Ropers Sports News | January-February 2023

PAGE 44 ROPERS SPORTS NEWS JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 Hailey Kinsel and Sister continue to break records as they added a fourth world title to their resume. – PRCA ProRodeo Photo by Phil Doyle Zeke Thurston strapped on his third gold buckle in saddle bronc riding. His season earnings totaled $399,316. – PRCA ProRodeo Photo by Phil Doyle Stetson Wright Caps Epic Wrangler NFR... From Page 42 amazing job of keeping me up. A great job. Perhaps, I just humbled myself a little bit, I guess. We had to fight through it. There’s nothing easy. We always compete against the best guys in the whole world, and they don’t make it easy on anyone. We were blessed to be good in average, and we really had to catch that last one, a tough steer. We were able to do it. And you have to give all the glory to God.” Bareback rider Jess Pope snares his first career world crown The wait is over for Jess Pope. After finishing third and second in the world standings in 2020 and 2021, respectively, the Waverly, Kan., cowboy is a world champion in 2022. “This is awesome. The emotions right now, there isn’t anything like them. It is just so rewarding. I worked my whole life for this, and it finally came true. “I knew I had it in me. It was just letting the cards fall right and drawing right where I was supposed to and doing what I was supposed to when I was. God’s plan, the way it was supposed to be I guess.” Pope also won his third consecutive NFR average crown with 860 points on 10 head. “Man, I was just showing up and taking it one horse at a time, being a cowboy,” he said. “When your day working or anything whatever you have in front of you, you have to do your job and that’s what I was able to do. This feels incredible.” Ba r r e l r ace r Ha i l ey Kinsel wins her fourth world title in five years Hailey Kinsel concluded her 2022 season with her fourth world championship in five years. The Texas cowgirl finished as the world standings leader with $302,172 to capture her latest world title. She also won world titles in 2018-2020. “Oh gosh. This is so much to put into words,” Kinsel said. “(Sister) is amazing. I really don’t know how and why she loves this so much and wants to be better every time. She got stronger as the week went on. She came into the last two rounds like she could go 10 more. I felt really good that I could tell her we are quitting while we are ahead. It’s good to give her a day off as a reward when she’s done that well. She’s so special to me. She’s like family. All our horses are. It’s been an incredible time to be with these ladies. We have a wonderful group of women and amazing horses.” Kinsel edged 2021 world champion Jordon Briggs, who finished with $274,520. Zeke Thurston snares Top Gun Award Zeke Thurston, the 2022 saddle bronc riding world champ, also was the RAM Top Gun Award winner. Thurston was the recipient of the honor for the first time in his career as he won the most money in a single event at the 2022 Wrangler NFR at $256,078. 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Results Round 10, Dec. 10 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev. A l l - Ar o u n d : 1 . S t e t s o n Wright, $758,829; 2. Caleb Smidt, $372,964; 3. Josh Frost, $307,965; 3. 4. Zack Jongbloed, $235,261; 5. Marty Yates, $225,732; 6. Haven Tyler Waguespack added his fourth steer wrestling gold buckle to his collection. He finished the year with $268,881. – PRCA ProRodeo Photo by Hailey Rae See WRIGHT/WRANGLER NFR On Page 46

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk2Mjk=