The First Ever That Western Life Podcast
What you need to know about the hosts, plus recapping the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo!
What is the That Western Life Podcast?
This podcast is going to take someones naive interest in a culture and help them explore the trials and tribulations of the western lifestyle. We are here to share the amazing, funny, educational and unique people and animals that are in rodeo and the western lifestyle. We can’t wait to see what we can do to help those in the sport of professional rodeo into more mainstream ways.
Meet the Hosts
Rachel Owens-Sarno - San Diego County, California
I’m excited to jump into the world of podcasting and to continue promoting a lifestyle and sport I love with lots of fun, humor, knowledge and facts!
Read more about Rachel here.
Lisa Lageschaar - Weatherford, Texas
“I am still that horse-crazed kid at heart, but over time, have developed my love of horses into a love for every person involved with and every industry linked to horses. I have been presented with numerous opportunities through the western industry, and it is my goal to give back in any way I can to continue to grow and develop knowledge and passion for horses, rodeo, agriculture, and the western way of life as a whole.”
Read more about Lisa here.
Katie Schrock - Pacific Northwest
“I have always maintained to be an approachable and knowledgeable source of information for the western lifestyle whether it be ranching, farming or rodeo. I want to help keep those interested informed on the western lifestyle and not only the importance of these industries but to preserve the culture.”
Read more about Katie here.
2018 National Finals Rodeo Recap
The National Finals Rodeo starts significantly earlier than most people anticipate the 10-day Super Bowl of rodeos starting. With award shows, the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) convention, and the kick-off party of the Back Number Ceremony. The theme for 2018’s finals was that there could have been any number of stories that could have competed for screen time for Hollywood with the amazing stories that developed and came forward!
J.R. Vezain, a PRCA bronc rider who found himself in a horrific accident that resulted in him being in a wheelchair, he had qualified a spot for the WNFR in the top 15. Unable to compete, Will Lowe took that vacant spot as the 16th place in the world standings. Not only was Vezain included each night in the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund injury update but he was also recognized by the legendary King of the Cowboys, Trevor Brazile, recognizing the inspiration that he has been with his positivity. When he rolled up on to stage at the back number ceremony the crowd went wild! A great light for Christ, he and his wife, Shelby, have continued to be an inspiration!
The western industry is striving and one can see that in the payout of the Number 10 in the World Series Team Roping, happening throughout the NFR in Las Vegas, paid out $376,000 to first place. It was around $2.3 million in that round alone! That’s where we got to see NFR Team Roper Trey Yates watch his grandpa Dick Yates win that money in the Number 10 Round Win. Trey is at his first ever NFR which adds to the added royalty legacy of his grandfather, dad and aunt who are the first family trifecta to qualify for the NFR in one year.
Ten rounds of fast-paced action with a lot of money up for grab! Round payout is $84,615.38 total, paid out to six places over the ten rounds in each event. The average pays out $253,846.15 to the top eight per event. First place winning a round is over $26,000 which can bring a person from 14th to 1st in the world; albeit they would have to be close top to bottom. Noteworthy is that the bull riding has ground money if not all rides are completed in the round.
RAM Top Gun & Bull Riding
Chase Dougherty came on hot in the last 7 rounds of the NFR. He won almost $30,000 more in the RAM Top Gun Award. An award given by RAM Trucks for winning the most money in one event. It was a horse race up until the last few rounds between the barrel racers and Chase Dougherty. Over ten days, Chase cashed $318,266.13 (unofficially) at the NFR including the average. When it came down to Round 10 if only 3 or less riders stayed on their bull, as long as one of those was Chase and one wasn’t Sage, Chase would have won the world. Sage stayed on, won the round and won the world!
2019 Predictions; Sage Kimzey wasn’t 100% at the finals and the 2019 season started last year. Could Chase Dougherty or Sage’s kid brother, Trey, take the 2019 title?
Trey Kimzey set a new record in 2018 as a Permit Holder Earnings. Sage is out to catch Don Gay’s 8 World Championships in the NFR. Sage knows how to stay on and ride - one of the most talented in professional bull riding in the country.
Clayton Bigelow & Virgil
An astounding moment at the 2018 NFR was Clayton Bigelow's Round 5 ride on Virgil! An impressive, big gray bucking horse, left the crowds and the judges speechless! If you want to talk about athletes showing up at the NFR, C5 Rodeo’s Virgil tied the arena record in 2017 with Tim O’Connell, then came back in 2018 to set the arena record at 93. There are only 10 rides in the PRCA period that are 93 or 94; this ride is now one of those.
