RNCFR turns 30



Thursday is the start of the 30th annual National Circuit Finals Rodeo. The inaugural Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo was held in March of 1987 in Pocatello, Idaho, but the story began more than a decade before then.

In 1974, saddle bronc riding representative Larry Jordan hatched the idea to create a circuit system to benefit the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and all of its weekend cowboys – those dedicated rodeo contestants who also had a job and maybe a family, but not the desire or capability to travel year-round in an effort to reach the National Finals Rodeo.

The first year the circuit system was in place there were 14 different circuits. The map was shuffled into 12 circuits the following year. 

All of Oklahoma was the Oil Circuit. Now it’s part of the Prairie Circuit, along with Kansas and Nebraska. Three of the circuits – California, Montana and Texas – are comprised of one state, while the First Frontier Circuit in the Northeast includes 13 states.

In 1987, Dodge came in as a sponsor for each of the 12 Circuit Finals Rodeos, as well as the Dodge National Circuit Finals, which was renamed the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2012. 

As for the location, Pocatello was the original home of the rodeo largely thanks to stock contractor Reg Kessler suggesting the location. The rodeo was held in Pocatello for 24 years before moving to Oklahoma City, Okla., for 2011-13 and then a single year at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla., before moving to its home through 2024 – Kissimmee, Fla.  

The following cowboys won the first National Circuit Finals Rodeo:

• Saddle bronc riding average – Bud Monroe, 159 points on two head, $1,171
• Saddle bronc riding Wrangler round – (tie) Clay Jawers and Bud Monroe, 80, $2,049 each
• Bareback riding average – Todd Little, 160 points on two, $1,206
• Bareback riding Wrangler round – (tie) Steve Carter and Todd Little, 87, $2,111 each
• Bull riding average – Johnny Shea, 157 points on two, $1,234
• Bull riding Wrangler round – (tie) Brett Todd and Tuff Hedeman, 80, $2,159 each
• Calf roping average – D.R. Daniel, 21.8 seconds on two, $1,119
• Calf roping Wrangler round – D.R. Daniel, 9.7, $2,238
• Steer wrestling average – Darrell Sewell, 10.7 seconds on two, $1,114
• Steer wrestling Wrangler round – John Thompson, 4.0, $2,228
• Team roping average – Barry Johnson/Dee Pickett, 14.4 seconds on two, $636
• Team roping Wrangler round – Jake Barnes/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 6.2, $1,272
• Barrel racing average – Suzanne Fausett, 31.12 seconds on two, $974
• Barrel racing Wrangler round – Charmayne James, 15.30, $1,948  

Contestants from five countries, 36 states to compete for $1 million

at RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo

               KISSIMMEE, Fla. --- When the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR) gets underway at the Silver Spurs Arena on April 6, more than 200 rodeo athletes from 36 states, plus Canada, New Zealand, Australia and four states in Mexico, will gather to compete for national championships as well as $1 million in prize money and awards. 

The circuit system divides the United States into 12 geographical regions where Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) members compete for points in their designated area to advance to their circuit finals. The winners of the 12 circuit finals as well as the year-end champions in each rodeo event are then invited to the RNCFR. This year, for the first time, the field also includes two contestants in each event from the PRCA’s Mexican Rodeo Tour. 

With over $1 million in cash and prizes, the RNCFR one of the richest rodeos in the United States. Winning contestants will get substantial paychecks which for the first time will count in the PRCA and WPRA world standings. Champions in each event as well as the all-around category will also get a $20,000 certificate towards the purchase of a RAM vehicle, a new Polaris RANGER UTV a champion buckle, saddle and new pair of boots. 

 Events showcased at the RNCFR include: bareback riding; steer wrestling; team roping (heading and heeling); saddle bronc riding; women’s barrel racing and bull riding. The first four performances are being broadcast online on the Wrangler Network. The April 9 finals will air on CBS Sports Network on April 23. 

