All eyes may be on the PRCA World Standings during Cowboy Christmas, but there are circuit cowboys like Hayden Ford taking advantage of the dozens of rodeos from June 28 to July 4.
Here are some of the circuit highlights.
Permit holder Hayden Ford dominated what is the biggest weekend for the Turquoise Circuit with rodeos in Prescott and Window Rock, Ariz. Ford won No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, to earn a whopping $7,270 and take over the circuit lead.
Ford just completed his sophomore season at Texas Tech where he rodeos for coach Jerrad Hofstetter, himself a Wrangler NFR qualifier. In fact, he has been borrowing Hofstetter’s son’s horse Boone.
“I’ve been riding him for most of the year because my good horse has been hurt,” Ford said. “I’ve done good on him, made some pretty big short rounds this year on him.”
In fact, Ford roped in the short go in Denver on his 20th birthday and also qualified to the last round in San Angelo.
Ford grew up in the east Texas town of Whitehouse and now resides in Lubbock while attending school. He had good reasons for choosing the Turquoise Circuit—comprised of Arizona and New Mexico—for his ProRodeo endeavors.
“I picked the Turquoise Circuit because it works best with my schedule,” Ford explained. “I’m able to pick which rodeos I want to go to and it doesn’t interfere with my school schedule.”
The ag business major has plans to be an entrepreneur after graduation, and that spirit is influencing his rodeo strategies, too.
“The circuit title was definitely the goal this year,” Ford said. “For the rest of the year, I’m going to try to get to every circuit rodeo to see if I can get my rodeo count and make a run at making the NFR Open next year.”
Ford orchestrated the standings assault despite never previously competing in Prescott or Window Rock.
“I have always watched Prescott since I was a little kid,” Ford noted. “It’s a prestigious rodeo but every time I back in the box, I try to have the same strategy . . . just don’t beat myself and have fun.”
The size of the checks available during the Fourth was shown in the impact in the standings: in addition to Ford, Joseph Parsons and Kalai Nobriga moved ahead of the pack to land No. 2 and No. 3. Parsons, a former NFR competitor, was the only other cowboy to place in both rodeos.
|1||Hayden Ford||Whitehouse, Texas||$10,340|
|2||Joseph Parsons||Marana, Arizona||$8,838.19|
|3||Kalai Nobriga||Kealakekua, Hawaii||$6,607|
|4||Seth Hall||Albuquerque, New Mexico||$6,246|
|5||Richard Newton||Potales, New Mexico||$6,084|
|6||Cory Rowland||Hobbs, New Mexico||$5,915|
|7||Colter Sellers||Casa Grande, Arizona||$5,772|
|8||Westyn Hughes||Caldwell, Texas||$5,130|
|9||Brody Stallard||Fort Sumner, New Mexico||$4,026|
|10||Colten Wallis||Big Spring, Texas||$3,159|
Great Lakes Circuit
Albia, Iowa, roper Cody Huber was on fire during the four rodeo Fourth of July sweep in the Great Lakes Circuit. Huber won better than $4,000 including a win in Manawa, Wisconsin. He hopped to the lead from No. 3, distancing Blake Ash by almost $2,000.
Missouri cowboy Jesse Hinkle also enjoyed a good weekend with a couple of checks including a round win in Manawa to move from No. 8 to No. 4.
|1||Cody Huber||Albia, Iowa||$10,219|
|2||Blake Ash||Aurora, Missouri||$8,383|
|3||Hadley DeShazo||Ash Flat, Arkansas||$6,668|
|4||Jesse Hinkle||Higbee, Missouri||$6,285|
|5||Luke Madsen||Marshalltown, Iowa||$6,136|
|6||Fenton Nelsen||Marshall, Missouri||$4,721|
|7||Clay Ellis||Dows, Iowa||$4,687|
|8||Dawson Turner||Sidney, Arkansas||$4,637|
|9||Roy Lee||Marshall, Missouri||$4,618|
|10||Dallen McIntire||Thayer, Iowa||$4,523|
Ty Moser held his lead in the Dakotas with a little Fourth of July cash while the standings below him shifted. Trey Young closed to within a few hundred dollars thanks to a nice check at Mandan while Chase Lako picked up two checks worth nearly $3,000 to land third.
Meanwhile, Jason Schaffer went on a heater, taking second in Mandan and winning Mobridge right down the road to vault from No. 20 all the way to No. 5. He earned $5,991.
|1||Ty Moser||Volga, South Dakota||$10,025|
|2||Trey Young||Dupree, South Dakota||$9,649|
|3||Chase Lako||Arthur, North Dakota||$9,341|
|4||Austin Hurlburt||Norfolk, Nebraska||$7,529|
|5||Jason Schaffer||Broadus, Montana||$7,093|
|6||Bodie Mattson||Sturgis, South Dakota||$5,352|
|7||Grant Turek||St. Paul, Nebraska||$5,011|
|8||Cole Robinson||Moorcroft, Wyoming||$3,902|
|9||Brock Belkham||Flandreau, South Dakota||$3,663|
|10||Thane Lockhart||Oelrichs, South Dakota||$3,181|
For cowboys in Wyoming and Colorado, the two major rodeos in Greeley and Cody bookended their Fourth of July with stops in Steamboat Springs and Brush, Colorado, a new PRCA stop, tucked in between.
