Monday Notebook: Richie Champion, Damian Brennan and John Douch Makes Moves and More

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There are about six weeks left in the ProRodeo season, and after a trifecta of Playoff Series Rodeos over the weekend, only 12 remain.

This year, those Playoff Rodeos are crucial because before the best in the world head to Vegas for the NFR - they’ll stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the inaugural Governor’s Cup, where Top 15 hopes will hang in the balance.

With that in mind, it’s the part of the season to start paying special attention to those ranked No. 10-20 in each event, and how they fare at the biggest rodeos left on the regular season calendar.

  • Bareback rider Richie Champion moved from No. 17 to No. 13 over the weekend. The seven-time NFR qualifier had a terrific weekend at all three PRCA Playoff Series Rodeo. He won the Lea County PRCA Rodeo (New Mexico) with 88.5 points on Pickett’s Uncapped and also finished second at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo (Oregon) and fourth at the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo (Missouri). Champion has made nine consecutive rides marked 84 points or better and has won a check of at least $1,000 on eight of them, the highest paying being the win in Lea County at $5,900.
  • Saddle bronc rider Damian Brennan has won almost $25,000 in August following his win at the Lea County PRCA Rodeo. The Aussie is 11-for-11 in August with six rides marked 87 points or higher. He won Lea County with 89.5 points on Pete Carr’s High Dive, giving him three of the highest marked rides of his career since Aug. 5. Since the beginning of the month, Brennan has gone from No. 16 to No. 11 in the world.
  • The Top 3 headers in the PRCA World Standings are separated by less than $2,000. There is no race in ProRodeo tighter than the headers with Dustin Egusquiza ($127,824), Kaleb Driggers ($127,023) and Nelson Wyatt ($126,014) all jockeying for first place position entering the NFR. If those money totals seem higher than normal, that’s because they are. With just over six weeks still to go in the season, all three have cleared what No. 3 Andrew Ward entered the NFR with a year ago ($124,619).
  • Paden Bray, primarily known as a team roper, won the tie-down roping at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo. In the last two weeks, Bray has gone from No. 14 to No. 9 in the world in the PRCA Header World Standings and also found time to win a Playoff Series Rodeo in the tie-down roping. Bray was 15.9 seconds on two to top a leaderboard that included John Douch, Brush Minton and Reese Reimer.
  • Saddle bronc rider Brody Cress won a PRCA Playoff Series Rodeo for the second consecutive weekend. The No. 10 cowboy in the world won Dodge City with 87.5 points on Miss Ellie on Aug. 6 and did himself even better in Sikeston by riding The Cervi Broters’ Womanizer for 91 points to win. It was Cress’ second 90+ point ride of the year with the other also coming in August.
  • Trey Kimzey has ridden four bulls in August and all four have been marked 87.5 points or more. The younger Kimzey has gone from No. 13 to No. 10 in the PRCA World Standings in August thanks to a 4-of-6 start to the month. Over the weekend, he added $6,600 to his season earnings by riding Stockyards Pro Rodeo’s Cheddar Biscuit for 89 points. That bull was also ridden by Laramie Mosely for 90 at the Lea County Xtreme Bulls earlier in the week.
  • Only five bull riders made the whistle at the Lea County PRCA Rodeo, but all five were 86.5 points or better. Speaking of bull riding in Lea County, the bulls had their way with a majority of the cowboys but those who stayed on made it worth it. Kimzey, Trevor Reiste, Deklan Garland, Clayton Sellars and T Parker were the ones who recorded qualified rides.
  • Saddle bronc rider Statler Wright made the first 90-point ride of his professional career to win the Farm-City Pro Rodeo. Wright won his third PRCA Playoff Series Rodeo of the year with the best ride of his career on The Calgary Stampede’s Xplosive Skies. His 90 ponts were 2.5 and better than the second-place cowboy, his brother Ryder. Statler Wright sits at No. 15, right on the cutline for another first - the NFR.
  • Tie-down roper John Douch moved from No. 14 to No. 10 thanks to two wins over the weekend. Douch won the Omak Stampede (Washington) and the Owyhee County Fair (Idaho). Both of those rodeos paid over $2,000. He also won a round at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo and finished fourth in Average.