RNCFR Qualifiers by Circuit

Columbia River Circuit (Washington, Oregon & Idaho Panhandle)

Wyatt Bloom

Bend, Ore.

bareback riding

Nick Gutzwiler

Edwall, Wash.

bareback riding

Kathy Grimes

Medical Lake, Wash.

barrel racing

Amberleigh Moore

Keizer, Ore.

barrel racing

Roscoe Jarboe

New Plymouth, Idaho

bull riding

Jordan Wacey Spears

Redding, California

bull riding

Max Filippini

Battle Mountain, Nev.

saddle bronc riding

Ryan Mackenzie

Jordan Valley, Ore.

saddle bronc riding

Cody Cabral

Hilo, Hawaii

steer wrestling

Dakota W Eldridge

Elko, Nev.

steer wrestling

Russell Cardoza

Terrebonne, Ore.

team roping

Brady Minor

Ellensburg, Wash.

team roping

Riley Minor

Ellensburg, Wash.

team roping

Hayes Smith

Central Point, Ore.

team roping

Blair Burk

Durant, Okla.

tie-down roping

Cooper Martin

Alma, Kansas

tie-down roping

California Circuit (California)

Teddy Athan

Livermore, Calif.

bareback riding

R.C. Landingham

Hat Creek, Calif.

bareback riding

Trula Churchill

Valentine, Neb.

barrel racing

Nellie Miller

Cottonwood, Calif.

barrel racing

Christopher Byrd

Compton, Calif.

bull riding

Aaron Williams

Pismo Beach, Calif.

bull riding

Cameron Messier

Odessa, Texas

saddle bronc riding

Joaquin Real

Santa Paula, Calif.

saddle bronc riding

Josh Garner

Live Oak, Calif.

steer wrestling

Blaine Jones

Templeton, Calif.

steer wrestling

Evan Arnold

Santa Margarita, Calif.

team roping

Dugan Kelly

Paso Robles, Calif.

team roping

Ryan Reed

Farmington, Calif.

team roping

Victor Ugalde

Orovada, Nev.

team roping

Jordan Ketscher

Squaw Valley, Calif.

tie-down roping

Ryle Smith

Oakdale, Calif.

tie-down roping

Wilderness Circuit (Southern Idaho, Utah & Nevada)

Caleb Bennett

Tremonton, Utah

bareback riding

Tyler Nelson

Victor, Idaho

bareback riding

Jessie Telford

Caldwell, Idaho

barrel racing

Calli Van Tassell

Draper, Utah

barrel racing

Josh Frost

Randlett, Utah

bull riding

Garrett Smith

Rexburg, Idaho

bull riding

Jesse Wright

Milford, Utah

saddle bronc riding

Ryder Wright

Milford, Utah

saddle bronc riding

Olin Hannum

Malad, Idaho

steer wrestling

Baylor Roche

Tremonton, Utah

steer wrestling

Olin Pulham

Payson, Utah

team roping

Jaguar Terrill

Blackfoot, Idaho

team roping

Thad Ward

Howell, Utah

team roping

Jason Warner

Rigby, Idaho

team roping

J.C. Malone

Plain city, Utah

tie-down roping

Matt Shiozawa

Chubbuck, Idaho

tie-down roping

Montana Circuit (Montana)

Jessy Davis

Power, Mont.

bareback riding

Justin Miller

Billings, Mont.

bareback riding

Lisa Lockhart

Oelrichs, S.D.

barrel racing

Carmel Wright

Roy, Mont.

barrel racing

Parker Breding

Edgar, Mont.

bull riding

Luke Gee

Stanford, Mont.

bull riding

Tyrell J Smith

Sand Coulee, Mont.

saddle bronc riding

Chase Brooks

Deer Lodge, Mont.

saddle bronc riding & team roping

Ty Erickson

Helena, Mont.

steer wrestling

Newt Novich

Twin Bridges, Mont.

steer wrestling

Dustin Bird

Cut Bank, Mont.

team roping

Cody Tew

Belgrade, Mont.

team roping

Sid Sporer

Cody, Wyo.

team roping

Jake Hamilton

Casper, Wyo.

tie-down roping

Logan Hofer

Magrath, Alberta

tie-down roping

Mountain States Circuit (Wyoming & Colorado)

Joel Schlegel

Burns, Colo.

bareback riding

JR Vezain

Cowley, Wyo.

bareback riding

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

Victoria, Texas

barrel racing

Kim Schulze

Larkspur, Colo.

barrel racing

Jess Davison

Laramie, Wyo.

bull riding

Clayton Savage

Yoder, Wyo.

bull riding

Colton J Miller

Lance Creek, Wyo.

saddle bronc riding

Andy Clarys

Riverton, Wyo.

saddle bronc riding 

Nick Guy

Sparta, Wis.

steer wrestling

Josh Peek

Pueblo, Colo.

