National Finals Rodeo Puts Big Paychecks In Kansas Cowboys Billfolds To Move Up In World Standings

By Frank J. Buchman
Three Kansas Cowboys have collected major checks to rank high in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) yearend world standings.
They each won money at the 10-round National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada, advancing their regular season winnings.
Jess Pope, Waverly, ended up a close second in the world bareback bronc riding list with $340,499. Kaycee Feild, Genola, Utah, was named the world champion bareback bronc rider winning $357,420.
Feild went into the NFR fifth in regular season bareback riding standings with $125,856, while Pope was sixth with $110,024.
However, Pope won the NFR bareback bronc riding average with 873-points on ten head worth $69,234. Feild was second in the average with 872.5-points on ten head to collect $56,171.
Pope won first in four go-rounds each worth $26,957, scoring: Round-1, 90.5-points; Round-2, 89.5 points; Round-7, 88.5-points; and Round-10, 92-points. Money was paid to the top six in each go-round, with Pope collecting checks in eight of the 10 rounds.
Feild beat the Kansas cowboy for the world championship by collecting prize money in all ten go-rounds
The Top Gun Award for the NFR contestant who wins the most money in one event also was awarded Field for his total of $231,564. Feild has won world championships in 2011-14 and 2019-20 breaking the all-time bareback riding world championship of five.
Jake long, Coffeyville, placed sixth for the year in the team roping heeling standings winning $199,062. He was also sixth in the regular season heeling standings with $95,226.
Clay Tryan, Billings, Montana, served as Long’s header as they placed fifth in the team roping average. They stretched eight steers in 43.2-seconds to collect $23,513 each. Tryan was sixth in the world heading standings with $198,086.
Biggest move for the Kansas cowboys in world standings was by team roping heeler Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus. He went into the NFR in 11th place in heeling standings with $68,842, and ended up sixth for the year with $184,652.
With Andrew Ward, Edmond, Oklahoma, heading they won the team roping average with 54.7-seconds on ten head worth $69,234 to each roper. Ward was seventh in the world heading standings with $184,652.
Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Georgia, and Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prudente, Brazil, won their first team roping header and team roping heeler world titles. Driggers finished with $263,227 and Nogueira earned $277,612. The team finished third in the average with 52.6-seconds on nine head.
For the second straight year, Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah, left the National Finals Rodeo as a two-time world champion. After winning the all-around and bull riding world titles in 2020, Wright won the all-around and saddle bronc riding crowns in 2021
Wright finished the season with a PRCA regular season record of $686,513. He also won the all-around title with a record $585,850. Wright collected $343,524 as the saddle bronc riding champ.
This was Wright’s third all-around title in a row and he broke Trevor Brazil’s record for most money won in a season at $518,011, which the Decatur, Texas, cowboy accomplished in 2015.
Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, Louisiana, cowboy won his third world championship by earning $289,791 in steer wrestling.
Waguespack, who also won world crowns in 2016 and 2018, finished second in the average with 48.1-seconds on 10 head earning $56,171. Will Lummus, Byhalia, Mississippi, who won the average, finished second in the world steer wrestling standings with $248,168.
Tie-down roper Caleb Smidt, Belleville, Texas, always seems to rope his best at the NFR. Smidt clocked a 7.8-seconds time in Round 10 to secure his third world title and third NFR average title with 83.1-seconds on 10 head. Collecting $318,455 this year, Smidt also won world championships and average titles in 2015 and 2018.
Sage Kimzey, Salado, Texas, is once again atop PRCA’s bull riding mountain.
Kimzey captured his seventh bull riding world championship in eight years, earning $411,465.
Third in the average, Kimzey held off Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, who finished second in the world standings with $363,353.
Barrel racer Jordan Briggs, Tolar, Texas had quite the NFR, winning both the world championship and the average championship. Briggs clocked 136.83 seconds on 10 runs, a new record, to collect the $69,234 average check. Her world standings total is $297,460.
Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas was runner-up for the barrel racing world championship with $281,156, after placing second in the average with 146.41-seconds, worth $44,414.
A new feature of the NFR was breakaway roping as Sawyer Gilbert, Buffalo, South Dakota, won the world championship with $71,653. She was also won the average winner recording 46.3-seconds on ten head worth $11,313.
Taylor Munsell, Alva, Oklahoma, was second in the breakaway average clocking 25.10-seconds on nine head to win $9,179. Her yearend total was not verified at press time.
Cole Patterson, Pratt, was named the world champion steer roper at the recent National Finals Steer Roping in Mulvane with $190,242. His dad Rocky Patterson ended the season in tenth place with $63,029.

Jess Pope, Waverly, was ecstatic winning four go-rounds of bareback bronc riding at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Collecting $340,499 riding bareback broncs this year, Jess Pope, Waverly, placed second for the year in the world standings. (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association photos)

With winnings totaling $184,652, Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, placed sixth in the world team roping heeling standings this year. Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, heeled for header Andrew Ward, Edmond, Oklahoma, when they won the team roping average at the National Finals Rodeo. Their time was 54.7-seconds on ten head to for each roper to add $69,234 to their take home. (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association photos)