Monday Notebook, July 8: Everything You Need to Know from Cowboy Christmas 2024

It’s the most wonderful time of the rodeo calendar

1280 Josh Frost.jpg

Josh Frost is at it again. The Randlett, Utah, cowboy won the Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls at Stampede Park on Sunday, June 30, 2024. He scored 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s bull named Stranger Danger to add $12,901 to his earnings. Photo by Susan Kanode


The beginning of the 4th quarter, the Fourth of July Run, Cowboy Christmas. Whatever you want to call it, its perhaps most crucial stretch of the ProRodeo season.

The lion’s share of the money is won from July to September and they divvy out more out in the first week than any other. There are 60 PRCA Playoff Rodeos for the entire year, 20 of them come in July, and eight of them finished between July 3-6 alone.

For cowboys, a successful Fourth of July run can make or break their season and this year, the stakes were even higher as the Leap Year shuffled The Calgary Stampede up a few days to add to the chaos.

Here’s an attempt to make just a little sense of all that Cowboy Christmas craziness.

  • Dalton Massey became the first steer wrestler to clear $100,000 with three wins since June 29. After setting a regular season earnings record a year ago, Massey has now opened up a lead of about $20,000 over Dakota Eldridge. He has extended recently with wins at some of the summer’s marquee rodeos - Reno, Ponoka and St. Paul. He was 13.9 seconds on three to win Reno, but the most impressive performance was undoubtedly in Oregon, when he made runs of 3.6 and 3.5 seconds to win the Average by six tenths and bank almost $15,000.
  • Josh Frost took over the No. 1 spot in the PRCA Bull Riding World Standings. There is no hotter bull rider in ProRodeo than Frost. Since June 26, he is 8-of-11 and averaging 87.3 points. Some of his noteworthy rides in that timeframe include an 89-point ride to win the Cody Stampede Xtreme Bulls (Wyoming), 88.5 for second at the Livingston Roundup Rodeo (Montana), and 88.5 for second at the Oakley Independence Day Rodeo (Utah). Just two weeks ago, Frost trailed Creek Young by $29,000, but with $40,000 earned since, he leads the World Standings by about $5,000.
  • Tie-down roper Ty Harris won four rodeos over Cowboy Christmas to cut Shad Mayfield’s lead from $62,000 to $32,000. Shad Mayfield looked like he had an almost insurmountable lead entering the Summer Run, but Ty Harris was quick to change that. He won the Oakley City Independence Day Rodeo, Basin City Freedom Rodeo (Washington), Eugene Pro Rodeo (Oregon), and Mandan Rodeo Days (North Dakota), all with times between 7.4 and 8.4 seconds. None of those accounted for his biggest payday either, with a second place finish in St. Paul, he took home $8,300. In total, he has made $30,000 already in July.
  • Saddle bronc rider Brody Cress won three rodeos in a two day stretch. Cress jumped three spots for first place finishes at the Western Stampede (Montana), Oakley Independence Day Rodeo and Basin City Freedom Rodeo. All three of those rides paid him more than $4,900 and all three were marked 86.5 points or better. He is currently No. 10 in the PRCA World Standings.
  • Keenan Hayes extended his lead back to more than $10,000 in the PRCA Bareback Riding World Standings. Hayes had stellar Cowboy Christmas by placing at 7-of-8 rodeos he entered over the Fourth, including a wins the Molalla Buckeroo and Euguen Pro Rodeo. All eight of his rides were marked 82 points or more.
  • Shane Hanchey has gone from No. 26 to No. 7 in the PRCA World Standings since the beginning of 100 Rodeos in 100 Days. Hanchey got his horses in order and has been off to the races ever since. He notched recent wins at the Crooked River Roundup (Oregon) and Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo (Utah) and picked up two in Canada before finishing second in the Average in Reno and fourth in the Average in Greeley.
  • Saddle bronc rider Chase Brooks won big at the two highest paying rodeos of the week. Brooks has been working his way back from injury this season, but after last week, it may be time to acknowledge he has returned to form. After being unranked up until that point, he enters the PRCA World Standings at No. 43 after a win in Cody, second place finish in St. Paul, and third place finish in Killdeer (North Dakota), earned him $24,000 over Cowboy Christmas. He has made six straight NFRs, but still has another $30,000 to make up to get the No. 15 spot.
  • Steer wrestler Cash Robb won two Cowboy Christmas rodeos to go from No. 19 to No. 13 in the World. Robb had one of his best stretches as pro to immediately move into NFR contention. His two wins at in Oakley City and Cody came courtesy of a 3.5 and 3.7-second run and paid him more than $12,000 combined.
  • Dustin Egusquiza/Levi Lord both got some breathing room in the World Standings. The team roping has been tight at the top for months, but now both Egusquiza and Lord lead by more than $10,000. Over Cowboy Christmas, they picked up a signature win at the Greeley Stampede, which paid more than $10,000. They also picked up another $7,000 combined in Livingston and Eugune.
  • Second-ranked saddle bronc rider Lefty Holman closed the gap on Damian Brennan with a string of solid rides over the Fourth. While Holman didn’t win any rodeos, he added four checks over Cowboy Christmas thanks to a second, third, fourth and fifth place finish at rodeos across the county over the Fourth. His biggest payday was $5,383 thanks to an 88-point ride on Awesome Sauce in Oakley City. He is only about $6,000 behind Brennan after sitting $23,000 back just one week ago.
  • Chase Dougherty rode four straight bulls to close Cowboy Christmas with four checks of more than $3,000. Dougherty didn’t have the hectic schedule that some had over the Fourth, but it didn’t matter. He netted about $20,000 total thanks to a perfect 4-for-4 stretch from June 30-July 6. That included a win at the Western Stampede (Utah) and second place finish in Oakley City. He is No. 4 in the World as he closes in on his first NFR since 2018.