steer wrestling & tie-down roping

Travis Bounds

Clifton, Colo.

team roping

Brit Ellerman

Ft. Lupton, Colo.

team roping

Josh Fillmore

Penrose, Colo.

team roping

T.J. Watts

Eads, Colo.

team roping

Brice Ingo

Boone, Colo.

tie-down roping

Turquoise Circuit (Arizona & New Mexico)

 Luke Creasy

Lovington, N.M.

bareback riding

Delvecchio Kaye

Round Rock, Ariz.

bareback riding

Sherry Cervi

Marana, Ariz.

barrel racing

Lori Todd

Willcox, Ariz.

barrel racing

Lon Danley

Tularosa, N.M.

bull riding

Tustin Daye

Lupton, Ariz.

bull riding

Josh Davison

Miles City, Mont.

saddle bronc riding

Cooper DeWitt

Rio Rico, Ariz.

saddle bronc riding

Dean McIntyre

Cloncurry, Australia

steer wrestling

Damian Padilla

Rio Rico, Ariz.

steer wrestling

Edward Hawley Jr.

Surprise, Ariz.

team roping

Cory Petska

Marana, Ariz.

team roping

Erich Rogers

Round Rock, Ariz.

team roping

Ty Romo

Whiteriver, Ariz.

team roping

Seth Hall

Albuquerque, N.M.

tie-down roping

Joseph Parsons

Marana, Ariz.

tie-down roping

 

Badlands Circuit (North Dakota & South Dakota

Ty Breuer

Mandan, N.D.

bareback riding

Blake Smith

Zap, N.D.

bareback riding

Jana Griemsman

Piedmont, S.D.

barrel racing

Nikki Hansen

Dickinson, N.D.

barrel racing

Ardie Maier

Timber Lake, S.D.

bull riding

Tate Thybo

Belle Fourche, S.D.

bull riding

Ty Manke

Hermosa, S.D.

saddle bronc riding

Chuck Schmidt

Keldron, S.D.

saddle bronc riding

Chason Floyd

Buffalo, S.D.

steer wrestling

Taz Olson

Prairie City, S.D.

steer wrestling

J.B. Lord

Sturgis, S.D.

team roping

Levi Lord

Sturgis, S.D.

team roping

Jordan Olson

Surprise, Ariz.

team roping

Logan Olson

Flandreau, S.D.

team ropin

Prairie Circuit (Nebraska, Kansas & Oklahoma)

Frank Morton

Wright, Kansas

bareback riding

Justin Polmiller

Weatherford, Okla.

bareback riding

Emily Miller

Weatherford, Okla.

barrel racing

Tracy Nowlin

Nowata, Okla.

barrel racing

Trevor Kastner

Sulphur, Okla.

bull riding

Nate Perry

Elk City, Okla.

bull riding

Shade Etbauer

Goodwell, Okla.

saddle bronc riding

Roper Kiesner

Ripley, Okla.

saddle bronc riding

Riley Duvall

Checotah, Okla.

steer wrestling

J.D. Struxness

Appleton, Minn.

steer wrestling

Buddy Hawkins II

Columbus, Kansas

team roping

Coleman Proctor

Pryor, Okla.

team roping

Billie Jack Saebens

Nowata, Okla.

team roping

Jesse Stipes

Salina, Okla.

team roping

Cody Quaney

Cheney, Kansas

tie-down roping

Bryson Sechrist

Apache, Okla.

tie-down roping

Texas Circuit (Texas)

Jake Brown

Cleveland, Texas

bareback riding

Bill Tutor

Huntsville, Texas

bareback riding

Ari-Anna Flynn

Charleston, Ark.

barrel racing

Tiany Schuster

Krum, Texas

barrel racing

Dustin Bowen

Waller, Texas

bull riding

Tanner Learmont

Cleburne, Texas

bull riding

Jacobs Crawley

Boerne, Texas

saddle bronc riding 

Sterling Crawley

Stephenville, Texas

saddle bronc riding 

Matt Reeves

Cross Plains, Texas

steer wrestling

Justin Shaffer

Hallsville, Texas

steer wrestling

Luke Brown

Stephenville, Texas

team roping

Paul Eaves

Lonedell, Mo.

