Keeping up with the winners from the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Kissimmee
We mentioned in an earlier blog post that purse money (also known as prize money) isn't the only factor that influences a rodeo competitor's decision to travel to a particular rodeo. As the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi (in regards to purse money), we've been fortunate enough to attract cowboys from across the country and big names in the rodeo world that have made it into the arena of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's (PRCA) version of the Super Bowl, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR).Even though we live in an era where almost everyone is on social media, some cowboys just haven't jumped on the bandwagon, making it difficult for rodeo fans to keep up with their favorite champions. So in this blog post, we're going to highlight some of our past Silver Spurs winners from the Wrangler Champions Challenge we hosted earlier this year, and give you the scoop on where they stand year-to-date...Jeff Askey - Bull Riding At the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Kissimmee this past June, Jeff Askey took first place in bull riding, managing to score half a point more than fellow rodeo competitor Cody Rostockyj. After taking home $4,284 from the Champions Challenge, he went on to take first place at both the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Canby Rodeo – though his biggest win happened last month when he won the three-head average at the Justin Boots Playoffs to win the bull riding title.[caption id="attachment_12133" align="alignright" width="452"]
Bulldogger Matt Reeves steer "wrasslin", while his hazer watches on.[/caption]Matt Reeves - Steer WrestlingOriginally from Texas, this five-time WNFR qualifier was able to cross the Mississippi and compete in our Champions Challenge, winning $4,284 with a time of 4.8 seconds in steer wrestling. Using the momentum from this win, Reeves went on to compete at the infamous "Daddy of 'Em All", Cheyenne Frontier Days. While he unfortunately didn't win anything at Frontier Days, that didn't stop him. Getting back on his horse (literally), he went on to compete in the 94th Annual Days of '76 Rodeo and took first place with a time of 3.9 seconds!Mary Walker - Barrel RacingMary Walker showed us that she's still running circles around younger athletes! After taking first place at the Champions Challenge in Kissimmee with a time of 15.54 seconds, Walker went on to take first place at the Calgary Stampede and the Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo, starting her 2017 season with $2,065.[caption id="attachment_12135" align="alignright" width="461"]
Dustin Bird and Tyler McKnight rope a steer and a win at the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Kissimmee.[/caption]Dustin Bird and Tyler McKnight - Team Roping When it comes to team roping, your odds of winning at a rodeo can either increase or decrease significantly based on who your heeler is. Luckily for Dustin Bird and Tyler McKnight, their partnership paid off at our Champions Challenge. With a time of 5 seconds flat, these two took home $4,284 each. McKnight was subbing for Bird's regular heeler, Russell Cardoza, who is now regularly competing with Bird – they've just recently earned five rodeo wins in Canada.CoBurn Bradshaw - Saddle Bronc Riding After earning the title of the Resistol PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year in 2015, CoBurn Bradshaw scored 85 points on our own bronc, Best Hope, at the Champions Challenge in June. Bradshaw took his winning streak and headed back out west, winning in other rodeos such as Cache County Fair and Rodeo, San Luis Valley Ski-Hi Stampede, and most recently at Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo.[caption id="attachment_12137" align="alignright" width="463"]
Hunter Herrin wasted no time in tying down that calf in just 4.4 seconds.[/caption]Hunter Herrin - Tie-down RopingOriginally from Oklahoma and currently ranked number three in the world in tie-down roping, eight-time WNFR qualifier Hunter Herrin competed at the Champions Challenge in June and placed first with a time of 7.7 seconds. Since then, he's gone on to win at the Rodeo of the Ozarks, Reno Rodeo, and most recently the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.Orin Larsen - Bareback RidingTying for first with fellow rodeo competitor Tanner Aus, Orin Larsen scored 84 points, and they both took home $3,780 each. After his win in Kissimmee, this Canadian native returned to Canada to win at the IPE and Stampede and the Leduc. But his biggest accomplishment was winning the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Pueblo, Colorado, which helped him be the cowboy to win the most money overall in bareback riding during last season's Wrangler Champions Challenged presented by Justin Boots.These contestants are just the winners from the 2016 Wrangler Champions Challenge in Kissimmee – there are many of champion competitors we didn't mention that walk through our arena each year. If you don't want to wait for our champion updates, or want to see results for a specific contestant, check out the PRCA's circuit standings website.