The future of rodeo was on display during the Qualifying Rounds of Rodeo Corpus Christi May 8-10, 2022 as the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) welcomed the top competitors on their Division Youth (DY) Leaderboard.
Youth competitors ages 13-19 have been eligible to nominate events through the WCRA’s Virtual Rodeo Qualifier app beginning June 28, 2021 for a chance at a year end title and the opportunity to compete in Rodeo Corpus Christi for a $21,000 Youth Incentive purse as well as the broader $553,000 RCC payout.
The top eight in each timed event competed during the Qualifying Rounds held at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown, about twenty miles down the road from Corpus.
The talent level amongst the youth athletes was impressive with 24 advancing beyond the Qualifying Rounds to compete “in town” in the perfs at American Bank Center. In the team roping, there were four teams who roped good enough to be among the top 24 after two rounds in Robstown, competing against World Champions and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifiers.
Leading the pack was Texas cousins Conley Kleinhans and Bray Fenogilio. The Nocona High School students recently qualified to the North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals twice each as switch enders.
With Kleinhans on head side, the pair roped two steers in 14.86 seconds, the duo picked up the $2,500 DY Incentive money along with a pair of boogie boards designed to look like the famous surfboards that Rodeo Corpus Christi Champs take home.
Kleinhans and Fenogilio finished 9th overall, behind names such as Days of ’47 Gold Medal winner Tanner Green and ahead of eight-time PRCA World Champ Rich Skelton. They will compete on Wednesday night with a chance to advance through the rounds and win the $15,000 given to the RCC Champion.
Kleinhans and Fenogilio were also awarded buckles as the year-end champs for DY 2022 after earning more points than any other team.
All performances are available to watch live on RidePass on PlutoTV. The Cowboy Channel will also air coverage from Corpus.
Qualifying Results—Division Youth (DY) Incentive
- Conley Kleinhans and Bray Fenogilio, 14.86 on two head, $2,500 each
- Blaine Burleson and Bronc Kothmann, 16.71, $1,000
DY Competitors in the Progressive Round
Wednesday, May 11
Conley Kleinhans and Bray Fenogilio
Thursday, May 12
Nolan Mayberry and Blaine Burleson
Friday, May 13
Guy Raasch and Carson Sonnier
Blaine Burleson and Bronc Kothmann