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A.J. Williams wins RAM First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo

by Matt Naber | Jan 11, 2020

PRCA Media Coordinator

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Steer wrestler A.J. Williams completed his collection of RAM First Frontier Circuit trophy buckles after winning the year-end title in 2018 and the RAM First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo in Harrisburg, Pa., Jan. 11.
“It means the world to me, I don’t know how to describe it,” Williams said. “It’s just unbelievable.”
Williams, 31, narrowly missed winning the RAM FFCFR last year when he finished second in the average. But this year was different, and the cowboy from New Providence, Pa., had 20/20 vision for what he needed to do to win.
The first round was a rough one for the RAM First Frontier’s steer wrestlers, but that worked in Williams’ favor as his 14.5-second run kept him in the running for the average. He went on to place second in Round 2 with a 4.6-second run and won the final round in 5.2 seconds to claim the average at 24.3 seconds on three head.
Williams’ win came aboard a horse called Mo, owned by Williams' hazer Michael Cliver.
“She has a branded ‘03’ that looks like Mo, so that’s what we call her,” Williams said. “Good horses are hard to come by out here, and she’s one of the best. She worked like crazy and stuck them right where I needed them.”
All told, his Harrisburg efforts were worth $7,843 and a qualification to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., in April.
Williams finished the regular season in third in the 2019 First Frontier Circuit standings with $5,191 and is upbeat about what he can accomplish this year.
“I’d say I’m about as hungry as I am every year,” Williams said. “I’ll just keep practicing and going to everything I can with my work schedule.”
When he’s not at rodeos, Williams runs his own garage door business, called Williams Door.
“I’d love to make the (Wrangler) NFR, but I doubt I’d ever make it, but I love making the RAM Finals and go on from there,” Williams said. “I love going down there. I’ve gone the last few years and love the atmosphere and all the competition.”
A bonus to his Harrisburg win is a qualification for the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 24 through Feb. 8.
“I’ll try to enter Fort Worth, and we’ll see where we go from there,” Williams said. “I don’t know how it’ll be since it’s my first time in Fort Worth. I’m pretty much a circuit guy since I don’t have time to go on the road and go rodeo, but I’ll go to a bunch of circuit rodeos.”
Many top cowboys never make it to the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. The reasons are as varied as the contestants, but for most, the responsibilities of home, jobs or businesses keep them tied to a specific geographic region or circuit.
Other winners at the $186,742 rodeo were all-around cowboy Ty Rumford ($7,058, tie-down roping and steer wrestling); bareback rider Tim Kent (252.5 points on three head); team ropers Jacob Rounds/Shawn Quinn (27.1 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Ray Hostetler (234 points on three head); tie-down roper J.R. Myers (30.4 seconds on three head); barrel racer Wendy Chesnut (43.16 seconds on three runs); and bull rider Braidy Randolph (233.5 points on three head).
For more coverage on the RAM First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo, check out the Jan. 24 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.

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