ARIZONA — Many of today’s most successful professional rodeo stars finished in the money at several Fourth of July rodeos in the White Mountains, Prescott and Window Rock.

Prescott’s World’s Oldest Rodeo, one of the biggest on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association slate, started off the busy season, known as Cowboy Christmas, on July 1 and the rodeo action continued through Sunday, July 7.

The July 1-8 portion of Cowboy Christmas had $3,668,132 up for grabs across 46 PRCA rodeos around North America, and 42 cowboys saw their position improve within the 2019 PRCA/RAM World Standings’ Top 15.

Window Rock’s July Fourth PRCA rodeo was held from July 4-6, and Eagar’s Round Valley Fourth of July Rodeo was held on Independence Day.

Show Low hosted one of the premier events on the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association schedule — The Deuces Wild Rodeo on Friday, July 5. And Taylor held its big Night Rodeo on Saturday, July 6.

While the Prescott and Window Rock rodeos together had a payout of more than $300,000, many contestants took advantage of the White Mountain rodeos in between where nearly $100,000 was on the line.

Erich Rogers of Round Rock, who teamed with Paden Bray and won the team roping at Window Rock and tied for fifth in the average in team roping at Prescott, is 15th in the PRCA world standings. The top 15 at the end of the season qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.

Veteran and rookie cowboys alike know it’s easier to maintain a position at the top than it is to play catch-up when trying to qualify for the NFR.

It’s important to build a solid lead as the summer season heats up. Nobody knows this better than Rogers, the 2017 PRCA Team Roping Header World Champion. The 32-year-old cowboy launched 20 spots, from 35th to 15th, thanks to winning the average at the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede for $7,228 and at the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo for $8,058; tying for first at Window Rock for $2,470; and tying for fifth at Prescott for $1,340.

Matt Sherwood of Pima (formerly of Snowflake) is 14th in the PRCA’s team roping header world standings with more than $36,000 won this season. He teamed with heeler Hunter Koch of Vernon, Texas to finish fourth in the average at Prescott.

Several of the leaders in the PRCA.world and Turquoise Circuit standings hit a big payday on the mountain.

Seth Hall of Albuquerque, N.M. was second at the DWR in tie-down roping and third at Taylor. Hall, who is a tie-down roper as well as a team-roping heeler, leads the PRCA Turquoise Circuit All-Around standings with $16,457.83 in winnings. He is second in the circuit heeler standings ($9,472.30) and he is third in tie-down roping ($6,985.53).

Hall teamed with header Trey Blackmore to win at the Taylor Night Rodeo (4.65 seconds) and finish second in the average in Prescott. Together they pocketed more than $12,000 at Taylor and Prescott alone.

The roping team of Jake Barnes of Scottsdale and Myles John of Indian Wells (seventh in Turquoise heeler standings) were second at the Taylor rodeo. Derrick Begay of Seba Dalkai (leads Turquoise Circuit header standings with nearly $12,000 in winnings) and Ty Romo of Whiteriver (14th in PRCA-TC heeler standings) were third. Barnes also teamed with Show Low’s Daylan Frost at Taylor and they finished sixth there. Frost is fourth in the Turquoise Circuit heeler standings.

In GCPRA and PRCA barrel racing, Laura Carmen of Buckeye won the event at the DWR with a time of 17.89 seconds and at Taylor with a 17.74. Carmen also tied for eighth at Window Rock and was ninth at Prescott to bring home money from each rodeo — a total of nearly $3,000.

Buckeye steer wrestler Tray Nahrgang, who took first at DWR, is fourth in the Turquoise Circuit standings ($3,414.77).

NOTE: The PRCA contributed to this story.

Reach the reporter at astaten@wmicentral.com

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