No doubt

Kaden Profili is the 2023 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year
Earning more than $50,000 throughout the year, Kaden Profili is the official 2023 Resistol Rookie of the Year on the heel side.
Kaden Profili is the 2023 Resistol Rookie of the Year
Kaden Profili is the 2023 heeling Resistol Rookie of the Year with more than $50,000 in earnings. Photo by Avid Visuals Imagery Rodeo Photography.

Kaden Profili of Jacksonville, Texas, has secured the 2023 Resistol Rookie of the Year title in heeling with $51,048 in earnings.

He roped with Ty Arnold throughout the year, save the Resistol Rookie Roundup in April in Fort Worth where he partnered with 2023 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year Cole Thomas, winning the event and $3,656.

“Whenever Ty and I started, the main goal was to win the Rookie,” Profili, 21, said. “This summer was a lot of traveling. We had a lot of fun and a couple of traveling buddies that made it easier on us. All we had to do was show up and the entering was handled for us.”

Profili and Arnold’s top wins throughout the year included a No. 2 finish at the Cody Stampede in Wyoming that paid $6,354 and a No. 2 finish at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake for $4,399.

Profili predominantly rode grey gelding “Casino,” who he’s had for three years.

“He’s solid and easy,” Profili said. “He never sets me up for a bad shot. He always turns in and lets me see the steer’s feet.”

Kaden Profili’s advice for aspiring Resistol Rookie contenders?

“Start with amateur and circuit rodeoing on your permit. Find the right partner that you know you can win with and, then, get after it.”

Growing pains

“One of my biggest sticking points this year was setting up the run, getting a good haze for my partner and then getting back into position to heel the steer,” Profili explained. “All my life I really jackpotted, and I had never really rodeoed before this. Things started clicking for me around Salt Lake.”

Profili said there were times throughout the summer he wanted to hang it up and head home to central Texas but decided to stay the course and keep trying for the Resistol Rookie of the Year title.

“Ty is pretty open and tells me where I can get better,” Profili said. “He used to be a heeler, so he knows what it should look like.”

The pair met through jackpots around 2020 and competed in the American Rodeo Qualifier in Fort Worth together in 2021. The chemistry was there, so they continued jackpotting and competing in UPRA rodeos.

Profili decided it was time to make the leap into ProRodeo competition in 2023 when he and Arnold advanced to the 2022 Texas Circuit Finals (Profili was on his permit) and qualified for the 2023 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

2023 Resistol Rookie of the Year Heeling Standings

1Kaden Profili$51,048
2JD Gonzales$44,516
3Cooper Freeman$42,800
4Clay Clayman$42,172
5Landen Glenn$41,709

Before the rookie year

Profili grew up around roping and first began heading when he was 7 years old. He stuck with heading for a few years and won two truck ropings in his youth. His parents allowed him to start heeling when he grew bigger, and he won another truck in his teens on the heel side.

At 14, Profili was fully hooked on the heels. He junior high and high school rodeoed before signing on to rodeo for Texas A&M Commerce, where he is currently a senior taking online classes.

As for 2024, Profili is waiting to see if he and Arnold can squeak into any larger winter rodeos—they finished No. 39 and No. 40 in the world standings. They’re playing it by ear, especially since Arnold just welcomed baby Tyce into the world with wife Molly.

About the Resistol Rookie of the Year Award

Profili will be honored alongside his fellow Resistol Rookies of the Year at the South Point Hotel & Casino Dec. 12, 2023, during the ninth annual luncheon. There, the Rookies will receive trophy saddles and personalized Resistol hats, among other prizes.

Resistol has supported the Rookie of the Year award since its inception. The Rookie of the Year title was first awarded in the PRCA in 1977 to Brian Murphy.

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