As the 2023 regular ProRodeo season draws to a close, it’s time to crunch the numbers to see if the Resistol Rookie of the Year leaders in the heading and heeling—Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili—have any peers who could spoil their lead in the Resistol Rookie race.
Does Cole Thomas have it in the bag?
Winning the 2022 average championship at the Southeastern Circuit Finals, the 2023 Reistol Rookie Roundup in Fort Worth and the 2023 St. Paul Rodeo, Thomas has amassed $59,480 in earnings, boasting a $15,658 lead on No. 2 Cutter Machado.
That kind of margin wouldn’t usually be insurmountable, but with only one weekend left in the regular ProRodeo season and dwindling money-earnings opportunities, Machado’s ability to bridge the nearly $16,000 spread in one weekend is virtually impossible.
Regardless, Machado won’t even be rodeoing this weekend. He’ll be trading his rope for a boutonniere as the best man in heeler Dalton Pearce’s wedding.
This means Thomas is essentially guaranteed the Resistol Rookie of the Year title in the heading.
Is Kaden Profili the heeling Resistol Rookie of the Year?
The Resistol Rookie heeling race is a bit tighter than the heading race, with No. 2 JR Gonzales trailing Profili by $6,624.
In the last week of competition, JR Gonzales and header Bubba Buckaloo snagged a $415 check in the first round of the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo (Texas), but aren’t in contention for the aggregate, which wraps up Thursday, Sept. 28.
Gonzales’ last rodeo of the year is at the Comal County Fair & Rodeo, in New Braunfels, Texas, which is a one-header format. In 2022, it paid $1,533 to win it, meaning regardless of how Gonzales performs, he won’t earn enough to catch Profili.
As for current No. 3 Cooper Freeman and No. 4 Clay Clayman—who are $7,925 and $8,553 behind Profili, respectively—they’re both done rodeoing for the 2023 regular season. Clayman has the Great Lakes Circuit Finals made, but neither of them poses a threat to Profili’s Resistol Rookie title.
While it’s not official until the final money is counted and titles are confirmed by the PRCA, it’s safe to say Cole Thomas and Kaden Profili are the 2023 Resistol Rookies of the Year in team roping.
Special thanks to Resistol for supporting the Resistol Rookie of the Year race all season long.