By Ted Harbin/for the American Royal Rodeo
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The final week of the ProRodeo season has provided Sterling Crawley with the opportunity to live out his inner NASCAR.
A saddle bronc rider, Crawley is a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stephenville, Texas, who is in a race to make his third straight appearance in the sport’s grand finale. Only the top 15 cowboys on the money list at the end of the regular season earn the right to compete in Las Vegas this coming December.
Crawley is 17th and needs to earn at least $4,000 to hit that magic number. On Friday night, the Texan took the lead at the American Royal PRCA Rodeo with an 82-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Hickok. That should be good enough for a nice payday in Kansas City, but it won’t be enough to catch the pack.
“We’re going as hard as we can and not letting off the gas until the last day,” he said.
The final day of the regular season is Sunday. Time is running out, and Crawley has thousands of miles to go before he’s done. He competed in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, then arrived in Kansas City. He rides in Stephenville, Texas, on Saturday night, then in San Bernardino, Calif., on Sunday.
He’ll have plenty to think about along the way in reliving Friday’s ride on Hickok.
“I was really excited to have him, because the last time we met up, it was really good,” Crawley said. “I was excited to draw him again, especially with the end of the season drawing near and me being kind of back a little.
“I need everything I can get.”
It’s just another phase for a cowboy who travels the rodeo trail with his brother, Jacobs, who already has secured his fourth trip to the NFR. They are following their passions.
“I rodeo because it’s something you love as much as anything,” Sterling Crawley said. “There’s no place we’d rather be on a Saturday night than at an arena and getting on bucking horses. You’re with your friends, you’re doing what you love and you’re bettering yourself every time. Why not do that as often as possible.”
Courtesy of PRCA