Steer wrestler Tanner Brunner’s 2021 season has not gone according to plan.
The Ramona, Kan., cowboy who qualified for the last three National Finals Rodeos is making a frantic push to keep his NFR streak alive.
Brunner, who entered the weekend 30th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, helped his cause by winning the Kitsap Stampede with a 3.6-second run Friday in Bremerton, Wash.
The rodeo was part of the ProRodeo Tour presented by Pendleton Whisky.
“I had no idea I won,” said Brunner, who found out he’d won when ProRodeo.com called him late Friday night while he was sitting on a plane in Minneapolis. “It feels great to get this win. I needed the Tour points and I need to keep pushing this late in the year.”
Brunner made his run in Bremerton in slack Friday morning and earned $4,090.
“I knew I had a chance, and I just had to score a little bit and use what I drew,” Brunner said. “I was riding my horse Miss Kitty, and J.D. Struxness was hazing for me. I know I’m kind of a longshot to qualify for the NFR so every win I get certainly helps. I don’t even know if I had ever placed in Bremerton before Friday, so this feels good.”
Considering he has a good chunk of ground to make up in the world standings in a short period of time,
Brunner would love to qualify for the ProRodeo Tour Finale, which will pay $1 million to contestants and other PRCA members at California Rodeo Salinas, Sept. 23-26.
“I need to keep picking up those Tour points so I can get to the ProRodeo Tour Finale and give myself a chance,” said Brunner, 28.
Up next for Brunner was Rapid City, S.D., Aug. 28 in slack where he failed to place.
“The rest of my crew was out in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, (Friday night) and they dropped me off on the side of the interstate, and I got an Uber headed toward the Seattle airport and they kept on trucking to Coeur d’Alene,” Brunner said. “I had to catch a flight in Seattle, and I had a connection in Minneapolis and then on to Rapid City. After Rapid City, I will be up in Pueblo (Colo.) Sunday. It was a longer than usual Uber drive. It was about 30 minutes, and after finding out I won in Bremerton it made the ride worth it.”
As of Aug. 30, Brunner was in a tie for second place in first round in Pueblo with a 4.2-second run. The rodeo concludes Aug. 30.
Other winners at the $156,697 rodeo were all-around cowboy Stetson Wright ($6,189, saddle bronc riding and bull riding); bareback rider Clayton Biglow (90 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s OLS Tubs Stevie Knicks); team ropers Nelson Wyatt/Levi Lord (4.1 seconds); saddle bronc rider K’s Thomson (88.5 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Onion Ring); tie-down ropers Taylor Santos and Paden Bray (8.2 seconds each); barrel racer Dona Kay Rule (16.92 seconds); and bull rider Stetson Wright (88.5 points on Macza Pro Rodeo’s OLS Tubs Riggs).
All information is courtesy of the PRCA.