(Editor's note: PRCA media release)
PUYALLUP, Wash. – Rookie tie-down roper Haven Meged of Miles City put an exclamation mark on his first regular season by winning the ProRodeo Tour Finale in Puyallup, Wash., Sept. 8.
Coming out on top of the top 24 tie-down ropers in the ProRodeo Tour Standings showed the rising star is a serious contender for this year’s gold buckle.
“The top guys are all here and it’s dirty-tough,” the 21-year-old cowboy said.
Before Sunday’s $8,633 win, Meged was second in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $109,613 and about $22,000 shy of claiming the No. 1 spot. The PRCA regular season concludes Sept. 30.
“Out there you have to take every calf one by one and not think about the gold buckle and just focus on the task at hand,” the Montana cowboy said.
Nine months of competing at the 54 biggest ProRodeo Tour events culminated in the top 24 cowboys in the ProRodeo Tour Standings competing at the Tour Finale. The first two rounds funneled the competition to the top eight in each event for Sunday afternoon’s semifinals.
“Every win counts, but this is one of the bigger rodeos, and it means a lot to win against all these guys,” Meged said.
A year of competing came down to four cowboys per event facing off for the first-place check and the ProRodeo Tour buckle. The rookie roper clocked in at 8.3 seconds in Round 2 and returned to the muddy arena Sunday with an 8.8-second time, followed by an 8.5-second run.
“You have to draw good, rope good and ride a good horse – and I’ve got a great horse,” Meged said.
Meged wasn’t the only cowboy to hit the Puyallup arena on his horse Beyoncé, as Tyson Durfey also rode her in the first round.
“She’s done a lot for me this year,” Meged said. “She’s unbelievable and a once-in-a-lifetime horse.”
Meged didn’t get to celebrate for long as he hit the road for the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up.
“I’m excited to rope on the grass for the first time,” Meged said about the set-up in Pendleton. “My confidence is huge, and you have to believe in yourself to do well.”
From there, Meged is set to compete at the Amarillo (Texas) Tri-State Fair and Rodeo and the 50th Annual Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas, before ending the regular season.
“I’m going to the Canadian Finals Rodeo (in November), and I’ll get the nerves off there,” Meged said. “Both will be unreal experiences for a rookie.”
Meged wasn’t the only rookie to leave Puyallup victorious, as Stetson Wright broke the saddle bronc riding rodeo record of 91 points with a 93.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Yesterday’s Delivery.
Wright, who missed time recently with a broken jaw, earned $9,707 for the win. Entering the rodeo, Wright was second in the world standings in bull riding and in the top 25 in saddle bronc riding. He also leads the world standings in the all-around.
Other winners at the $253,600 rodeo were bareback rider Clayton Biglow (90.5 points on Calgary Stampede's Zulu Warrior); steer wrestler Hunter Cure (4.0 seconds); team ropers Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan (5.9 seconds); barrel racer Ivy Conrado (14.16 seconds); and bull rider Jordan Hansen (89 points on Bridwell Pro Rodeos' Catfish Clinger).
All of the PRCA's latest world standings can be seen here.