Monday Notebook: Stevi Hillman, Trey Benton III and Paige Jones Headline Second Week of RodeoHouston
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
This week’s Monday Notebook features dispatches from two NFR Playoff Series Rodeos, RodeoHouston and the Arcadia All-Florida Championship. And while they paid out almost $150,000 in Arcadia, Houston still takes center stage as contestants continue to march toward the prestigious $50,000 first-place payday.
We are through 13-of-15 Super Series performances from NRG Stadium and the first two notes of this week are about three athletes who made $8,000 there last week.
- Barrel racers Stevi Hillman and Paige Jones dominated Super Series III and IV. Hillman and Jones are tied at the top in terms of RodeoHouston money earners in the barrel racing with $8,000 apiece. Both cowgirls won two rounds and finished second in another with Hillman being the only barrel racer with three straight times faster than 14.7 seconds.
- Bull rider Trey Benton III made the highest marked ride of RodeoHouston. Benton III was marked 89 points on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Indigenous in Round 3 of Super Series IV, which topped the previous mark of 88.5 set by Chance Schott and JB Mauney. Benton III has made $8,000 already in Houston and is one of two bull riders to go 3-for-3 along with Ky Hamilton. Benton III has already won 5 Go-Rounds in 2023 and is averaging 85.8 points per qualified ride.
- Bareback rider Keenan Hayes has made $31,565 on his last 10 rides. In that stretch, which began on Feb. 2, Hayes is averaging 85.2 points and has pulled checks at Rodeo Rapid City, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, the 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo, Brighton Field Day & Rodeo and RodeoHouston. He is currently No. 2 in the PRCA World Standings and No. 1 in the Resistol Rookie Standings.
- The four saddle bronc riding Semifinal qualifiers from Super Series IV of RodeoHouston have combined for 31 NFR appearances. Ryder Wright, Wade Sundell, Rusty Wright and Jacobs Crawley are the most decorated bunch out of any Super Series in any event in RodeoHouston. For comparison, the 12 saddle bronc riders advancing from Super Series I through III have combined for 24 NFR appearances.
- Tie-down roper Michael Otero won his second Florida rodeo in three weeks. Otero, who is up to No. 4 in the world, was the champion of the Arcadia All-Florida Championship, which paid out nearly $150,000. Otero also won the 150th Silver Spurs Rodeo on Feb. 19. Those two wins paid about $5,600 combined. Otero currently leads the NFR Playoff Series Standings, which is a point system based on how athletes perform at the Top 60 highest paying rodeos, it is used to determine the field for the Cinch Playoffs.
- Bareback rider Rocker Steiner is averaging 85.7 points per qualified ride. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo champion is once again No. 1 in the World Standings after rides of 84.5, 86 and 84 won him $4,750 in Super Series IV of RodeoHouston.
- Bull rider Jeff Askey is 19-of-28 and averaging 84.9 points per ride. The 35-year-old sits No. 1 in the PRCA World Standings with $65,00. His current riding percentage of 67.8 percent is more than 20 percentage points higher than his previous career best of 47 percent. He is also on pace for career-high in points per ride as he has never averaged more than 82.7 points in a season. Most recently, Askey went 2-for-3 in Houston.
- Steer wrestler Jesse Brown has the fastest time so far in RodeoHouston and also had the fastest time in San Antonio. Brown was 3.1 to win the Finals in San Antonio and his 4.6-second run in Super Series II has held up to be the top time in Houston through perfs. Brown is currently No. 4 in the PRCA World Standings.