Local bareback rider Tanner Aus saved his best for last, taking home the go-round bareback riding buckle during the final and 10th frame Saturday night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held over the course of the past two weeks in Las Vegas.

Local bareback rider Tanner Aus saved his best for last, taking home the go-round bareback riding buckle during the final and 10th frame Saturday night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held over the course of the past two weeks in Las Vegas.

With that, Aus added $20,872 to his pocketbook and pushed his season earnings to $169,416. In all, the 2012 intercollegiate champion at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri earned nearly $74,000 during the 10 day event.  He placed in just three go-rounds but also placed sixth in the average with a 10-ride cumulative score of 767 points.

“I came in 8th in the world and went out 6th, and that’s about all I can ask for,” said Aus. “It was an awesome 10 days and I’m really happy to be home.”

Aus said returned home after the exhaustive 10 days Monday morning and at the time he was reached  Tuesday afternoon he said he had hardly left his bed. Recounting the experience, he said he went into the rodeo finals with pretty high expectations of himself based on the horses that he was set to ride, but really had little to no expectations for the rodeo itself, as he had only heard stories.

“It’s unlike any other rodeo. It’s just electric,” he said. “The atmosphere is just tense all the time. the rodeo moves so fast. Lights, lasers, famous singers ... it was just one grand spectacle for two hours and it just happens to be a rodeo––so thats pretty cool, too.”

Cool, yes. But also distracting. And Aus would acknowledge that he would need the first half of the rodeo finals to get acclimated.

“I started out a little slow, but then I got a lot of calls and text from guys who had been there who just said: “Relax. You’re trying too hard,” and about mid-week I did that and it helped.”

Aus would place in two other rounds before claiming the 10th-round championship alongside riders Tim O’Connell and Steven Peebles after the trio posted 83.5-point rides Saturday.

One of my goals was to win one of the go-rounds. I split with the world champion and another one of my good buddies, Tim O’Connel from Iowa, so I was just thankful and it was awesome.

Living vicariously through Aus was a wide swath of the community watching the event live on national television as well as about two dozen family members and friends who traveled to Las Vegas for the occasion.

“Quite a few people came down  and the calls and texts have been constant,” said Aus. “I’m just really thankful for the support––to the people watching and who made the trip.”

At this point, Aus said he has a few ideas about where he might direct some of the earnings but has nothing set in stone worth sharing. Otherwise, sitting at sixth place in the world, and actually third place in the 2016 standings, one might think Aus is ready to rest his laurels for a bit. But then they would be wrong. On Friday Aus, will be bareback riding in a rodeo in Billings, Montana.

“It’s on to the next one,” he said.