As I downshift my writing during (this year’s seemingly never-ending) wintertime there are always a few storylines that I don’t get to in a timely manner. The American took place nearly two weeks ago, but its effect on the world standings is certainly still evident.

Locally, Ellensburg’s Minor brothers placed second at the $2 million rodeo, and second place nabbed the team ropers $25,000 apiece. With this year’s winnings counting toward the world standings, obviously that’s going to change things a bit. Now with $43,789 tallied, that puts them second in the header and heeler standings. Who are they behind? That would be Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes. The duo won the American’s team roping for $100,000 each, with 50-grand of that going toward the world standings.

Proctor and Motes also earned a piece of the $1 million extra prize and the pair came out of Dallas with $433,000 each. That’s life-changing money. That’s paying off a house and trailers kind of money. That’s buying a new rig with cash and ponying up for a driver so you can sleep on the road kind of coin.

I’m not sure that Proctor/Motes and Minor/Minor have the NFR wrapped up yet as all of them are under $70,000 in earnings (not by much for Motes though) and that’s going to be my guess on what it takes to get back to the NFR, but having that much PRCA money in the bank by mid-March is huge. Just huge. With a solid spring to keep the momentum going, that might mean guys won’t have to travel as hard during the hot months. Or maybe they do travel hard, place well and they’re in the top spot come December.

Let’s stay in Texas for a bit as a few guys and gals are in a zone down in Houston. Houston is so big it has five different sections of events with the fifth section winding down tonight. But there have been some incredible performances in the earlier performances. Four cowboys — bareback riders Steven Peebles and Jake Vold, as well as team roping partners Matt Sherwood and Tyler Worley — won all three of their respective rounds in their respective series.

At three-grand per go-round win, that’s $9,000 in the bank already before the semifinal and final rounds. Dustin Equsquiza and Kory Koontz picked up $8,250 in their team roping series and Olympia’s Teri Bangart picked up $8,000. Fans will remember Bangart running a 16.97-second pattern at Ellensburg last Labor Day weekend, just 0.06 off Sydni Blanchard’s arena record. She’s 25th in the world standings this week and even if she doesn’t make any more money at Houston, she’ll be moving on up in the rankings in a few days.

As Houston ends this Saturday, Rodeo Austin kicks off, which just keeps along with the narrative of huge wintertime paydays. Houston will dole out $1.8 million by the end of the week, but Austin is no slouch at all, with a $530,000 purse. Looking local, Jake Minor — partnered then with Garrett Rogers — won Austin in 2017, which helped propel the team to the NFR for the second year in a row. What will Minor and current partner Jeff Flenniken do this year? Not sure yet.

Speaking of huge paydays — but not in Texas — the PBR returns to Tacoma in less than three weeks. Happy to say I’ve got family sitting in top of the line seats over there in late March. Kind of hoping they have schedule hiccups and will instead share those tickets with me.

Jon Guddat covers rodeo — from the kids to the kids at heart — with a weekly rodeo column in the Daily Record. Contact Jon with story ideas at jonguddat@yahoo.com.

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