by Jim Bainbridge
By Ruth Nicolaus/for Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo committee
PHILLIPSBURG, Kan. – Phillipsburg is a homecoming of sorts for bull rider Sage Kimzey.
The reigning PRCA world champion won Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo with an 84-point ride on Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Ranger Rick.
Kimzey, from Strong City, Okla., is no stranger to the Phillipsburg arena. He went there for years with his dad, Ted, a former bullfighter and barrelman who worked the rodeo many times.
“I remember when I was little bitty coming up here with my dad,” he said. “I love this rodeo. It’s a pretty special place to me.”
Before his ride, Kimzey asked Rhett Beutler about the bull, and Rhett gave him good advice. “He’s just a good spinner,” Rhett told him. “You’ll eat him up, you’ll love him.”
Kimzey wore red to the rodeo, in honor of the late Greg Rumohr, a bullfighter who worked the Phillipsburg rodeo for 23 years, from 1989 through 2011. Rumohr, who died in a heavy equipment accident in 2014, was a close friend of the Kimzey family. The east rodeo grandstands, which Rumohr claimed as his special fans, had a “Rumohr’s Rowdies” banner hanging atop it.
“It means a lot to get to come and ride here, especially with the tribute (to Rumohr) up there. Greg was an amazing man and a great family friend. That’s why I’m wearing red tonight. It’s definitely for Greg. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.”
The rodeo season ends in two months, and there are plenty of rodeos to enter. “The gas pedal to the metal,” is how Kimzey described it, “till the end of the season. I love every second of it.”
Kimzey also won rodeos in Abilene, Kan., and Sidney, Iowa.
The steer wrestling title went to Jake Kraupie.
The Bridgeport, Neb. cowboy turfed his steer in 3.5 seconds, in his first trip to Phillipsburg.
It was a good day for the 27-year-old cowboy, who also made a second-place run in Abilene that morning. Within 24 hours, he had won $4,066 at the two rodeos.
“That was a pretty good day,” he said, “the best day I’ve had in my career.”
He travels with two-time world champion Dean Gorsuch and rode Gorsuch’s horse, a 16-year-old sorrel named Chevy. Jake rode Chevy last year and has ridden him this year since May. “He’s a super nice horse. He scores good, runs hard, and gives you a chance to win every time.” Gorsuch tied for fifth place in Phillipsburg.
In the saddle bronc riding, the reigning world champion won the Phillipsburg title.
Jacobs Crawley rode Beutler and Son Rodeo’s Little Angel for 86 points. “She’s a great bucking horse,” he said. “She’s a little bad in the chute. You gotta ease in and ease out, and not cause too much of a commotion. Out in the arena, she’s outstanding. She really, really bucks.”
The Phillipsburg Rodeo awards its champions with three-piece buckles, and Crawley was anxious to get his.
“I’ve always wanted one,” he said. “My brother (Sterling) won one two years ago, and I’ve been jealous ever since. I’ve come to this rodeo for seven years, and ever since I found out (the buckles were awarded), we can’t miss Phillipsburg. We’ve got to come to this rodeo.”
Crawley is riding with a muscle injury after having a horse flip on him in the chutes at the Dalhart, Texas rodeo. It’s a lower back injury, and it’s the muscle, “which is a good thing,” he said. “It’s a big thing in the roughstock events, to stay healthy and stay strong-minded and not fight your equipment. Stick to the game plan.”
Other 2016 champions include bareback rider Clayton Biglow, Clements, Calif. (84.5 points), team ropers Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla. (3.8 seconds), tie-down roper Taylor Santos, Creston, Calif. (8.1 seconds), and barrel racer Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas (16.92 seconds).
The big checks for Tough Enough to Wear Pink were awarded tonight. Including matches from sponsors, about $8,500 was donated to the Phillips County Relay for Life and to local cancer patients. Sponsors include the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association, Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, McClain Seed Sales, Rodgers and Associates, Kansas Crop Care and Farmers State Bank.
Courtesy of PRCA