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Resistol Rookie of the Year

First impressions are everything, even in ProRodeo. Rookies in each event spend the year working toward winning the PRCA/Resistol Rookie of the Year honors, but only the best claim the prize. As the 2017 season came to a close, the top rookies in each event shared their thoughts on the prize and reflected on their first year of ProRodeo competition.

Congratulations to this year’s Resistol Rookie of the Year Winners.

 


Rookie of the Year Profiles

Nelson Wyatt

AGE: 24
EVENTS: All-around (tie-down roping/team roping header) and team roping header/partner Brad Culpepper and then Trace Porter most of the year
HOMETOWN: Clanton, Ala.
EARNINGS: $54,317

What do these awards mean to you?
It’s definitely an honor, and I started out the year heading and to win all-around too is definitely a bonus. It’s always been a goal of mine to win the Rookie of the Year.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
Take every steer seriously and look at it that every steer is a chance to get to the Finals. And take them one at a time and then do your job on every chance you get.

How does winning these awards impact your future ProRodeo plans?
It gives me hope to go out there next year and make the Finals. I came up just short this year and next year I’d like to get into the Top 15 like everyone else wants to.


Tanner Phipps

AGE: 25
EVENT: Bareback riding
HOMETOWN: Dalton, Ga.
EARNINGS: $57,739

What does this award mean to you?
I planned on trying to go for it when I got out of school and had some great things happen. I worked hard for it and I achieved it.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
Plan a little better. I didn’t have anyone to help me enter. I pretty well did everything myself all year long. At first, I was rodeoing to make money and didn’t know how well the year would go for me. But in June I learned a lot of stuff about the count and what rodeos would count and which ones wouldn’t – so I ran out of rodeos pretty early… I want to do things differently next year so I’m not in that position.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
It’ll be the same either way. I’ll go hard the next few years and make the Finals, at least for the next five years. Winning Rookie of the Year doesn’t change it much, it’s just something I wanted to achieve along the way and I’m glad I did it.


Jesse Brown

AGE: 25
EVENT: Steer wrestling
HOMETOWN: Baker City, Ore.
EARNINGS: $15,501

What does this award mean to you?
It was my goal at the beginning of the year and that was big – to accomplish it means a lot. The Rookie of the Year is a prestigious award and a lot of the guys in the NFR have won it before.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
Keep a steady head and be patient if you aren’t doing well or drawing the right steer. Don’t get worked up about it, it will come.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
It doesn’t mean anything as far as the rodeos for next year. If it leads to sponsorships, that would help me get down the road. Winning Rookie of the Year doesn’t give you any qualifications, and it doesn’t help you win any more next year. I was proud to win it this year, but next year is a clean slate.


Cody Hogan

AGE: 21
EVENT: Team roping heeler/partner Aaron Macy
HOMETOWN: Athens, Texas
EARNINGS: $43,793

What does this award mean to you?
It means a lot. In Castle Rock (Colo.) I got my hand in a dally and was out for two weeks and it put a damper on the lead I had. When I came back, I worked even harder, so it makes it even more special that I came back and did what I wanted to do.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
Stay on top of everything and know what’s going on at all times. Know how the steers are and where you have to be at a certain time and make the arrangements.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
I have the same goals, I’ll go back and work at it and try to make the Finals.


Shade Etbauer

AGE: 24
EVENT: Saddle bronc riding
HOMETOWN: Goodwell, Okla.
EARNINGS: $41,726

What does this award mean to you?
It’s one of the goals I always wanted to accomplish. My dad, Robert, won it when he was a rookie. It’s something I always wanted to accomplish.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
Just keep going, and the more horses you get on the better you get.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
I’m not sure where I ended up in the year-end, but I was doing good in the world standings for a while. I was in the Top 25 at least, and since I made it that close I know I can make it to the Finals.


Tyler Milligan

AGE: 20
EVENT: Tie-down roping
HOMETOWN: Pawhuska, Okla.
EARNINGS: $53,870

What does this award mean to you?
It really means a lot. You only get one chance to win and you can never win that award again, so that’s why I wanted it. It feels good to set a goal and accomplish it.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
You don’t have to win first all the time, just make your run and do the best you can do on your calf and that’s all you can do.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
I don’t know if it’s impacted my plans, I would do the same thing if I won or not. I’m going to keep rodeoing and doing what I’ve been doing.


