Monday Notebook, March 25: Wyatt Casper, Cole Elshere and Damian Brennan Heat Up the Saddle Bronc Riding and More

Rodeo Austin marked the fourth Texas Swing rodeo to be completed and many of its headlines came from rodeo’s classic events

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This time on the calendar offers a unique opportunity to ProRodeo cowboys, its the only time of the year there are two rodeos that pay more than $500,000 that conclude on consecutive weekends.

RodeoHouston and its $2.1 million+ purse concluded on Sunday, March 17 and by Wednesday, March 20, it was already time for the roughstock Playoff Rounds at Rodeo Austin.

Austin marked the fourth stop on the Texas Swing and with a nearly $600,000 payout of its own, it ranked as the PRCA’s 13th highest-paying rodeo in 2023.

  • Bareback rider Tanner Aus made two straight 90-Point Rides to win Rodeo Austin after having two total since 2022. The eight-time NFR qualifier conquered the rodeo in Texas’ capital city for the second time in his career thanks to 90 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Wrap It Up in the Second Round and 90.5 points on Andrews’ Empty Promises in the Finals. All told, he won over $16,000 to move to No. 6 in the PRCA World Standings.
  • Saddle bronc rider Traylin Martin had the best ride of his career to get the biggest check of his career in the Rodeo Austin Finals. Since the beginning of his pro career in 2022, the 20-year-old had never ridden for more than 87 points. He cleared that in a big way at an opportune time in Austin as he rode All or Nothin’ for a whopping 92 points. Its the same horse Damian Brennan won Fort Worth on. In addition to the big score, Martin collected a check worth more than $10,000 for the Finals alone and left Austin with just over $15,000. In his first two ProRodeo seasons, he made $26,314.
  • Breakaway roper Danielle Lowman broke another arena record. She has been 1.6 in both Fort Worth and San Antonio and did herself one-tenth better with a 1.5-second run in the Second Round of Rodeo Austin. Lowman, who is No. 2 in the WPRA World Standings, has been 1.8 or faster seven times this year.
  • Saddle bronc rider Wyatt Casper has advanced to the Semifinals in all four Texas Swing Rodeos, and made the Finals in three of them. Few athletes in any event have been as steady as Casper, who finished second in Rodeo Austin over the weekend to go along with a third place finish in Fort Worth and a fourth place finish in San Antonio. He is No. 4 in the World with $59,130.
  • Dustin Egusquiza/Levi Lord already have seven times of 4 flat or faster in the 2024 season. The now No. 3 ranked team ropers on either side have shown the ability to go faster than everyone else, just like a year ago when they lead the PRCA in runs of 4.2 Seconds or Faster. Of those seven times of 4 flat or faster this year, two came in Austin, including a 3.9 in the Finals to seal a win. The pair has now won three PRCA Playoff Rodeos already in 2024.
  • Steer wrestler JD Struxness made three runs of 4.2 or faster to win Rodeo Austin. Struxness joined Aus as one of two Minnesota natives to win Rodeo Austin and did so with an 11.8-second time on three. Additionally, Struxness is catching over 90 percent of his steers this year, which is typically the mark reserved for only the top-ranked bulldogger in that stat.
  • Saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere swept the PRCA Extreme Bares and Broncs in North Dakota. Elshere’s last five rides have all been marked 85.5 points or higher and two of them came in round wins in Watford. He bested a field that included Sage Newman, Logan Hay, Shorty Garrett and Allen Boore twice to win almost $10,000. Since his run of 85.5s or better began, he has gone from No. 14 to No. 7 in the PRCA World Standings. He last made the NFR in 2020.
  • Barrel racer Kassie Mowry became the only barrel racer with two Texas Swing wins this year with a win at Rodeo Austin. Mowry has been to known to manage her horse power and keep a low rodeo count in the summer and it looks like it will be more of the same in 2024 as she has now won two of the last three Texas Swing Rodeos to makeup a nice rainy day fund. Mowry finished in the Top 3 in all three rounds in Austin to win the Average by about half a second over fellow 2023 NFR qualifier Jessica Routier. Mowry has now won every Texas Swing Rodeo in her career except Fort Worth.
  • Bull rider Trey Kimzey won over $25,000 in the Rodeo Austin Finals thanks to ground money. The three-time NFR qualifier showed the importance of surviving and advancing in these tournament style rodeos. Entering Saturday’s Finals in Austin, he had made just $1,655 for a 79-point ride in Round 2. But in the Short Round he was 89 points and more importantly the only one to ride his bull. With the big payday, he rose from outside the Top 30 to No. 17 in the PRCA World Standings.
  • Saddle bronc rider Damian Brennan has been to five rodeos with a Short Round this year and has made the Finals at four of them. The Aussie is No. 1 in the World for a reason. After adding another Finals appearance in Austin, he has now made them at three Texas Swing Rodeos in addition to La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros in Arizona. He has made $116,120 this season at just eight rodeos, four of which he won.