The money is getting better in professional rodeo.
This season, 11 contestants finished the campaign with more than $200,000 in earnings, and not all were world champions. Yes, there were plenty – all-around Trevor Brazile, bareback rider Kaycee Feild, saddle bronc rider Jesse Wright, tie-down roper Tuf Cooper, barrel racer Mary Walker and bull rider Cody Teel – but that’s just about half of the top money-earners.
Also in the mix were bareback riders Bobby Mote (who finished third in that event and second in the all-around) and Will Lowe; saddle bronc riders Cody DeMoss and Cody Wright; barrel racer Carlee Pierce; and bull rider J.W. Harris.
A decade ago, there were seven men who finished with $200,000 or more: saddle bronc riders Glen O’Neill and Dan Mortensen; tie-down ropers Fred Whitfield and Blair Burk; and all-around cowboys Brazile (who won his first of 17 gold buckles that year), Jesse Bail and Cash Myers.
It’s awesome that rodeo is making strides, but these great contestants, especially the elite, need a chance to make more money every given year. We need more sponsorships, more fans and more growth to show the world what a great product we have.
We need to get the storylines out even more and push for a greater response. The cowboys and cowgirls deserve it. So does anyone else who loves this sport.