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Seven cowboys surpass milestones

by Matt Naber | Jan 22, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Seven PRCA cowboys surpassed career lifetime-earnings milestones by the end of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Rhen Richard, who finished third in the 2018 All-Around race, surpassed $1 million thanks to winning $48,288 as a team roping header and $89,256 as a tie-down roper at the Wrangler NFR. Combined, the events pushed the 29-year-old Utah cowboy’s earnings to $1,030,464 after a decade of ProRodeo competition.

“It’s taken me 10 years to do it, so that’s not good,” Richard joked. “There’s not a ton of guys who can say they’ve done it, and hopefully I can do it again in five years instead of 10 years because I’m dang sure not going to rodeo for 10 more years.”

Team roping header Luke Brown surpassed the $2 million mark, upping his career earnings to $2,042,131. 

Of the thousands of cowboys to compete in the PRCA, only 30 had surpassed $2 million in career earnings. Brown was surprised to learn he hit that milestone after winning $71,135 at the 2018 Wrangler NFR. 

“It’s unbelievable,” the 44-year-old cowboy said. “It takes a lot of luck and a lot of driving.” 

Brown credited the first of his 11 consecutive Wrangler NFR qualifications as being the most important point in his journey to earning $2 million. 
“I’ve had a lot of luck at the Finals,” Brown said. “It’s amazing to make a living with my rope much less surpass $2 million. I remember the first time I passed it, my wife (Lacey) had a cake made that said ‘Millionaire’ on it. I’ve spent every dollar of it, but it’s cool to say you’ve done it. Some of the greatest team ropers alive have done it and it’s cool to be part of it.” 

Among those joining Richard in crossing the $1 million threshold with the closing of the 2018 regular season were:

• Bull rider Joe Frost – $1,194,016
• Team roping heeler Junior Nogueira – $1,121,669
• Tie-down roper Caleb Smidt – $1,100,371 
• Steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack – $1,053,169
• Steer wrestler Ty Erickson – $1,001,087

Richard credited the final rodeos of the 2018 regular season as being the most pivotal since they granted him his first Wrangler NFR qualification. 

“I’d been close so many times and never got it, and to make it is a big deal to me,” Richard said. “They weren’t the biggest wins, but winning when you need to win is pretty important. It’s an honor to do it and I’m pretty blessed.” 

The seven successful cowboys will soon be joined by more as the 2019 season heats up. 

The following 2018 Wrangler NFR qualifiers are on the cusp of surpassing a milestone during the 2019 season:

• Bull rider Sage Kimzey – $1,829,933
• Steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy – $1,812,547
• Saddle bronc rider CoBurn Bradshaw – $986,297
• Tie-down roper Marty Yates – $978,400
• Bareback rider Richmond Champion – $954,514 
• Steer wrestler Hunter Cure – $948,926
• Steer wrestler Nick Guy – $937,467
• Team roping header Clay Smith – $919,435
• Team roping header Aaron Tsinigine – $870,259 

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