With six weeks left in the 2023 ProRodeo season, the pressure is in the calf roping world standings as athletes jostle for a spot in the Top 15 with big-money events including the Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls on the horizon.
But what all can happen inside those six weeks? For one thing, there is the all-new Cinch Playoffs Governor’s Cup to be held on the final weekend of the season, Sept. 28–30, 2023, with a $1 million payoff across eight events.
Open only to the top eight in 2023 PRCA Playoff Series standings along with four from the Washington State Fair in Puyallup as well as the winner of the NFR Open, Garrett Jacobs, the tournament-style event looks to award just over $40,000 to the champion.
Before the line-ups for those events are set, there are 10 regular season Playoff Series events still on the calendar, each offering their own tempting payouts. Three happen this week, the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo (already underway), Canby (Ore.) Rodeo and Gooding (Idaho) Pro Rodeo with another three next week.
Add in all the other lucrative rodeos coming down the stretch, and it’s easy enough to assume that the bubble for Las Vegas is going to be high.
Riley Webb holding strong
Sophomore competitor Riley Webb continues to dominate. He set a new regular season earnings record at the end of July and has added more than $20,000 to it in the last two weeks, second-best in that time span of all ropers. Only Zack Jongbloed has won more.
Webb has maintained his $80,000+ lead all summer thanks to a barrage of checks including, most recently, a round win in Lovington, New Mexico and placing runs in Hermiston (Ore.) and Logan (Utah).
Meanwhile, Jongbloed has jumped from No. 27 to No. 19 since the start of August with nearly $23,000 won this month so far. Only rookie Dylan Hancock experienced a bigger move in the standings in that same time period—Hancock moved from No. 34 to No. 25.
The Bubble Watch is On
Ellensburg, Washington’s Jake Pratt continues to hold the 15th position with $78,804 won. Michael Otero is just $368 behind with Marcos Costa, Trevor Hale, Jongbloed and Matt Shiozawa all within about $6,000 for now.
On the good side of the bubble are Luke Potter (No. 14), Cory Solomon (No. 13) and Caleb Smidt (No. 12).
Smidt helped his cause with a win in Lawton, Oklahoma, while Solomon did the same in Lovington, New Mexico. Smidt banked $5,225 while Solomon rode away with $6,331.
As of Aug. 14, only Otero and Shiozawa are outside the top 23 in the Playoff Series standings, which could be important come September.
Meanwhile, John Douch was No. 14 when the month began—but has since gone on a tear. He won both Omak, Washington, and Homedale, Idaho, over the Aug. 11–13 weekend. Coupled with a fourth-place finish in Hermiston, second in Jerome, and third last weekend in Dodge City, and Douch has won $18,961 since Aug. 1.
Douch is more comfortable with $87,739 now won, ahead of No. 15 by about $9,000.
Don’t Forget the Circuit Guys
While the top 30 grab the headlines and much of the cash at the big rodeos this time of year, the circuit guys also held their own in the win department over the Aug. 11–13 weekend.
Minnesota cowboy Chance Oftedahl stole some thunder from the top 20 by claiming victory in Sikeston, Missouri, at the Sikeston Jaycees Bootheel Rodeo. Oftedahl tied up two calves in 18.3 seconds to collect $6,192.
In another victory for the circuit ropers, Fruitland, Idaho’s Cole Eiguren beat the rank field in Logan, Utah, at the Cache County Fair & Rodeo. Eiguren won $5,433 in the one-header with his 7.6-second run.
Paden Bray won the tie-down roping in Hermiston. Yes, that Paden Bray. For folks who don’t know, the No. 9-ranked heeler in the world standings is also really handy with a rope and a piggin’ string and he showed it when he won the Playoff Tour stop in Oregon for $9,141, the biggest single rodeo win of the weekend. Though a Texan, he claims the Columbia River Circuit and is now No. 3 in a stellar race there.
(Calf Roping World Standings courtesy of ProRodeo.com, may not reflect all completed rodeos)
|1||Riley Webb||Denton, Texas||$223,299.91|
|2||Haven Meged||Miles City, Montana||$145,233.01|
|3||Shad Mayfield||Clovis, New Mexico||$131,013.12|
|4||Shane Hanchey||Sulphur, Louisiana||$127,458.37|
|5||Ty Harris||San Angelo, Texas||$127,310.36|
|6||Hunter Herrin||Apache, Oklahoma||$106,233.21|
|7||Brushton Minton||Witter Springs, California||$101,572.72|
|8||Westyn Hughes||Caldwell, Texas||$99,732.39|
|9||Beau Cooper||Stettler, Alberta||$90,446.32|
|10||John Douch||Huntsville, Texas||$87,739.32|
|11||Blane Cox||Cameron, Texas||$87,524.45|
|12||Caleb Smidt||Bellville, Texas||$83,830.24|
|13||Cory Solomon||Prairie View, Texas||$83,344.66|
|14||Luke Potter||Maple City, Kansas||$81,808.75|
|15||Jake Pratt||Ellensburg, Washington||$78,803.54|
|16||Michael Otero||Lowndesboro, Alabama||$78,435.76|
|17||Marcos Costa||Iretama, PR||$76,416.43|
|18||Trevor Hale||Perryton, Texas||$73,164.94|
|19||Zack Jongbloed||Iowa, Louisiana||$72,833.64|
|20||Matt Shiozawa||Chubbuck, Idaho||$72,087.61|