WACO, TEXAS – Bull rider Newt Brasfield came into the All American ProRodeo Finals ranked 28th out of the 30 qualifiers. Now he’s among the final eight heading into Saturday night’s championship.
Brasfield won the bull riding sixth round at Extraco Arena Friday night with a score of 83 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Vitalix Big Lick. He was second in Thursday’s fifth performance, and those two quality rides vaulted him into Saturday’s nine-man semifinal round that begins at 7 p.m. (Central time).
The top four in the semifinals advance to Saturday’s four-man shootout round to determine the champions in each event.
“It’d be great to win, and it would sure be an honor,” Brasfield said. “We’re all going head-to-head against some great competition, so it’s going to be tough.”
Brasfield, 21, bought his PRCA card less than a month ago. He qualified for the 2015 RAM Permit Challenge Finals in Las Vegas during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Brasfield said he hopes “to make a big run at” the WNFR in his rookie season.
His previous biggest win wasn’t really a win, but a second-place finish in the average at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. He also won the short round in Cheyenne.
Asked how it would feel to win the All American ProRodeo Finals, Brasfield smiled big and said, “It would mean the world. It would be the highlight of my career so far.”
He’s from the small Southeast Oklahoma town of Lane, and graduated from nearby Atoka High School in 2012, a year after he qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo. He’s had surgery on his right shoulder twice, but is now as healthy as a bull rider can be.
Brasfield and his wife, Brooke, have a son, Briar, 2. Brasfield’s family was involved in rodeo, and he was ready to go at an early age.
“My dad rode a few bulls in high school,” he said. “I have three older brothers and they rodeoed. I was 5 or 6 when I started getting on calves.”
Now, he’s competing on the big stages – and winning. He’s earned $4,515 so far in Waco, and hopes to cash in again Saturday night.
The nine qualifiers for the semifinals in each event are as follows:
Bareback riding: Luke Creasy, Tye Breuer, Craig Wisehart, Evan Jayne, Jake Brown, Grant Denny, Casey Breuer, Mason Clements and Taylor Price;
Tie-down roping: Jayce Johnson, Shane Hanchey, Chris Demases, Bart Brunson, Clint Kindred, Paul David Tierney, Cody McCartney, Dennis Luetge and Ethan Hill;
Steer wrestling: Josh Peek, Mike Gollaher, Cooper Shofner, Tooter Silver, Jason Thomas, Ross Mosher, J.D. Struxness, Sean Mulligan and Shayde Etherton;
Team roping: Garrett Tonozzi/Tyler McKnight, Pace Freed/Cody Pearson, Jimmy Tanner/Shawn Harris, Ace Pearce/Chase Wiley, Ty Blasingame/Levin Tyan, Paul David Tierney/Buddy Hawkins, Clayton Von Aken/Joe Roderick, Ryan VonAhn/J.W. Beck and Manny Egusquiza/Boogie Ray;
Saddle bronc riding: Jacobs Crawley, Isaac Diaz, Rusty Wright, Justin Caylor, Brady Nicholes, Cody Wright, Cody Anthony, Kobyn Williams and Joey Sonnier;
Barrel racing: Lisa Thornton, Michele McLeod, Katelyn McLeod, Andrea Cline, Tillar Murray, Brittany Pozzi, Calyssa Thomas, Jackie Ganter and Megan Swint;
Bull riding: Cody Rostockyj, Lon Danley, Cole Melancon, Tag Elliott, Michael Riggs Jr., Brasfield, Pistol Robinson, Denton Fugate and Jess Askey.
Read complete coverage of the All American ProRodeo Finals in the Nov. 6 ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA