Sage Kimzey – Strong City, Okla. ($245,438)
6-time WNFR qualifier
6-time World Champion
Five times Sage Kimzey has gotten a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo back number and each of those times it has earned him a world championship. Will this be his sixth?
Sage has qualified for his sixth NFR in first place with $245,455. It’s a position that he is very familiar with. That’s the same place he entered the last five.
His 2018 finish came with some drama that most people didn’t even know about. In round four he got slammed into the bucking chutes. He made it to the whistle in round five seconds, in spite of having a dislocated shoulder and multiple other injuries.
Playing with pain is nothing new to Sage. Competing on rodeo’s biggest stage with 14 other bull riders playing catch up gave that new meaning. In round five, he made it to the whistle finishing with 78 points. He could see the world title slipping away and that wasn’t an acceptable vision.
Sage regrouped and finished the NFR with a win in round 10 – a 93-point score on Beutler and Son’s Rodeo’s Record Rack Shootin’ Stars to seal the deal. He finished nearly $75,000 ahead of Chase Dougherty.
This year, he set a goal of qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. He had success in Canada before, but never competed in the required (15) number of rodeos. Planning ahead he figured out a way to get to more rodeo and actually went to 19.
That was good for him as the money counted in both the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association and the PRCA. He qualified for their finals and finished fourth. He was the only United States citizen that finished in the 12-man field and he won five rodeos along the way.
He also got the win at the Reno Rodeo Xtreme bulls and also won the spurs given to their rodeo champions. That was a special win as the Reno Rodeo was celebrating their 100th anniversary.
This year’s NFR will see him competing with his younger brother Trey Kimzey who has qualified in 15th. Sage has a $90,000 lead over the man in second place, rookie Stetson Wright, but that gap isn’t unsurmountable in Vegas.
He has one of the strongest mental games in the sport of rodeo and does everything in his power to keep it that way. That, along with hard work and talent have had him setting records since he joined the PRCA in 2014.
When he earned his world championship last year, he became the first man to win five consecutive since the NFR started in 1959. Jim Shoulder had won five, but four of those came without the benefit of the NFR.
He’s got goals and each gold buckle is one step closer to a goal that he set as a child – to beat Don Gay’s record of eight world championships. He’ll be working hard to get number six this year. His family, friends and fans believe they will see him do just that.