Monday Notebook, Feb. 13: San Antonio Provides Big Money in Brackets 1 and 2
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
The next stop on the Texas Swing, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, dominated the headlines from the weekend. And why wouldn’t it? Close to $1.5 million will be paid out and dozens of athletes will take home more than $5,000 in prize money from their three Long Round performances alone.
Here are some storylines from Brackets 1 and 2 in San Antone as well as some impressive season-long stats from a few past World Champions.
- Four cowboys have already made $7,000+ in San Antonio. Thanks to ground money in the bull riding, Stetson Wright made the most of anyone in any event with more than $13,000. Bareback rider Kade Sonnier joined Wright as the only cowboy to sweep all three rounds in a bracket and made $7,500. Tie-down roper Joel Harris and bull rider Colton Byram each made $7,000.
- Jackie Ganter stayed hot in San Antonio. After besting a field that included Hailey Kinsel, Jordon Briggs, Wenda Johnson and Sissy Winn in the Finals of Fort Worth, Jackie Ganter added two consecutive round wins to start San Antonio. Jockeying a different horse than inside Dickies Arena, she was 13.95 in each of the first two rounds of Bracket 1 to win $5,000 and advance to the Semifinals. Ganter finished first in a bracket that included Winn and Kassie Mowry, both of whom qualified for the 2022 NFR.
- Three of the Top 5 bareback riders in the PRCA World Standings are rookies. No. 5 Dean Thompson and No. 4 Keenan Hayes have been mainstays near the top of the standings and with the sudden surge of Kade Sonnier, there’s a trio of rookies with more than $23,000 apiece. All three have gotten on 20 or more horses and are averaging more than 81.5 points per ride.
- All 12 of Zeke Thurston’s rides this season have been 80+. Thurston has not slowed down since adding a fourth Gold Buckle in December. He’s 12-for-12 and averaging 86 points per ride in the 2023 season. He’s up to No. 3 in the PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding World Standings after winning $6,000 in Bracket 1 in San Antonio.
- Tuf Cooper is No. 5 in the PRCA World Standings after just three rodeos. At the Roping Fiesta, National Western and Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Cooper has won at least $2,000 at each, including nearly $15,000 in Fort Worth for a second place finish. He is the defending tie-down roping champion in San Antonio.
- Ty Erickson has won four checks of more than $2,000 since Jan. 12. The 2019 PRCA Steer Wrestling World Champion is up to No. 2 in the World Standings and has eight runs of 4.8 seconds or faster in that stretch. He finished second behind World No. 1 Will Lummus in Fort Worth.
- Vinell Mariano and JB Mauney registered the two 90-point bull riders in PRCA rodeos over the weekend. Two bull riders of different pedigrees had the two biggest rides. Mariano, who has competed on the PBR Velocity Tour in the past, rode Honeycutt Rodeo’s Lucky Charm for 90 points to win the Yuma Silver Spurs Rodeo. While Mauney, a $7 million cowboy, went 90 in Round 1 of Bracket 1 in San Antonio, which was enough to advance him to the Semifinals. It was Mauney’s second qualified ride of the PRCA season.