KANSAS CITY, Mo. â€“ The final week of the ProRodeo season has provided Sterling Crawley with the opportunity to live out his inner NASCAR.
A saddle bronc rider, Crawley is a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stephenville, Texas, who is in a race to make his third straight appearance in the sportâ€™s grand finale. Only the top 15 cowboys on the money list at the end of the regular season earn the right to compete in Las Vegas this coming December.
Crawley is 17th and needs to earn at least $4,000 to hit that magic number. On Friday night, the Texan took the lead at the American Royal PRCA Rodeo with an 82-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeoâ€™s Hickok. That should be good enough for a nice payday in Kansas City, but it wonâ€™t be enough to catch the pack.
â€śWeâ€™re going as hard as we can and not letting off the gas until the last day,â€ť he said.
The final day of the regular season is Sunday. Time is running out, and Crawley has thousands of miles to go before heâ€™s done. He competed in Omaha, Neb., on Thursday, then arrived in Kansas City. He rides in Stephenville, Texas, on Saturday night, then in San Bernadino, Calif., on Sunday.
Heâ€™ll have plenty to think about along the way in reliving Fridayâ€™s ride on Hickok.
â€śI was really excited to have him, because the last time we met up, it was really good,â€ť Crawley said. â€śI was excited to draw him again, especially with the end of the season drawing near and me being kind of back a little.
â€śI need everything I can get.â€ť
Itâ€™s just another phase for a cowboy who travels the rodeo trail with his brother, Jacobs, who already has secured his fourth trip to the NFR. They are following their passions.
â€śI rodeo because itâ€™s something you love as much as anything,â€ť Sterling Crawley said. â€śThereâ€™s no place weâ€™d rather be on a Saturday night than at an arena and getting on bucking horses. Youâ€™re with your friends, youâ€™re doing what you love and youâ€™re bettering yourself every time. Why not do that as often as possible.â€ť
American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Bareback riding: 1. Justin McDaniel, on Smith, Harper & Morganâ€™s Proud Mary, and Ryan Gray, on Stace Smith Pro Rodeoâ€™s Rosana, 80 points; 3. Tilden Hooper, 77; 4. Jessy Davis, 76; 5. Steven Dent, 74; 6. Anthony Thomas, 70; 7. Blade Elliott, 61; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling leaders: 1. Stewart Gulager, 3.6 seconds; 2. (tie) Cooper Shofner, Tom Lewis, Sean Santucci and Bray Armes, 3.9; 6. Matt Koch, 4.2; 7. (tie) Blake Mindemann and Kyle Irwin, 4.4.
Team roping leaders: 1. Coleman Proctor/Jake Long, 4.2 seconds; 2. Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.6; 3. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill and Trevor Brazile/Travis Graves, 4.7; 5. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Martin Jucero, 4.8; 6. Tom Richards/Cesar de la Cruz, 5.1; 7. Andrew Ward/Reagan Ward, 5.3; 8. (tie) Nathan McWhorter/Cole Davison and Chad Masters/Clay Oâ€™Brien Cooper, 5.4.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Sterling Crawley, 82 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeoâ€™s Hickok; 2. (tie) Bradley Harter and Sam Spreadborough, 81; 4. Jacobs Crawley, 80; 5. Isaac Diaz, 76; 6. Kyle Whitaker, 65; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Cody Ohl, 7.9 seconds; 2. Clint Cooper, 8.2; 3. (tie) Timber Moore, Ryle Smith and Clint Robinson, 8.3; 6. Blair Burk, 8.4; 7. Marcos Costa, 8.5; 8. Tyson Durfey, 8.9.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. (tie) Polly Hagey and Michele McLeod, 14.24 seconds; 3. (tie) Tana Poppino, Kimmie Wall and Shelley Morgan, 14.34; 6. Fallon Taylor, 14.37; 7. Sara Rose McDonald, 14.38; 8. (tie) Taylor Langdon and Mary Walker, 14.39; 10. Shelly Anzick, 14.40.
Bull riding: 1. Ty Wallace, 85 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeoâ€™s Miami Heat; 2. Jordan Wacey Spears, 83; 3. Bret Stall, 78; 4. (tie) Beau Hill and jeff Askey, 76; 6. Tyler Stoltz, 69; no other qualified rides.