Monday Notebook: Wrapping Up The Daddy Of ‘Em All
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
The Daddy of ‘em All, Cheyenne Frontier Days, is the highest paying PRCA rodeo of the summer and the third highest paying of the year. With more than $1 million up for grabs and almost 20,000 on hand at Frontier Park, Sunday’s performance truly made for one of the grandest stages in rodeo. And that grand stage provided standing ovations, 90-point rides and arena records, sometimes all at the same time.
In this week’s edition of the Monday Noteboook we’re going to keep it simple by providing one note on each of this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days champions.
- Kade Sonnier is first bareback rider to win Calgary and Cheyenne in the same year since Will Lowe in 2009. The rookie from Louisiana has suddenly become a World Title threat by adding almost $40,000 to his season earnings from those two rodeos alone in the past two weeks. He is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.
- Clayton Biglow and Tim O’Connell have both won Cheyenne twice in the last four years. Biglow was the champion in 2019 before O’Connell claimed the title in 2021 and 2022. It always proves difficult in Cheyenne as both of those cowboys are also World Champions.
- Cole Reiner won five PRCA Playoff Series Rodeos in July. There are 60 total Playoff Rodeos throughout the year. Cole Reiner won almost 10 percent of them in a single month. He is No. 4 in the world as he and Sonnier continue to put heat on Leighton Berry and Keenan Hayes.
- Eli Lord was the first steer wrestler since Ivan Teigen in 2001 to win two steer wrestling titles in Cheyenne. Lord, like Biglow, was the champion in 2019. This year, he was 5.9 seconds in the Short Round to get it done by seven tenths of a second.
- Billy Bob Brown/Kirby Blankenship qualified in the last slot in in the First Semifinal. It doesn’t matter how you get to the Short Round at a tournament style rodeo, all that matters is that you take advantage when you do. That’s what Billy Bob Brown/Kirby Blankenship did as they were 8 seconds flat to win The Dad. No one remembers Semifinal times, anyway.
- Ryder Sanford set an arena record with 92.5 points in the Short Round in Cheyenne. This is the ride that had it all. The rookie matched up with reigning Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year The Black Tie and the dream matchup proved to be just that as the dance brought the entire crowd to its feet in an unforgettable moment at Frontier Park.
- Luke Potter’s 10.6-second run in the Short Round was the richest of his professional career. The No. 18 ranked tie-down roper in the world had never made more than $5,500 for a single run in ProRodeo prior to Sunday. The winner in Cheyenne paid him $9,200 and moved him up six spots in the World Standings.
- Sue Smith broke the arena record in the barrel racing just minutes after Summer Kosel broke her own arena record. There had never been a run faster than 17 seconds in Cheyenne until Sunday - when there were two in about 10 minutes. Sue Smith’s 16.89-second is now the fastest in Cheyenne’s 127-year history and Smith added another huge payday to go along with wins at the Snake River Stampede (Idaho) and the Ogden Pioneer Days (Utah). She has earned about $30,000 in the last two weeks.
- Stetson Wright rode Dakota Rodeo’s Trump Train for 90+ points in both the Semifinals and the Finals. You don’t often see a cowboy draw the same bull in consecutive rounds at the same rodeo, but Stetson Wright did just that and delivered both times with 90 points in the Semifinals and 91.5 in the Finals. The win will extend his lead as the No. 1 man in the world.
- Breakaway roper Joey Williams was only cowgirl in Cheyenne to have two times faster than 4 flat. Williams was 3.8 seconds in both the Semifinals and Finals. That was the third fastest time of the rodeo overall. Including the qualifier, Williams also placed in all four rounds and cashed at least $1,400 in each.