FORT WORTH, Texas – Resistol bull rider Ky Hamilton faced adversity a year ago, and he just stared it down.
A hip injury resulted in surgery, and Australian cowboy from Mackay, Queensland, returned to action in June and went to work. He won eight rodeos – including a big-money victory at the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days Rodeo in July – and catapulted himself into the top 15 to return to the National Finals Rodeo for the second straight year.
He’s rolling that over in 2022. On Friday night, he scored 89 points to finish second in the first round of The American at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth. He was one of just three bull riders in the mix to have an eight-second ride to advance to the final performance, set for noon Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Once there, he will have a shot to ride for the $100,000 first-place prize. He will be joined in the mix by fellow Resistol bull rider Creek Young of Rogersville, Missouri, who didn’t ride his bull but advanced on time. Only 10 contestants competing Friday advanced to the final day.
Hamilton finished last season eighth in the world standings; by finishing among the top 10, he earned an exemption to compete in The American. Young, who finished fifth last season, will also have a chance at the $100,000.
There are others that could cash in even better. While the exempt cowboys will battle for a six-digit figure, a handful of contestants earned their way into this weekend’s rodeo by competing at a series of qualifying events. If a qualifier were to win his event, then he will be in the mix for at least a share of the $2 million side pot.
Hamilton is a third-generation rodeo cowboy, and he stands a chance to make some serious dough in Arlington.