team roping

Colby Lovell

Madisonville, Texas

team roping

Wesley Thorp

Throckmorton, Texas

team roping

Caleb Smidt

Bellville, Texas

tie-down roping

Marty Yates

Stephenville, Texas

tie-down roping

Great Lakes Circuit

(Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Kentucky)

Tanner Aus

Granite Falls, Minn.

bareback riding

Tim O'Connell

Zwingle, Iowa

bareback riding

Ashley Baur 

Virnamwood, Wis

barrel racing

Jordan Moore

Mauston, Wis

barrel racing

Levi Michael Berends

Maynard, Minn. 

bull riding

Trevor Reiste

Linden, Iowa

bull riding

Logan Allen

Crescent, Iowa

saddle bronc riding

Jordan Corrigan

Toddville, Iowa

saddle bronc riding 

Bob Lawlyes

Perrysville, Ind.

steer wrestling

Justin Zwiefel

Burt, Iowa

steer wrestling

J.W. Beck

Moville, Iowa

team roping

Cody Graham

Everton, Mo.

team roping

Adam Rose

Willard, Mo.

team roping

Jason Stroup

Cape Girardeau, Mo.

team roping

T.J. Hobson

Henryville, Ind

tie-down roping

Jared Mark Kempker

Eugene, Mo.

tie-down roping

 

Southeastern Circuit

(Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas)

 

Tanner Phipps

Dalton, Ga.

bareback riding

Chad Rutherford

Lake Charles, La.

bareback riding

Lindsey Hayes-Banks

Opelika, Ala

barrel racing

Sabra O'Quinn

Ocala, Fla.

barrel racing

Lane Lasley

Marshall, Ark.

bull riding

Michael Riggs Jr.

Claxton, Ga.

bull riding

Heith Allan DeMoss

Heflin, La.

saddle bronc riding

Curtis Garton

Kaitaia, New Zealand

saddle bronc riding

Gary Gilbert

St. Cloud, Fla.

steer wrestling

Chance E Howard

Cedarville, Ark.,

steer wrestling

Clark Adcock

Smithville, Tenn.

team roping

John Alley

Adams, Tenn.

team roping

Caleb Anderson

Mocksville, N.C.

team roping

Jacob Dagenhart

Statesville, N.C.

team roping

Randall Carlisle

Athens, La.

tie-down roping

Braxton Laughlin

Westlake, La.

tie-down roping

First Frontier Circuit

(Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia,

West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey)

 

Andy Carter

Ellsinore, Mo.

bareback riding

J.R. Mills

Dewitt, Mich.

bareback riding

Wendy Chesnut

Poultney, Vermont

barrel racing

Karly Stoltzfus

McClure, Pa.

barrel racing

Scott Sellers

Warwick, Md.

bull riding

John Leinaweaver

Orrtanna, Pa.

bull riding & steer wrestling

Ray Hostetler

Piffard, N.Y.

saddle bronc riding

Mike Johnson

New Castle, Del.

saddle bronc riding

Olin Ellsworth

Warrensburg, N.Y.

steer wrestling

Kevin Brown

Keedysville, Md.

team roping

Darren Morgan

Fort Ann, N.Y.

team roping

Shawn Quinn

Schuylerville, N.Y.

team roping

Chuck Smith

Townsend, Del.

team roping

J.R. Myers

Felton, Pa.

tie-down roping

Carmine Nastri

Ballston, N.Y.

tie-down roping

 

 

Mexican Rodeo Tour

Jonathan Estrada

Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon

bareback riding

Hector Gonzalez

Campo, Calif.

bareback riding

Luisa Herrera

Chihuahua, Chi.

barrel racing

Nas Yeverino

Saltillo, Coahuila

barrel racing

Tigre Bustamante

Cuauhtemoc, Chi.

bull riding

Francisco Garcia

Saltillo, Coahuila

bull riding

Abelardo Gonzalez

Chihuahua, Chi.

saddle bronc riding

Fernando Arballo

Chihuahua, Chi.

steer wrestling

Carlos Ochoa

Santa Teresa, N.M.

steer wrestling

Aldo Garibay

Caborca, Sonora

team roping

Sergio Garibay

Caborca, Sonora

team roping

Daniel Sanchez

Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chi.

team roping

Catan Banuelos

Chihuahua, Chi.

team roping & tie-down roping

Mike Valenzula

Chihuahua, Chi.

tie-down roping

 

 

(Contestant roster is subject to change. – Contestants may designate any circuit as their home circuit.)