Mobile Menu Icon
Header Interior Image
Header Interior Mobile Image

Latest News

48th Annual International Finals Rodeo Wrap-up

January 5, 2018

The International Finals Rodeo is time-tested, yet always surprising. And the 48th Annual IFR, held Jan. 19-21 in Oklahoma City proved to be no different.

Four rounds of exciting rodeo action filled the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds as the International Professional Rodeo Association’s 2017 season culminated in many edge-of-your-seat world title races. Coming into the finals neck-and-neck were bareback riders Josh Cragar of the United States and Carl Bernier of Quebec, Canada, saddle bronc riders, Austin Joseph of Kentucky and Ray Hostetler of New York, steer wrestlers, Canadian Tyler Foster and reigning 2016 world champ, J.W. Ery, of Tennessee. In the team roping it was Tennessean Stephen Britnell and Australian Ty Parkinson battling it out, while another Tennessean, Kyla Matthews was after the lead from New York breakaway roper, Brianna Dunbar.

And these coin-toss fights were just the tip of the iceberg in what would be plenty of adrenalin pumping Rookie of the Year races and Finals Aggregate Championships up for grabs.

In Round 1, the bareback riding started things off with a bang. French-Canadian, Pascal Isabelle took the win with an 81.5. The tie-down roping was won by Cody McCartney of Michigan with a 9.2-second run. In the tight race for steer wrestling champ, it would be North Carolina cowboy, Josh Hefner with the fastest run at 4.5 seconds, while J.W. Ery secured a faster run than his closest standings rival, Foster, widening his lead with third place prize money. Round 1 team roping saw partners Terry Crow and Jake Pianalto take first in 5.2 seconds while breakaway roper Taylor Joseph would advance early in the aggregate race with a first place run of 2.7 seconds. For Bri Dunbar and Kyla Matthews, top-2 in the standings, no-times would stall their close race in Round 1. IPRA veteran saddle bronc rider Sean Prater proved why he’s a multi-time world champion with an 83.5-point ride to take first for Friday.  In the barrel racing, former world champ, Kindyl Scruggs took the win in a blazingly fast 15.7 seconds. Corey Bailey, the reigning 2016 world champ took the Round 1 win in the bull riding

Round 2 was no less exciting with Oklahoman, Austin Graham, wowing his home-state crowd with an 80-point ride to first. Repeat wins seemed to be a theme in Round 2 with Cody McCartney taking another buckle. All-Around leader Justin Thigpen showed them how it was done in 3.9 seconds for first place for steer wrestling, and so did team ropers, John Alley and Douglas Rich. For saddle bronc rider Trace Hughston, Round 2 would be his highlight winning first with an 80.5. Breakaway ropers Brianna Dunbar and Taylor Joseph tied for first in 2.7 seconds. And 15-year-old rookie barrel racing sensation Taycie Matthews ran the fastest time of the finals in 15.575 seconds for first place. Keeping with the repeat win theme, in the bull riding is was again champ Corey Bailey by a wide margin with an 87.5-point first-place ride.

Round 3 bareback champion was once again Pascal Isabelle. In the steer wrestling it was Canadian Rod Weese who would prevail alongside the team ropers on a hot streak, John Alley and Douglas Rich. Once again Sean Prater took the round win in saddle bronc riding, and tie-down roping went to Blake Ash, with the breakaway win going to rookie Lindsey Wentworth, who was in a tight race for Rookie of the Year with Chloe Cox. Barrel racer Kindyl Scruggs kept her advance on the aggregate championship with another round winning 15.703 barrel race and bull rider Daylon Swearingen of New York was the only cowboy to ride a full eight seconds in Round 3 and took all of the money for his efforts.

Finally, in Round 4, the bareback win went to Joshua Michael Cragar, sealing the deal in his world title win against Canadian Carl Bernier. Again Sean Prater won the round in saddle bronc riding. Tie-down ropers Chasen Lane Thrasher and Glen Freels split their win, as did steer wrestlers Caleb Little and Thomas Smith. Kindyl Scruggs continued her domination of the round wins in the barrel racing, and team ropers, Eric Flurry and Wendel Stanley won their round easily with a 3.7, as did rookie Winter Williams in the breakaway roping with a 2.1. In the final event, Rookie Colt Galvan took the win in the bull riding.

It was a tough fight, but the IPRA is proud to congratulate our 2017 World Champions, Rookie Champions and IFR48 Finals Champions:

2017 World Champions

All-Around – Justin Thigpen
Saddle Bronc – Austin Joseph
Bareback Riding – Joshua Michael Cragar
Steer Wrestling – Tyler Foster
Team Roping – Quinton Parchman & Stephen Britnell
Tie-Down Roping – Justin Thigpen
Breakaway Roping – Bri Dunbar
Barrel Racing – Jodi Lyn Colton
Bull Riding – Corey Bailey 

IFR 48 Champions

All-Around – Rod Weese
Saddle Bronc – Sean Prater
Bareback Riding – Joshua Michael Cragar
Steer Wrestling – Rod Weese
Team Roping - Header – Darren Morgan
Team Roping - Heeler – Drew Carnes
Tie-Down Roping – Cody McCartney
Breakaway Roping –  Taylor Joseph
Barrel Racing – Kindyl Scruggs
Bull Riding – Corey Bailey
High Money Winner - Tie – Kindyl Scruggs & Sean Prater

2017 Rookies of the Year

Bareback – Tim Murphy
Bull Riding – Colt Galvan
Saddle Bronc – Ray Hostetler
Tie-Down – Jason Chatigny
Steer Wrestling – Brady McFarren
Barrel Racing – Taycie Matthews
Team Roping – Header – Brye Crites
Team Roping – Heeler – Ranger Hill
Breakaway Roping – Chloe Cox
All-Around – David Bernier

But there was a lot more going on than the contestant competition at IFR48. The stock was competing as well:

Bucking Stock of the Finals

BB - 179 Barry’s Girl Hampton Rodeo Co.
SB - 844 George Bad Cat Painted Pony
BR - 125 Tear Jerker Oubre Rodeo Co.

In addition to the rodeo, there were many convention activities and events not to be missed, from the Simon Bucking Stock Sale, the Patriot Roping Qualifiers, the Judges’ Clinic, the Ladies’ Luncheon benefitting one of our very own cowgirls, Jacee Beth Thomas, committee seminars where a saddle was awarded to Marty Howard of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and a buckle went to Josh Woodley of South Congaree, South Carolina, the Gold Buckle Gala and OG&E Kids’ Day just to name a few.


Emily Gethke Photography