The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is showcasing its top competitors through a series of all-star rodeos called the Wrangler Champions Challenge.
A Champions Challenge tour stop is a single-performance rodeo that offers a $124,000 purse. Last weekend, the tour stopped in Spanish Fork, Utah. The tour also will stop in Kennewick, Wash., on Aug. 19 and Amarillo on Sept. 17. A finale is scheduled for Sept. 27 in Omaha, Neb.
A Champions Challenge performance resembles a round at December’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Like the NFR, it takes a lofty score or a speedy time to win.
At the tour stop in Spanish Fork, for example, four-time world champion Bobby Mote of Stephenville clinched the bareback riding title after turning in a score of 87 points aboard a bronc named Pay Day, which is owned by the Sankey Rodeo Co. Mote earned $5,440.
Another world class cowboy who cashed in was six-time National Finals qualifier Luke Brown of Morgan Mill. He and two-time world champion Kollin VonAhn clinched the team roping title with a time of 5.2 seconds and each earned $5,440.
Trevor Brazile of Decatur, an 11-time world all-around champion, and his partner Travis Graves finished third in team roping with a 5.6. Brazile is ranked No. 1 in the 2014 PRCA world all-around race.
In saddle bronc riding, Taos Muncy, a two-time world champion, clinched the title with an 88 aboard Big John, which is owned by Bar T Rodeo. Muncy is ranked No. 1 in the saddle bronc world standings.
Other winners were steer wrestler Casey Martin (4.2 seconds), tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett (7.5 seconds), barrel racer Lisa Lockhart (16.99 seconds) and bull rider Tim Bingham (87.5 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Buckaroo).
The Spanish Fork tour stop will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS Sports Network.
The bulls prevail
At the Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division tour stop last weekend in Decatur, fans witnessed the first-ever match between a defending PBR champion and a defending PRCA champion.
The Saturday night match was called the “1,000 Miles Till Home Challenge,” and it was held in conjunction with the J.W. Hart PBR Challenge. The match was between J.B. Mauney (PBR) and J.W. Harris (PRCA).
Mauney faced Asteroid, the PBR’s 2012 world champion bull. Harris took on a notorious bovine named Shepherd Hills Tested. A $25,000 winner’s prize was at stake, but neither received the prize because each cowboy was bucked off.
Asteroid took care of Mauney, a North Carolina cowboy, in 2 seconds. Harris, who lives near Brownwood, stayed on for 6 seconds.
Showcasing PBR legends
RFD-TV will begin broadcasting a weekly series of 30-minute specials that profile famous PBR riders and bulls on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The series is called PBR Heroes & Legends.
This week, the network will feature back-to-back episodes, starting with two-time world champion Justin McBride and then 2006 PBR World Champion Bull, Mossy Oak Mudslinger.
The series concludes Aug. 13 with a documentary on Mauney. Stephenville cowboys Ty Murray (June 25) and Jim Sharp (July 23) will also be profiled.