World class competitors finished in the money at the tradition rich XIT Rodeo & Reunion in Dalhart.
One high-profile cowboy who visited the pay window at the 2019 XIT Rodeo title was five-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association champion Sage Kimzey who tied for first in the bull riding title race at the Aug. 1-3 show.
Kimzey, who is from Strong City, Oklahoma, turned in a score of 84 on a bovine named Party Favor, which is owned by Hampton Pro Rodeo. Kimzey shared the title race victory with Lon Danley who rode Hampton Pro Rodeo's Day Workin. They each earned $2,827.
Kimzey, who is ranked No. 1 in the PRCA's 2019 bull riding title race, said it was a desirable time of the year to win a rodeo.
“It was good,” Kimzey said of clinching the title at the 83rd annual XIT Rodeo. “It’s one rodeo with a lot of history.”
The rodeo is named after the XIT Ranch, once a massive property and cattle operation in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The XIT Rodeo's website features a brief history about the storied ranch and the cowboy reunion from an article by journalist Liz Cantrell that appeared in the August 1997 issue of Accent West magazine. Cantrell wrote that the XIT ranch in its heyday "sprawled across the Texas Panhandle up from the old Yellow House headquarters near what is now Lubbock, northward to the Oklahoma Panhandle in a crazy strip that was toughly thirty miles wide.
At one time, the ranch ran over 150,000 cattle. The ranch was so large it covered portions of ten counties: Dallam, Hartley, Oldham, Deaf Smith, Parmer, Castro, Bailey, Lamb, Cochran, and Hockley.
As a result, some believed the brand ‘XIT’ stood for “Ten in Texas”. However the brand was designed to thwart rustlers..."
According to xitrodeoreunion.com, former XIT employees began gathering for a reunion in the late 1930s.
Over the years, the rodeo’s organizing committee traditionally has featured a famous barbeque celebration in addition to rodeo competition.
At the 2019 XIT Rodeo last weekend, Garrett Hale, a 2018 National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Snyder. He clinched the steer roping title with a two-run time of 26.3 seconds. Hale pocketed $2,140.
Hale was ranked seventh in the PRCA's 2019 steer roping world title race with $30,617 in regular season earnings (in the PRCA world standings released Aug. 5).
Vin Fisher Jr., who is from Andrews, finished fourth in the steer roping second round at the XIT Rodeo with a 12.2. The 15-time National Finals Steer Roping qualifier earned $444.
Fisher was ranked No. 1 in the PRCA’s 2019 world standings (Aug. 5) with $54,393, $4,656 ahead of No. 2 ranked Trevor Brazile.
Three-time National Finals qualifier Sterling Smith of Stephenville clinched the tie-down roping title with a 7.4 and he pocketed $1,683.
Tanner Green finished second with a 7.7 and he pocketed $1,393. Green, who also competed in team roping, clinched the all-around title.
In bareback riding, Justin Pollmiller clinched the title with an 85 aboard Hampton Pro Rodeo's Barry's Girl and he pocketed $1,850. Hardy Braden, a 2017 National Finals qualifier, came in first in saddle bronc riding with an 83 on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo's Holly Bucks and he earned $2,188.
Kodie Jang’s 4.3 was the fastest steer wrestling time and he earned $1,213. Curry Kirchner and Daniel Reed finished No. 1 in team roping with a 5.3 and they each pocketed $1,458.
Kansas rodeo tour
Last weekend, many of the world’s top competitors rode and roped in three Kansas communities: Dodge City, Abilene and Phillipsburg. Three-time world champion Will Lowe of Canyon finished in the money at all three shows.
Lowe tied for first place in bareback riding at the July 31-Aug. 4 Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. Lowe won the first round with a lofty score of 90 on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos' Cactus Black. He also turned in an 85 in Sunday night’s final round.
After all that, the 15-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier finished with a two-ride aggregate score of 175 and he shared the title with nine-time National Finals qualifier Steven Dent who also had a 175.
At the July 31-Aug. 3 Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo in Abilene, Kan., Lowe also tied for first in bareback riding with an 83.5 aboard Andrews Rodeo's Double Cross and he earned $1,725. Lowe also finished seventh in bareback riding at the Aug. 1-3 Kansas Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg with an 80 and received $394.
Four-time world champion Tuf Cooper, who has homes in Decatur and Weatherford, clinched the steer roping title in Dodge City after finishing with a three-run time of 38.5. Cooper earned $4,967.
Roping superstar Trevor Brazile, who lives in Decatur, finished third with a 45.5. He earned $1,682.
Brazile was ranked second in the PRCA’s steer roping world title race with $49,737 (Aug. 5 world standings). Cooper was ranked No. 3 with $41,741.
Sage Kimzey clinched the title at the Phillipsburg rodeo with an 87 aboard Beutler & Sons Record Rack's Tombstone and he pocketed $3,469.
Two-time National Finals qualifier Jeff Askey of Athens finished second with a 78.5 and he earned $2,659.
Kimzey was ranked No. 1 in the PRCA's 2019 bull riding standings (on Aug. 5) with $156,289. Askey was ranked No. 10 with $88,788.
Stetson Wright injured
Stetson Wright, a Milford, Utah, cowboy who is ranked No. 1 in the 2019 world all-around title race, broke his jaw in a bull riding accident at the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo, July 31, and he has been sidelined, according to prorodeo.com.
“We heard that hockey players take three to six weeks to get back at it,” said Cody Wright, Stetson’s father.
Stetson Wright, 20, a PRCA rookie who also fares well in saddle bronc riding, was ranked No. 1 in the world all-around standings (Aug. 5) with $162,714. Celeb Smidt was ranked No. 2 with $128,919. Tuf Cooper, the 2017 world all-around champion, was ranked No. 4 with $99,813.
Cutting horse update
At the National Cutting Horse Association Summer Spectacular in Fort Worth, RL Chartier, who is from Weatherford, and a horse named Caution Piping Hot, and James Payne, who rode Summer Time Fun, tied for first in the 4-year-old open title race.
Email Brett Hoffman at email@example.com.