KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In front of an electric crowd inside the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, rodeo athletes from across the globe were crowned champions and walked away with upwards of $1 million.TheWCRA (The World Champions Rodeo Alliance) Royal City Roundup was the first Triple Crown of Rodeo eligible event offering a minimum of $111,000 per discipline.
Canadian bareback rider Orin Larsen (Inglis, Manitoba) landed in the showdown round after earning an 88.5 ride in the long round along with Pascal Isabelle (Okotoks, Alberta Canada) and Mason Clements (Spanish Fork, Utah). The 5x NFR qualifier topped Isabelle’s 86.5 points and Clements 88.5 points earning the highest marked of the night with 90.5 points.
The team roping duo Erich Rogers (Round Rock, Arizona) and Paden Bray (Granbury, TX) found themselves in the short round after earning the top spot in the long round. Bray and Rogers matched up against 11th in the world Chad Masters (Cedar Hill, Tennessee) and 10th in the world Wesley Thorp (Stephenville, Texas) along with Cody Snow (Stephenville, Texas) and Paul Eaves (Lonedell, Missouri) in the showdown round. The dominate wave of team roping superstars ended with Rogers and Bray recording a 3.65 second run, besting Master/Thorps 3.67 seconds and Snow/Eaves 4.4 seconds.
The 2019 fifth man in the world and 3x NFR steer wrestling qualifier J.D. Struxness (Appleton, Minnesota) delivered a 3.9 second run in the long round before meeting Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Robert Etbauer’s son Trell Etbauer (Gruver, Texas) and Texas cowboy Cody Devers (Perryton, Texas) in the short round. Struxness notched a 4.37 second run defeating Etbauer’s 4.41 seconds and Dever’s no time.
At age 40, Chet Johnson (Douglas, Wyoming) exhausted the competition earning the high-marked-ride in both rounds at the Royal City Roundup earning $50,000. After receiving an 86.5-point score in the long round, Johnson fought to stay on top overcoming Shorty Garrett’s (Eagle Butte, South Dakota) 88 points and Dalton Kingery’s 81.5 points with a vast 91.5-point score.
Reigning, and two-time WPRA Breakaway Champion Kelsie Chace (Cherokee, Oklahoma) delivered a powerful performance when her string broke away from her saddle horn at the 2.04 second mark in the showdown round Friday night. After defeating the legends of the sport in the first round, Chace was joined in the box by 16-year-old Josie Conner (Iowa, Louisiana) who had a 3.18 second run along with and Hope Thompson’s (Abilene, TX), who received a no-time. Chase joins the ranks of Jackie Crawford and Makayla Boisjoli to become the fourth breakaway roper in history to compete in a one-day $1 million rodeo.
After no qualified times during the June 1 Titletown Stampede in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the $50,000 cash prize was unclaimed and pushed to the Royal City Roundup giving tie-down ropers a shot at $100,000 in one-night. After earning the number one spot on the WCRA leaderboard and receiving an automatic advancement to the one-day $1 million major, Shad Mayfield (Clovis, New Mexico) claimed the 100-grand check after roping just two calves. Mayfeild matched up against Marty Yates (Stephenville, TX) and Caddo Lewallen (Morrison, OK) in the short-go. Mayfield’s 7.24 second time outdid Yates’ 7.25 second time along with Lewallen’s 8.45 second run.
After earning an advancement to the Royal City Roundup for landing the number one spot on the WCRA leaderboard, 2x World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (Lampasas, Texas) went into the showdown round in the number three spot behind Wenda Johnson (Pawhuska, Oklahoma) and Kassidy Lovell (Madisonville, Texas). Johnson opened the final round with a swift 13.197 second run which was followed by Lovell’s 18.031 second time. Tonozzi made an abrupt to 13.112 second run to take home the gold.
After 2x PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volberg, Montana), Joao Ricardo Vieira (Decatur, Texas), and Jose Vitor Leme (Decatur, Texas), did not cover in the showdown round, the athletes walked away with $12,500 (short go). The bull riding payout from the Royal City Roundup will carry forward to the May 16 Stampede at The E.
Since launching in May of 2018, the WCRA and its partners have awarded more than $7,400,000 in new money to rodeo athletes.
On Saturday, February 29 fans will be able to tune into the Royal City Roundup Round on a CBS network broadcast at 12:30 ET.
All results from the event can be found here.