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Bobby Abernathy makes most of qualifier spot

by Scott Kaniewski | Mar 02, 2019


ARLINGTON, Texas – Bobby Abernathy is the perfect example of what The American can mean to a cowboy.

The 27-year-old from Merryville, La., is a father of three and wasn’t expecting to go much on the rodeo trail this season.

But Abernathy and his wife, Paige, both decided to try and qualify for The American, a ProRodeo Tour stop. Abernathy, as a qualifier, made it through the week of qualifying, then posted a 7.9-second time March 2 to finish sixth and advance to Sunday’s round of eight.

The top four in the aggregate after the round of eight Sunday will advance to the four-man, final round. And as a qualifier, Abernathy has a chance to win $1 million.

“It’d be life-changing,” said Abernathy, originally from Athens, Ala. “Just rope and see where it falls.”

Abernathy hadn’t won a dime toward the PRCA | RAM World Standings this season heading into The American. In his two seasons of ProRodeo, he’s won $5,000.

“I hadn’t thought about rodeoing this year until we got here this week, and we said we’ll see where it lands,” Abernathy said. “If we go here and do well, then we’ll hopefully be at the (Wrangler National Finals Rodeo).”

Abernathy was one of two qualifiers to advance in tie-down roping. Bareback riding had two qualifiers advance (including Wyatt Denny, who won the round), steer wrestling had one, while team roping and saddle bronc riding each saw half of the spots for Sunday occupied by qualifiers.

The winner of The American will have $50,000 go toward the world standings. That would put most winners atop their event standings.

That could go a long way for a guy who had never qualified for The American in the past, despite trying numerous times.

“I’d been and watched, but I’d never gotten to rope,” Abernathy said. “My buddy Braxton Laughlin made it two or three years ago. I came and helped him. It was great. I was ready to rope.

“I’ve been trying every year. God was good this year, and I’ve been roping good this week.”

Paige also advanced to Sunday as a qualifier, and their three children were in attendance too. Even with his time, Abernathy was hesitant to celebrate. Among those to compete behind him were reigning 24-time world champion Trevor Brazile, four-time world champion Tuf Cooper and reigning Tie-down Roping World Champion Caleb Smidt.

“There’s always nervousness,” Abernathy said. “But my time was on the board, and they had to come catch it.”

When he isn’t rodeoing, Abernathy teaches kids to rope, runs a mobile car wash business and does “whatever I can.”

“We’ve got three kids,” he said. “My wife and I said we were going to kind of stay around the house this year. A rodeo like this is life-changing for us.”

Top 8 Advancing to Sunday

Bareback Riding

  1. Wyatt Denny (Q)86.50
  2. Ty Breuer86.50
  3. Kaycee Feild85.50
  4. Bill Tutor85.25
  5. Orin Larsen85.00
  6. Tilden Hooper85.00
  7. Wyatt Bloom (Q)84.00
  8. Steven Dent83.75

Bull Riding*

1.  Chase Outlaw (Q)173.50
2.JT Moore (Q)171.25
3.Joao RicardoVieira (Q)168.50
4.Will Centoni (Q)159.75
5. Brennon Eldred (Q)87.50

Saddle Bronc Riding

  1. Ryder Wright 89.00
  2. Cody Wright (Q)87.25
  3. Jake Watson (Q)86.75
  4. Mitch Pollock (Q)86.00
  5. Chase Brooks 85.75
  6. Wade Sundell 85.25
  7. Cort Scheer 85.00
  8. Cole Elshere (Q)84.25

Steer Wrestling

  1. Scott Guenthner 4.48
  2. Ty Erickson 4.65
  3. Hunter Cure 5.04
  4. Will Lummus 5.37
  5. Curtis Cassidy 5.64
  6. Stephen Culling (Q)5.65
  7. Tyler Waguespack 5.78
  8. Nick Guy 6.18

Team Roping

  1. Driggers/Nogueira 4.78
  2. Brown/Eaves 4.90
  3. Theriot (Q)/Payne (Q)4.94
  4. Proctor (Q)/Motes (Q)5.37
  5. Tsinigine/Yates 5.98
  6. Richard (Q)/Doescher(Q)6.31
  7. Minor/Minor 9.64
  8. Tryan (Q)/Profili (Q)9.83

Tie-Down Roping

  1. Jake Pratt 6.84
  2. Ryle Smith 7.19
  3. Riley Pruitt (Q)7.50
  4. Trevor Brazile 7.62
  5. Tyson Durfey 7.83
  6. Bobby Abernathy (Q)7.90
  7. Caleb Smidt 8.08
  8. Rhen Richard 8.13
*The top 5 in bull riding advanced to Sunday.

For more coverage of The American check out the March 8 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.

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