The month of August boasted $3.8 million in prize money, and the final week featured $541,843 that helped 27 ProRodeo athletes climb the ranks within the Top 15 of their respective events.
Within the Top 15 of the PRCA | RAM World Standings, saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright had the biggest move of the week, jumping six spots and going from 15th to ninth by picking up checks at multiple rodeos for a collective $10,340.
Wright placed fourth in the average at the Range Days Rodeo Xtreme Broncs competition in Rapid City, S.D., to earn $6,377, took third at the Golden Spike Rodeo in Tremonton, Utah, for $2,541 and finished third at the Range Days Rodeo in Rapid City, S.D., to take $1,422.
“It was awesome,” Wright said. “Before we went last week, I saw I drew some good horses and knew I had a chance to move up in the standings, and it all worked out. It counted right when I needed it, and I feel a lot better, like an elephant got lifted off my chest. I was back and forth from 16th and 15th, so to get off the bubble relieves me a lot. But the season isn’t over yet, and anything can happen.”
The Wright family is synonymous with ProRodeo success, particularly in saddle bronc riding, and Rusty is up there with his dad, Cody, uncles Alex, Jake, Jesse and Spencer, and brothers Ryder and Stetson. Since his rookie year in 2014, Rusty Wright has won more than $1 million and made four trips to the NFR (2015-16, 2018-19).
There’s one month left in the year-long race to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo or Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping with a Top 15 spot in the world standings.
Cowboys know it’s easier to maintain a position at the top than it is to play catch-up when trying to qualify for the NFR. Every dollar counts in the race for a gold buckle, and it’s not unheard of for world titles to be determined by an extremely thin margin.
Other cowboys to improve their position within the Top 15 last week include:
• Scott Snedecor moved from second to first in steer roping.
• Dustin Egusquiza moved from fourth to third in team roping heading.
• Jake Long moved from fourth to third in team roping heeling.
• Clayton Biglow moved from fifth to fourth in bareback riding.
• Shorty Garrett moved from fifth to fourth in saddle bronc riding.
• Mason Clements moved from seventh to sixth in bareback riding.
• Jacob Edler moved from seventh to sixth in steer wrestling.
• Junior Nogueira moved from eighth to seventh in team roping heeling.
• Andrew Ward moved from ninth to eighth in team roping heading.
• Zeke Thurston moved from ninth to eighth in saddle bronc riding.
• Thomas Smith moved from ninth to eighth in steer roping.
• Buddy Hawkins II moved from 10th to ninth in team roping heeling.
• Bridger Anderson moved from 11th to 10th in steer wrestling.
• Kolton Schmidt moved from 11th to 10th in team roping heading.
• Garrett Hale moved from 11th to 10th in steer roping.
• Denton Fugate moved from 11th to 10th in bull riding.
• Tyler Worley moved from 12th to 11th in team roping heeling.
• Dirk Tavenner moved from 13th to 12th in steer wrestling.
• Cole Reiner moved from 15th to 14th in bareback riding.
• Clayton Hass moved from 16th to 15th in steer wrestling.
Cowboys on the bubble for a spot in the Top 15 can find themselves a few dollars short of qualifying for the Wrangler NFR. With five weeks left between now and the end of the 2020 season, it’s noteworthy to see who is on the cusp of breaking into the Top 15.
• Riley Pruitt moved from 17th in tie-down roping and is $2,408 away from breaking into the Top 15.
• Brody Yeary moved from 17th in bull riding and is $62 away from breaking into the Top 15.
The outcome of this week’s competitions are sure to make an impact on the world standings and possibly on who will qualify for the 2020 Wrangler NFR and NFSR.
Fans can catch the rodeo action live on the PRCA on the Cowboy Channel Plus App this week for the following competitions:
• Cattlemen’s Days, Inc. in Gunnison, Colo., Sept. 3-5 at 9 p.m. (ET)
• Magic Valley Stampede in Filer, Idaho, Sept. 3-6, at 9:30 p.m.
• Evanston (Wyo.) Cowboy Days, Sept. 5-6 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 7 at 4 p.m.
• Lake County Round-Up in Lakeview, Ore., Sept. 5-6 at 9 p.m.
• Dillon Jaycees PRCA Rodeo-Montana’s Biggest Weekend, Sept. 5 at 9:30 p.m. and Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Bareback riders have a big event upcoming Sept. 7. They will compete for $30,000 at the Yellowstone Riggin Rally, a special event put on for the cast of the hit TV show, “Yellowstone.”
The Yellowstone Riggin Rally will premier on RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. (ET). It will also stream on the PRCA on Cowboy Channel Plus App at the same time. The event will re-air on The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV at 7 p.m. that night, and on The Cowboy Channel, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.
Check back with ProRodeo.com next week to see who moved up within the Top 15 of the world standings.
Courtesy of PRCA