Brayden Roe Uses Rookie Year for Growth as the Top Rookies Bear Down on September
Brayden Roe is using his Resistol Rookie season to come back stronger in 2024.
Luke potter dismounts to tie his calf at cheyenne frontier days
Luke Potter and new partner—20-year-old Katniss—clicked immediately. photo by Click Thompson

The spotlight shines brightly on those on top of the standings as the ProRodeo season rolls to an end, but the reality is that there are many more rodeo competitors who reach the end of the long season without reaching goals or winning championships.

What happens next determines the course of the following year . . . rodeo cowboys either quit or roll up their sleeves and figure out how to come back stronger.

Rookie of the Year seems to predict future success—consider that eight of the current top 15 are former Rookies of the Year (Riley Webb, Beau Cooper, Luke Potter, Haven Meged, Ty Harris, Westyn Hughes, Caleb Smidt and Shane Hanchey)—remember that the other seven of the Top 15 did not make it to the top in their first year in ProRodeo.

Meet Brayden Roe

Idaho cowboy Brayden Roe has been inside the top five in the Rookie race since winning the Resistol Rookie Round-Up back in April. A member of the Tarleton State rodeo team, Roe decided to buy his rookie card after qualifying for the Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo last fall after rodeoing in 2022 on his permit.

While the Rookie title was certainly a hope, he was working to finish high enough in the World standings to have a shot at lucrative winter stock show rodeos that just happen to take place near his winter home in Stephenville, Texas.

“June was pretty rough,” Roe, 22, admitted. “July went pretty well though.”

In fact, Roe picked up big checks in July at Spanish Fork, Utah and Sheridan, Wyoming. More recently, he’s had luck at rodeos close to his Wendell, Idaho home like Homedale, Idaho Falls and Blackfoot.

In fact, he roped his way to the lead in Blackfoot during the morning slack on September 5 before loading up for the long drive back to Tarleton.

“I have class tomorrow at 3 p.m.,” he admitted sheepishly. Roe is a senior this year, majoring in animal science. “I skipped the first week and a half of school to go to the rodeos in the Northwest, Ellensburg, Walla Walla.”

Roe is hoping his 8.6 second run in Blackfoot will hold up for a good check as he is battling his way back to the Wilderness Circuit Finals. He is currently ranked 15th in the circuit.

“I needed to win a little more in the circuit and this is one of my last ones,” he explained. “I will go to Abilene on Monday and then maybe fly home for Mona [Utah] at the end of the month. That will be it for 2023.”

Ranked 50th in the World Standings after Labor Day, it appears Roe may fall short of his goal of finishing in the top 30 but found the positives in his summer experience.

“I’ve never gone much, just circuit rodeos, so it was cool to go to those other rodeos,” Roe said. “St. Paul and Salinas were really neat rodeos, good crowds.”

Living in the heart of the rodeo in the summer was huge, allowing breaks at home during the busiest times in the schedule.

“It was nice to be able to stop at home in between rodeos, get some practice in, tune up and let the horses rest. Not having to be gone all summer like some guys is definitely an advantage.”

Roe is using his rookie year as a learning tool for the future, focusing on the things he learned during that should help when the new season kicks off October 1.

Entering is one tricky area for rookies to learn and Roe was able to get help from Jake Pratt, a Wrangler NFR cowboy with whom he lives while in Texas during the school year.

“It didn’t go quite as I planned but I learned a lot,” Roe said of his rookie year. “Things that will help me have a better chance next year.”

“I made a lot of little mistakes that cost me lots of money,” he continued. “I had a few calves get up and what not. Just figuring out when I need to try to go be fast and when just tying one down will get it done.”

“We’ll have a better idea next year, things that can make it a little easier,” he said. “Just a better idea of what a guy needs to do out here.”

Roe traveled with fellow Idahoan Britt Bedke and had to rely on the latter’s generosity late in the season.

“He let me ride his horse when mine got sored up,” Roe noted. “It was nice to get on one that’s good.”

Brayden Roe’s String and Plans

He’s got his good horse, Louie, back in action now and also has Arthur, a horse he says he stole from his sister Axl.

