The ProRodeo Tour is a lucrative venture for ProRodeo cowboys.
The combined amount of money to be paid out at this weekend’s Tour stops in Reno, Nev., Springdale, Ark., and Pecos, Texas, is expected to exceed $1 million, with the combined committee purses alone hitting $700,000. By the time the ProRodeo Tour Finale concludes in Salinas, Calif., Sept. 26, the Tour will have paid out approximately $11 million.
Some of the biggest ProRodeo Tour stops on the schedule ahead include the Calgary Stampede (July 9-18), Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days (July 24-Aug. 1) and the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up (Sept. 15-18). The ProRodeo Tour Finale is slated to take place at California Rodeo Salinas, Sept. 23-26, the final weekend of the 2021 regular season.
Cowboy Christmas follows on the heels of the big weekend. Over Cowboy Christmas (June 28-July 5), cowboys will make their way through six more Tour stops – the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede, the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, Ariz., the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede, the Livingston (Mont.) Roundup, the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo and the Oakley Independence Day Rodeo in Oakley City, Utah.
Kimzey, who won six consecutive PRCA world titles from 2014-19, understands the importance of the Tour. He finished fifth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings last year and is leading the standings now with $104,202. He’s second in the ProRodeo Tour standings behind Stetson Wright, the reigning bull riding and all-around world champion.
“The ProRodeo Tour is huge,” said Kimzey, 26. “The Tour rodeos are the rodeos I want to win. They are the majors of ProRodeo, and it’s one of those deals if a guy doesn’t do well at Tour rodeos, their season is pretty incomplete. I have always put the big rodeos that are Tour rodeos at the top of my list.”
Durfey knows how big a boost the ProRodeo Tour and Tour Finale can be. Last season, he won the Tour Finale in Rapid City, S.D., Sept. 26, to earn $8,740. That secured his 14th NFR qualification in the No. 12 position.
“Right now, the ProRodeo Tour is probably more important than ever,” said Durfey, who is outside the top 50 in the world standings. “It puts an even-bigger emphasis of doing well at rodeos like Reno and Cheyenne or Salinas to get that huge bump because it takes a huge bump like that to make the NFR. I really think the way to the Finals is through the big rodeos, and it is great to get to the Tour Finale because of the timing of that rodeo late in the (regular season).”
The Top 24 competitors in each event in the ProRodeo Tour Standings advance to the Tour Finale and will compete for their share of prize money at the high-dollar rodeo. The Tour Finale at California Rodeo Salinas will crown the ProRodeo Tour champions.
The Finale’s significant payout, which will be a record amount, will come on the season’s final weekend and will play a pivotal role in determining the Top 15 in the world standings to catapult athletes into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
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