Preview: Six defending world champs slated to compete at ‘World’s Oldest Rodeo’

JC Trujillo rides in the grand entry during the 8th and final performance of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Tuesday, July 4 at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

JC Trujillo rides in the grand entry during the 8th and final performance of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Tuesday, July 4 at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

PRESCOTT — Six Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) world champions from 2017 are scheduled to rope or ride at the 2018 Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Thursday, June 28, through Wednesday, July 4, at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, 840 Rodeo Drive.

All-Around champ Tuf Cooper of Decatur Texas; two-time defending bareback riding champ Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa; steer wrestling champ Tyler Pearson of Louisville, Mississippi; team-roping champion header Erick Rogers of Round Rock; saddle bronc riding champ Ryder Wright of Milford, Utah; and four-time defending bull-riding champ Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, are listed on the rodeo’s day sheets.

Prescott Frontier Days General Manager J.C. Trujillo said the rodeo committee contributed $125,000 in added money toward the 2018 purse for the winning contestants at this rodeo’s eight performances. In 2017, the rodeo dispensed $109,000 in added money.

Trujillo said the rodeo committee added $13,000 per event in 2017. This year, the committee raised the amount to $15,000 an event.

“The reason we added more money is we had a good year,” added Trujillo, referring to improved contributions from businesses and record ticket sales in 2017. “Every year we’ve done better and better.”

Trujillo added that more than 650 contestants will compete from June 28 through July 4.

“We’ve got a lot of great cowboys coming – we’re looking forward to it,” Trujillo added. “Everybody’s a little worried about the weather because it’s so hot and dry. And, as everybody knows, part of the rodeo business is the cattle industry – and that always affects everybody.”

Within the past year, the City of Prescott spent $1.2 million for new lights in the arena at Prescott Rodeo Grounds, insulated the roof over the grandstands and rewired the electrical system in the grandstands.

“It was a giant project, and it was very well-needed,” Trujillo said.

The following upper-tier and/or past world champion contestants, listed by event, are slated to appear at the “World’s Oldest Rodeo.” Depending on travel time or unforeseen circumstances, some cowboys either may not appear or show up on a different day.

BAREBACK RIDING

• June 28: Zack Brown of Red Bluff, California … David Peebles of Redmond, Oregon … Grant Denny of Minden, Nevada … Orin Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba, Canada.

• June 29: Jake Brown of Cleveland, Texas … Luke Creasy of Brownfield, Alberta, Canada … Tilden Hooper of Carthage, Texas … Kaycee Feild of Spanish Fork, Utah (four-time world champion) … Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa … Logan Corbett of Las Cruces, New Mexico … Shane O’Connell of Rapid City, South Dakota.

• June 30 (afternoon): Wyatt Denny of Minden, Nevada … Clayton Biglow of Clements, California.

• June 30 (evening): Kyle Charley of Lukachukai, Arizona … Evan Betony of Tonalea, Arizona … Steven Dent of Mullen, Nebraska.

• July 2: Tyler Pearson of Louisville, Mississippi.

TIE-DOWN ROPING

• June 28: Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas (23 world titles in roping/all-round) … Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas … Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas … Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas (2011, 2012 Prescott Frontier Days champion).

• June 29: Clif Cooper of Decatur, Texas … Dakota Eldridge of Elko, Nevada … Clayton Hass of Terrell, Texas … Clint Cooper of Decatur, Texas … Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas … Monty Lewis of Hereford, Texas.

• June 30 (night): Sterling Smith of Stephenville, Texas (formerly of Chino Valley).

• July 1: Cutter Parsons of Marana (Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo steer wrestling champion, 2016)

• July 3: Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, Louisiana … J.C. Malone of Hooper, Utah.

• July 4: Ryan Jarrett of Comanche, Oklahoma … Jerrad Hofstetter of Lubbock, Texas … Adam Gray of Seymour, Texas … Joseph Parsons of Marana.

TEAM ROPING

• June 28: Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and Patrick Smith of Lipan, Texas … Jake Barnes of Scottsdale and Rich Skelton … Chad Masters of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Charly Crawford of Prineville, Oregon (defending Frontier Days Rodeo champions) … Brock Hanson of Casa Grande and partner … Steve Sherwood of San Tan Valley and partner.

• July 2: Erich Rogers of Round Rock and Clint Summers of Lake City, Florida … Aaron Tsinigine of Tuba City (world champion header, 2015) and partner.

• July 3: Matt Sherwood of Pima and Walt Woodard of Stephenville, Texas (both past world champions).

• July 4: Spencer Mitchell of Colusa, California, and Clay O’Brien Cooper of Gardnerville, Nevada (Cooper multiple world champion) … Derrick Begay of Seba Dalkai, Arizona.

SADDLE BRONC RIDING

• June 28: Wade Sundell of Coleman, Oklahoma.

• June 29: Jacobs Crawley of Stephenville, Texas (No. 1 in world standings so far in 2018) … Sterling Crawley of Stephenville, Texas.

• June 30 (afternoon): Cody DeMoss of Heflin, Louisiana.

• June 30 (night): Shade Etbauer of Goodwell, Oklahoma … Isaac Diaz of Desdemona, Texas … Cody Wright of Milford, Utah … Rusty Wright of Milford, Utah… Spencer Wright of Milford, Utah … Ryder Wright of Milford, Utah.

• July 2: Bradley Harter of Weatherford, Texas … Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico (2017 Turquoise Circuit champion).

• July 4: Ben Londo of Pendleton, Oregon (rodeo coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo).

BULL RIDING

• June 28: Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma … Scottie Knapp of Albuquerque.

• June 30 (afternoon): Brett Custer of Elk City, Oklahoma.

• July 1: Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah … Josh Frost of Randlett, Utah.

• July 2: Wyatt Austin of Queen Creek.

• July 4: Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas … Craig Begay of Round Rock.

STEER WRESTLING

• July 2: Tyler Pearson of Louisville, Mississippi.

• July 3: Riley Duvall of Checotah, Oklahoma … Ty Erickson of Helena, Montana … K.C. Jones of Decatur, Texas.

• July 4: Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Oregon.

Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

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