Quinn Kesler fell just short of making what would have been his first Wrangler NFR in 2015, finishing 16th in the World Standings with $65,840. Even though he didn’t qualify for the Finals that year, he ended up with the 2015 Resistol Rookie of the Year Heeler title.

“I was very blessed to rope with Matt [Sherwood],” Kesler said of that inaugural year. “I’ve always dreamed about wanting to rodeo and my goal for that year was to win the Rookie. I know my partner, Matt, planned to make the finals, but, I think that being naive and not having rodeoed before, I didn’t realize that making the finals could be my goal the first year.”

Kesler may not have made it to the Finals that year, but he did help get his partner there and held onto his goal of winning the Resistol Rookie title.

With determination from winning the Resistol Rookie title, but being one spot out of making the 2015 Wrangler NFR, Kesler qualified for his first NFR in 2016, finishing eighth in the World.

“Roping with Matt really helped me, but I think the rookie helped, as well. Without the Rookie of the Year and planning on that, I maybe wouldn’t have planned on rodeoing that year unless we would have been doing good.”

Kesler’s rookie year may not have been so close if not for his main mount, Whit.

“I rode a horse I had that I sold to Clint Robinson I think that next year. He actually got hurt and they had to put him down. His name was Whit. I got him from the Gaughns there in Vegas.”

Kesler notes that with the PRCA having the Resistol Rookie awards gives the younger, up-and-comers a chance to work towards something outside of the World Standings.

“I think it’s great because it gives younger guys, or whoever is coming into rodeo, an opportunity to hit a mark that’s up there. Every year it gets so competitive, so it gives you something to really strive for, even if you didn’t want to rodeo full time. You can strive for winning Rookie of the Year.”

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