knibbe, Rockdale, Texas, $18,087
8. Clayton Foltyn, El Campo, Texas, $17,390
9. Kanin Asay, Powell, $17,270
10. Nat Fly, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, $15,666
11. Luke Haught, Weatherford, Texas, $15,212
12. Colby Reilly, Stratford, Wash., $14,849
13. Seth Glause, Rock Springs, $14,580
14. Joe Meling, Pendleton, Ore., $14,470
15. Cody Hancock, Taylor, Ariz., $12,649