2010 PRCA rookies class

Johnna Espinoza, with contributions from Jim Bainbridge

Florida’s Dylan Werner claimed the 2010 Resistol Overall and Bull Riding Rookie of the Year awards, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association announced on Oct. 8. And it’s safe to say Werner worked for every bit of the honor.

Werner competed in a total of 122 events this year, including Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Tour stops, presented by B&W Trailer Hitches.

Along the way, Werner picked up victories in El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO, and he won a round at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The 21-year-old got a little “dinged up,” but was able to avoid a serious injury. He is looking forward to getting on more bulls and accomplishing more goals.

“I did also want to go to the (Wrangler National) Finals,” he said, “but I achieved most of my goals and there’s more to achieve next year.

“I need to step it up at those bigger rodeos. That’s what I figured out.”

Werner won $52,295 this season and edged Resistol All-Around and Tie-Down Roping Rookie of the Year Ace Slone as the rookie with the highest money total. Slone, from Cuero, TX, earned $46,461 in all-around money, including his $3,768 in team roping (heading).

Werner finished 25th in the 2010 PRCA World Standings and 37th in the Xtreme Bulls standings.

Slone dominated the tie-down roping rookie standings throughout the year. But unlike Werner, wasn’t able to avoid a serious injury his rookie year. Slone was poised to qualify for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but had his plans derailed. Slone was eighth in the world standings when he tore is right posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) during California Rodeo Salinas in July. He had borrowed a horse and a saddle and tore his PCL when he twisted his knee coming off the horse.

Against doctors’ orders, Slone competed at the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, WA, and Justin Boots Championships in Omaha, NE, hoping to keep his dream alive of going to the Finals. He was able to win some money at both rodeos, but had to be assisted out of the arena at both places due to pain from the injury. He dropped to 27th in the world standings, but had about a $20,000 cushion in the tie-down roping rookie race and also was able to hang onto to the all-around title.

“I understand that there is a risk of getting hurt in a long career, but the fact that I am 21 adds to the frustration,” said Slone, who hopes to be back at full strength in January.

Despite the knee injury, Slone is proud of what he accomplished his rookie season. He got a taste of the top 10, and that has motivated him to work hard at rehabilitating his knee. He also has used the time away from competition to apply himself even more in his agricultural business studies at Texas A&M.

He is encouraged that prior to the knee injury, he was roping at the same level as the best tie-down ropers in the world.

“I didn’t sputter out,” he said. “I got hurt at the top of my game and planned on being competitive throughout the season.”

The other Resistol Rookies of the Year are bareback riding – Ty Breuer, Mandan, ND, $25,231; steer wrestling – Cody Moore, Artesia, NM, $24,800; team roping (heading) – Kaden Richard, Roosevelt, UT, $29,048; team roping (heeling) – Matt Garza, Las Cruces, NM, $25,393; saddle bronc riding – Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD, $21,861 and steer roping – Gannon Quimby, Mannford, OK, $11,706.

The rookies will be recognized Dec. 7 on Resistol Rookie Night during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Quimby will have double the reasons to celebrate; Dec. 7 also is his 40th birthday.

Breuer, 20, adds his rookie award to the college bareback riding national title he won competing for Central Wyoming College (Riverton) earlier this year. The North Dakota cowboy sustained a broken ankle in February and sat out a couple months. But he still managed to claim college and rookie titles.

Breuer, who has a plate and screws in his right ankle, has received coaching from 1992 World Champion Bareback Rider Wayne Herman from Dickinson, ND, along with his father, Ed and uncle Dean.

“I didn’t win a big rodeo this year,” said Breuer, who plans to compete full time in the pro ranks next year. “It just seemed like I placed a lot of places.”

Moore, 29, won Cheyenne (WY) Frontier Days aboard his horse, Talk, to propel him to the steer wrestling rookie title. He actually didn’t have a lot of luck competing until the “Daddy of Em All,” July 24-Aug. 1.

“It was a trying year, and then it was an exciting year,” Moore said. “I am pumped that this happened. There are a lot of good cowboys out there who could have won it. I am very excited that at the end of the year I am the Rookie of the Year.”

Like Moore, Garza was able to pull things together this year and have his dream come true. Garza graduated from New Mexico State University in May and earned a bachelor’s degree in ag-business and economics.

“My main goal this year was to win the rookie of the year season,” said Garza, who roped with five different partners this year. “I could have competed in circuit rodeos while I was doing college rodeos and jackpots, but I wanted to wait until I had nothing else on my agenda so I could go after it 110 percent.”

South Dakota’s Troy Crowser ($21,861) battled Jake Wright in the saddle bronc riding rookie race and edged the Utah cowboy ($19,042) by about $2,800.

“I really helped myself with a circuit run in late June,” Crowser said. “I split the title at Dickinson (ND), won at Granite Falls (MN), then was second at Strasburg (ND). I always figured Jake Wright was the biggest threat.”