Wrangler NFR 2019: Zeke Thurston wins saddle bronc riding world championship


Zeke Thurston broke the saddle bronc riding yearly earnings record en route to his second world title in four years.

At $347,056, Thurston bested Ryder Wright’s $284,938, which he made in 2017.

This, it means everything, after this first one I wanted the second one way worse,” he said. “It plays with your mind, especially when you’re out front and everyone is chasing you, it’s a long week out here and anything can happen but gosh it was a lot of fun.”

Brody Cress won the average and finished second behind Thurston, making $286,372 on the year.

Thurston, a Canada native, became the first cowboy since 2011 to win a PRCA world championship and Canadian Professional Rodeo Association world championship in the same year.

Thurston travels with fellow Canadian cowboys Jake Watson and Dawson Hay.

“We (he and his fellow Canadians) came out here and we kicked butt,” Thurston said. “I do (have a lot of pride in that), I do a lot.”

Final Saddle Bronc Riding World Standings

1. Zeke Thurston - $347,056

2. Brody Cress - $286,372

3. Ryder Wright - $273,129

4. Spencer Wright - $258,014

5. Rusty Wright - $241,153

2019 Wrangler NFR Average Standings

1. Brody Cress - 840.5/10

2. Spencer Wright - 762.5/9

3. Rusty Wright - 756/9

4. Zeke Thurston - 699.5/8

5. Jacobs Crawley 646.5/8