Hope everything is good with you all. This is an exciting time in the world of professional rodeo. The winter rodeos are huge and the amount of money is awesome, but there seems to be lots of downtime for the guys chasing the dream of a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Starting at Reno, they’re on the road with a pretty strenuous schedule! Of course the 4th of July run is behind us -- where some big moves in the standings were made -- so now there will be many cowboys who don’t spend another night in their own beds back home until sometime in September.
July sanctions more rodeos across the United States with more prize money than any other month of the year. As a fan of the sport, this is the point of the season I begin keeping up with the world standings. Now is the time when some guys at the very top of the standings may even have the NFR made, while others make their plans to make their move. We’ve seen it when guys come from out of the blue in the standings at this time of the year and get hot. They go on to make the NFR and even contend for Gold Buckles. It was just a few years ago that Jake Barnes and Walt Woodard began at Reno and went on to make the NFR
This year, Luke Branquinho is back on top in the steer wrestling. After winning the World Championship in 2012, he struggled a bit throughout last season. He’s one of the greatest of all time, so to see him dominate is awesome. Unfortunately, he hurt his shoulder at Salinas and could be out for a while- but hopefully it won’t turn out to be too serious. On the bright side, he leads the world standings so he has the NFR made.
In the team roping, Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill and Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves are the front-runners so far. They’ve consistently won all year. Congrats to Trevor and Travis on their Salinas win and to Trevor for winning the All-Around title. Some guys I see definitely making their first trip to the NFR this year in the team roping are: Coleman Proctor and Junior Nogueria. Coleman has been around for a while, and is in the top 5 in the world this week, roping with Jake Long. Junior is incredible and I’m picking him and Jake Barnes to go far this year. I think they’ll make the NFR, win the average- and be contenders to get Jake his 8th Gold Buckle. I’ve gotten to see Jake around some this year and I can’t say enough good things about him. I’m his biggest fan. Tyler Wade, Tom Richards, and Joel Bach are hanging around with a good shot to get their first felt back numbers to the big show too.
It’s an exciting time, and the summer run is certainly upon us. I’m looking forward to keeping up with the developing stories and watching the races heat up.