Denver’s National Western Stock Show and Rodeo has hosted some of the biggest names in ProRodeo since 1946.
It’s not unheard of to see cowboys earn more than $10,000 in Denver, one of last year’s top 15 highest-paying rodeos. Winning big in Denver can set the pace for the rest of the year.
Cowboys have from Jan. 16-26 to win a piece of the prize money, but only the best make the arena record book. Fans can catch the final round of the 2020 Denver rodeo live on The Cowboy Channel, Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. (ET). Look-ins from Denver can also be seen throughout the rodeo on “ProRodeo Tonight” on The Cowboy Channel beginning Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. (ET).
Last year, saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright matched the rodeo’s record of 90 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Greeley Hat Works Hitman in the final round. The record was originally set by Dan Mortensen in 2003 and Cody DeMoss in 2014.
Taking home $6,289 pushed Wright toward his fourth qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He ended the 2019 season in fifth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings for saddle bronc riding with $241,153.
Wright, 24, is the oldest of the second generation of Wrights to make it big in ProRodeo, the son of two-time world champion saddle bronc rider Cody Wright and nephew to Alex, Spencer, Jake and Jesse Wright. Rusty is the older brother of Ryder and Stetson Wright.
Denver’s saddle bronc riding record and the rest of the rodeo’s top runs and rides could be topped during the 2020 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.
• All-around: $14,382, Chad Hagan, steer wrestling and tie-down roping, 1997
• Bareback riding: 91 points, Dusty LaValley, 2008 (256.5/3, Caleb Bennett, 2018)
• Steer wrestling: 2.9 seconds, Duane Foster, 1974 (10.6/3, Chad Hagan, 1997; Luke Branquinho, 2008)
• Team roping: 3.5 seconds, Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 2018 (13.9/3 Clay Smith/Jake Long, 2019)
• Saddle bronc riding: 90 points, Dan Mortensen, 2003; Cody DeMoss, 2014; Rusty Wright, 2019 (255.5/3, Zeke Thurston, 2018)
• Tie-down roping: 6.8 seconds, Marty Yates, 2018 (23.0/3, Shane Hanchey, 2018)
• Barrel racing: 14.69 seconds, Tammy Key, 2002
• Bull riding: 94 points, Aaron Semas, 1992; Cory McFadden and Ryan Brown, 2003 (268/3, Shane Proctor, 2011)
Courtesy of PRCA