Zeke Thurston is quickly becoming one of the most decorated saddle bronc riders around.
The 24-year-old from Big Valley has three Calgary Stampede championship buckles, a Canadian title and now his second National Finals Rodeo World title.
Thurston set the NFR Round 7 record with a 92.5-point ride. He Round 1 with an 88-point ride on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sue City Sue and Round 9 with a 91-point ride on Vold Rodeo Company’s Sun Glow.
In the final go-round in Las Vegas, Nevada, he posted an 88.5 on C5 Rodeo’s Kitty Whistle to tie for third and add $11,141 to his round earnings. Add in a fourth-place payout of $31,431 and overall the Albertan collected $170,064 in 10 days at the NFR.
On the season, he earned $347,055, more than $60K over Brody Cress, who was second. Simply dominant, is the only way to describe Thurston’s 2019 campaign.
I don’t know if I have words for how I feel right now. I wanted this one even more that I wanted that first one,” the 24 year-old second-generation bronc rider told Pro Rodeo Canada. “I’ve had more fun this year than I ever have. This is awesome, just awesome.”
Thurston’s combined victory — Canadian and World titles in the same year— is the first time it has happened since Taos Muncy accomplished the feat in 2011.