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McWhorter wins first CNFR title for Cal Poly since 2014

Quintin McHorter.jpg
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 21, 2023

When the bucking chutes open for saddle bronc rider Quintin McWhorter, magic usually follows along with a good score and it makes sense, he’s been at it awhile.

“I've been rodeo and since I was about two years old," McWhorter recalls. "I got a picture of me on my parents fridge back home and they're leading me around the barrel and stuff when I was like two.”

After 6 years as a member of the Cal Poly rodeo team, McWhorter finished up his college career on the highest of highs winning a share of the national title in Saddle Bronc at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. He and West Texas College's Damian Brennan would tie with a score of 323.5. He is the first world champion from Cal Poly since Taylor Santos did it in 2014 in tie-down roping.

“At first I was waiting back, kind of playing it cool and seeing what was going to happen and then I think once I did the victory lap there, then it kind of started to sink in a little bit," McWhorter said.

“I kind of remember being nervous there, and in fact, I was probably more nervous there this year than I ever was competing myself. But just watching him climb over shoots calm, cool, collected, you know, more focus than I'd ever seen him in previous years. And it was easy to step back and just let him take it from there.”

Cal Poly’s Head Coach Ben Londo has been at the helm of the program since 2013 and having won the CNFR three times during his time as a Mustang from ’03 to ’07 in Bareback and as an All-Around Cowboy, he knew how talented McWhorter would be on a bucking horse.

“First time I saw Quintin ride, he's always had the grit in the heart, which is 90% of the deal," Londo recalled. "There's no doubt he had more talent than a lot of the guys who have passed through here and you've seen it materialize into what he is now.”

For McWhorter, all it took was the promise of getting to be where he wanted to in the sport to make him a Mustang.

"He told me when I came to visit that he'd help me figure it out when I came here. So I figured I would.”

Now that he is finished donning the green and gold, the Pro Rodeo Circuit is next where he’ll learn the ropes of rodeoing full-time.

“I haven't pro rodeo'd very hard," McWhorter admitted. "There's guys that are gone eight months out of the year or whatever, so I need to kind of figure out how to rodeo and then go try my hand at it.”

With his recent world title, there will be an expectation to perform well. Coach Londo knows all about that after spending 12 years in pro rodeo after graduating from Cal Poly.

“Assoon as you graduate college, they're kind of looking for you to do something big because you're fresh on the scene and you're the you're the new champ. Every place they'll announce him this summer, they will talk about his world title.”

For cowboys going into their pro rodeo career the saying goes: “You either get broke or broken.”

But for McWhorter, the saying will hopefully be something along the lines of just continuing to win.