Wrangler NFR cowboy Riley Pruitt of Nebraska’s resurgence in 2023 has included within his circuit and he held his lead in the standings throughout the holiday weekend.
Loveland, Colorado’s Tyler Boxleitner was the biggest winner, earning a huge check in Cody to leap from No. 14 to No. 2 after earning $4,202.
|1||Riley Pruitt||Gering, Nebraska||$8,186|
|2||Tyler Boxleitner||Loveland, Colorado||$5,587|
|3||JD McCuistion||Estes Park, Colorado||$4,255|
|4||Jeremiah Peek||Pueblo, Colorado||$4,136|
|5||Cash Enderli||Liberty, Texas||$4,045|
|6||Jase Staudt||Saguache, Colorado||$3,548|
|7||Garrett Busby||Brock, Texas||$3,292|
|8||Seth Peterson||Wellington, Colorado||$3,289|
|9||Cason Kingsbury||Orchard, Colorado||$3,241|
|10||Hunter Reaume||Meeteetse, Wyoming||$3,173|
The Wilderness Circuit had two offerings for Cowboy Christmas in Oakley and West Jordan, two rodeos just 50 miles apart. Justin Brinkeroff pulled a small check at the latter to hold his lead in the circuit standings.
Britt Bedke closed the gap to $760 with a bigger West Jordan check. Elsewhere in the standings, Chance Thiessen cashed big in Oakley to the tune of $5,041 and leapt from No. 21 to No. 5.
|1||Justin Brinkerhoff||Corinne, Utah||$9,467|
|2||Britt Bedke||Oakley, Idaho||$8,707|
|3||Matt Shiozawa||Chubbuck, Idaho||$7,080|
|4||Josh Jennings||Glendale, Utah||$6,863|
|5||Chance Thiessen||Elk City, Oklahoma||$6,578|
|6||Stetson Vest||Childress, Texas||$6,509|
|7||Clint Robinson||Spanish Fork, Utah||$5,321|
|8||Ryan Thibodeaux||Stephenville, Texas||$4,646|
|9||Ladd King||West Weber, Utah||$4,483|
|10||Shane Hanchey||Sulphur, Louisiana||$3,895|
Columbia River Circuit
There were five rodeos with some big cash up for grabs for ropers in the Columbia River Circuit. Texan Ty Harris managed to keep his pre-Fourth of July lead, but the standings tightened up considerably with Kass Kayser now only $60 behind. Only $651 separates the top five.
|1||Ty Harris||San Angelo, Texas||$5,679|
|2||Kass Kayser||Ellensburg, Washington||$5,619|
|3||Trevor Hale||Perryton, Texas||$5,285|
|4||Lane Livingston||Seymour, Texas||$5,175|
|5||Preston Pederson||Hermiston, Oregon||$5,028|
|6||Caleb McMillan||Soap Lake, Washington||$4,167|
|7||Bo Pickett||Caldwell, Idaho||$3,834|
|8||Reese Riemer||Stinnett, Texas||$3,441|
|9||Chase Joyce||Drewsey, Oregon||$3,262|
|10||Paden Bray||Stephenville, Texas||$3,193|
There were no changes in the top ten in Texas other than Lipan’s Cole Clemons putting another $1,281 between himself and the rest of the field with a win in Belton. Clemons’ lead is over $7,000.
|1||Cole Clemons||Lipan, Texas||$23,475|
|2||Sterling Smith||Stephenville, Texas||$16,321|
|3||Shad Mayfield||Clovis, New Mexico||$14,609|
|4||Blane Cox||Cameron, Texas||$13,975|
|5||Cody Waldrop||San Angelo, Texas||$13,487|
|6||Charlie Gibson||Midland, Texas||$12,770|
|7||Cory Solomon||Prairie View, Texas||$11,249|
|8||John Douch||Huntsville, Texas||$11,034|
|9||Monty Lewis||Hereford, Texas||$10,186|
|10||Tyson Durfey||Brock, Texas||$9,727|
Though Montana hosted a trio of rodeos for Cowboy Christmas, much of the proceeds went to out-of-circuit cowboys, leaving little impact on the early season circuit standings.
