Saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere looks to continue stellar year at the finals of RFD-TV’s The American

Cole Elshere is riding like a man who wants to return to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals after missing out the last five years.

Elshere is a three-time NFR qualifier who currently sits eighth in the world with $23,090.76.

In the semi-finals RFD-TV’s The American, Elshere finished third out of the six bronc riders to advance with a total score of 161.25 on two head. The only athletes who scored better than him the semis were Wyatt Casper and Kole Ashbacher.

The South Dakota cowboy takes plenty of pride in his home state. His favorite rodeo is the Deadwood Days of ‘76 in South Dakota because of its “hometown feel” and he also is reminded of where he comes from every time he rides.

“Being able to [represent] South Dakota and show all the kids from home that they can go out into the world and ride well and compete at the top level [is motivating],” he told Cowboys and Indians Magazine in 2016.

Elshere has also competed in bull riding but calls bronc riding his true love.

“Bronc riding is a learning process, and it was so much fun just trying to figure out the finesse of it, so I just really put a lot of effort into that,” he said.

Western life is in this cowboy’s blood. Both of Elshere’s parents are full-time ranchers and he works on the family ranch when he is not competing. He also has two cousins, J.J. and Ryan Elshere, who are saddle bronc riders in the PRCA. J.J., who Cole calls his rodeo idol, has qualified for NFR three times.

On Monday, he announced some new blood entering that rodeo family. He and his wife Kyndra are expecting their first child in September of 2020.