Saddle Bronc Rider Zeke Thurston Heading to Eighth Career NFR in Search of a Third Gold Buckle

Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths

Zeke Thurston

Zeke Thurston is heading to his eighth career NFR after another season in which he finished inside the Top 10. Thurston finished at No.6 in the PRCA World Standings, the seventh consecutive season finishing inside the Top 10. While he is three years removed from his second World Title, Thurston has the talent to make some major noise at the Thomas and Mack.

Here is a look at how Thurston qualified for his eighth consecutive NFR in 2022.


Calgary Stampede, $36,000

It was home cooking for the Canadian cowboy at the Calgary Stampede. Thurston dominated pool A, winning the first, second, and third rounds. Two of those three rides were for 89 and 89.5 points. In the Semifinals, Thurston placed fifth after an 84.5-point ride.

Cheyenne Frontier Days, $13,418

Thurston opened the Cheyenne Frontier Days with a win in the first round after an 87-point ride. He kept the momentum rolling in the second round with another win and an 89.5-point ride. In the Finals, Thurston was marked 87 points and placed third.


Caldwell Night Rodeo, 91 Points

Tied for the highest-marked ride of the season for Thurston, his 91-point ride earned him a rodeo win at the Caldwell Night Rodeo. He was matched up with Bet the Ranch and was the only cowboy to successfully ride him in 2022.

Home on the Range Champions Ride, 91 Points

His first 91-point ride of the season came just 10 days before his second. This one happened at the Home on the Range Champions Ride where he would win the rodeo after his big ride on Straight Moonshine.


Fallon County Fair and Rodeo, 91 Points

Coming the ride after his win in Caldwell, Thurston went 90.5 points on Kitty Whistle to win the Fallon County Fair and Rodeo, which earned him over $4,000.

Cody Stampede, 87.5 Points

Thurston was a Co-Champion at the Cody Stampede after an 87.5-point ride on Cowboy Town. The ride earned him over $7,000.