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We always love looking back at predictions from the beginning of the season to see if they ring true by the end, and this article is a great example of that. In April, we analyzed 19 standout rookies who were within the top 50 in the PRCA; now, almost six months later, five of those competitors have withstood the test of time.
Congratulations to Haven Meged and Shad Mayfield (tie-down roping), Stetson Wright, Trey Kimzeym and Daylon Swearingen (bull riding) who have all made it to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in their first season as full-carded competitors.
Eighteen PRCA rookies and one rookie barrel racer in the WPRA are holding onto spots within the top 50 in the world standings as of April 18, 2019. One of those rookies, in particular, has risen above the rest.
Of the 19, tie-down roper Haven Meged has earned the most at a whopping $49,697.81 in PRCA earnings so far in his first year of competition on his full card. The Miles City, Montana, cowboy is also the No. 6 man in the world, rubbing elbows with the likes of world champions like Caleb Smidt (2015 and 2018), Tyson Durfey (2016), Shane Hanchey (2013), and Tuf Cooper (2011, 2012, 2014 TDR and 2017 AA).
“It’s honestly pretty cool to look at it in the standings,” Meged said.
The 21-year-old has been hustling right alongside these competitors all season, and it shows in his wisdom about the pressures of going head-to-head with the best in the world.
“It's obviously tough, every short round you’re in there’s always good guys,” he said. “Your job is to just go out there and do what you do. Score, get them tied down, and let things fall into place.”
Meged didn’t expect to have this much on the board at this time of year, and has rodeos like San Antonio and the RAM National Circuit Finals to thank for the largest parts of his paycheck, but the 21-year-old is going to need even more big paydays with the goals he’s set for himself.
“When I bought my card my goal was to win rookie of the year in the calf roping, make the National Finals, win a gold buckle, and make the Canadian finals,” Meged said.
“I’ve set myself some pretty darn high goals and it’s all just kind of worked out. It’s a blessing.”
The only other competitor that has earnings close to the $50,000 mark is rookie Stetson Wright, who has $48,206.03 in bull riding earnings and is the No. 6 bull rider in the world. Wright also has $15,387.08 in the event that has made his family so famous: saddle bronc riding.
Check out the list of the 19 rookies that have been able to crack, and stay inside, the top 50 in the world as things start to heat up for the spring and summer.
|PRCA Rookies Inside The Top 50 In The World Standings|
|Name||Event||Earnings||World Standings Placement|
|Haven Meged||Tie-Down Roping||$49,697.81||6|
|Stetson Wright||Bull Riding||$48,206.03||6|
|Trey Kimzey||Bull Riding||$28,122.72||20|
|Daylon Swearingen||Bull Riding||$27,211.35||22|
|Carly Taylor||Barrel Racing||$20,985.59||26|
|Shad Mayfield||Tie-Down Roping||$18,726.52||25|
|Chris Bechthold||Bull Riding||$17,099.09||36|
|Stetson Wright||Saddle Bronc Riding||$15,387.08||32|
|Kal Fuller||Team Roping (Header)||$14,138.22||27|
|Trenton Smith||Tie-Down Roping||$13,275.32||37|
|Heath Williams||Team Roping (Heeler)||$11,795.84||39|
|Levi Gray||Bull Riding||$10,975.83||49|
|Denell Henderson||Steer Wrestling||$9,145.72||50|