Wade Sundell - Bareback World Champion
In the round where Clayton Bigelow set the arena record, Wade Sundell on Medicine Woman had a 92 point ride. Keeping pace with that record setting ride kept him in the world title chase. He split round 7 with Chase Brooks. He came to perform and rode at the top of his game, placing in eight of the rounds. One of those bucking horses came from Get Smart who was named the bareback horse of the NFR. He’s been eight times to the NFR and won the American!
This was on top of the rough year that Wade had where he lost his home to a fire. This was a huge explanation point on the end of the year on the road!
If you have never heard of Wade Sundell or are new to rodeo, check out this song by Chance Danison (WARNING: explicit!) that kind of gives you a sample of how Wade got the name “Wild Wade.”
Will Lummus & Grinder with KC Jones
KC Jones is a 9 time qualifier in the steer wrestling but wasn’t competing in the same capacity as he has done in the past; he was the hazer for first-time qualifier Will Lummus. A Mississippi cowboy, he did his darndest to make the steer wrestling exciting this year! Will’s horse Grinder was at its first NFR, and can be a challenging venue for a horse new to the NFR but he handled it with poise. However, he would let out some of his personality with a few bucks every time that Will dismounted to wrestle a steer.
Tie Down Roping; Caleb Smidt & Tyson Durfey
Prior to the 2018 finals, the 2016 World Champion Tyson Durfey had the unfortunate loss of his number one horse Nikko, after a complication in a displaced colon colic surgery on November 23rd. Anyone who knows rodeo or horses, knows how important those horses are not just as a partner in a working environment but also to family. He rode his back up horse, Mitch, and ended up winning some good money! Durfey and Mitch even got the win at the Tuf Cooper’s Tying the Knot Invitational Roping over Trevor Brazile.
Caleb Smidt won the first round and the world title after what may have been the roughest family months. He lost his brother and sister-in-law on the night of their wedding when their helicopter crashed, killing all three involved, which made national news. Throughout the rodeo, Caleb’s family held up signs every single night that said, “God is still good.” To add more emotion to this story, he gave that round one buckle win to his father-in-law to thank him for what he has done for him in his life in the past year as he had also lost his father shortly after the 2017 NFR.
Barrel Racing; Hailey Kinsel’s Sister
A horse that never weakened, Hailey Kinsel and her palomino mare Sister, fired hard every single run, clinching the world title in Round 9. Hailey was saying that Sister had nothing left to prove and so she pulled out TJ, the big gelding she ran college rodeo on and even filled her WPRA permit. It was a great nod to the horse that helped build her professional career!
Kelly Bruner, a veterinarian, qualified on her main mount Susie, who is a gelding, but he wasn’t feeling the Thomas & Mack arena. Susie didn’t want to turn the first barrel so she ran a couple of young horses, and she won rounds on a horse named French Zone. People who don’t give up who are also working a full time job while managing rodeoing and winning enough money to make the NFR.
Another contestant, making it to the NFR in a limited number of rounds, is Nellie Miller and her mare Sister. Utilizing “professional planning” and winning when it counts; when she won the 2017 World Title it was on one of the lowest rodeo number counts.
Trevor Brazile, The King of the Cowboys, Kind of Rides Away
“The Cowboy Rides Away,” will Trevor Brazile really be “done?” Will we see him back, qualifying on a limited number of regional to Texas rodeos or maybe with his son or daughter? If he can make it on a limited number of rodeos and it doesn’t affect his family and involvement with his kids’ sport; he’s going to do it. Knowing that he had to do as well as he did in the 10th round in order to win the average title making the count 24 world titles. In an emotional statement to the camera, his legacy will continue to grow and build. It was a great moment for him, his family and all of his fans. He’s made a big impact in the lives of so many rodeo people!
What an amazing National Finals Rodeo and what a great 2019 rodeo season we have coming up! Make sure you subscribe on iTunes, leave a rating, tell your friends, and check out more of our articles! We want to hear from you! Send us a message on any social media platform or at thatwesternlifeUSA@gmail.com.
Theme Song: Doin’ Me by Trevor Tagle