Kimes Ranch Athletes Qualify for 2023 National Finals Rodeo 

The anticipation is building as a select group of elite rodeo athletes have clinched their spots for the National Finals Rodeo. Known as the “Super Bowl of Rodeo”, this year’s NFR is held in Las Vegas December 7th-116th, 2023.  Among these distinguished competitors, the six Kimes Ranch athletes that will be competing under the Las Vegas lights are Chase Brooks (Saddle Bronc), Tanner Butner (Saddle Bronc), Jacob Lees (Bareback), Paden Bray (Team Roping, Heeler), Wenda Johnson (Barrel Racing), and Josie Conner (Breakaway).

The newest member of the Kimes Ranch Rodeo Team, Jacob Lees, made things exciting while solidifying his qualification with a round win and a round placing at the final rodeo of the season in Sioux Falls.  After a jump from 17th place to a much more comfortable 14th,  Lees will be making his NFR debut in the bareback, earning over $$117,000 in the regular season.

In the saddle bronc riding, Kimes is well represented with two athletes making their way to the iconic Thomas and Mack Center, 6-time NFR qualifier Chase Brooks as well his good friend and traveling partner, 2-time NFR qualifier, Tanner Butner. Brooks and Butner both had super solid regular seasons, wrapping things up sitting in 10th and 11th place respectively.

Paden Bray, a fan favorite and long-time member of the Kimes Ranch Family, returns to the NFR for the 3rd time in the Team Roping, heeling for partner Clay Smith. Bray and his regular season partner, Brentan Hall, had a year filled with highlights, including a win at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo.  Bray heads to Vegas sitting 11th in the World Standings.

Returning to the NFR for her fourth consecutive year, Barrel racer Wenda Johnson is sitting seventh in the barrel racing world standings.  After the tough loss of her great horse Macgyver Moonflash “Mac” earlier this year, Wenda finished the year with drive and purpose, and she’ll be ready to turn up the heat in Las Vegas!

And finally, Louisiana native and young phenom Josie Conner will be back for her second National Finals Breakaway Roping.  Last year’s Resistol Rookie of the year winner is coming back to the finals with a lot of miles traveled and the experience under her belt to match. The National Finals Breakaway Roping will be held December 5th and 6th at the South Point Arena where the top fifteen breakaway ropers in the world will compete in the ten head average.

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