Rookies Today, World Champions Tomorrow

The third annual Resistol Rookie Roundup welcomed the 2024 rookie class to the lights, both in the arena and the recording studio.

For the third year in a row, Resistol, in partnership with the Cowboy Channel, hosted the Resistol Rookie Roundup. Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Rookies – their first year as PRCA and WPRA card holders – compete for their share of $100,000. It heats up the Rookie Race, as each is vying for Resistol Rookie of the Year.

"The Resistol Rookie Roundup continues to elevate the importance of the Rookie of the Year award. This event allows those contestants entering into the professional ranks of rodeo, to start off their careers with a stand alone event among their peers. They are able to learn some professional skills that will help them in their careers. Plus, the rodeo fans can get to know the up-and-coming contestants early in their careers,” said Mary Jane Carpenter, the Resistol Brand Director.

The event kicked off Thursday, April 25th, at 9 a.m. Contestants spent the day filming for The Cowboy Channel, going through media training, mentoring from top rodeo athletes and took their headshots for the PRCA website. Each rookie received a gift bag of items from The Cowboy Channel and a new Resistol straw. The goal is to prepare rookies for their rodeo career ahead.

“The biggest thing everybody can do is learn from other people's mistakes,” said Tyler Wade, the 2023 PRCA world champion team roping header and six-time NFR qualifier. “It takes a long time when you learn from your own mistakes.” He was one of the many professionals who spoke with the 2024 rookie class during their round table sessions.

On Friday, April 28th, Katy Lucas, The Cowboy Channel reporter, walked contestants through interview skills. Justin McKee, The Cowboy Channel host, followed with a presentation on the art of storytelling. Brett Nierengarten, The Cowboy Channel editor-in-chief, guided the rookies through creating a social media presence. Mary Jane Carpenter delivered tips for being good endorsees and working with sponsors. Tom Glause, the PRCA CEO, and Paul Woody, the PRCA CMO, wrapped up by explaining PROCOM and other attributes of their association.

“As a rookie, you’re going to have ups and downs. You don’t have enough experience to know how to handle it. Having guys that have been there and done that and can pick you back up when you’re in a low spot, makes a huge difference,” said Rope Smith, a steer wrestling rookie, currently sitting fifth in the 2024 steer wrestling rookie standings. “The Rookie of the Year is a big achievement and that's something I've had in my sights for a while.”

All contestants competed in the Friday night rodeo at the historic Fort Worth Cowtown Coliseum. The top eight moved on to Saturday. Then, the final four competed in a sudden-death shootout to name the champions.


Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the 15-time PRCA stock contractor of the year nominee, was the stock contractor for the event.

The crowned winners include Weston Timberman in bareback riding, Parker Sandstrom in steer wrestling, Carter Sandberg in saddle bronc riding, Nikayla Brill in breakaway roping, Ben Jordan and Scott Lauaki in team roping, Chance Rodriguez in tie down roping, Oceane Veilleux in barrel racing, and Brandon Ballard in bull riding.

The event champions were awarded beautiful spurs from Kerry Kelley Bit and Spurs. Money won during the Resistol Rookie Roundup presented by The Cowboy Channel will count towards the Resistol Rookie Standings but will not be credited towards PRCA | RAM World Standings for NFR qualification.

“You have to take it all in,” said Taylor Santos, the two-time NFR qualifier and three-time NFSR qualifier, in his advice to the rookies. “It's something you get to do just one time in your life.”

The contestants will spend their summers competing in the Rookie Race, trying their hand at the Rookie of the Year title – a title with only one shot.