FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2019
Contact: Ann Bleiker, 719.330.4293
SALT LAKE CITY (July 16, 2019) – The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo presented by Zions Bank in Salt Lake City will kickoff rodeo action on Friday, July 19 with some of the top names in professional rodeo.
A total of 288 competitors will take their shot at a share of the over $1 million in prize money and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal that will be awarded on Wednesday, July 24. There will be 32 competitors in each of the following events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, ladies breakaway roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.
2018 Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo champions in all events will be back to defend their Gold medals including three that are looking for a three-peat. Bareback rider Wyatt Denny, saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss and barrel racer Hailey Kinsel are hoping to go three-for-three at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo, but it won’t be easy as they will face some tough competition with reigning Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) and College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) Champions ready to take aim at the title.
Bareback rider Wyatt Denny will be tested by four-time world champion and local favorite Kaycee Feild, three-time world champion Will Lowe, and seven-time Wrangler NFR bareback rider Caleb Bennett, who won the 2019 Lewis Feild bareback riding award earlier this year given by the Days of ’47 Rodeo. In addition, Mason Clements a two-time Wrangler NFR cowboy hailing from Utah will be a featured contestant as will Tanner Aus, who is coming off a big win at the Calgary Stampede.
Justin Shaffer, who finished atop the podium in 2018, would love to be there again in 2019 but he will have to get through the field of steer wrestlers that includes 2017 and 2018 PRCA world champions Tyler Pearson and Tyler Waguespack, respectively and recent Calgary Stampede Champion Kyle Irwin. College rodeo coach Stockton Graves is proving he still has what it takes having won the WCRA Titletown Stampede in Green Bay, Wis., to qualify for the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo.
Justin Thigpen of Waycross, Ga., will be one of the busiest competitors earning a spot in the team roping and tie-down roping. Thigpen will rope with Kyle Crick in the team roping and will be trying to keep brothers Kellan and Carson Johnson from a repeat performance in 2018. Utah rodeo fans might recall that Kellan, who won the team roping title at the 2018 College National Finals Rodeo and Carson who got in through the WCRA Virtual Rodeo Qualifier, left as gold medalists in 2018.
Although he has scaled back on his rodeo schedule, 24-time world champion Trevor Brazile will compete in Salt Lake City in the team roping. He and partner Trey Johnson will be looking to add their first gold medal to their trophy case.
Cody DeMoss joins Denny in looking to add another Gold medal to his collection. DeMoss has found great success the last two years and will no doubt be hoping that continues and he is atop the medal stand once again on July 24. However, 2018 Calgary Stampede Champion Zeke Thurston and Wyatt Casper, 2018 silver medalist will try and derail DeMoss’ journey to a third championship. Brady Nicholes will be the lone representative from Utah in the saddle bronc riding, and he will hope the homestate crowd will propel him to the Gold Medal Round on July 24.
Speaking of Utah cowboys, J.C. Malone of Plain City used the crowd in 2018 to capture the Silver medal and will be looking for Gold in 2019. Cory Solomon, who won Gold in 2018 is back to defend his title along with bronze medalist Caleb Smidt, who is fresh off a Calgary Stampede title.
A new event added in 2019 will be the ladies breakaway roping. The field is stacked with talent from WPRA world champions to college champions to high school standouts. The fans are sure to love this new event and will want to keep their eyes on 2016 WPRA Breakaway Roping World Champion Jackie Crawford. Crawford qualified her spot with a big win at the WCRA Windy City Roundup in Chicago and through her career, she has won a total of 18 world titles in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). WPRA leading rookie of the year Taylor Munsell is coming off a dominant performance at the College National Finals Rodeo after finishing second at RFDTV’s The American in February. Joining Crawford and Munsell will be reigning WPRA World Champion Kelsie Chace, Lari Dee Guy, JJ Hampton, and Hope Thompson.
The barrel racing is likely to be the most electric event of the week with all three medalists back for 2019. Reigning WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel will be looking for her third straight title in Salt Lake, while Lisa Lockhart is hoping she can edge Kinsel this year much like she recently did at the Calgary Stampede. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi will also be looking to move up on the medal stand and will make the trip to Salt Lake City with husband Garrett Tonozzi, who will be competing in the team roping. One can bet the barrel racing will not disappoint with great action each and every night.
The bull riding will be just as action-packed with the top PBR riders vying for their share of the over $1 million purse and medals up for grabs. Derek Kolbaba, the 26-year-old Walla Walla, Wash. cowboy, will be looking to defend his Days of ’47 title after picking up his first Gold Medal last year. However fan favorite and presently the hottest bull rider in the PBR, Jess Lockwood would like nothing more than to add a Gold Medal to his trophy case. Lockwood joins his fiancé, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel, on the list of qualifiers. No doubt this rodeo power couple would love to add more gold to their growing collection. Another bull rider looking to finish atop the podium will be Chase Outlaw who is having his best season yet and will be looking to keep things sizzling this summer.
The full field of 32 competitors in each event will be divided into four groups of eight each and will compete in one of the first four performances (July 19-20, 22-23). The top two from each performance, along with two via the Wild Card category will advance to the Gold Medal Round on July 24. The 10 competitors in each event in the Gold Medal Round will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $50,000 cash.
The Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, July 19-20 and 22-24, will take place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom-designed and built for the rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats.
For only the fifth time in the history of rodeo, riders will have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002), when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad and the other two times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in 2017 and 2018. This will be the first time for breakaway ropers as they were not part of the aforementioned events. The medals that will be awarded at the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
Tickets are still available at smithstix.com. For more information on the event visit www.daysof47cowboygames.com.
For those unable to attend in person the Komatsu Equipment Days of ’47 Cowboy Games & Rodeo will broadcast live nightly at 8 p.m. MT exclusively on PBR’s RidePass via RidePass.com or the RidePass mobile app. RideTV will air each round, excluding the finals, nightly at 8 p.m. MT. CBS Sports Network will air a recap of each performance on tape delay with the first performance airing July 20 at 12:30 p.m. MT, the second performance on July 21 at 9 a.m. MT, the third performance on July 23 at 9:30 a.m. MT, the fourth and fifth performances on July 24 and 25, respectively at 10:30 pm. MT. CBS will air a highlight show of the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo on July 28 at 10 a.m. MT.