Monday Notebook, May 6: Jess Pope Gets Rolling in Guymon, Tyler Bingham Strikes in Uvalde and More

A pair of bareback riders found themselves in a familiar spot in the Oklahoma panhandle

Jess Pope NFR


The rodeo world was centered around Guymon, Oklahoma for its Pioneer Days, which with its $386,000 total payout, divvied up more money than the next five highest paying events of the weekend.

Those other events included the Cactus Jack Xtreme Bulls (Texas), American Royal Rodeo (Missouri) and Clovis Pioneer Days (New Mexico).

  • Bareback riders Dean Thompson and/or Jess Pope have won Guymon the last three years. In 2022, Jess Pope rode Gun Fire for 92 points to win Guymon. In 2023, Dean Thompson rode Gun Fire for 92.5 to win Guymon. In 2024, Dean Thompson rode Gun Fire for 90 points and Jess Pope rode Breaking News for 90 points to win Guymon. Did you follow all that?
  • Now let’s breakdown both NFR bareback riders a little more, starting with Thompson. His win in Guymon was his fourth of the season and third PRCA Playoff Series win. He now leads the PRCA Playoff Series Standings which essentially means he has been the most consistent across the PRCA’s biggest rodeos so far in 2024. The Top 60 rodeos are considered PRCA Playoff Rodeos and those points are accumulated by how an athlete places at those rodeos. Because money varies from rodeo-to-rodeo and points do not, they can be a good barometer of week in and week out performance. Remember, it is Playoff Series points, not World Standings, that are used for qualification for the all-important Governor’s Cup to close the year.
  • And now to Pope. The Kansas cowboy got off to a fast start to his career with four NFRs, three NFR Average Titles, three Reserve World Titles and a Gold Buckle since 2020. He, however, had to grind out his second place finish in 2023, working his way from No. 41 at the beginning of May all the way to a shot at another Gold Buckle in Round 10 in December. He entered May ranked No. 30 this year and quickly jumped to No. 25 with a win at the American Royal Rodeo in addition to Guymon over the weekend. It is also important to note he has only been on 20 horses so far.
  • Tyler Bingham was the only bull rider to cover all three at the Cactus Jack Xtreme Bulls in Uvalde, Texas. The three-time NFR qualifier went from No. 37 to No. 26 in the PRCA World Standings thanks to rides of 88, 83 and 89.5 in Uvalde to win over $15,000. Bingham has made $35,929 this season and about $24,000 of that has come since April 1.
  • World No. 1 Shad Mayfield won his hometown rodeo in Clovis, New Mexico (and Guymon as well). The 2020 World Champion’s foot stayed on the gas when he first win in Clovis in front of the home fans with an 8.2-second run before getting a piece of the title in Guymon with a 7.3-second run in the Finals. He was also 7.1 in Round 1 in Guymon and those two rodeos combined to pay him nearly $16,000. Mayfield leads the World Standings by $45,000 over Ty Harris.
  • Saddle bronc rider Statler Wright’s win in Guymon was his seventh of the season, the most of any saddle bronc rider. Wright’s $3,920 payday pushed him back to No. 2 in the World and Guymon marked the sixth different state and third PRCA Playoff Series Rodeo he has won in this year.
  • 18-year-old bull rider Hudson Bolton picked up the biggest check of his career for a win at the American Royal Rodeo. Bolton rode Korkow Rodeo’s Zapata for 88.5 points to earn $4,617. Riding on his permit this year, he has won money at 14 rodeos. His prior top paycheck was $3,057 for second at the Southeastern Livestock Expo (Alabama).
  • Bull rider JR Stratford is 5-for-7 with three rides of 89 points or more since April 5, the most recent of which came in Guymon. The 2022 NFR qualifier is looking to get back as he is now No. 9 in the World and heating up. He has won almost $28,000 on those five rides including $4,000 in Guymon, $7,200 in San Angelo and 7,600 at the Lawton Xtreme Bulls (Oklahoma).
  • Saddle bronc rider Riggin Smith placed in the Top 4 of three rodeos over the weekend. After four straight Top 50 finishes to start his career, Smith looks closer and closer to breakthrough every day as he just went from No. 19 to No. 16 in the World Standings thanks to a grand total $5,100.