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Ram Top GunAbout the RAM Top Gun Award

 Adding to the excitement level of a world championship event involving more than 100 human contestants and hundreds more four-legged athletes is a formidable task. But Ram found a way in 2010– identifying and rewarding the cowboy or cowgirl who earned the most money at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

How does this differ from the other titles awarded at or after the Wrangler NFR? Consider this:

• The NFR average title in each event is awarded to the contestant who has the best combined score (in roughstock events) or time (in timed events) across the 10 rounds of the event; this is roughly equivalent to winning any other rodeo – except for the huge payouts and resulting waves of adrenaline through the venue

• The world championship in each event is awarded after the Wrangler NFR to the contestant who earned the most money in that event at qualified rodeos across the PRCA’s year-long season, including what he or she won at the NFR (which is often the deciding factor)

• The Ram Truck Top Gun Award goes to the one contestant who wins the most money in any single event at the Wrangler NFR; it’s the only title that pits contestants in multiple events against each other.

While it might seem obvious that the contestant who won the most money at the entire Wrangler NFR must have won the average title in his or her event, and perhaps the world championship as well, that’s not always the case; see the list below.

The winner of the Ram Truck Top Gun Award gets a 3500 Ram Heavy Duty Longhorn Laramie truck, a special Montana Silversmiths custom buckle and a Ram Truck Top Gun-branded gun from Commemorative Firearms. In 2012, a barrel racer won the Ram Truck Top Gun Award for the first time – at her first Wrangler NFR. Mary Walker and her husband, 1981 World Champion Steer Wrestler Byron, had gone back on the rodeo road so that she could re-enter competitive rodeo after the death of their only child, PRCA steer wrestler Reagon, in a car accident in April 2011. Just two months later, Walker’s horse, Perculatin “Latte,” fell on her during a barrel race, fracturing two of Walker’s vertebrae and crushing her pelvis. But Walker rehabbed with renewed inspiration, competed all season as though she had an angel on her shoulder, and entered the 2012 Wrangler NFR ranked third – and riding the 2012 PRCA/AQHA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year, Latte, also completely recovered. They won Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 7 and placed in three other rounds, taking the world title as well as the Ram Truck Top Gun Award at their first NFR. 

Winners of the Ram Truck Top Gun Award: 
2016 Tyler Waguespack, SW $213,218 won the world, the average and the RAM Top Gun award in second appearance
2015 Steven Peebles, BB  $234,054 recovered from dire injury in July, broke single-event earnings record at NFR
2014 Sage Kimzey, BR $175,466 first rookie to win the award; broke bull riding Wrangler NFR earnings record
2013 Sherry Cervi, GB $155,899 broke two records en route to her fourth gold buckle and third average title
2012  Mary Walker, GB $146,941 won gold buckle and RAM Truck Top Gun at her first Wrangler NFR – at age 53
2011 Kaycee Feild, BB $179,327 won both average title and world championship
2010* Trevor Brazile, TR, TD $211,509 won TR average title plus AA, TD and TR world championships

Top Wrangler NFR earners in single events before the Ram Truck Top Gun Award existed
2009 Sherry Cervi, GB $146,100 won average title but not world championship
2008 Lindsay Sears, GB $139,002 won world championship but not average title
2007 Lindsay Sears, GB $119,255 won neither average title nor world championship
2006 B.J. Schumacher, BR $142,644 won both average title and world championship
2005 Lee Graves, SW $126,412 won both average title and world championship
2004 Billy Etbauer, SB $117,745 won world championship but not average title
2003 Janae Ward, GB $111,908 won both average title and world championship 
2002 Jason Jeter, BB $98,432 won average title but not world championship
2001 Janet Stover, GB $126,934 won world championship but not average title
2000 Brent Lewis, TD $103,585 won average title but not world championship

* In 2010, the inaugural year of the Ram Truck Top Gun Award, money earned in multiple events counted in Top Gun standings. Starting in 2011, the Ram Truck Top Gun Award goes to the contestant who earns the most in a single event. Had that been true in 2010, bull rider J.W. Harris would have collected the Ram Truck Top Gun Award in addition to his bull riding gold buckle and average title, with $158,738.
 
 
 
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