School is back in session and summer is coming to a close along with many roping and rodeo finals winding up the year. Entries at some of the ropings have declined due to the back-to-school issue, but still seem to be strong in most ropings.

This time of year brings the big push in the rodeo and roping world as many contestants strive to make the finals in their own associations. Many contestants are trying to qualify for The American in some of their newly added events. This has gained a lot of interest and will be fun to follow.
The contestants striving for the Wrangler National Finals are finding the year coming to an end with only a few more weeks to make the top 15 and secure a spot in Vegas. September plays host to some big paying rodeos which offer the dollars to put many contestants in the 16th-20th positions to jump up into the top 15. Of course when someone moves up, someone else moves out, so it is important for those who are in the 10-15th positions to continue to go strong and hold onto their slots. This year is seeing more new names on the leaderboard than in recent years. The list is without some names of the past WNFR. Some of that is due to a not so good year and some is due to the cycle of rodeo where some of the old talent is replaced by newcomers in the industry with great talent. There also comes a time when a contestant just doesn’t go as hard and has some other priorities in life that keeps them closer to home.

- - - - - - - - - - 

Team roper Kory Koontz looks like he will be attending his 22nd WNFR as he is currently sitting third in the Ram PRCA World Heeling Standings with partner Dustin Egusquiza. Kory has had a great roping career, winning most of the larger ropings in the world plus roping with many of the great headers over the years. Some of his past victories were with names from the Who’s Who in the roping world, including Matt Tyler, Bret Boatright, Mike Cervi, Jr, Steve Purcella, Daniel Green, Jake Barnes, Trevor Brazile, David Key, Kevin Daniel, Colby Lovell, Erich Rogers, Brock Hanson, and Chad Masters just to name a few. Kory has yet to win the World in the PRCA but is considered a champion by many in the roping circles. He is a strong and enduring competitor and has gone hard over the years even after losing a thumb early in his career. He has diabetes and wears an insulin monitor that automatically gives him insulin when he needs it. Kory and his current partner, Dustin Egusquiza, have had a good couple of years and are one of the favorites in this year’s battle for a world championship. He was also the owner of the late “Iceman,” who was named the AQHA Heel Horse of The Year three times.

- - - - - - - - - -

Some of the names of the past on the bubble in the team roping are names like Erich Rogers who was on the injured list for a lot of the year after receiving an injury at the Timed Event Championships. He is currently sitting in the 16th spot and right behind him is Derrick Begay at 17th, then Jr. Dees, Andrew Ward, and Coleman Proctor. Coleman is in 20th as of this writing just $2,000 out of the top 15. Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo was held the last weekend in August and paid close to $10,000 for first. Then there were the great rodeos in the Northwest the same weekend, and of course in September we have the likes of Pendleton which has put many contestants into the top 15 with their huge payout.
Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira remain in the lead in the team roping followed by Clay Smith and Paul Eaves. This will be a tight race this year in Vegas with many of the teams having a chance for the world title.

- - - - - - - - - -

Trey Yates is the most talked about heeler on his way to his first WNFR. He is currently sitting fifth in the Heeling and represents some great heritage in the rodeo industry. The name Yates has been heard in the rodeo arenas for many years, not only in team roping, but also the barrel racing.

- - - - - - - - - - 

California is quite proud of Oakdale’s Ryle Smith who is sitting fourth in the All-Around race in the PRCA and fourth in the Tie-Down Roping. He had been been to the WNFR in that event in 2016 and then last year he showed his strength in the Steer Wrestling and went to the WNFR and finished the year in 14th. This year he will return to Vegas in the Tie Down Roping and is currently 4th in the standings.

- - - - - - - - - - 

Another timed event cowboy from California to keep and eye on is Jordon Ketscher who is in 8th place for the AA Ram Standings. He won the Timed Event Championship and will be one to reckon with in years to come. If Californian Bareback Rider Clayton Biglow would enter the team roping more, he would be a great contender for the All Around title. As of this writing he has over $100,000 won in the BB.

- - - - - - - - - -
A BFI Qualifier will be part of an Open Ranch Rodeo to be held at the Morongo Rodeo Grounds on Oct. 13, 2018 in Banning, California. Check out the ad on pages 20-21 in this issue for all of the details.

- - - - - - - - - - 

Congratulations to Ty Yost and Yost Events on acquiring Dynamite Arena in Arizona. Be sure to check out the article in this issue on page 36. It won’t be long and the snowbird ropers will be heading south for a full winter of ropings.

  

Add comment


Security code
Refresh