Kelton McMillen

AGE: 24
EVENT: Steer roping
HOMETOWN: Paden, Okla.
EARNINGS: $8,625

What does this award mean to you?
There are plenty of big ones you can achieve and have a few chances at in the big rodeos – but this one award you only get one shot at, and it’s pretty neat to get it.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
This is the first year I really hauled to quite a few, and I would say the biggest lesson I learned was about keeping your horses going and working.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
You can cross that off your checklist of accomplishments, and I won enough to get into the big rodeos like San Antonio and the All American Finals at Waco, Texas, and it sets up the next year for me.


Boudreaux Campbell

AGE: 19
EVENT: Bull riding
HOMETOWN: Crockett, Texas
EARNINGS: $88,063

What does this award mean to you?
Everyone has the same shot and wants it as bad as you, and it’s only a one-time deal. I feel pretty good knowing I was able to compete and excel with all the other great competition that was around.

What’s the most important lesson you learned during your rookie year?
All the traveling and being away from home and learning how to enter. There’s guys that will help you out, but you need to learn yourself… And going a few days of not showering and not getting much sleep.

How does winning this award impact your future ProRodeo plans?
Winning this award is going to help me go to the (WNFR) with some confidence. Then next year, knowing I was the best rookie, I’ll try to ride twice as many bulls or ride twice as good.


Taci Bettis

AGE: 26
EVENT: Barrel Racing
HOMETOWN: Round Top, Texas
EARNINGS: $97,023
HORSES: Bogie Is A Smash “Smash” (9-year old gelding) – Sire: Bogie Biankus/Dam: Bogies Devine Smash; LK Sheza Hayday “Ziva” (7-year old – owned by Tammy Fischer) – Sire: PC Frenchmans Hayday/Dam: Sheza Peasa Pie; Bogies French Bug “Bugs” (6 -year old gelding) – Sire: Frenchmans Bogie/Dam: Really A Wrangler

2017 Highlights

• Won a WPRA Rookie of the Year
• Finished second at the second night of Champions Challenge in Sioux Falls, S.D.
• Won the Lea County Fair and Rodeo (Lovington, N.M.)
• Won the Gooding (Idaho) Pro Rodeo
• Finished second at the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo
• Won the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo (Casper)
• Won the Rooftop Rodeo (Estes Park, Colo.)
• Finished second at Home of Champions (Red Lodge, Mont.)
• Won the Deadwood (S.D.) Days of 76 Rodeo
• Won the Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days
• Finished second at the Sheridan (Wyo.) Rodeo
• Won the Lehi (Utah) Roundup
• Finished second at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo after winning the final round
• Finished second at the Coleman (Texas) PRCA Rodeo
• Finished second at Rodeo Killeen (Texas)
• Finished second at Crockett (Texas) Pro Rodeo
• Won the Buc Days ProRodeo (Corpus Christi, Texas)

Awards

2017 WPRA Rookie of the Year; Taci claimed a pair of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World titles in 2015 at the World Show in Oklahoma City, taking home the title for Senior Barrel Racing and taking first in the Amateur Division as well.

Personal

Husband, Jeremy (engineer for a fiber optics company)…Travels with 6-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Tammy Fischer and Tammy has been her barrel racing coach since she was 15…Bred by former WPRA Columbia River Circuit Director Randy Rae Britt and her husband Sid, Smash is by their stallion Bogie Biankus who carried Britt to the circuit championship in 1997 and leant a hand to Katie (McCoin) Garthwaite during her Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) appearance when Garthwaite’s own horse suffered an injury…Taci has been riding since before she was walking, Bettis started with a pony at youth rodeos and has worked her way up the ranks, competing in high school rodeo and then on the regional rodeo tour since adding Smash to her barn. She decided to get her WPRA card once she and Smash were doing so well.


Resistol PRCA Rookie Standings

Unofficial through October 16, 2017

All-around
1 Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala. $54,317
2 Shade Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. 43,146
3 Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla. 41,990
4 Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas 35,878
5 Fenton Nelson, Iowa Falls, Iowa 13,229
6 Jared Parke, Gooding, Idaho 11,695
7 Josh Davison, Miles City, Mont. 9,727
8 Quentin Branden, Barrhead, Alberta 8,902
9 Mason Carter, Checotah, Okla. 8,654
10 Lane Bateman, Sorrento, Fla. 6,898
 

