Field for Puyallup Set with Big NFR Implications
Teams are preparing for the Playoff Series Finale in Puyallup Sept. 7-10, 2023, and the stakes are high with NFR qualifications on the line.

Welcome to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, aka the PRCA Playoff Series Finale. Sept. 7-10, 2023, the top 23 teams in the PRCA Playoff Series standings and the NFR Open champs will go to battle in for the chance to qualify for the Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

With $72,000 in added money on BOTH ends plus entry fees, Puyallup inevitably has the ability to shake up the PRCA world standings, making the bubble race even more interesting.

A Refresher

Standings are kept throughout the season and there is a championship event at the end of the year. Contestants competed at rodeos such as Rapid City, San Antonio and Salinas, just to name a few, to earn points.

READ: The PRCA Playoff Series? What’s that?

PRCA Playoff Series standings are points based. There are three levels of points based upon the total purse money of a given rodeo.

  •      Top Tier —more than $650,000 total purse
  •      Middle Tier — between $649,999 and $325,000
  •      Bottom Tier — less than $324,999

Points are distributed to contestants who place in the top 20 at each of the Playoff Series Rodeos, based on the fastest time or highest score. For rodeos with multiple rounds, the points are calculated based on the average. Tournament rodeos are more complicated, but points are assigned based on how far each competitor advanced through the tournament.

The top 23 in the standings, plus the NFR Open team roping champs, then compete in Puyallup at the Playoff Series Finale. The top eight teams from the Playoff Series year-end standings and the top four from Puyallup will earn a position into The Governor’s Cup, Sept. 28-30.

And no, the Playoff Series rodeos aren’t quite over yet, which means the top eight to qualify for Sioux Falls isn’t determined yet. These are the final Playoff Series rodeos:

  • Filer, Idaho
  • Ellensburg, Washington
  • Abilene, Texas
  • Pendleton, Oregon

So, who’s heading to Puyallup?

Here’s the official Puyallup lineup, in no particular order:

The Implications

With big money up for grabs, team ropers who qualify for Puyallup have a chance to further cement their position in the top 15 of the ProRodeo world standings before the end of September.

Who’s Safe…

Kaleb Driggers has amassed $136,583.45 on the ProRodeo season this year and sits No. 1 in both the world and PRCA Playoff Series standings.

The Fourth-run champ, Dustin Egusquiza sits No. 2 in the world standings with $131,427.15 won on the year. At No. 7 in the Playoff Series standings, he is in a great position with room to move up in the Playoff standings.

NFR Open champ Nelson Wyatt has had a dominant year and is currently No. 3 in the world and No. 6 in the Playoff Series standings.


Like his partner, Junior Nogueira is No. 1 in the world with $136,583.45 won on the year and No. 1 in the PRCA Playoff Series standings.

An exciting year for Levi Lord heeling for Egusquiza, he sits No. 2 in the world with $131,427.15 in earnings and No. 7 in the Playoff Series standings.

Wesley Thorp splits up the teams at the top of the world standings, sitting No. 3 in the world standings with $126,222.84. Thorp also sits No. 3 in the Playoff standings.

What about the bubble boys?

Teams on the bubble that qualified for Puyallup have even more on the line. A bubble team could earn enough money at the NFR Playoff Series Finale to move into the top 15 before the end of September.


Jake Clay is currently No. 15 in the world with $80,083.44 won on the year in a tight bubble race. Clay is heading to Puyallup No. 18 in the Playoff Series standings, meaning he still has a chance to secure that position in the Top 15.

Clay Smith may be No. 16 in the world standings, but he’s only $4,503.77 behind Clay at No. 15. And considering he enters Puyallup No. 5. in the Playoff standings, Smith could easily jump into the Top 15.

At. No. 17 in the world, Luke Brown also has a fighting chance at his 14th NFR appearance. Only $5,545.15 behind No. 15 and going into Puyallup No. 14, nothing is off the table.


Hunter Koch sits No. 15 in the world standings and No. 14 in the Playoff standings. With the kind of money to be won in Puyallup, Koch has the opportunity to lock in his third NFR appearance.

Tyler Worley is No. 16 in the world and is entering Puyallup off his 2023 NFR Open win. Only behind Koch at No. 15 by $34.71, a good hit at the Playoff Series Finale can push Worley into the Top 15.

At No. 17 in the world standings and No. 12 in the Playoff standings, Ross Ashford is still alive in the NFR hunt for 2023.

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