Sage Newman performed the calculus, crunched the numbers, and followed his gut onto a flight. He was in Weatherford, Texas, when he learned of his ride at the 94th Annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo. The standout saddle bronc rider drew Frontier Rodeo’s High Roller. Time to decide if the match with the potential money made sense.
“I had never been on that horse. I didn’t know who the horse was. I looked up a few scores, and he looked like he had real potential with some 80s. Nothing too crazy. So, I went out on a limb,” Newman explained. “I’ll fly over there and take my chances.”
It proved the right choice to scoot from Dallas to Orlando. Newman scored an 86.5 on his lone ride, edging out Gus Gaillard (85) and Jake Watson (84.5) for the top $4,343 prize at the Playoff Series rodeo.
“It worked out. He was a really good horse, and he had a good day,” Newman said. “I was super happy with the outcome. I have never done really good there. But it’s a cool rodeo. That Florida sunshine, you can’t beat it. It was fun being out there.”
Newman is a cowboy straight out of a classic western. He was built for this. In 2022, he not only found his stride, but was left sprinting away from opponents on most weekends. He qualified for his second-straight Wrangler National Final Rodeo, earning $320,474. He finished fifth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings.
The lesson from last year remains. For a season to turn great, it’s about being good for a long time.
“Honestly, it’s just about consistency. Consistency is the key. Now, it’s about keeping the ball rolling,” said Newman, who is competing at RodeoHouston the next few days, looking to match last season’s first-place $50,000 payday. “For me, I need to keep it simple and just try to have good rides on every horse I get on.”
The future is neon bright for Newman. He just turned 25. And everything he wants to accomplish remains possible.
“What motivates me? Honestly, I love rodeo. I love the western way of life. I love being a cowboy,” Newman said. “I crave it. It pushes me to be a better rider and a better person every day.”
Other winners at the $148,451 rodeo were all-around cowboy Marcus Theriot ($5,770, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping); bareback riders Clayton Biglow (86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Dark Time) and Lane McGehee (86 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist); steer wrestler Tristan Martin (3.6 seconds); team ropers Jacob Dagenhart/Adam Plyler (5.3 seconds); tie-down roper Michael Otero (8.5 seconds); barrel racer Shaeley Jenkins (16.54 seconds); and bull rider Koby Radley (88.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Harlon Nights).
Courtesy of the PRCA
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