The last time Brett Stall climbed aboard Sutton Rodeos' Crystal Springs Peach, the bull wasn't yet named. He was a 2-year-old calf on Chris Berends' Minnesota ranch and Stall was a ranch kid from tiny Detroit Lakes, Minn., competing in an amateur rodeo.
How things have changed for them both.
Crystal Springs Peach made his first appearance at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last month and Stall, 22, moved a step closer to his Las Vegas debut Jan. 28 when he rode the bull for 89 points in the short go of the PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour event in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Combined with a career-best 90.5-point ride on Burch Rodeo Company's Death Warrant earlier in the evening, Stall won his first Xtreme Bulls title by 1.5 points over Douglas Duncan, of Alvin, Texas, (179.5 to 178). Stall leads the Xtreme Bull Tour standings and is second in the world standings, just $866 behind Seth Glause.
"I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw I had drawn Crystal Springs," Stall said. "I was the first to ever get on him when he was a calf owned by Chris Berends up in Minnesota. I was 83 on him at that amateur rodeo and it's been cool watching him come through the ranks and become one of the top bulls in the game with the Suttons.
"I've seen him so many times over the years that I had a pretty good idea what to expect from him. He usually turns out to the right, but he can change up on you ... I just felt I was ready for whatever he tried."
Ironically, both of Stall's biggest wins since buying his PRCA card two years ago have come in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. A year ago he tied Jarrod Ford for the championship in the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo, when both had scores of 87 points.
With career-best earnings of $13,326 in the XBulls, he goes into his BHSSR title defense on Feb. 3 with a chance to surpass his single-season earnings best by the end of the week; he earned $17,053 last year before breaking his left leg in June.
"I don't know what it is about Rapid City," Stall said, "but it dang sure has been good to me. My goal from the git go this year, has been to work hard and try to get to the (Wrangler) NFR. This is going to help out tremendously in keeping me out on the road.
"I grew up on a ranch and this is what I've wanted to do since I was knee high to a grasshopper. This is all like a dream to me."
Stall's 90.5-point ride on Death Warrant won the first round and Duncan won the short go with the 90-point ride he put on Gray Squirrel on Jan. 27, a half-point better than Patrick Geipel. Stall and Brent Menz tied for third with their 89s.