National Finals Rodeo 2018: World Champion bull rider Sage Kimzey will be wearing two special items when he makes an appearance at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas tonight.
The PRCA National Finals Rodeo is always a big deal, but the 2018 edition marks the semi-retirement of one of the best cowboys in the sport. 23-time world champion Trevor Brazile is stepping back from the rodeo after this event, so it’s probably his last chance to go for No. 24.
Brazile finished in second place last year, losing out to his brother-in-law Tuf Cooper. This year will probably be his last year competing with NFR qualifying as the goal, so it’s also the last time we’ll see him on this stage.
Canadian Curtis Cassidy will also be a name to look out for. He finished sixth in the All-Around standings, so he’ll obviously seek to improve his status as well.
“I never want to count myself out, but with such a drastic change in the way I conduct my rodeo business, if I do ever make the Finals again it’ll be a bigger story than my retirement, because I’ll have gotten it done at just a handful of rodeos,” Brazile said, per Prorodeo.com. “The good news is that this is my decision, and I’m not being forced out because I’m hurt or too old.”
Here’s how you can catch one of Brazile’s last ride — both the United States and abroad. ProRodeoTV.com comes with a $79.99 annual subscription with the promo code NFRDEAL20.
BRIDGER — Bridger Chambers’ list of goals for his 2018 rodeo season was not particularly long.
“The main goal was to run three good steers at the circuit finals,” explained the large cowboy of the Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finals held every January in Great Falls.
Chambers, formerly of Stevensville now living in Butte, did just that. He placed in all three rounds of steer wrestling, winning the first, and won the average for $6,900.
“I completed that goal,” Chambers said.
Little did he know that weekend would change his rodeo life.
“I wasn’t planning on going hard,” Chambers continued. “I wasn’t planning anything, mainly just staying around the region. I just wanted to make it to Florida.”
Winning the MPRC Finals was just the first steppingstone in what is shaping up as the best year of his professional rodeo career.
By winning in Montana, he qualified for the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Florida. He placed second overall in Florida, pocketing more than $17,000.
The money won in his home state also earned him a spot in San Antonio — only second to the National Finals Rodeo in payout — where he earned another $6,400.
After much discussion with his family, and the willingness of his father Keith to double his work load, Chambers finds himself on the road pursuing a long-held dream: Qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.