Reigning Wrangler National Finals Rodeo average champs Erich Rogers and Paden Bray—already locked into the 2021 NFR in mid-July—are spending the rest of their summers working two events each to showcase their all-around talents.
Rogers, second in the PRCA world standings with $97,801.82 won as of July 15, plans to steer rope “just for fun” at big rodeos like the Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Pendleton Roundup. Rogers has long-competed at the Cinch Timed Event Championships in all five timed events.
His partner, PRCA heeling world standings leader Paden Bray, has $92,721.60 won, plus another $2,455 in the tie-down roping—putting him just shy of the $3,000 second-event requirement for the all-around race.
“Having this much money won, it’s hard to not put your name in the hat,” said Bray, 22, of Stephenville, Texas. “Something would have to happen to Stetson Wright for me to have chance, but I’d hate to not give myself a chance anyway.”
Bray, who tied-down all through junior rodeo and college, kicked off his year placing at Levelland, Texas, and also picked up checks at the Ute Mountain Round-Up in Cortez, Colorado, and the Big Timber, Montana weekly rodeo.
“I’ve been doing walkup replacements at places like Sheridan and Estes,” Bray explained. “I talked to Ty Harris and Haven Meged, and anywhere they think I should rope calves, I rope calves. Anywhere I can get on a good horse and tie them in 8 or 9 seconds and make it happen. When it gets down to having to be 7, I don’t like jacking with it.”
Come August, Bray will have his own rig and calf horse meet him at Dodge City, Kansas, and he’ll start entering the calf-roping even more aggressively then. The Feltons have been tuning up Bray’s mare for the tie-down, and Harris has been helping with his flanking and tying.
“I enjoy roping calves and if I were in the race or not, I’d be doing it,” Bray said. “As good as I can score and get it on the neck I feel like there are chances. You’re already there, you might as well try them on in another event. But team roping will remain my priority.” TRJ