Things are finally starting to fall into place for Sage Kimzey this season.
With a 90-point ride aboard Summit Pro Rodeo’s Near Miss at this weekend’s Gooding (Idaho) Pro Rodeo, the six-time and reigning PRCA world champion bull rider earned $4,004 and likely will return to the top spot in the PRCA | RAM World Standings.
“It’s always good to be in the top spot, for sure,” said the Oklahoma cowboy who now lives in Salado, Texas. “Gooding did that for me, and it was a good weekend.”
Kimzey’s attempt to get back to the Wrangler NFR and win a seventh straight world title has hit its share of roadblocks. First, he suffered a torn ligament in his left ankle in February at the San Antonio Stock Show that required “tightrope” surgery. Then, of course, Kimzey and the rest of his rodeo comrades were forced to endure multiple delays and postponements amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That unscheduled break, however, helped Kimzey return to full strength much more effectively.
“I probably returned too fast after surgery so I could compete in Houston and The American (Arlington, Texas),” Kimzey said. “I was having a pretty good year before San Antonio, then the injury came, then COVID struck right after. That time off gave me time to heal where I usually wouldn’t have. I’d say that was a blessing in disguise.
“Now, I’m pretty close to 100 percent.”
In Gooding’s first performance on Sept. 17, Kimzey was paired with Near Miss, a bull that sent him prematurely to the arena dirt earlier this season in Castle Rock, Colo. Not the second time around, though.
“I knew he was a good one,” Kimzey said. “He bucked hard, and it all worked out. It wasn’t super smooth, and he kept changing it up and throwing stuff at me. It was all good, and I knew it was going to be a bunch (of points). I was definitely happy with the score.”
Next up for Kimzey is a couple of days off before ending the regular season at this week’s Gold Buckle Beer ProRodeo Tour Finale in Rapid City, S.D., Sept. 22-26. Then, on Oct. 9, he will wed Alexis Bloomer in Salado.
“I’m looking forward to that, for sure,” Kimzey said. “It has been a unique year. The whole landscape of rodeo has changed this year, but everyone is working through it, and I’m no different.”
Other winners at the $141,022 rodeo were bareback rider Kaycee Feild (89.5 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Game Trail); steer wrestlers Tanner Brunner and Jesse Brown (3.7 seconds each); team ropers Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan (4.4 seconds); saddle bronc riders Brody Cress (87 points on Northcott Macza’s Ols Tubs Get Smart) and Logan Hay (87 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Onion Ring); tie-down ropers Clint Robinson and Charlie Gibson (8.6 seconds each); and barrel racer Jessie Telford (17.00 seconds). Stetson Wright took all-around honors ($2,269 in saddle bronc riding and bull riding).
Courtesy of PRCA