Trimming the field
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – A total of 24 world champions with a combined 69 world titles highlight the 191-contestant field for the Puyallup (WA) Pro Rodeo, the second of four events of the $1.62 million Ariat Playoffs.
Competitors in the Puyallup round of the Ariat Playoffs will compete for a share of the $348,000 purse when the three-day event starts Sept. 5 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. The Wrangler ProRodeo Tour’s Puyallup round will be televised on Fox Sports Net, with three separate one-hour telecasts beginning the week of Sept. 22.
Action takes place on Sept. 5-6 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. PT, with each of the first four performances consisting of 12 competitors in each event. The semifinals, which will feature the top eight competitors in each event after two rounds, is scheduled to get under way at 1 p.m. Sept. 7, with the four-person final round immediately following.
Five-time and reigning World Champion All-Around Cowboy Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, heads the list as the only two-event cowboy in Puyallup, competing in team roping (with Patrick Smith, the 2005 world champion team roping heeler) and tie-down roping, an event in which Brazile won the world title in 2007.
Brazile, the leader in the world’s all-around standings, is trying to match Tom Ferguson and Larry Mahan, who each won six world all-around titles, and would trail only Ty Murray’s mark of seven in the record books.
In addition to Brazile, six other reigning world champions plan on being in attendance in Puyallup next week – bareback rider Bobby Mote of Culver, OR; steer wrestler Jason Miller of Lance Creek, WY; team roping header Chad Masters of Clarksville, TN; team roping heeler Walt Woodard of Stephenville, TX; saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy of Corona, NM; and barrel racer Brittany Pozzi-Pharr of Victoria, TX.
Reigning World Champion Bull Rider Wesley Silcox of Payson, Utah, suffered two fractures in his right leg at the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour event Aug. 24 in Bremerton, Wash., and will miss the event. Muncy, who missed more than three months after sustaining a broken leg at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Roundup in April, qualified for the first Ariat Playoff in Caldwell, Idaho, but did not enter the rodeo.
The top 11 contestants in each event, based on total prize money from the cumulative Wrangler ProRodeo Tour regular season standings, plus points from the first two Ariat Playoffs, will join the Puyallup champion in each event in qualifying for the River City Roundup in Omaha, Neb., the third Ariat Playoffs event. Action in Omaha is scheduled for Sept. 25-27.
The Playoffs started in Caldwell, Idaho, Aug. 12-16, with the top 35 contestants from the 26-city Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and each event champion from the 2008 Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo. After Caldwell, the field was whittled to the top 22 from the cumulative Tour standings Caldwell playoff champs, plus DNCFR titlists.
For more information on the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and the Ariat Playoffs, visit http://www.prorodeo.com.