Monday Notebook: Wyatt Casper, Ryder Wright and Shane Hanchey Dominate Weekend and More
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
With exactly 40 days until the end of the 2023 ProRodeo regular season, it’s officially now or never.
Over the weekend, there were three PRCA Playoff Series Rodeos, all of which paid out between $200,000 and $400,000. Additionally, there was the Xtreme Broncs Finals in Rapid City, where more than $100,000 was up for grabs.
Make a note now, if you see the words Finals, Playoffs or Cup in a rodeos name, seasons can change, and will, change. Just ask Wyatt Casper...
- Saddle bronc rider Wyatt Casper won nearly $31,000 on two rides at the Xtreme Broncs Finals in Rapid City. Casper missed essentially the entire month of July, but with just two rides, he made up all the ground he lost. The three-time NFR qualifier was 89 points J Bar J’s Muddy Boy to share the Long Round win before claiming the Short Round, and ultimately the Average with 92 on Straight Jacket. Casper went from No. 18 to No. 9 in the PRCA World Standings with the massive victory.
- Tie-down roper Shane Hanchey won the Canby Rodeo (Oregon), Gooding Pro Rodeo (Idaho) and finished second at the Caldwell Night Rodeo (Idaho) to move from No. 5 to No. 3 in the world. Since the beginning of 100 Rodeos in 100 Days in the middle of June, Hanchey has made over $100,000 and now won seven PRCA Playoff Series Rodeos. In that timeframe, he has gone from No. 13 to No. 3 in the PRCA Tie-Down Roping World Standings.
- Bareback rider Clayton Biglow has won five rodeos since Aug. 7. He has only entered seven. Over the weekend, sixth-ranked Clayton Biglow was the champion of the Canby Rodeo, Cassia County Fair and Rodoe (Idaho) and the Moses Lake Round-Up Rodeo (Washington). All three rides were between 86 and 90.5 and all three paid between $3,000 and $5,000. Biglow was also the champion of the Omak Stampede (Washington) on Aug. 13 and the Jerome County Fair and Rodeo (Idaho) on Aug. 9 and the two other rodeos he went to August, he finished third.
- Barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi added an eighth PRCA Playoff Series win since June 15 by getting the buckle at the Caldwell Night Rodeo. What started in Reno and continued in Calgary hasn’t let up in August. The win in Caldwell gave the No. 1 ranked cowgirl a win Playoff win in each of the first three weekends of the month. Pozzi Tonozzi has made over $160,000 since the beginning of Reno and leads the WPRA World Standings by more than $65,000.
- Bareback rider Dean Thompson made four rides of 85+ over the weekend to go from No. 19 to No. 15. The rookie snuck back into the NFR picture over the weekend by winning about $9,500 across the Gooding Pro Rodeo, Fallon County Fair and Rodeo and Caldwell Night Rodeo. Since Aug. 9, Thompson has pulled a check of at least $1,000 on 8-of-9 rides.
- Saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright swept his way through the Caldwell Night Rodeo to move into the Top 10 in the PRCA World Standings. Wright started the weekend No. 12 and quickly erased any bubble questions by making four rides of 88 points or better over the weekend, two of which came in Caldwell with another being an 89-pointer on The Calgary Stampede’s Amazon Hills to win Canby. He also shared the Long Round win with Wyatt Casper in Rapid City. In the last two weeks, Wright has added about $35,000 to his season earnings.
- Team ropers Tyler Wade/Wesley Thorp have won four PRCA Playoff Series Rodeos since July 19 following a win in Caldwell. The new partnership began clicking with two wins in Utah that weekend, Spanish Fork Fiesta Days and Ogden Pioneer Days. Since then they have added wins in Deadwood and Caldwell as well round wins in Canby, the Lea County PRCA Rodeo (New Mexico) and Dodge City Roundup (Kansas). All told, in about a month Wade has gone from No. 23 to No. 6 in the PRCA World Standings and Thorp has gone from No. 8 to No. 3.
- Bareback rider Keenan Hayes has 12 more rides of 85 Points or More than the closest cowboy. With 48 rides of 85 Points or More, the No. 1 man in the world is looking to be the first cowboy since the PRCA began tracking stats in 2012 to clear the half-century mark. Sitting in second, with 36, is reigning World Champion Jess Pope.
- Bull rider Dustin Boquet won over $17,000 on the weekend to have an outside shot an NFR contention. Every year an NFR qualifier comes out of nowhere to close the season and there’s still some work to do, but Boquet could be a name to watch. He rode three bulls for 85 or more and won Caldwell, which came with payday of almost $10,000. In the middle of July, the three-time NFR qualifier was outside the Top 50, at the end of the month, he was No. 36, now, he’s ranked 25th.