By Wrangler Network contributer, Charlie Coon
Thousands of pickups, trailers, hay bales and horses along with cowboys and cowgirls from across the country have landed in Casper, Wyo. for the annual College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). First round action Sunday saw two of ProRodeo’s best do very well to land top five spots to get things started. They each hold top five positions for their respective events in the ProRodeo world standings as well. Bull rider Sage Steele Kimzey is in fact #1 in the world.
Kimzey topped his first draw at the CNFR for 79.5 points Sunday. His friend, Richie Champion, riding for Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas collected a 79 in bareback riding. The pair became pals at last year’s CNFR. Kimzey is just 19 years old, Champion 2l. Anyone even remotely connected with the sport of rodeo knows Champion as the $1 million winner of The American in Dallas three months ago. He told us that unprecedented accomplishment is just now sinking in.
Let’s first look at Richie and Sage’s Sunday CNFR work and then share a few minutes with two of the youngest and brightest stars in the ProRodeo ranks:
‘Travels with Charlie’ is a series of features by Charlie Coon produced exclusively for the Wrangler Network. Using the penname Curtis Scott, Mr. Coon has provided stories for the past 20 years to such outlets as The History Channel Magazine, American Heritage and the Denver Post. He is based in Cheyenne, Wyo., where he serves as coordinator for the state of Wyoming’s cowboy marketing program. Coon and cameraman Mike McCrimmon put together news, sports, and human interest features on a semi-regular basis for TV stations in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.