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Dawson Hay rebounds for Wainwright win

by Matt Naber | Jun 24, 2019

PRCA Media Coordinator

WAINWRIGHT, Alberta – Two re-rides with 86-point scores added up to a $5,158 check at the Wainwright (Alberta) Stampede, July 23, for saddle bronc rider Dawson Hay, who is still fresh off a three-month hiatus due to an injured knee. 

“It was kind of a battle to be honest,” Hay laughed. “They made me work for it.”

Hay’s 86-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ 709 Fender Bender in the short round gave him 172 points on two head, three points more than Jake Finlay and Zeke Thurston, who tied for second in the average. 

Hay noted the caliber of competition at Wainwright. 

“A lot of the guys are in the top of the world standings,” Hay said. "They come up here for the summer run in Ponoka, Airdrie and Williams Lake, so you catch a lot of the top talent there in all the events, like Orin Larsen, Richmond Champion, Sage Kimzey, Trey Benton III and Tyler Bingham. Having all of those guys in all of those events makes you feel like you’re at a big rodeo.”

Hay was right on the money, as the Wainwright Stampede boasted a record payout with $202,400. 

“It was hard for me not to look at the standings when I got hurt,” Hay said, adding that he was 13th in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings at the time of his surgery.

He had surgery after RodeoHouston in mid-March and was out of ProRodeo competition until May 30 at the Grande Prairie (Alberta) Stompede, where he tied for sixth with an 83.5-point ride. 

“My first weekend back wasn’t what I had hoped for,” Hay said. “But now my knee feels good and strong, and to get a win and a jump back in the standings helped me out confidence-wise and to get the ball rolling, too.

“I was feeling bummed out after the first couple of weeks, but I feel ready for whatever’s coming on the Fourth (of July).”

The Alberta cowboy also picked up a check June 23 by placing fourth at the Sundre (Alberta) Pro Rodeo, giving him a weekend total of $6,187 between the two rodeos in his home province. Before his big weekend, Hay ranked 20th in the world with $31,984, $4,189 away from the Top 15. 

“All of that money should bounce me back into the Top 15, but I try not to look at it because in the next month it will change so much,” Hay said. “The standings will be shuffling.” 

The 20-year-old cowboy has high expectations, and for good reason. He won the 2018 PRCA | Resistol Rookie of the Year award in saddle bronc riding with $39,605 and ended the 2018 season 29th in the world standings. Meanwhile, he qualified for his first trip to the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

Now, he’s raised the bar for himself, with his eyes on another CFR qualification and a debut at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

Hay’s Cowboy Christmas is set to cover a lot of miles in a short amount of time. As of June 24, he was making the trek down to the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo before heading 1,100 miles north to the Williams Lake (B.C.) Stampede. From there, it’s on to the Airdrie (Alberta) Pro Rodeo, the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede, the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo, the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede and the Livingston (Mont.) Roundup. 

“We’re pretty booked through next month,” Hay said. “It’s a confusing schedule, but we’ll be at a rodeo every day.” 

Other winners at the $202,400 rodeo were bareback rider Orin Larsen (176 points on two head); steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy (13.5 seconds on three head); team ropers Clint Buhler/Chase Simpson (18.3 seconds on three head); tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa (25.7 seconds on three head); barrel racer Justine Elliott (34.669 seconds on two runs); and bull rider Sage Kimzey (176.5 points on two head). 

For more coverage of the Wainwright Stampede, check out the June 28 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.

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