Throughout the July 19-24 weekend on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, competitors had the opportunity to earn more money toward qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas than any other weekend of the year.
That’s because the renovated Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City offered each event winner received a $50,000 check.
According to prorodeo.com, the $1 million Salt Lake City rodeo plus five other rodeos with six-figure payoffs proved to be a major boost for world title contenders. In addition to the lucrative Salt Lake rodeo, rodeo athletes competed for $455,429 in Edmonton, Alberta; $379,717 in Nampa, Idaho; $360,578 in Salinas, Calif.; $276,762 in Spanish Fork, Utah; and $188,879 in Ogden, Utah.
Both the Salt Lake City and Edmonton rodeos were cash cows for three-time world tie-down roping champion Tuf Cooper, a native of Childress who lives in Weatherford. After finishing second in a preliminary round (with a time of 8.5 seconds) and then clinching the tie-down roping title during the final round on July 24 (7.5 seconds), Cooper’s total earnings at the Salt Lake City rodeo were $52,400. Cooper also pocketed $9,616 after tying for first in tie-down roping at the Edmonton rodeo (8.1 seconds).
If that wasn’t enough, Cooper also earned smaller checks for finishing in the money at traditional PRCA Utah-based summer rodeos in Spanish Fork (where he earned $1,321) and in Ogden ($2,782).
After all that, Cooper was ranked No. 1 in the world all-around race in last week’s standings with $159,146, $35,380 ahead of No. 2 ranked Caleb Smidt. Cooper also was ranked No. 1 in last week’s PRCA’s tie-down roping standings with $140,080, $27,362 ahead of Smidt who was ranked second.
Bull rider Sage Kimzey also thrived on first place finishes at the Salt Lake City and Edmonton rodeos. He earned $52,667 after winning the Salt Lake City rodeo with a 90 aboard Diamond G Rodeo’s Komatsu’s War Party. He also pocketed $12,661 for winning the Edmonton rodeo with an 88 on C5 Rodeo’s Big Dip. After all that, Kimzey was ranked No. 1 in the PRCA’s 2017 bull riding standings last week with $179,158, $50,091 ahead of No. 2 ranked Garrett Smith.
Another competitor who cashed in at the Salt Lake rodeo was Hailey Kinsel who clinched the barrel racing title with a time of 17.06 and finished with $53,200 in total earnings. A rising star on the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, Kinsel was ranked No. 7 in last week’s barrel racing world standings with $92,812, which should be enough to earn a first National Finals berth.
In other events at the Salt Lake rodeo, veteran Cody DeMoss clinched the saddle bronc riding title an 87 on Diamond G Rodeo’s Owen’s Mistake. Other competitors who earned a coveted $50,000 final round winner’s check at the Days of ’47 rodeo were bareback rider Wyatt Denny (88 points on Diamond G Rodeo’s Diamond Hope), steer wrestler Ryle Smith (4.0 seconds) and team ropers Jr. Dees and Tyler McKnight (4.4 seconds).
Cheyenne rodeo concludes
Trevor Brazile, an Amarillo native who lives in Decatur, finished third in the tie-down roping title race at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, which concluded its nine-day run Sunday, July 30. After turning in a 16.4 during the final round, Brazile finished with a three-run time of 39.1 seconds. Lane Livingston lassoed the title with a 38.0.
The team roping race concluded with a tie between tie between Erich Rogers/Cory Petska and Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn. The two teams finished with a three-run time of 28.4.
Other 2017 champions at the $835,283 rodeo were bareback rider Tim O’Connell, steer wrestler Baylor Roche, saddle bronc rider Brody Cress, barrel racer Stevi Hillman, steer roper Brady Garten and bull rider Clayton Foltyn.
Sage Kimzey clinched his third consecutive Championship Bull Riding title after competing on July 25, at the association’s finals in Cheyenne, Wyo. Kimzey secured the title after turning a 92 aboard a bovine named 756 Whacked Out (Burleson Barnett). In the 2017 title race that had a close finish, Kimzey edged second place finisher Eli Vastbinder, 2477 to 2471. After clinching the 2017 CBR title, Kimzey received a $100,000 check.
On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Matt Tripplett clinched the title at the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT) stop on Saturday in Big Sky, Mont., with a two-ride aggregate score of 171.5, a half point more than second place finisher Cody Teel. Triplett earned $11,793 and Teel pocketed $8,031.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has reported on rodeos for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for more than three decades. Email him at email@example.com.