Each year thousands of anxious cowboys and cowgirls load up their trucks and trailers to chase a dream that is always in the back of their minds, earning one of the fifteen spots at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. Over the course of the year many will fall off the rodeo trail due to finances or injuries while others will thrive under the stress of knowing what is needed to obtain the goal they set for themselves months back. These professional rodeo athletes travel coast to coast, performing at both tiny small town events and those that are cast underneath the spotlight each and every year, earning dollar by dollar adding to their yearly totals that just might land them in Las Vegas.
This is all in all a very different lifestyle that most will ever live as a majority of their time spent is away from their families or living with them on the road as they travel from town to town chasing the dream that we call rodeo. This is exactly what these folks need to continue the daily grind away from their families and missing the milestone moments that happen when they are gone. They all do it for the very same reason, to be the best of the best and make a great living for their loved ones doing what they love to do, all while being their own boss each and every day of their lives. As the 2017 season is about to come to a close they all look back and reflect on what has happened over the past year and count down the days until they can take a small break and spend some quality time as a family once again.
As we all begin to look ahead to the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, that can only mean on thing, that the end of the 2017 season is quickly approaching us. Today marks the beginning of the last two weekends of the regular season, leaving only 10 short days for those contestants on the bubble to make the moves they need to in order to secure a top fifteen spot and be invited to the WNFR in December. Each and every year, this is the time that we see extreme heartache and gutsy determination as some will miss out by just a mere few dollars while others will make big moves at the right time and overtake those ahead of them, thus, giving them the nod to make a trip to Las Vegas!
Now is the time to see who has the grit to carry out their quest as we have reached the last 10 days of competition to set the field for those who will receive those much-anticipated back tags and an invite to extend their seasons. Over the last few weeks we have seen some fantastic performances that, by all accounts, are about as well-timed as they could have been that have set some veterans as well as virtual newcomers in the drivers seat late in the season. Even though there are only 10 days left, there are still a lot of things that can happen and the final roster for the 2017 WNFR is far from being set in stone as two huge weekends of action are still yet to come!
Steven Pebbles Claims Another Pendleton Round-Up Event Title
Photo Credit: Dan Hubbell / PRCA
One of those veteran WNFR cowboys is non-other than fan favorite bareback rider Steven Peebles who always manages to come on strong towards the end of the regular season. This year has been no different as he strives to round out his lack luster 2017 season in grand style, making a run for another WNFR appearance. The 2015 PRCA Bareback Riding World Champion has not had the best year but has never lost his confidence as he competes in each performance under the assumption that it would be the one to turn around his entire season, setting him on that path that leads him back to Las Vegas in December.
That is exactly what happened less than a week ago when Pebbles managed to secure his second Pendleton Round-Up event win of his career. That being said, he is in a much different position than when he won his first title in 2013 and when asked about that he had this to say. “Both of the titles had different emotions for me,” he said. “When I won it the first time I was in the prime of my career and I was rodeoing hard and making the Finals every year. This year, I’m not going to make the Finals because of some injuries and other things. I was getting a little bit down on myself because this has been one of my worst seasons, but winning the Pendleton Round-Up in my backyard to end the season is a neat feeling.” Although he thinks he will not make the WNFR in 2017, his win in Pendleton moved him from 24th to 19th in the WEATHERGUARD World Standings.
Clayton Foltyn Continues His Late Season Surge
Photo Credit: Ric Anderson / PRCA
Another cowboy that is hoping his late season surge will manage to bring him to Las Vegas is PRCA bull Rider Clayton Foltyn. The 32-year-old cowboy from Texas has not had the best 2017 season but, like many others, has found his groove late in the season. Although it may be a little late for him to make it to the WNFR this year, he has his sights set on a 2018 appearance. Last weekend he continued his march upwards by splitting the event title in New Mexico at the New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo with a solid 87 point ride aboard Hurst Pro Rodeo’s Captain Crunch, making the second qualified ride aboard him this season.
Foltyn, who sits in the number 29 position after his New Mexico win has come to the realization that he will probably not make the WNFR this year, but his outlook on his career is unwavering. He talked about what this sport means to him and his family by saying, “”I’m just having fun, I’m not worried about a whole lot other than trying to ride some bulls and make a living for my family.” This mindframe will set this rodeo superstar towards the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in the very near future and all of us at the Rodeo Round Up look forward to seeing this humble cowboy make a run at the PRCA World Title in 2018!
This year has been a fantastic one for the cowboys of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and those cowgirls of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. Each and every one of the contestants have traveled thousands of miles and put in countless hours of practice to make their dreams a reality come this December. As the 2017 seasons wind down there are two last weekends to push through in order to earn one of the top fifteen spots in the WEATHERGUARD World Standings to be able to make the trip west to Las Vegas to compete in the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center on the beautiful University of Nevada – Las Vegas campus! Now is the time for the big moves to happen and as we have seen over the last couple of weeks some of those are taking full advantage of the situations that have been given to them!
It is quite easy to follow all the breaking news and excitement with the Rodeo Round Up simply by copying this website into your favorites in your web browser for easy one-click access to event statistics. You can also like and follow us on Facebook here, or by liking and following us on Instagram at @rodeoroundup and on Twitter at @therodeoroundup. You can have easy access to all of the video interviews Jason does from all the events across the country as well by simply clicking the link HERE to be transferred to the Rodeo Round Up’s Youtube channel as well! Jason has also made it easy for you to be a part of his interviews by opening up a listener comment line. If you have a question for a certain rodeo star simply call in and leave your name, where you are from, who the question is for and what your question is and he will do his best to get it answered for you during his interviews!