Bareback Riding

1 Tanner Phipps, Dalton, Ga. $57,739
2 Wyatt Bloom, Bend, Ore. 55,019
3 Logan Corbett, Las Cruces, N.M. 34,913
4 Pascal Isabelle, Okotoks, Alberta 13,187
5 J.C. Hester Jr., Queen City, Mo. 9,886
6 Levi Nicholson, Weatherford, Okla. 9,023
7 Rio Lee, Tucson, Ariz. 6,073
8 Evan Miller, Parma, Idaho 4,642
9 Jonathan Estrada, Guadalupe, Mexico 2,428
10 Cavan Wrzesinski, Boulder, Mont. 2,307
 

Steer Wrestling

1 Jesse Brown, Baker City, Ore. $15,501
2 Mason Carter, Checotah, Okla. 8,404
3 Wyatt Jurney, Las Cruces, N.M. 5,933
4 Fenton Nelson, Iowa Falls, Iowa 5,351
5 Lane Bateman, Sorrento, Fla. 5,011
6 Quentin Branden, Barrhead, Alberta 4,095
7 Zach Peterson, Lindale, Texas 3,563
8 Hunter Washburn, Shawnee, Okla. 3,497
9 Justin Kimsey, Kennewick, Wash. 2,903
10 Kaleb Summers, Claremore, Okla. 2,665
 

Team Roping (Headers)

1 Nelson Wyatt, Clanton, Ala. $52,012
2 Trey Blackmore, Hillside, Ariz. 18,272
3 Steven Duby, Melba, Idaho 16,456
4 Cole Wheeler, Flint, Texas 13,307
5 Dale Benevides, Naalehu, Hawaii 11,867
6 Thompson Berryhill, Talala, Okla. 10,905
7 Jesse Northrop, Fields, Ore. 7,985
8 Brett Stuart, Bridgeport, Texas 6,453
9 Tyler Smith, Middleton, Idaho 6,018
10 Kellan Johnson, Casper, Wyo. 5,286
 

Team Roping (Heelers)

1 Cody Hogan, Athens, Texas $43,793
2 Nano Garza, Las Cruces, N.M. 40,597
3 Jake Clay, Sapulpa, Okla. 26,338
4 Brady Norman, Springer, Okla. 20,181
5 Dayton Stafford, Prineville, Ore. 19,127
6 Tucker White, Hershey, Neb. 10,786
7 Kurtis Barry, Wilder, Idaho 7,985
8 Myles John, Indian Wells, Ariz. 7,407
9 Coleby Payne, Lipan, Texas 7,108
10 Dillon Wingereid, Paso Robles, Calif. 6,233
 

Saddle Bronc Riding

1 Shade Etbauer, Goodwell, Okla. $41,726
2 Leon Fountain, Socorro, N.M. 29,881
3 Colt Gordon, Comanche, Okla. 22,754
4 Tyler Baeza, Lake Charles, La. 13,693
5 Jake Finlay, Goondiwindi, Australia 13,683
6 Tanner Lockhart, Lewis, Colo. 12,578
7 Blaise Freeman, Snyder, Texas 11,529
8 Ray Hostetler, Piffard, N.Y. 8,067
9 Josh Davison, Miles City, Mont. 7,681
10 Kash Deal, Dupree, S.D. 6,981
 

Tie-Down Roping

1 Tyler Milligan, Pawhuska, Okla. $53,870
2 Justin Smith, Leesville, La. 46,168
3 Lane Livingston, Seymour, Texas 42,379
4 Ty Baker, Van Horn, Texas 26,573
5 Jim Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas 10,706
6 Sam Nave, Stephenville, Texas 9,148
7 Jared Parke, Gooding, Idaho 8,767
8 Seth Cooke, Weatherford, Texas 8,258
9 Fenton Nelson, Iowa Falls, Iowa 7,878
10 Keaton Newman, Herriman, Utah 5,746
 

Steer Roping

1 Kelton McMillen, Paden, Okla. $8,625
2 Billy Good, Wynnewood, Okla. 3,782
3 Caleb McMillan, Soap Lake, Wash. 2,100
 

Bull Riding

1 Boudreaux Campbell, Crockett, Texas $88,063
2 Tristan Mize, Bryan, Texas 85,957
3 Chase Dougherty, Canby, Ore. 72,754
4 Koby Radley, Montpelier, La. 52,880
5 Ruger Piva, Challis, Idaho 41,138
6 Dave Mason, Burnet, Texas 40,260
7 Jesse Petri, Athens, Texas 33,997
8 Lane Lasley, Marshall, Ark. 16,997
9 Shad Heiner, Morgan, Utah 16,451
10 Cody Strite, Albuquerque, N.M. 13,178