For all events except bareback riding and saddle bronc riding, the deciding factor in who qualified for the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping boiled down to three rodeos the final weekend of the regular season, worth a collective $398,544 Sept. 21-27.
The season isn’t over yet for bareback riders and saddle bronc riders. The Gold Buckle Knockout in Stoneham, Colo., Sept. 30 could play a part in who qualifies for the NFR in those events. Fans can watch the action live on The Cowboy Channel and the PRCA on Cowboy Channel Plus, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. (ET).
The final weekend was a last chance to climb the 2020 PRCA | RAM World Standings not just for those outside the Top 15, but also for those seeking a gold buckle, as every dollar counts in the race for the world title.
Of course, nothing is official until the standings have been audited later this fall. As it unofficially stands, as of Sept. 29, 25 cowboys moved up within the Top 15 of their respective events.
Tie-down roper Tyson Durfey’s final push for the 2020 season resulted in the biggest jump in the world standings last week, as the Missouri cowboy broke the bubble and climbed eight spots, from 20th to 12th. Durfey’s jump boiled down to the final round of the Gold Buckle Beer ProRodeo Tour Finale in Rapid City, S.D., where he won $8,740 during the Sept. 22-26 competition.
Not only did the win grant him a spot at the Wrangler NFR, it also pushed him into the $2 million club for total career earnings. Durfey is now one of 33 ProRodeo athletes to win more than $2 million.
Durfey won the 2016 tie-down roping world title and has made 13 trips to the NFR (2007-11, 2013-19). On Nov. 27, Durfey will be able to celebrate his 37th birthday knowing that the 2020 Wrangler NFR is less than an hour away from his home.
The following cowboys saw their positions improve in the Top 15 of the world standings during the final week of the regular season.
• Tyler Milligan moved from 11th to fourth in tie-down roping.
• Chad Masters moved from 16th to ninth in team roping heading.
• Tanner Brunner moved from 12th to sixth in steer wrestling.
• Wesley Thorp moved from 15th to 10th in team roping heeling.
• Stetson Wright moved from 18th to 13th in saddle bronc riding.
• Jeff Askey moved from 10th to sixth in bull riding.
• Ty Wallace moved from 12th to ninth in bull riding.
• Jesse Pope moved from 14th to 11th in bareback riding.
• Jace Melvin moved from ninth to seventh in steer wrestling.
• Kolton Schmidt moved from 13th to 11th in team roping heading.
• Caddo Lewallen moved from 15th to 13th in tie-down roping.
• Taos Muncy moved from 17th to 15th in saddle bronc riding.
• Joseph Harrison moved from second to first in team roping heeling.
• Tilden Hooper moved from fifth to fourth in bareback riding.
• Westyn Hughes moved from sixth to fifth in tie-down roping.
• Shay Carroll moved from eighth to seventh in team roping heeling.
• Richmond Champion moved from ninth to eighth in bareback riding.
• Caleb Smidt moved from ninth to eighth in tie-down roping.
• Timber Moore moved from 10th to ninth in tie-down roping.
• Rusty Wright moved from 11th to 10th in saddle bronc riding.
• Cole Reiner moved from 13th to 12th in bareback riding.
• Cody Lee moved from 13th to 12th in steer roping.
• Tyler Bingham moved from 13th to 12th in bull riding.
• Jesse Brown moved from 16th to 15th in steer wrestling.
Sometimes the deciding factor between 15th and 16th is a margin of a few dollars. The following is the unofficial amount separating 15th and 16th for each event as of Sept. 29:
• Bareback riding – $33
• Steer wrestling – $1,559
• Team roping heading – $588
• Team roping heeling – $2,912
• Saddle bronc riding – $1,327
• Tie-down roping – $175
• Steer roping – $1,072
• Bull riding – $1,961
With 65 days to go until the Wrangler NFR and 38 days until the NFSR, some cowboys will take a well-deserved break before the biggest competition of the year.
Others will hit the ground running for the start of the 2021 season by competing at the RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo (Oct. 2-3), the RAM California Circuit Finals Rodeo (Oct. 9-10), the RAM Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo (Oct. 9-11), the Heart O’ Texas Rodeo in Waco (Oct. 10-17) and the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo (Oct. 16-17).
Fans can catch the RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo on The Cowboy Channel and PRCA on Cowboy Channel Plus app on Oct. 2-3 at 3 p.m. (ET).
Check back with ProRodeo.com next week to find out who has a successful start for the 2021 season.
Courtesy of PRCA