- Paul Cooley
RODEO NFR 2 – 2018
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
GERRY – Bareback bronc rider Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, a winner at the Gerry Fire Department’s annual PRCA rodeo three years ago, has just captured his third consecutive world championship at the ten-day National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
In spite of his being number one in the world rankings going into this event, the win wasn’t easy as he was able to win money in only five of the ten performances. With the pressure on, he scored 90 points in the ninth go-round to get himself close to the lead and clinched the championship with an 87- point ride on the final night. His winnings of $66,000 at the NFR added to his winnings for the year brought his total to $320,000, making him the world champ.
Another Gerry rodeo winner, Jacobs Crawley, didn’t fare as well as he finished seventh in the saddle bronc event, totaling $232,000 in winnings for the year. His brother, Sterling Crawley, who has also competed in Gerry, finished 13th with $109,000 for the 2018 rodeo season.
The televised National Finals Rodeo is held in December in Las Vegas and features the top 15 cowboys in each rodeo event, who compete for a total purse of more than $10 million. The 10 consecutive nights of grueling competition is tough on the performers as the Justin Sports Medicine group gave more than 600 injury treatments during the event. The site is the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus which seats 17,000 and is sold out for every performance.
Other highlights included the final performance of tie-down roper and steer roper Trevor Brazile, who is retiring after 22 years with 23 world titles, the most ever by a rodeo performer. He concluded his career by winning one more world title, the All-around Cowboy title which goes to the person who wins the most money while competing in at least two events. His winnings for this year totaled $336,000, bringing his career total to $6.4 million.
Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, captured his fifth consecutive bull riding championship with his winnings on the year totaling $405,000. He also holds the record of being the youngest ever to win a world title when he won his first at age 19.
The cowgirls’ barrel racing saw a Texas cowgirl, Hailey Kinsel set a new NFR record, circling the barrels in 13.40 seconds on her way to a second consecutive world championship, taking home more than $350,000 for the season.
The 75th annual Gerry PRCA Rodeo is set for four nightly performances, July 31 – August 3 with more than 200 cowboys and cowgirls looking to win a piece of the $45,000 prize money which counts toward qualification for the NFR. More information is available on the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org
📷 Bareback bronc rider Tim O’Connell, a former winner at the Gerry Rodeo, wins his third world title at the recent National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.