ProRodeo Sports News - March 17, 2023


Young bareback riders making their mark Rookie Race Jessica Potter photo Kade Sonnier made his name known at the 2022 NFR Open powered by RAM. Sonnier finished second at the national championship event behind fellow rookie Ty Pope.

BY TANNER BARTH T he 2023 Class of Resistol Rookie Bareback Riders has the opportunity to be the gold standard in their event for years to come. Last season, the top 10 bareback riders on their permits earned a combined $422,945, highlighted by Keenan Hayes winning $108,568, which broke the ProRodeo record for most money ever won during a permit season. All 10 of those riders have purchased their PRCA cards in 2023 and are making headlines. Even more impressive, as of March 16, five of those cowboys are in the Top 15 of the PRCA | RAM World Standings. The group says even though their performance has caught the attention of others across the sport, the success is no surprise to them.

“I think we all kind of knew coming in that this group could be special,” said Kade Sonnier, 23. “We knew who all was going to buy their cards and what it was going to be like. If I had to use one word to describe us it would be salty. We are all extremely talented, extremely athletic, and willing to get after it.” The last time three or more rookies qualified for the Wrangler NFR was in 2020 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. That year it happened in the bull riding but finding that amount of success in rookie bareback riding history is hard to come by. After a record-setting year last season on his permit, Hayes is back in the limelight in 2023. The Hayden, Colo., cowboy sits second in the PRCA | RAM World Standings and leads the Resistol Rookie of the Year race with $46,986. Hayes’ early season success was spurred by the San Antonio Stock

ProRodeo Sports News 3/17/2023


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