2019 PRCA World Standings

AA: Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas $65,282

BB: Kaycee Feild, Genola, Utah $104,013

SW: Ty Erickson, Helena , Mont. $87,309

TR-1: Ty Blasingame, Ramah, Colo. $71,832

TR-2: Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif. $75,435

SB: Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah $117,911

BR: Trevor Kastner, Roff, Okla. $82,699

TD: Michael Otero, Weatherford, Texas $72,223

SR: Vin Fisher Jr., Andrews, Texas $25,778

BR: Nellie Miller , Cottonwood, CA $66,097

Tilden Hooper wins RAM NCFR with record ride

?KISSIMMEE, Fla. - With the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo on the line, Tilden Hooper delivered.
The bareback rider from Carthage, Texas, had a 92-point ride on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Redzilla to win the four-man round Sunday at the Silver Spurs Arena.
Hooper’s score broke the RAM NCFR bareback riding record of 91 points set by Cimmaron Gerke on Kesler Rodeo’s Smiling Cat in 2004 in Pocatello, Idaho.
“That was one of my most fun bareback rides of my career,” said Hooper, 31, who joined the PRCA in 2006. “There’s nothing better than breaking a record and having all your buddies cheering for you behind the chutes.”
Hooper, who was making his debut at the RAM NCFR, was plenty familiar with Redzilla. He drew that horse in Round 1 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and had an 83-point ride.
“I’m also really good friends with the guys who run Hi Lo Pro Rodeo,” Hooper said. “My friend Levi McCray was flanking him and Dustin Murray, the guy who runs Hi Lo Pro Rodeo, was running the neck rope. I’ve known those guys forever, and it is fun to win, but it is even more fun with your buddies involved.”
Hooper acknowledged Redzilla was better this time.
“When I had that horse before, she was good, but she just covered a little more ground,” Hooper said. “So, when she hooked that right and stood in one spot, I knew I had a chance and just let it roll, and here we are.”
Hooper departed the RAM NCFR after earning $19,670 – $7,493 for winning the final round. Hooper entered the RAM NCFR March 21 fifth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $44,231.
In addition to the money earned, each event national champ also received a Voucher toward a new RAM truck; a Polaris Ranger XP 1000; a 65 Venture OtterBox Cooler; a pair of Justin Boots; a custom champion Montana Silversmiths buckle; and a champion saddle handcrafted by Cactus Saddlery.
“It always feels good to win this kind of money,” Hooper said. “I’m excited. I’m trying to win a world championship, so all those dollars are just helping me get a little closer to No. 1.”
A year ago, Hooper placed a career-best third in the world standings with $245,583. He earned $150,391 in Las Vegas at the 2018 Wrangler NFR. Hooper has qualified for the Wrangler NFR five times (2008-09, 2011, 2014 and 2018).
“Ever since I had surgery on my neck in 2013, I had to completely change what I was doing," he said. "I started working out and I have a fitness regimen. Those injuries have been blessings for me because they have made me really work for it and crafted me into the bareback rider I am today, which is a lot better than I was 10 years ago.”
Pearson picked a heck of a time to take some time off
Pearson, the 2017 Steer Wrestling World Champion, won the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo with a run of 3.9 seconds in the four-man finals Sunday.
Pearson also took second in the eight-man round earlier in the day. All told, he won $13,267, which will give him a boost in the PRCA | RAM World Standings where he stood at 16th with $20,723 entering the RAM NCFR.
“That felt good,” said Pearson, who claimed his first RAM NCFR title.
Now, the 34-year-old from Louisville, Miss., is going to take a break from competing until the summer run.
“I’m going to take a couple months off, I’ve been rodeoing pretty hard,” Pearson said. “I’ll come back out in June.”
Joining him will be Scooter, the 2017 and 2018 PRCA | AQHA Horse of the Year for steer wrestling that Pearson rode to the win Sunday. Three of the four qualifiers in the RAM NCFR finals were riding Scooter.
“He gets some time off for sure,” said Pearson, who co-owns Scooter with Kyle Irwin. “We’re going to give him a couple months off, as well. “We’ll let him relax now until June, the summer’s pretty hard.
Pearson was making his first trip to the RAM NCFR since it moved to Kissimmee in 2015. Pearson and his family got to enjoy some of the sites in and around Kissimmee, not to mention celebrate Pearson’s victory.
“We love the weather, the kids love the atmosphere, the pools,” Pearson said. “People around here are cool. We enjoy it. We went to Disney village or something like that. They liked it – Mickey and Minnie, that rat makes a lot of money.”
Clay Smith/Jake Long capturing team roping crown
Team ropers Clay Smith and Jake Long capped a superb week at the RAM NCFR by winning the RAM NCFR title with a 4.8-second run in the four-team finals.
“This is great to win,” Smith said. “This is a great rodeo down here, especially with as much as it pays and everything you win.”
Long agreed.
“Honestly, I rode about as poor of a corner since I have been here,” Long said about his team’s run in the finals. “Colonel (Long’s horse) did such a good job and let me set my rope down in a pretty tough spot, and Clay did a good job of keeping it moving and it worked out.”
Long also won the RAM NCFR in team roping in 2007 in Pocatello, Idaho.
Meged stays hot, snares tie-down roping title
Rookie Haven Meged clocked a 7.4-second run in the final round to claim the title.
“This is just crazy,” Meged said. “That was my goal to come here and win it, and I achieved that goal, which was really sweet.”
Strong draws nets Brooks title
Chase Brooks posted a 91-point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Cash Deal in the semifinals and an 89.5-point ride on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sue City Sue in the four-man finals to win the saddle bronc riding and his first RAM NCFR title.
“I’d never been on her, but I’d seen her quite a bit,” Brooks said. “She’s an older horse. She felt really good. She was one you could really open up and just have a good time.”
Smith only bull rider to make whistle
Garrett Smith was the only bull rider in the four-man finals to make the whistle, posting an 85-point ride on Painted Pony Championship Rodeo’s Holly Holy.
“This is pretty awesome,” Smith said. “I’ve been here a couple times and had a little bit of success winning a couple rounds, but never made the four man.”
Texas grabs Circuit team title
In the team race, Texas came in first, winning $133,689. The Prairie Circuit was second with $110,432, followed by the Badlands $91,808 and Wilderness $81,308.
The remaining team finishers were:
Montana ($69,123), Mountain States ($60,956), California ($49,133), Columbia River ($46,164), Southeast ($43,171), Great Lakes ($30,325), Turquoise ($16,805) and First Frontier ($4,549).
Top Stock of RAM NCFR
The top stock of the 2019 RAM NCFR was as follows: Bareback horse, Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Pretty Woman; Saddle bronc horse, Silver Spurs Rodeo’s Best Hope; Bull, Barnes PRCA Rodeo’s Tallahassee Red.
Valenzuela wins all-around
Miguel Valenzuela of the Mexico Circuit won the all-around title. Valenzuela competed in team roping and tie-down roping at the Silver Spurs Arena.