2019 National Western Stock Show & Rodeo: Denver

Denver: 5 Things We Noticed At The National Western Stock Show

Denver: 5 Things We Noticed At The National Western Stock Show

We were pumped about the first high-paying PRCA rodeo of 2019 finally coming around, and we noticed a few things at the NWSSR in Denver.

Jan 30, 2019 by Katy Lucas
Denver: 5 Things We Noticed At The National Western Stock Show

1. The Money At The First High-Paying PRCA Rodeo Of The Year

Denver is always that rodeo that, when it comes around every year, it really feels like it’s time for competitors to pull their socks up, knock the rust off from the Christmas break and really get down to business to start the year off right. The competitors that walked away as champions of the National Western Stock Show did just that, and earned big checks for their ability to stay consistent between the two long rounds and the finals.

Check out the big paydays that the 2019 Denver champions earned:

EventWinnerRound 1Round 2FinalsAggregateTotal
Barrel RacingJennifer Sharp$3,035$1,012$2,623$5,312$11,982
Steer WrestlingTy Erickson$3,084$0$1,188$5,752$10,024
Bull RidingBrody Yeary$443$0$2,700$5,833$8,976
Bareback RidingClint Laye$2,107$0$917$5,577$8,601
Saddle Bronc RidingSpencer Wright$630$630$1,250$5,668$8,178
Tie-Down RopingCooper Martin$0$1,567$679$5,692$7,938
Team RopingClay Smith/Jake Long$0$303$1,312$5,981$7,596

© Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

2.The New Partnership Of Clay Smith & Jake Long Is A Success So Far

It may seem odd when a world champion combination splits up the very next season after winning the “Super Bowl Of Rodeo,” but it’s hard to argue this decision after Denver. Clay Smith and Paul Eaves parted ways for the 2019 season and the new combination of Clay Smith and Jake Long has been paying like a slot machine so far. 

Not only did the two win Denver, but they also sit in the No. 1 spot in both the heading and heeling world standings with nearly $15,000 won apiece.

3. Some World Champs Are Rolling, Some Are Sitting Things Out Still

Speaking of reigning world champions, Hailey Kinsel and Tyler Waguespack join Smith in the trio of reigning world champions who were able to pick up early checks in the pursuit of defending their world titles. On the other end of the spectrum, reigning world champion bareback rider Tim O’Connell is sitting things out for six months after undergoing shoulder surgery post-NFR. 

According to the PRCA's release, the three-time and reigning world champion hopes to be back in action for the Fourth of July run.

4. Saddle Bronc Rider Kolby Wanchuk Is Ready To Play

Wanchuk may have had some lingering issues from injury when he filled his permit last year, but so far in 2019, the Sherwood Park, Alberta, cowboy is showing every indication that he’s ready to play. He first made us turn our heads when he won the long round of the Cinch World’s Toughest Rodeo in Moline, Illinois, then turned right back around and bested 13-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Cody DeMoss in a head-to-head round. 

Then Wanchuk came back at Denver, placed second in round two, split third in the finals and tied for fourth in the aggregate to earn $5,347 and move to the No. 6 spot in the world saddle bronc riding standings. 

5. We’re Ready For The Next One

This year, Denver and the also high-paying Fort Worth Stock Show have overlapped. In fact, Denver winner Jennifer Sharp is already leading the pack of barrel racers in Fort Worth – so it seems there is no rest for competitors and fans who are following the top rodeos in the PRCA, and we can’t wait to see who the next big earners will be.