James Ramirez of Churchill continues to lead the way with only Jesse Medearis making a move. On the wings of a big check in Livingston, Medearis went from No. 8 to No. 3.
|1||James Ramirez||Churchill, Montana||$4,232|
|2||Matt Gutierrez||Stephenville, Texas||$3,735|
|3||Jesse Medearis||Belgrade, Montana||$3,621|
|4||Kevin Peterson||Dillon, Montana||$2,261|
|5||Shay Keller||Rockglen, Saskatchewan||$1,757|
|6||Dillon Hahnkamp||Melrose, Montana||$1,452|
|7||Ty Hedrick||Jackson, Montana||$1,374|
|8||Kyle Bagnell||Polson, Montana||$1,184|
|9||Bode Scott||Pryor, Montana||$888|
|10||Ryan Siemsen||Worden, Montana||$884|
First Frontier Circuit
In the Northeast, all around hand Zane Kilgus fared the best during the long weekend, moving up four spots to tuck into No. 2 behind Ty Rumford. Rodeo is just barely getting started in the First Frontier and the gap from first to fifth is only $1,000 thus far.
|1||Ty Rumford||Abbyville, Kansas||$2,843|
|2||Zane Kilgus||Watsontown, Pennslyvania||$2,400|
|3||JR Myers||Felton, Pennslyvania||$2,273|
|4||Colby Clement||Middle Grove, New York||$2,144|
|5||Garrett Fernandez||Gloversville, New York||$1,813|
|6||Lance Hower||Milton, Pennslyvania||$1,776|
|7||Tyler Zebrovious||Fredonia, Pennslyvania||$1,673|
|8||Layne Weber||Reinholds, Pennslyvania||$837|
|9||Brady Brennan||Ashburnham, Massachusetts||$763|
|10||Charlie Goerlach||Greenfield Center, New York||$526|
Maple Leaf Circuit
Logan Bird kept the lead thanks to placing at both Maple Leaf Circuit rodeos over the Fourth in Airdrie and Raymond, Alberta.
|1||Logan Bird||Nanton, Alberta||$15,932|
|2||Shane Smith||Wimborne, Alberta||$12,729|
|3||Austin Hines||Marwayne, Alberta||$10,142|
|4||Jason Smith||Wimborne, Alberta||$8,441|
|5||Kyle Lucas||Carstairs, Alberta||$8,091|
|6||Stran Dunham||Souris, Manitoba||$7,636|
|7||Clay Elliott||Nanton, Alberta||$6,964|
|8||Copper Resch||Stettler, Alberta||$6,289|
|9||Steele De Paoli||Longview, Alberta||$4,485|
|10||Logan Spady||Alliance, Alberta||$4,347|
With only one rodeo on tap, the Prairie Circuit standings saw no changes.
|1||Ryan Jarrett||Comanche, Oklahoma||$12,384|
|2||Cash Hooper||Carlsbad, New Mexico||$8,337|
|3||Cash Fuesz||Eureka, Kansas||$8,239|
|4||Glenn Jackson||Okmulgee, Oklahoma||$6,676|
|5||Tom Crouse||Gallatin, Missouri||$6,594|
|6||Marley Berger||Udall, Kansas||$6,260|
|7||Hagen Houck||Henrietta, Texas||$4,648|
|8||Riley O’Rourke||Skiutook, Oklahoma||$4,115|
|9||RJ Straw||Lenapah, Oklahoma||$3,961|
|10||Paul David Tierney||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||$3,637|
While ropers in most circuits were scrambling from rodeo to rodeo, ropers in California and the Southeastern Circuits had no rodeos on the schedule, leaving standings unchanged.
|1||Jordan Ketscher||Squaw Valley, California||$18,079|
|2||Brush Minton||Witter Springs, California||$11,160|
|3||Jason Andersen||Salinas, California||$10,975|
|4||Tyler Forsberg||Fillmore, California||$9,208|
|5||Colton Farquer||Oakdale, California||$8,738|
|6||J. Cody Jones||Ukiah, California||$6,125|
|7||Cody Stewart||Janesville, California||$6,110|
|8||Doyle Hoskins||Prunedale, California||$4,086|
|9||KC Miller||Cambria, California||$3,859|
|10||CJ DeForest||Wheatland, California||$3,757|
|1||Blake Chauvin||Raceland, Louisiana||$13,479|
|2||Michael Otero||Lowndesboro, Alabama||$12,452|
|3||Macon Murphy||Keatchie, Louisiana||$12,060|
|4||Marcus Theriot||Lumberton, Mississippi||$10,778|
|5||Cole Walker||Sparta, Tennessee||$10,280|
|6||Booker McCutchen||Harrison, Arkansas||$10,252|
|7||Austin Davis||Morton, Mississippi||$10, 216|
|8||Randall Carlisle||Athens, Louisiana||$10,110|
|9||Polo Bacque||Scott, Louisiana||$9,765|
|10||West Smith||Emmet, Arkanasa||$8,867|