Corvallis' Caleb Bennett: 'He likes to gamble, I'm the opposite'

On travel partner, new neighbor Richie Champion
Caleb Bennett.JPG
Caleb Bennett NFR
Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 21:44:46-05

LAS VEGAS -- It's no secret some rodeo guys change addresses more often than clothes.

A lot of ropers, like Clay and Chase Tryan (Billings and Helena natives), move to Texas for weather conducive to practicing year-round. But it turns out Montana has a pair of new resident cowboys.

Bareback rider Richie Champion bought a place near Stevensville earlier this year following travel partner Caleb Bennett, who moved a few years ago from Utah. Both are competing this week at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Champion is fifth in the world. Bennett is sixth, and they're a pretty funny duo.

Champion's version of how his move went down.

"(Bennett) asked me to move. I didn't have anywhere else to go," he said with a chuckle. "No, you marry a Canadian and move her to Texas, she spends the summer there, she might leave you. So, it was time to go."

Montana's outdoor appeal didn't hurt either.

"We're big on winter sports and fishing and hunting and getting out," Champion continued. "I went and checked it out (Stevensville) because of Caleb, and I loved it. Now we're there and happy as can be."

Champion mentioned his wife, Paige Lawrence, being from Canada but didn't mention that she was an Olympic pairs figure skater at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

As for the rodeo duo, Bennett claims to be the more reserved compared to Champion. And that includes Las Vegas gambling.

"I'm pretty tight with my money," Bennett said. "I don't do much gambling. I lost a couple hundred bucks or so with Richie the other night and I was like, 'I'm out. I'm done. I'm going to bed.'"

Naturally, Champion tried to talk him out of it.

"Oh yeah, he likes to gamble and have a good time and I'm just the opposite," Bennett said. "I like to keep it in my pocket. I tell him, 'Dude, what we do for a living is a gamble. I take a gamble every day, I want to save what I can, man.'"

Gambling inside the arena is paying off for both. They've combined to win almost $120,000 this week.