Steer roper Kim Ziegelgruber hasn’t been to the National Finals Steer Roping in nearly a decade.
That could change this season.
Ziegelgruber earned $7,659 at the Ron Ross Memorial Steer Roping in Liberty Hill, Texas, April 17-18 to jump 28 spots in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, breaking into the Top 15.
Ziegelgruber, of Edmond, Okla., moved from 40th to 12th in the standings, the biggest jump in the Top 15 in any event for the week of April 12-18. He placed second in the first and fifth rounds and finished fourth in the average.
“I didn’t even know how much it had moved me up,” said Ziegelgruber, who had $10,564 as of April 21. “I figured it got me into the top 20 at least, but there’s a lot of summer left, a lot of roping. There are so many good ropers and good horses out there, nothing’s set in stone.”
Ziegelgruber was riding Fish Sticks, 9. Fish Sticks is fully recovered from a couple of injuries and riding like it.
“God’s really blessed me with some really good horses,” Ziegelgruber said.
While the Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up paid more than $300,000 over the weekend, two of the week’s biggest jumps into the Top 15 came from the Ron Ross Memorial Steer Roping, which paid out nearly $75,000.
Rocky Patterson won the event with a time of 70.3 seconds on five head. The four-time world champion jumped 20 spots in the steer roping standings after earning $10,788. That helped him climb to sixth in the standings.
Ziegelgruber last made the NFSR in 2012. Since, the closest the 52-year-old has come to the NFSR is a pair of 26th-place finishes, one in 2013, the other in 2019. He’s ready to get back to the Finals.
“I’m going to try, and that sure helped a bunch,” he said.
In addition to Ziegelgruber and Patterson, 26 cowboys climbed in the Top 15 in the standings. They are listed below.
• Nick Guy jumped from 34th to ninth in steer wrestling.
• Cory Solomon climbed from 28th to 14th in tie-down roping.
• Cash Myers leaped from 19th to 11th in steer roping.
• Clayton Sellars jumped from 13th to sixth in bull riding.
• John E. Bland jumped from 12th to seventh in steer roping.
• Justin Davis climbed from 15th to 11th in team roping heeling.
• Shane Proctor moved from 18th to 14th in bull riding.
• Caleb Smidt moved from ninth to fifth in tie-down roping.
• Jason Stockton jumped from 14th to 10th in steer roping.
• Treyson Antonick moved up to 15th in saddle bronc riding.
• Dustin Boquet moved up to fourth in bull riding.
• Luke Branquinho climbed to 12th in steer wrestling.
• Ty Erickson moved up to 10th in steer wrestling.
• Shay Good climbed to fifth in steer roping.
• Brenten Hall moved up to eighth in team roping heading.
• Kincade Henry moved up to seventh in tie-down roping.
• Haven Meged climbed to 10th in tie-down roping.
• Hayes Smith moved up to sixth in team roping heading.
• Jess Tierney moved up to third in steer roping.
• Chase Tryan moved up to ninth in team roping heeling.
On the Bubble
• Cort Scheer jumped from 40th to 16th in saddle bronc riding and is $82 away from breaking into the Top 15.
• Westyn Hughes climbed to 16th in tie-down roping and is $2,431 away from breaking into the Top 15.
Courtesy of PRCA