PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding Standings Update, Sept. 14: Ryder Sanford Jumps into Top 15, a Tight Bubble Race and More
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
The race is on for the NFR in every event this time of year, but perhaps none more than the saddle bronc riding.
The Top 9 is full of the usual suspects - names like Stetson Wright, Sage Newman Zeke Thurston, Dawson Hay and Ryder Wright. Eight of those nine cowboys made it to the NFR in 2022 and the only one who didn’t, Ben Andersen, did so in 2021.
From No. 10-20 is where things get interesting. It’s a mix of young cowboys (Damian Brennan, Ryder Sanford, Q Taylor, Statler Wright), NFR veterans (Brody Cress, Lefty Holman and Chase Brooks) and those caught somewhere in between (Tanner Butner, Kolby Wanchuk and Leon Fountain).
Regardless, they are all separated by less than $25,000, making those final six spots anyone’s down the stretch.
No. 1 Stetson Wright, $228,727
Wright surpassed Sage Newman, who had held on to the No. 1 spot since winning RodeoHouston in March, over the weekend. Wright took second in two rounds at the Cinch Playoffs to win more than $11,000 there and also won the Finals and the Average in Ellensburg the week prior. This month, Wright already has five rides marked 86 points or higher. He now ranks No. 1 in saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
No. 12 Brody Cress, $119,269
Entering the weekend No. 14, Cress got exactly what he needed by winning the Chute Out and the rodeo in Fort Madison, Iowa with rides of 88.5 and 90 respectively. He also finished second in a round in Puyallup to bring his weekend total to over $10,000. He is looking for his seventh straight NFR qulaification.
No. 14 Ryder Sanford, $116,305
The rookie was the biggest beneficiary of the Cinch Playoffs by a catapulting from No. 19 to No. 14 and right in the mix for his first NFR. Sanford won almost $16,000 in Puyallup for taking home the title with 89 points on Calgary’s Dandy Delight. Between Ellensburg and Puyallup, he made four rides marked 85.5 points or higher. He also took over No. 1 in the Resistol Rookie race from the cowboy we will hear about next...
No. 15 Q Taylor, $114,361
Taylor, like Sanford, has plenty to ride for as he neck-and-neck for his NFR and Resistol Rookie of the Year life. Taylor has been able to salvage about $2,600 so far this month between Ellensburg and the Lewiston Roundup (Idaho).
No. 17 Isaac Diaz, $109,903
Diaz helped his case for an eighth NFR and first since 2020 last week and appears to have already done the same this week. He was 88 on Calgary Stampede’s Burban to win a round in Puyallup and is out to the early lead in the New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo. If that holds, it will get even closer around the No. 15 spot.
Standings current as of prorodeo.com on September 14, 2023 at 2:00 PM EST.