Kanin Asay has “make history” at the top of his to-do list for his 8 p.m. (PT) Sept. 1 appearance at the Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale in Ellensburg, Wash.
Asay won the 2007 Xtreme Bulls year-end title, is leading this year’s standings and is very much focused on becoming the first man in the 10-year history of the series to earn a second title.
The Powell, Wyo., cowboy has $44,960 in X Bulls earnings entering the finale at the Ellensburg Rodeo Arena, holding a lead of a bit more than $8,000 over second-place Cody Teel and more than $10,000 over three-time World Champion J.W. Harris.
Maximum prize money at the event – based on winning both rounds and the average – is $24,449 which means those top three bull riders are the only men with a mathematical chance to win the season title.
And there is, of course, more at stake than just the X Bulls Tour title for the expected sellout crowd of 10,000 to ponder.
The field includes 25 of the top 30 bull riders in the world standings, all of whom are hoping that a big payday in Ellensburg will assure their qualification into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and maybe even a leg up in the battle for the world championship.
Asay, Teel and Harris are all in the top four of the world standings, along with rookie Trey Benton III.
Asay is coming off a tumultuous year in 2011 in which he lost his mother in a tragic accident and he spent much of the year in rehabilitation from hip surgery.
“Losing my mom was the toughest deal last year,” Asay told the ProRodeo Sports News. “There ain’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her or even talk to her, but the peaceful thing about it is I know where my mom’s at. This year, being able to come back from all of that, I’m just very thankful.
“At the beginning of the year, I had a fresh start after sitting out eight months last year and everything else, with my mom passing away. I wanted to win the world this year, but I wanted to be the first guy to win two Xtreme Bulls national titles as well.”
He has put himself in position to do both by being the only contestant to win two X Bulls titles this year (San Antonio and Lovington, N.M.) and a handful of PRCA rodeos, including Pocatello, Idaho, and Springdale, Ark. It will not, however, be easy.
Asay’s first-round draw at Ellensburg presents an interesting challenge. He will climb on Western Rodeo’s Dateline which has yet to be ridden in seven tries, including buck-offs of past Wrangler NFR qualifiers Ardie Maier and Chandler Bownds. The bull averages a score of about 43 points out of a possible 50 from the judges, so if Asay can complete his eight-second ride he should be among the leaders.
Other intriguing first-round matchups include Wyoming native Tyler Willis drawing Korkow Rodeos’ Black Velvet, the bull on which Harris won Round 8 of the Wrangler NFR last year with a score of 87.5 points, and Teel testing himself against Four Star Rodeo’s Kattin Around, which hasn’t been ridden in his last 19 trips over 14 months.
Full coverage of the Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale will be aired on GAC at 10 p.m. (ET) on Sept. 18. Check the full schedule »
All 40 riders will compete in a long-go on Sept. 1, beginning at 8 p.m. (PT), and the top 12 will be brought back for the finals, where the Ellensburg Xtreme Bulls champion will be crowned based on the highest total score.
The payout for the Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale is $75,000. Money won at PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour stops count towards the 2012 PRCA World Standings, which determine qualifiers for the Dec. 6-15 Wrangler NFR. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1.800.636.2444. For additional information, visit www.ellensburgrodeo.com.
Ellensburg Xtreme Bulls Tour Roster:
Asay, Kanin – Powell, Wyo.
Beck, Dakota – Nesa, Wash.
Benton III, Trey – Rock Island, Texas
Bingham, Tim – Honeyville, Utah
Bounds, Chandler – Lubbock, Texas
Cloud, Howdy – Kountze, Texas
Elliott, Tag – Thatcher, Utah
Foltyn, Clayton – El Campo, Texas
Glause, Seth – Rock Springs, Wyo.
Harris, J.W. – Mullin, Texas
Joslin, Kyle – Caldwell, Idaho
Kastner, Trevor – Ardmore, Okla.
Maier, Ardie – Timber Lake, S.D.
Maier, Corey – Timber Lake, S.D.
Mason, Dallee – Weiser, Idaho
Mendes, Tony – Fruita, Colo.
Murphy, Sonny – Tremonton, Utah
Navarre, Corey – Weatherford, Okla.
Newman, Nevada – Melstone, Mont.
Proctor, Shane – Grand Coulee, Wash.
Proctor, Shawn – Tooele, Utah
Rostockyj, Cody – Hillsboro, Texas
Roundy, Chris – Spanish Fork, Utah
Samora, Cody – Cortez, Colo.
Schroeder, Beau – China, Texas
Schwartz, Sunshine – Anoka, Minn.
Silcox, Wesley – Santaquin, Utah
Skaggs, Blaine – Hubbard, Ore.
Smith, Dustin – St. Paul, Ore.
Smith, Tyler – Fruita, Colo.
Stratton, Tate – Kellyville, Okla.
Teel, Cody – Kountze, Texas
Tsosie, Guytin – Farmington, N.M.
Votaw, Dalton – Liberty, Texas
Welsh, Bobby – Gillette, Wyo.
Whitney, Cody – Asher, Okla.
Willis, Tyler – Wheatland, Wyo.
Wolfe, Garrett – Wenatchee, Wash.
Woolsey, Steve – Payson, Utah
Wright II, Friday – Moss Point, Miss.
2012 PRCA Xtreme Bulls Tour Standings
Unofficial as of August 27, 2012.
1. Kanin Asay, Powell, Wyo. $44,960
2. Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas 36,545
3. J.W. Harris, Mullin, Texas 34,309
4. Brett Stall, Detroit Lakes, Minn. 24,980
5. Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash. 20,219
6. Tate Stratton, Kellyville, Okla. 19,454
7. Tag Elliott, Thatcher, Utah 16,674
8. Tony Mendes, Fruita, Colo. 16,346
9. Nile Lebaron, Hamilton, Texas 15,809
10. Cody Whitney, Sayre, Okla. 15,228
11. Cody Rostockyj, Hillsboro, Texas 14,126
12. Cody Samora, Cortez, Colo. 14,025
13. Tyler Willis, Wheatland, Wyo. 13,491
14. Douglas Duncan, Alvin, Texas 13,351
15. Colin McTaggart, Las Vegas, Nev. 12,646
16. Clayton Savage, Cheyenne, Wyo. 11,336
17. Sonny Murphy, Tremonton, Utah 11,215
18. Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, Texas 10,473
19. Dalton Votaw, Liberty, Texas 10,402
20. Jimmy Anderson, Denton, Texas 9,964