Bull Rider Ky Hamilton Wins First World Title With New Single Season Earnings Record
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
Ky Hamilton became the first Australian bull rider to ever win the World Title, he also won the NFR Average and set a new single season earnings record to boot.
Hamilton finished with $595,414, besting Stetson’s Wright record set in 2022 by about $3,000.
“It means everything. That’s what I came over here to do. By the time I started riding when I was 12, I told everyone that all I wanted to do was be a bull riding world champion,” he told ProRodeo.com. “To come over here and get that done, it’s just the icing on the cake.”
He is the third Australian ever to win a PRCA World Champion, joining Dave Appleton and Glen O’Neil.
Hamilton rode his first four bulls at the NFR, winning two rounds and placing second and third in the other two to quickly overtake Stetson Wright, who entered No. 1, but only got on one bull due to injury.
From there, Hamilton produced an iconic NFR moment. He was knocked out by Honeycutt Rodeo’s Bales Hay’s MAGA in Round 5, but returned in during Wednesday’s doubleheader to cover both of his bulls and make $115,000 in a single day thanks to more than $99,000 for being the only cowboy to ride in Round 7.
Both rides brought the crowd to their feet.
“That’s why I always wanted to do this sport, for moments like that,” Hamilton said. “My best friend (Stetson Wright) on the back of the chutes cheering me on and fellow Australian Damian Brennan (winning a round the same night), it’s awesome, it’s why I do this.”
Hamilton ultimately more than $194,000 clear of second-place cowboy Josh Frost, who capped 2023 with a third straight Reserve World Championship.