(Editor's note: NWSSR release)
DENVER — It all came down to the final rodeo performance as the 116th National Western Stock Show came to a close on Sunday.
That performance featured 12 competitors who fought their way there through two preliminary rounds and three semi-finals to compete for the championships in the Denver Coliseum.
There is a new sheriff in the bareback riding world and he is the stuff that legends are made of at just 18-years-old. Rocker Steiner has a world champion bull rider for a grandfather and a world champion steer wrestler father influencing. His athletic career started out as a competitive wake boarder. His family’s heritage in rodeo and ranching had him being around livestock and horses, and he loves the ones that buck.
The adrenalin rush that goes with a successful heart-stopping body-pounding ride in rodeo’s most physical event was evident on Sunday afternoon. Steiner, of Weatherford, Texas watched as his friend Cole Franks from Clarendon, Texas, scored 87.5 points to be the leader.
When it was Steiner’s turn, he nodded his head, the horse named Ain’t No Angel exploded from the bucking chute and took him to an 87.5-point score as well. Steiner earned the championship by way of a tie-breaker and Franks, who rode the horse named Guardian Angel was one of the first to high five the talented athlete.
Denver’s rodeo is just Steiner’s fifth since joining the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association after his 18th birthday. Prior to coming to Denver, he had won the Sandhills Stock Show Rodeo in Odessa, Texas, and with other earnings had $3,667. He added $9,686 to that and now will be well inside the top 10 in the world standings.
“It’s amazing,” Steiner said. “I’ve been having so much fun and I’m soaking up the whole experience. A win is a win but getting it at a big rodeo like Denver is something I’ve dreamed about. The crowd was awesome. There were some great horses here today and I just want to give credit to the stock contractors who work so hard to have animals like Ain’t No Angel for us to get on.”
Steiner was the big money winner at this year’s rodeo, but close behind him was a rodeo veteran who got her fifth win in Denver. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi from Lampasas, Texas, has competed here for 17 years and won money for many of those.
She won the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing here in 2007 and 2008 riding her great horse Sixth Vision, “Stitch.” She won again in 2010 and 2012 riding Yeah Hes Firen, “Duke.” This year, she got the win on Babe on the Chase, a 10-year-old mare that she calls Birdie.
She nearly knocked a barrel over but was able to keep it up and stopped the clock in 14.89 seconds. She placed in every preliminary round and left Denver adding $9,649 to her earnings.
After cancelling the rodeo in 2021 because of the pandemic, having all 20 pro rodeos, PBR bull riding, and other events in the coliseum was a huge undertaking. Total payout at this year’s rodeo was $595,302. Plans are underway for the 117th celebration, the best 16 days in January in 2023.
2022 National Western Stock Show Rodeo Champions total earnings
Bareback – Rocker Steiner, Weatherford, Texas, $9,686
Steer Wrestling – Mike McGinn, Haines Ore, $8,286
Team Roping – Coy Rahlmann, Elsinore, Mo., and Douglas Rich, Herrick, Ill., $7,292
Saddle Bronc Riding – Kolby Wanchuk, Sherwood Park, Alberta, $8,222
Tie-Down Roping – Kyle Lucas, Carstairs, Alberta, $6,402
Barrel Racing – Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, Texas, $9,649
Bull Riding – Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, $7,368
Bareback Riding: 1,(tie) Rocker Steiner, Weatherford, Texas, 87.5 points on Cervi Brother Rodeo’s Aint No Angel, $4,553 and Cole Franks, Clarendon, Texas, 87.5 points, Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Guardian Angel, $4,553. 3, Leighton Berry. Weatherford, Texas, 85.5, $2,921. 4, (tie) Seth Harwick, Ranchester, Wyo.; R.C. Landingham, Hat Creek, Calif., and Garrett Shadbolt, Merriman, Neb., 84, $1,317. 7, (tie) Tim O’ Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, and Richmond Champion, Stevensville, Mont., $601.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Mike McGinn, Haines, Ore., 3.6 seconds, $4,573. 2, Tristan Martin, Sulphur, La., 4.1. $3,977. 3, (tie) Rowdy Parrott, Mamou, La., and Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 4.2, $3,082. 5, (tie) Riley Reiss, Manning, N.D., and Josh Garner, Live Oak, Calif., 4.4, $1,889. 7, (tie) Kyle Broce, Cheraw, Colo., and Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala., 4.5, $696.
Team Roping: 1, Coy Rahlmann, Ellisnore, Mo., and Douglas Rich, Herrick, Illinois, 4.4 seconds, $4,533. 2, Rhen Richard, Roosevelt, Utah, and Jeremy Buhler, Arrowwood, Alberta, 4.7 seconds, $3,942. 3, (tie) Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Calif., 5.4, and Chance Thompson, Knox City, and Tyson Thompson, Munday, Texas, 5.4, $3,055. 5, Tucker Menz, Boerne, Texas, and Blaine Vick, Breckenridge, Texas, 6.5, $2,168. 6, Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.D., and Hunter Koch, Vernon, Texas, 9.9, $1,576 *$394 ground. 7, Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., 11, $985.
Saddle Bronc: 1, Kolby Wanchuck, Sherwood Park, Alberta, 89 points on Cervi Brother Rodeo’s Vitalix, Womanizer, $5,225. 2. Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho, 87.5. $4,006. 3, Dawson Hay, Wildwood, Alberta, 87, $2,961. 4, (tie) Kole Ashbacher, Arrowwood, Alberta, and Logan Cook, Alto, Texas, 86, $1,567. 6, (tie) Jake Finlay, Goondiwindi, Australia, and Lefty Holman, 83.5, $783. 7, Shorty Garrett, Eagle Butte, S.D., 83, $522.
Tie Down Roping: 1, Kyle Lucas, Carstairs, Alberta, 7.5 seconds, $4,553. 2, Michael Otero, Millsap, Texas, 7.7, $3,959. 3, Clint Graves, Oxford, Kan., 8.1. $3,365. 4, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 8.2, $2,771. 5, (tie) Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont., and Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 8.9, $1,880. 7, Luke Potter, Maple City, Kan., 9.7, $989. 8, Dakota Felton, Mountain Home, Texas, 10, $395.
Womens Barrel Race: 1, Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi, Lampasas, Texas, 14.89. $5,429. 2, (tie) Bradi Whiteside, Longview, Alberta, and Emma Charleston, Reeds, Mo., 15.06, $4,025. 4, (tie) BryAnna Haluptzok, Tenstrike, Minn., and Cassidy Champlin, Pilot Point, Texas, 15.12, $2,153. 6, Illysa Riley, Hico, Texas, 15.15, $936.
Bull Riding: 1, Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, 92 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Predator. 2, Bubba Greig, Estherville, Iowa, 89, $4,060. 3, (tie) Stetson Wright, Milford, Utah, and Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D., 86.5. $2,471.