“She entered some breakaways this summer but now she’s back in school again so I took him with me.”

Roe will soon be back into the thick of the college rodeo season where he competes in the tie down and team roping for the Texans. He’ll be working to get back to the College National Finals after his last qualification in 2022.

By this time next year, he will have graduated and is looking forward to being able to finish out the rodeo season in the Northwest.

“I can’t wait until Pendleton next year,” he said of the famous Pendleton Round-Up, which kicks off in mid-September. “It will be nice to not have to come back down to Texas before all those rodeos finish up.”

As Roe heads to school and makes plans to be ready for the slate of Texas rodeos that kick off the new year in early October, he keeps a winning attitude about the nearly completed season.

“We had a good summer,” he said. “Of course, I’d like to have won more but that’s rodeo, you’re going to go through ups and downs.”

Down the Stretch

The ProRodeo season is a marathon but the competitor with the best kick down the stretch usually finds his way to big rewards. So far, in the race for the Resistol Rookie of the Year title, Dylan Hancock is out sprinting the field in the final weeks and extended his lead during the month of August.

Hancock is hoping to add his name to the list as the 2023 Rookie of the Year and a qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR).

#1 Resistol Rookie: Dylan Hancock

Hancock seized the lead for the first time back in early August after a stellar July run. The nineteen-year-old Texan mashed on the gas in August, building his lead from just over $1,000 to $19,270 following Labor Day. He’s now won better than $71,000.

Hancock stormed out of August the same way he went into it, winning $6,545 at Lakeview, Oregon, Filer, Idaho and Walla Walla, Washington.

With opportunities dwindling, Hancock is in the driver’s seat for the Rookie title and has another big advantage on his competitors as the lone rookie to qualify for the Cinch Playoffs to be held at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup beginning September 7.

Hancock is chasing a trio of goals in the final days of the 2023 ProRodeo season and the Cinch Playoffs could provide the boost he needs to move from his current position at 25th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings. He trails Michael Otero, the roper currently holding the 15th position, by $22,000 and could win nearly that in Puyallup.

The third goal in Hancock’s sights is the All Around Rookie of the Year title. Fellow tie down roper Chet Weitz is keeping things interesting for Hancock, trailing by just under $12,000 and competing in both tie down and team roping.

Hancock picked up points early in the steer wrestling, steer roping and team roping but has been zeroed in on tie down roping for most of the summer. He’ll be multi-tasking down the stretch, completing on-line school work for Cisco College as he finishes out the regular season.

#2 Resistol Rookie: Joel Braden Harris

After falling to third in early August, Joel Harris bounced back to second thanks to some consistent checks from Sikeston, Missouri to Hermiston, Oregon. Though he has slipped to 36th in the World, he is in a tough race for the Columbia River Circuit Championship with big brother Ty and Lane Livingston.

#3 Resistol Rookie: Cash Enderli

After leading the race for much of the season, Liberty, Texas cowboy Cash Enderli has fallen to third. The 2022 Mountain States Circuit champ hit a dry spell after winning Sterling, Colorado in early August. He’s won more than $50,000 for the year.

#4 Resistol Rookie: Chet Weitz

Weitz has been busy since returning to action in late June following extensive shoulder surgery.  Weitz has gathered more than $63,790 in earnings in two events and sits second in the All Around and fifth in the heading standings for rookies.

Top 10 Resistol Rookie Standings as of September 5, 2023

1Dylan HancockSan Angelo, Texas$71,376.94
2Joel HarrisSan Angelo, Texas$52,107.34
3Cash EnderliLiberty, Texas$50,593.44
4Chet WeitzLondon, Texas$41,703.08
5Brayden RoeWendell, Idaho$39,910.64
6Carsyn SunvisonMcDade, Texas$33,056.87
7Colten WallisBig Spring, Texas$25,868.09
8Austin HinesMarwayne, Alberta$23,339.14
9Booker McCutchenHarrison, Arkansas$17,943.55
10Connor AtkinsonNeedville, Texas$16,049.82