2016 NFR Highlight: Bull Rider Sage Kimzey

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Bull rider Sage Kimzey had won the previous two world championships heading into 2016 and in his third trip to the Wrangler National Finals, he made his presence felt in the very first round.

Kimzey entered the Thomas and Mack Center more than $55,000 clear of world No. 2 Joe Frost, a bigger lead than the ones he had during his world championship runs in 2014 and 2015. Kimzey quickly added to that lead at the National Finals with an 86.5 on Frontier Rodeo’s Aftershock to win the first round.

“I’m by far a better bull rider than I was last year,” he said after the ride. “This year, in my preparation, I didn’t leave a stone unturned. I was in the gym everyday, working on my balance, working on my timing, got on practice bulls the week leading up to the finals, I really put in the time and work this year and I think it’s going to show in my riding.”

Kimzey also credited getting rid of the rookie woes as the reason for his success in 2016. Before, he didn’t know what his schedule would look like and struggled with some of the logistics of travel but by 2016, he had figured out what it took to rodeo full time which kept his body fresh heading into Las Vegas.

Kimzey, who entered 2016 Wrangler NFR with 171,990, went on to place in five rounds en route to winning his third consecutive bull riding world title and more than $311,000 overall. He has since won Gold Buckles No. 4, 5, and 6.

Watch Sage begin his quest for a third world title during the premiere of 40 Nights of NFR. The Cowboy Channel‘s new ProRodeo series kicks off TONIGHT at 8:00 PM ET with Round 1 of the 2016 National Finals.