Bareback rider Tim O'Connell triumphs at RodeoHouston Super Shootout – Chron.com
Tim O'Connell throws his hat into the air after a strong bareback ride during the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Abby Penson curves around a barrel during the barrel racing event, despite losing a stirrup at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. Benson came in third place. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Tim O'Connell jumps off his horse after competing in the bareback riding event at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. O'Connell won the event and $25,000.( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Ivy Conrado wins the barrel racing event, despite losing a stirrup at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. Along with winning the event, Conrado took home $25,000.( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Tim O'Connell competes in the bareback riding event at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. O'Connell won the event and $25,000.( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Orin Larsen competes in the bareback riding event at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Neil Homes is bucked off a bull during the shootout round of the bull riding competition at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Neil Homes is bucked off a bull during the shootout round of the bull riding competition at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
A couple waits in line for the Zero G ride at the carnival portion of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Lydia Brown of Sinnett, Texas loads up her family's stuff with her brother, Myles, from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Dakota Eldridge takes down a steer during steer wrestling at the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. Eldridge come in second place. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Sterling Lambert takes down a steer to take home first place and $25,000 in the steer wresting competition Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Lydia Brown of Sinnett, Texas loads up her family's stuff with her brother, Myles, from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Dena Edwards takes down the stalls that held the cattle at NRG Center on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Lydia Brown of Sinnett, Texas loads up her stuff from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Clothes hangers stay on a horses stall as participants of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo clear out on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Competitors for the calf scramble line up in the tunnels during the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Bull rider Roscoe Jarboe is knocked off his bull during the first round of the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Bull rider Roscoe Jarboe is knocked off his bull during the first round of the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Fireworks come out of flag pole during the singing of the National Anthem before the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Bull rider Cody Campbell is bucked off of a bull during the Houston Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Houston. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Zac Brown Band performs during the final night of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at NRG Stadium. ( Elizabeth Conley / Houston Chronicle )
Tim O'Connell wasn't happy.
The two-time RodeoHouston bareback riding runner-up earned only $2,500 in his super series, which wasn't enough to move on.
He's feeling a lot better after Sunday's showing at NRG Stadium.
The Iowa native won the long and short rounds in his return to Houston for the one-day RodeoHouston Super Shootout: North America's Champions, sending him home with a much bigger, $25,000 payout.
"That was a very tough pill to swallow because it was the first time I didn't advance out," O'Connell said. "So I sat at home and chomped at the bit for two weeks. It was pretty tough, but it helped me refocus and make sure I showed up here ready to give it my all for 16 seconds on two great bucking horses.
"I was hungry. I was really ready to come back down here."
The Super Shootout takes the champions of five fan-favorite events – bareback, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding – from eight of the biggest rodeos in North America, including Houston, Calgary, Cheyenne and Reno, and pits them against each other in a team format.
O'Connell represented Forth Worth, which ran away with the team championship.
They boasted two more champs – barrel racer Ivy Conrado and bull rider Riker Carter – giving them $82,000 in winnings.
Sterling Lambert (Austin) won in steer wrestling.
RodeoHouston put three champs in the short round and finished fourth with $24,833.
"You don't get to compete on a team very often, so it's cool to root for your teammates," O'Connell said. "We're always there to help each other and cheer each other on, but when you have a format your team can win, it's special."
O'Connell won the long round with 87 points on Jason's Pride, which gave him the first pick for the short round.
He chose Special Delivery without hesitation.
"That's very big," O'Connell said.
"I knew I could be a lot of points and win the rodeo on that horse. I was 91 on that horse a few weeks ago, so the opportunity to do it again presented itself, and I wasn't going to shy away from it."
He was 90 this time, pushing him past Jake Brown's 88.
"I had a great start," O'Connell said. "That horse fired right out of there, allowed me to get moving, and I was in the right position to keep my chin down, keep my feet moving and fire for the whistle."
Taos Muncy earned redemption in saddle bronc – and his second Super Shootout win.
The New Mexico native won his super series but placed fifth in the semifinal, then was bucked off quick in the wild card.
"It was embarrassing because I fell off pretty quick," Muncy said.
Muncy tied for third in the eight-man round, then selected James Bond, a horse he didn't know well, with the third pick because fellow shootout finalist Zeke Thurston said he was a good horse.
He wasn't lying.
Muncy, riding for Reno, scored 90 points to claim his second $25,000 check.
"It's been pretty slow for me here lately, so this is a great confidence booster.
"I'd been hurt for about six months, then came back and it wasn't going very well, so this one really helps out," Muncy said.
Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer.
Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer.

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