LAS VEGAS – Bull rider Sage Kimzey moved atop both the PRCA standings and the National Finals Rodeo aggregate lead by winning his second round in a row on Sunday.
Kimzey won the fourth round of the competition with an 87 on Kojack. With the win, Kimzey increased his earnings to $192,510 to move atop the PRCA standings and now has 252 points for three rides to top the NFR standings in the event.
"I'm not even thinking about the gold buckle until it's perma-frosted," said Kimzey, the only rider to have three successful rides. "I've been thinking and dreaming about winning a PRCA title for a long time. ... I know that I have a good shot to win it, and I just want to keep coming and taking care of my business and it will work out the way I want it to."
Kimzey, of Strong City, Oklahoma, is attempting to become the second bull rider to win the PRCA championship during his rookie season. The only first-year rider to win a gold buckle was Bill Kornell in 1963. Kimzey also is closing in on Steve Woolsey's rookie earnings record for a full season (any event) of $197,646.
In saddle bronc riding, rookie Spencer Wright of Milford, Utah, took first with an 84 on Mata Fact, notching his first NFR round win of his career and earning the first win for the four Wright brothers at this year’s NFR.
With the win, Wright moves up from third to first place in the NFR aggregate standings with a score of 323 points for four rides.
"I've dreamt of winning several rounds at the NFR for a long time, so I'm tickled to have won my first one," Wright said. "One of the four of us had to kick this off and win a round, and I'm glad it was me."
Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Nebraska, who placed sixth with a 75 on Crash Gate, remains second in the standings with $139,499, close behind leader Taos Muncy ($141,437) of Corona, New Mexico, who placed fifth with a 76.5 on Simply Marvellous.
In steer wrestling, four-time PRCA champion Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, California, moved into first place in both the PRCA and NFR standings after placing second in round four with a time of 3.7 seconds.
Branquinho tops the PRCA standings with $122,539 and leads the aggregate with a time of 14.90 over four rounds.
Nick Guy of Sparta, Wisconsin, who was first in the PRCA standings, didn't place among the top six with a time of 6.6 for round four. Rookie Kyle Irwin of Robertsdale, Alabama, who was first in the aggregate standings, didn't earn a check with a time of 8.8.
Branquinho suffered a right arm injury on July 18 and was sidelined until the opening round. Despite being sidelined, Branquinho is now only $32,158 from becoming the seventh individual to win $1 million in career earnings at the NFR.
Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Oregon, entered the event first in the PRCA standings but now is third after finishing third in 4 seconds. He has earned $108,048.
Seth Brockman of Wheatland, Wyoming, won round four in 3.6 seconds for his first NFR victory.
In bareback riding, four-time PRCA champion Bobby Mote of Culver City, Oregon, had an 84 on Rylee's Raisin Cain to tie for first place with Tim O'Connell of Zwingle, Iowa. O'Connell rode On Tap. Mote is now just $6,204 away from becoming the seventh individual to earn $1 million in NFR competition.
Kaycee Feild of Spanish Fork, Utah, a three-time PRCA champion who is first in the PRCA standings with $195,370, didn't place among the top six with an 80.5 on Biscuit. Justin McDaniel of Porum, Oklahoma, leads the NFR standings with 335.5 points for four rides after not placing among the top six with an 80 on Dirty Rags.
In team roping, header Luke Brown of Stephenville, Texas, and heeler Kollin VonAhn of Blanchard, Oklahoma, won round four in a time of 3.6. Header Clay Tryan of Billings and heeler Jade Corkill, of Fallon, Nevada, didn't place among the top six with a time of 9.6 but remained first in the PRCA standings at $139,144. They also are second in the NFR standings with a time of 27.90 for four rounds.
Header Jake Barnes and heeler Junior Nogueira, both of Scottsdale, Arizona, lead the NFR standings with a time of 27.70 for four rounds.
In tie-down roping, Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas, won round four in a time of 6.7. Two-time PRCA champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, is first in the PRCA standings with $159,748 after tying for sixth in 8.3 for round four.
Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, didn't place among the top six in 9.6 but remained first in the aggregate standings with a time of 32.4 for four rounds.
In barrel racing, Fallon Taylor of Whitesboro, Texas, remained first in the WPRA standings with $180,816 after winning round four in a time of 13.85 seconds. It was her second round win at this year’s NFR. Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., is atop the NFR standings with a time of 56.81 for four rides.