Red, White and GREEN: Cash is Flowing as Cowboy Christmas Comes to Close
Names including Shane Hanchey and Haven Meged are rising to the top—but it ain't over till it's over on the tie-down Cowboy Christmas trail.
Haven Meged steps off to make a run at the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, MT, over the Cowboy Christmas run.
Haven Meged steps off to make a run at the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, MT, over the Cowboy Christmas run. Photo by Phil Kitts.

The Fourth of July may have already passed, but 2024 Tie-Down Cowboy Christmas isn’t officially over for two more days and ProRodeo competitors are still criss-crossing the country going for every dollar they can grab.

While the Cowboy Christmas champ won’t be crowned until Sunday night with the conclusion of major rodeos in St. Paul, Ore., Prescott, Arizona, Basin City, Wash. and Oakley, Utah — not to mention about a dozen other medium and small rodeos — here’s where things stand going into the final weekend push.

Oh Canada!

Canadian rodeo offerings have supplied the biggest cash cows for the top two contenders right now: Shane Hanchey and Haven Meged.

2013 World Champ Hanchey previously held the single event Cowboy Christmas earnings record before Ty Harris stole it away a year ago but Hanchey seems bent on getting it back in 2024.

He was on the right side of the Canadian exchange for the third week in row, collecting $10,384 at the Ponoka Stampede, the richest of all the Fourth of July rodeos, a unique adventure that utilizes the long score. Hanchey placed in both rounds to land second in the average and picked up another bonus for the Showdown Round.

Elsewhere, four was Hanchey’s lucky number as he banked $7,427 for fourth in Greeley (Colo.), $5,245 for fourth in Cody (Wyo.), $3,195 for fourth in Red Lodge (Montana), and $3,952 for fourth in Livingston (Montana).

For those keeping count, that’s $30,203 so far.

Hanchey continues his meteoric rise up the standings having earned nearly $50,000 since mid-June.

Meanwhile, Haven Meged is also looking right at home north of the border. Riding his latest equine superstar Smoke, he dominated Ponoka, taking second in the opening round and short go and sixth in the middle round to clinch the average win. Putting the icing on the cake, he won the Showdown Round with the fastest time of the rodeo at 7.8 seconds to bank a total of $20,063.

Meged also won Williams Lake (British Columbia) for another $5,736 and picked up $1,818 in Greeley. Meged’s got $27,617 for sure and is sitting in the money in Oakley and St. Paul, too.

No Grind in Greeley

Kincade Henry had been sliding the wrong way down the standings in the two weeks leading up to the Fourth but the Mount Pleasant, Texas roper clawed out of the mini-slump with a big Fourth of July win at the Greeley Stampede.

Seeking his third straight Wrangler NFR, Henry won $11,890 in Greeley and $7,576 for second in Cody. He picked up checks in Red Lodge, Raymond and Airdrie, Alberta and has won $22,114.

Gambling on One

The Cody Stampede is a must-stop for all calf ropers as the most lucrative one-header over the Fourth and Chance Thiessen capitalized on his trip to Yellowstone Country with a smooth 7.7 second run that outlasted the world’s best. Thiessen banked $8,742 to salvage an otherwise dry Fourth. Already inside the top 15, Thiessen helped his chances of earning a first time NFR berth with the win.

Here Comes Harris

Not about to give up his Fourth of July earnings record without a fight, second-ranked Ty Harris has already earned $7,883 for a silver finish in Greeley and $5,245 for a share of fourth in Cody. He took the victory in Mandan for $4,829, earning a total of $17,957 as he tries to chase down World leader Shad Mayfield.

And he’s not done . . . Harris is holding the lead at two major Fourth of July rodeos with just a couple days to go—St Paul and Oakley.

How about a Long Shot?

If you’re looking for a dark horse coming out of the Fourth, consider Jake Pratt. Pratt was not in the top 50 two weeks ago but slipped into 47th last week thanks to a shared win in Santa Ynez, California.

Now, Pratt has won $18,734 between Greeley, Cody, Killdeer and Red Lodge, practically doubling his season total in the span of a week to give himself a fighting chance for a second NFR trip in 2024.

Elsewhere on the Trail  . . .

Dylan Hancock took the W in Killdeer, North Dakota for $4,954 while Cooper Martin struck in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Seth Hall was the big winner in Red Lodge while John Douch and Cash Enderli split Livingston.

Weekend Recap—Pre-Fourth of July

Shad Mayfield definitely garnered the headlines pre-Fourth of July after taking home his second straight Reno Rodeo title in dominating fashion. Mayfield won $17,724 in Reno. His Fourth has been quieter but he did win money in Greeley.

Reigning World Champ Riley Webb had been quietly stalking the leaders in third place and picked up a rodeo win heading into Cowboy Christmas at the Lehi (Utah) Roundup. Webb went 9.1 seconds to earn $2,205.

Circuit cowboys reigned in Clear Lake, South Dakota and Springdale, Arkansas. Jason Schaffer took the win at the former while Booker McCutchen scored in his home state at the Rodeo of the Ozarks. Permit holder Kyan Wilhite landed his first big ProRodeo win in Pecos.

PRCA World Standings as of July 4, 2024

*Unofficial and does not include all Canadian earnings

1Shad MayfieldClovis, New Mexico$162,933.11
2Ty HarrisSan Angelo, Texas$110,395.82
3Riley WebbDenton, Texas$99,647.63
4John DouchHuntsville, Texas$79,202.52
5Marty YatesStephenville, Texas$70,992.02
6Shane HancheySulphur, Louisiana$60,000.07
7Hunter HerrinApache, Oklahoma$53,690.17
8Haven MegedMiles City, Montana$52,922.01
9Tuf CooperDecatur, Texas$52,232.50
10Joel HarrisSan Angelo, Texas$52,103.52
11Dylan HancockSan Angelo, Texas$51,763.48
12Chance ThiessenElk City, Oklahoma$50,479.36
13Brushton MintonWitter Springs, California$44,564.85
14Kincade HenryMount Pleasant, Texas$42,524.41
15Tyler MilliganPawhuska, OK$42,401.35
16Tom CrouseGallatin, Missouri$42,320.03
17Marcos CostaIretama, PR$41,827.43
18Trevor HalePerryton, Texas$40,495.29
19Zack JongbloedIowa, Louisiana$39,300.90
20Westyn HughesCaldwell, Texas$38,868.35