After 10 consecutive days of the National Finals Rodeo, from December 3-12, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, three former Northwestern Oklahoma State Ranger cowboys added to their 2009 earnings. Nick Sartain came out the big winner, being crowned a World Champion in Team Roping. Jhett Johnson also competed in team roping, while Stockton Graves entered as a steer wrestler.
The native of Yukon and a two-year Ranger rodeo team member, Sartain was crowned the World Champion Team Roping Header. Sartain was atop the leaderboard as the only team to record times in all 10 rounds. He and partner Kollin VonAhn from Durant, placed in a tie for first during round four with a time 3.7 seconds and finished with seven top five finishes. Sartain won $62,337 in day money and another $43,954 for winning the average. He entered the NFR with $80,397 and earned $186,688.73 during the 2009 season.
Also competing in team roping was Jhett Johnson. A Ranger rodeo team member from 1989-91, Johnson won $30,002.41 at the NFR as a heeler. He bumped up his 2009 earnings to $93,484.36 and has now earned $722,514.36 as a professional since joining the PRCA in 1992. Johnson, along with header Steve Purcella of Roswell, N.M., had their best finish during the first round when they took second place with a time of 4.5 seconds. He finished the year ranked 13th in the world standings.
Graves, from Newkirk and competing in his sixth year in steer wrestling, walked away with $44,921.86 at the National Finals Rodeo. He won round eight with a time of 3.4 seconds and also had a second, third and fourth place finish during the rodeo. Graves finished the year earning $107,143.02 and ranked ninth in the world standings. He upped his career earnings to $893,847.02.
The NFR posts $5.75 million in total prize money for the 10 rounds. First place in each round in each event is worth $17,139 and prize money is paid for the first six places. The average or “aggregate” (the best total times or scores for the 10 rounds) will pay $43,954 for first place and lesser amounts through eighth place. Money earned during the NFR is added to that earned during the regular season to determine the year’s champion in each event.
Complete information of the event, including results and standings, can be found online at http://www.prorodeo.com/.
Tue, December 15, 2009
by Ryan Hintergardt