Monday Notebook, April 8: The Texas Swing Takes Over San Angelo and Playoff Rodeos Head West

The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo and Oregon’s High Desert Stampede were the biggest rodeos of the weekend

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San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo/@S_Foley_Photography


After a weekend to catch our collective breath, four events made an impact on the PRCA World Standings over the weekend.

Opening statements were made at the final Texas Swing Rodeo in San Angelo, the High Desert Stampede produced some bigger boosts than expected, and the Xtreme Bull Riding was possibly the best its been all year at events in Oklahoma and Oregon.

  • Saddle bronc rider Lefty Holman looks poised to make all five Texas Swing Finals. Holman has already notched second place finishes in San Antonio and Houston and barring anything crazy, he will make it a perfect 5-for-5 in cracking Texas Swing Short Rounds this season. He rode Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s California Kiss for 87 points to lead San Angelo after the first weekend. He is currently No. 3 in the PRCA World Standings and averaging nearly 85 points per ride.
  • Bull rider Luke Mast is up to No. 3 in the World Standings with three rides making up 60 percent of his season earnings. Mast was the champion of the High Desert Stampede over the weekend, which paid him nearly $6,000. Despite being 13-for-42, which would have ranked last among NFR bull riders in riding percentage a year ago, Mast ranks No. 3 in the PRCA World Standings with $52,422. In addition to Redmond, Oregon over the weekend, he also made timely rides at the San Antonio Xtreme Bulls and the Los Fresnos Rodeo, where he won $20,000 and $3,300 respectively. The bull riding is very tight, however, with Mast and No. 25 Trey Holston currently separated by less than $20,000.
  • Breakaway roper Alli Masters leads both rounds at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. The star in any event in San Angelo so far has been the 62nd ranked cowgirl in the World, who was 2.3 in Round 1 and 2.1 in Round 2 to be in the driver’s seat through four performances. Masters currently leads the Average by eight tenths of a second.
  • Bareback rider Garrett Shadbolt picked up his fourth win of the year at the High Desert Stampede. Dating back to last season, Shadbolt is averaging more than 84 points per ride and after injury shortened what looked like it was going to be a terrific 2023 season, he’s right back near the top in 2024. Two of his win have been Playoff Rodeos (High Desert and National Western) and he also placed second in Houston last month. He is up to No. 2 in the PRCA World Standings.
  • Cowboys at the Lawton Xtreme Bulls (Oklahoma) needed 87.5 points just to be in the money. The Top 8 bull riders were all marked between 87.5 and 89.5 points and it was truly an every point counts type of situation. Tristan Mize won $11,421 for first while Tristen Hutchings and Jake Roddy each took home $1,332 for sharing seventh. For comparison, there were three rides of 87.5 points or more in 2023 and it only took 82.5 points to get paid.
  • Tie-down roper Riley Webb made the first run in the 6s of the entire Texas Swing. The reigning World Champion was 6.9 seconds in San Angelo, marking the third time he has been faster than 7 flat in his ProRodeo career. He is four tenths faster than anyone else at the fifth Texas Swing stop so far.
  • Matt Palmer and Cannon Cravens split the title at the inaugural High Desert Stampede Xtreme Bulls. Two days before Lawton began on April 5, there was some good bull riding on display in Oregon for the first ever edition of the High Desert Stampede Xtreme Bulls. Palmer rode Corey & Lange’s No. 049 and Cravens covered Entitled Little. Each did so for 89.5 points to take home $7,000+ apiece. Six cowboys were marked 86 points or better at this one and it took 84 to get paid.
  • Bareback rider Cooper Cooke is likely to make it four straight Finals to close the Texas Swing. Cooke rode Korkow Rodeo’s Buffalo Soldier for 88.5 points in San Angelo over the weekend to take the First Round lead and all but guarantee his spot in the Short Round. The 21-year-old has made great strides each year of his ProRodeo career going from No. 37 in 2022 to No. 21 in 2023 to No. 4 thus far in 2024. Cooke has done so by making the most of the Texas Swing, advancing to the Finals in San Antonio, Austin and Houston. His best finish so far is third at RodeoHouston where banked $18,500 total.
  • Tie-down roper Marty Yates started March outside the Top 20 and now sits No. 8 in the World, and climbing. The Stephenville cowboy has put himself in position to advance to the Finals in San Angelo after runs of 7.3 and 8.2 seconds. Prior to that, he got a boost from a sixth place finish in Austin and a third place finish in Houston. Yates’ Catch Percentage (85.2 percent) and Average Time (10.54 seconds) would have both been in the Top 5 in 2023.
  • Bull rider JR Stratford made rides of 89 and 90 points over the weekend. The 21-year-old is back in the Top 20 of the PRCA Bull Riding World Standings after making his two highest marked rides since August of 2022 in consecutive outs. The 89-pointer won him $7,614 for third at the Lawton Xtreme Bulls while the 90 in San Angelo has yet to be paid out. Since March 9, Stratford is 6-for-9 and averaging 86.67 points per ride.