Tanner James, 25, of Stephenville, Texas, has remained undefeated as the Resistol Rookie heading standings leader since the start of the season, earning $26,334 to date, putting him in serious contention to win the Year-End title with a $6,300 lead over Kreece Thompson, 19, of Munday, Texas in the No.2 spot.
James started out the season strong, winning the first round at the 2021 Permit Members Of The Year Challenge and placing second in the average. Following that, he won the first round and second in the third round at the California Circuit Finals Rodeo with partner Wyatt Cox, 26, of Arroyo Grande, Calif., who currently ranks No.24 in the World.
“I moved to Stephenville in 2020 and lived with Wyatt and Cayden Cox,” James, originally from Porterville, Calif., said. “I just wanted to jackpot but Wyatt and I decided to rodeo in the California Circuit. We ended up doing good and that’s when I bought my card. You only get one shot at Rookie of the Year. I’ve always wanted to try, I just waited for the chance that felt right.”
Most recently, James placed eighth with partner Max Kuttler at the Cody Stampede, earning his biggest check of the season of over $2,500. He also split the win at the Laramie Jubilee Days with Cole Wilson in a three-way tie with reigning World Champions Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, and Cooper White and Tucker White for $2,068.
James’ string consists of three horses, Mo, an 18-year-old sorrel gelding that was his jackpot horse and is now his No. 1 mount for ProRodeos, Ted (AR Kachina Spirit), a 12-year-old bay gelding that has also helped him in his efforts, and Cowboy (Kinghigh Coaster), an 8-year-old bay stud that is the foundation of their family breeding program and is an important asset to James.
Aside from his lead in the Resistol Rookie heading standings, James is ranked No.5 in the California Circuit heading standings, and No.43 in the PRCA ProRodeo World heading standings.
He has ambitious goals for the remainder of his Rookie year, and for his career in ProRodeo going forward.
“I want to go all the way, so I set my goals high,” James said. “I know if I set them high, I’ll achieve something great along the way. You look at those guys like Caleb Hendrix and Cody Snow, they set their goals high and came close to making the NFR their Rookie year. The guys that make that their goal always seem to earn the Year-End title.”
In order to earn Resistol Rookie of the Year and finish strong in the World Standings, James will compete in Cheyenne, Salinas, and Spanish Fork this week to defend his No.1 spot in the Rookie ranks.
Resistol Rookie Heading Standings:
- Tanner James, Porterville, CA • $26,334.22
- Kreece Thompson, Munday, TX $20,032.11
- Bodie Mattson, Sturgis, SD • $8,306.25
- Kash Bonnett, Ponoka, AB • $8,201.81
- T.C. Hammack, Chiloquin, OR • $7,429.91
- Jason Burson, Sealy, TX • $6,049.64
- Wyatt Lacey, Prescott Valley, AZ • $5,622.93
- Logan Currie, Wharton, TX • $3,945.69
- Travis Nickolson, Irvine, AB • $3,665.00
- Blaine Redhorse, Rough Rock, AZ • $3,443.46
- Tyler Hobert, Clearwater, KS • $3,169.09
- Riley Eres, Lynnwood, WA • $2,850.79
- Peter Bennett, Kaycee, WY • $2,664.82
- Caleb Berquist, LaCrosse, WA • $2,370.92
- Wheaton Williams, Sheridan, WY • $2,187.67
Resistol Rookie Heeling Standings:
- Thomas Smith, Mt. Juliet, TN • $19,710.89
- Junior Zambrano, Nogales, AZ • $17,709.95
- Clay Green, Pine Grove, LA • $16,369.25
- Blaine Turner, Batesville, AR • $15,960.64
- Trae Smith, Georgetown, ID • $14,776.86
- Logan Cullen, Courtenay, BC • $8,535.36
- Kolton Good, Carter, OK • $8,162.21
- Arye Espenscheid, Big Piney, WY • $8,071.36
- Zack Woods, Walters, OK • $7,515.69
- Dalton Totty, Lewisville, TN • $7,099.94
- Cayden Cox, Arroyo Grande, CA • $5,881.37
- Cody Stewart, Red Bluff, CA • $5,047.01
- Brady Chappel, Moose Jaw, SK • $4,127.61
- Dylan Hart, Flandreau, SD • $3,771.20
- Levi Walter, Alva, OK • $3,197.32