During the past weekend, some of the top riders on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit were in California to compete in rodeos in Ramona, Hayward and Redding.
One of them was two-time National Finals qualifier Bill Tutor of Huntsville who clinched the bareback riding title in Ramona with a score of 81 aboard a bronc named Coconut Roll, which is owned by Western Rodeos.
Tutor, who earned $1,852 at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association show, is ranked ninth in the PRCA’s 2019 bareback riding world title race with $42,330 in regular season earnings, according to prorodeo.com.
Tutor is on pace to earn his third consecutive trip to the December Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. In order to qualify, he must finish within the top 15 in the bareback riding world standings when the regular season concludes on Sept. 30.
Taylor Santos, a former Sam Houston State competitor, finished in the money in tie-down roping at the three California rodeos. Santos clinched the title in Redding ($4,293 in earnings), finished fifth in Ramona ($601), and fifth in Hayward ($626).
After all that, Santos, who is from Creston, Calif., is ranked 10th in the PRCA’s tie-down roping world standings with $37,561. He is attempting to earn his first National Finals berth.
Santos clinched the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association tie-down roping title at the 2014 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., as a freshman at Cal Poly State-San Luis Obispo. He also transferred to Sam Houston State and competed for SHSU at the 2016 College National Finals in Casper.
At the Redding Rodeo, four-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Richmond Champion of The Woodlands clinched the bareback riding title with an 88 aboard the bucking horse, Hombre, which is owned by Big Stone Rodeo Inc.
Champion earned $5,224. He’s ranked fourth in the PRCA’s 2019 bareback riding world title race with $71,681 in regular season earnings.
Champion became famous when he clinched the bareback riding title and earned $1.1 million in prize money at the RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2014. He also has qualified for the PRCA’s National Finals in Las Vegas in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Jackie Ganter, a former National Finals qualifier from Abilene, clinched the barrel racing title at the Redding Rodeo with a time of 17.63 seconds and earned $3,768. She’s ranked 19th in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association pro rodeo barrel racing world standings with $29,216.
The Redding Rodeo offered competitors $163,775 and it was the highest paying rodeo of the past weekend on the PRCA/WPRA circuit.
Other world class competitors saddled up for three smaller Texas rodeos last weekend in Jacksonville, Vernon, and Killeen.
At the Santa Rosa Roundup Rodeo in Vernon (May 15-18), 2015 world champion Jacobs Crawley, who is from Boerne, clinched the saddle bronc riding title with an 85 aboard Rapid Rewards, which is owned by the Beutler & Son Rodeo Co. His brother, Sterling Crawley, a five-time National Finals qualifier who lives in the Huntsville area, finished second with an 81.
Former NFR qualifier Stevi Hillman of Weatherford clinched the barrel racing title at the Vernon rodeo with a 17.22. She is ranked 10th in the WPRA pro rodeo barrel racing world standings with $40,687.
Barrel racer Dona Kay Rule of Minco, Okla., finished in the money at Jacksonville, Vernon and Killeen. At the May 16-18 Tops In Texas Rodeo in Jacksonville, Rule clinched the title with a 16.98. Rule also finished second at the Vernon rodeo with a 17.23, only one hundredth of a second behind Stevi Hillman. Rule also came in fourth at Rodeo Killeen (May 16-18 in Killeen) with a 17.12 and Hillman came in fifth with a 17.15. Rule is ranked ninth in the WPRA pro rodeo barrel racing world standings with $41,604.
On the Professional Bull Riders circuit, Jose Vitor Leme of Decatur clinched the title at the Ty Murray Invitational last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M., and earned $39,202. The May 17-19 show was a stop on the Unleash The Beast, the PBR’s top tier tour.
Chase Outlaw finished second in the title race and earned $20,265. Joao Ricardo Vieira, another Brazilian who lives in the Decatur area, came in third and pocketed $12,282.
After clinching the title, Leme is ranked No. 1 in the world title race with 3,451.66 points. Outlaw is ranked No. 2 with 2,962.5 and Vieira is No. 3 with 2,590.
Windy Ryon Roping
The renowned Windy Ryon Memorial Roping is scheduled for May 24-26, in Fort Worth. For the first time, organizers will feature PRCA steer roping. The prize money earnings will count toward the PRCA world standings.
Two-time world tie-down roping champion Caleb Smidt and six-time National Finals qualifier Timber Moore will compete against each other in the featured match roping on Saturday, May 25.