2019 PRCA Media Guide - 2018 World Champions

Bull Riding Sage Kimzey Kimzey wins record fifth title

Sage Kimzey continued to write PRCA history when he won his fifth consecutive world title with $415,263. He is the first bull rider to do so since the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo started 60 years ago. Only four bull riders have as many world titles as Kimzey, and all of them are ProRodeo Hall of Famers: Smokey Snyder (1931-32, 1935-37), Harry Tompkins (1948-50, 1952, 1960), Jim Shoulders (1951, 1954-59) and Don Gay (1974-77, 1979-81, 1984). Shoulders is the only other cowboy to win five straight titles in bull riding. His fifth came in 1959, the first year of the National Finals Rodeo. “Anytime your name is by Jim Shoulders, you are in a league you can’t put into words,” said Kimzey, 24. “He is one of the greatest cowboys of all time, and it means the world to me.” Earlier this season, Kimzey shattered the record he set in 2017 ($237,152) when he ended the 2018 regular season with $297,026, including ground money.

“Sometimes I question myself why I do this, but every time I get down in the dumps, I think back to the 6-year-old me who would kill for the opportunity to be a beacon of light in the world and spread some good,” Kimzey said. Kimzey entered theWrangler NFRwith $111,550 – the biggest lead of any event leader – separating him from Parker Breding. “This year was tough, it was just sheer grit and determination from the start of the year,”he said.“It startedwith a fractured pelvis, and it was a 365-day grind. Going in with a big lead, then getting hurt in the first round – it was a brutal 10 days. It was hard to get out of bed.” Despite bucking off four in a row, Kimzey’s position at the top of the world standings was untouchable until Round 10. “You hear about it being the toughest 10 days of the sport,”he said.“Before this year, I didn’t think that was true and never had an issue beforehand. But this year, in Round 1 on through, I was fighting tooth and nail for what I could get, but today was a proverbial cherry on top.” Kimzey pulled


out all the stops in the final round, nailing a 93-point ride on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Record Rack’s Shootin’Stars. “It was a dogfight to the end this year, and that’s when you learn the most about who you are as a competitor and as a person,” he said. “It was one of those things where I had several oppor- tunities to give up and never did, and that’s the biggest thing I took out of this week.” – Matt Naber

PRCA ProRodeo photo by Billie-Jean Duff

Kimzey earned his fifth straight bull ridingworld title at the 2018Wrangler NFR. He is the first bull rider to do so since theWrangler NFR inception in 1959.



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