ProRodeo Sports News - November 16, 2018


Kimzey goes for fifth straight title Nonstop at the Top


BY MATT NABER S uperman is the Man of Steel, and right now Sage Steele Kimzey is the Superman of bull riding. Starting with his rookie year in 2014, the Oklahoma cowboy has ended every regular season of his career leading the PRCA | RAMWorld Standings, and all four years ended with a world title victory. “I’m still shooting for nine world titles, so hopefully this year is another step up the mountain,” Kimzey said. “It seems so far in the distance, but I get closer each year.” Kimzey is working toward topping Don Gay’s record for most world titles won. “I think it’s great, that’s what goals and records are for,” said ProRodeo Hall of Famer and Kimzey family friend Don Gay. “I’m glad to still be in the conversation, but he’s trying to break my record and that’s kind of fun.”

Gay believes Kimzey can win as many world titles as he wants. Kimzey’s only bump in the 2018 rodeo road happened early enough in the season that missing six weeks of competition

due to a fractured pelvis in January didn’t have much impact on his season. The 24-year-old reigning champion and Trevor Kastner were the only bull riders to remain in the Top 15 all season. Kimzey was also the No. 1 bull rider throughout the season except for a short stint in February following his injury. “The victory that defined everything for me, and I didn’t even win it, was how good San Antonio was this year,” Kimzey said. San Antonio was the third rodeo he competed at following his pelvic injury, and he netted $35,002 at the rodeo and $16,000 at the Xtreme Bulls event in San Antonio. More importantly, he regained his confidence that he was ready to compete again. “There were a lot of big question marks there, like if I was ready and there was self-doubt sitting around the house watching my lead diminish,” Kimzey said. “It jumped me back into the mix of things, and throughout the year I had a lot of well-timed victories.” He went on to win a collective 20 rodeos and Xtreme Bulls events, including the Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale. It was his third time winning the Xtreme Bulls Tour and his seventh event win. The only cowboy to win more Xtreme Bulls events is Matt Austin, who won eight between 2003 and 2006. Kimzey also shattered the record of $237,152 he set in 2017 when he finished the 2018 regular season with $297,026 won, including ground money. “The most pleasant surprise is how much money it took to qualify for the bull riding,” Gay said. “I know guys in my generation had something to do with that, and it’s making some sense to be a bull rider now. Those are things that also go to the new CEO (George Taylor).” Kimzey enters the Wrangler NFR with the biggest lead of any event leader with $111,550 separating him and Parker Breding. “That lead can evaporate in a hurry,” Gay said. To give those numbers perspective, Kimzey entered the 2017Wrangler NFR with a $32,913 lead. “Parker (Breding) has been riding great all year,” Kimzey said. “Then there’s the perennial powerhouses like Trey Benton III and Roscoe Jarboe – they all have a chance. It’s going to take me slipping up quite a bit, and I don’t plan on doing that.”

ProRodeo Sports News 11/16/2018


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