Resistol Hosts 2023 Rookie of the Year Celebration


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – It is, arguably, the most coveted title in a young rodeo athlete’s career– the Resistol Rookie of the Year. Unlike the world champion title, rodeo athletes only have one shot at this crown. Forty of this year’s NFR qualifiers were past Resistol Rookies of the Year, including Riley Webb, the 2022 All Around and Tie Down Roping Resistol Rookie of the Year, and Sage Kimzey, 2014 Bull Riding Resistol Rookie of the Year.

After rodeoing on their permit and earning more than $1,000 in PRCA rodeos, rodeo athletes compete the following year as a “rookie.” This is considered their first official year as a professional rodeo athlete, as they are now an official PRCA Contestant Card holder.

Nine rodeo athletes rose to the top of their class to claim the prestigious award.

This year going into the NFR, three contenders vied for the 2023 Bareback Riding Resistol Rookie of the Year at the Thomas & Mack. Each time Keenan Hayes, Kade Sonnier, or Dean Thompson nodded their Resistols in the chutes, they were throwing their hat in the ring for both the rookie of the year title and the world champion gold buckle. For the first time in rodeo history, a rookie brought home the world—Keenan Hayes, the 2023 Bareback Riding Resistol Rookie of the Year.

Five of the rookies competed in the arena this last week, including the three contenders. Ryder Sanford and T Parker will also be making their debut at their first NFR.


Congratulations to the 2023 PRCA Resistol Rookies of the Year!

2023 Bareback Riding Resistol Rookie of the Year - Keenan Hayes, Hayden CO

2023 Steer Wrestling Resistol Rookie of the Year - Cash Robb, Altamont UT

2023 Header Resistol Rookie of the Year - Cole Thomas, Meadville MS

2023 Heeler Resistol Rookie of the Year - Kaden Profili, Jacksonville TX

2023 Saddle Bronc Resistol Rookie of the Year - Ryder Sanford, Sulphur LA

2023 Tie-Down Resistol Rookie of the Year - Dylan Hancock, San Angelo TX

2023 All-Around Resistol Rookie of the Year - Dylan Hancock, San Angelo TX

2023 Steer Roping Resistol Rookie of the Year - Will Eddleman, Santa Anna TX

2023 Bull Riding Resistol Rookie of the Year - T Parker, Winnie TX

2023 Barrel Racing Resistol Rookie of the Year - Kallie McCall, Lufkin TX

2023 Breakaway Roping Resistol Rookie of the Year - Braylee Shepherd, Nephi UT

Keenan Hayes

Cole Thomas

Resistol, one of the original sponsors of the PRCA and official hat of the PRCA, celebrated the 2023 Resistol Rookies with its ninth annual luncheon at the South Point Hotel & Casino. The Resistol rookies were honored and individually introduced during the noon hour at the South Point on the National Finals Rodeo Resistol Day. The rookies received airfare, tickets to the rodeo and hotel rooms to attend the special occasion.

Family, friends, and industry people enjoyed music by Lindsey Cardinale, a delicious meal, and program led by emcees Anthony Lucia and Scott Grover. The PRCA Resistol Rookies were presented with a custom, personalized 30X Resistol hat, a beautifully fully tooled trophy Cactus Saddle, Resistol branded Yeti Cooler, a Resistol PRCA Rookie trophy jacket, Cavender’s certificates, and gift card from Fastback Ropes, and a bonus check compliment of Resistol.

ProEquine CEO, Dustin Noblitt kicked off the program. PRCA CEO, Tom Glause, congratulated the Resistol Rookies noting that they are the future of the sport and the PRCA. Resistol General Manager Ricky Bolin and Resistol Brand Director Mary Jane Carpenter handed out the awards with congratulations.

Previous rookies of the year and world champions addressed the current rookies with congratulations, sentiments of the title, and future advice as they continue in their careers. Sherry Cervi, four-time World Champion and 19-time NFR qualifier, gave words of wisdom to the well-attended event. Paden Bray, the 2019 Resistol Rookie of the Year and three-time NFR qualifier, articulated what the title meant to him and how it shaped his rodeo career. Tuff Hedeman, ProRodeo Hall of Famer, mixed his advice in with a few life stories and big laughs. Trevor Brazille, 26-time World Champion, spoke his well sought after advice as the highest decorated cowboy in the PRCA. Joe Beaver, the 1985 Tie-Down Resistol Rookie of the Year encouraged the rookies to use this opportunity to build a fire in their belly as they step into their careers ahead.

Resistol, in partnership with the PRCA, hosted the 2nd Annual Resistol Rookie Roundup in Fort Worth, Texas, in April of this year. The top 15 rookies competed for $100,000 to add to their rookie earnings. Outside of the arena, the rookies attended media training and interview coaching for two days. Resistol looks forward to this event again in 2024!

Resistol also invited The Little Britches Rookies of the Year to attend the luncheon, as a celebration of their hard work– where the next generation will meet the up-and-comers.


Congratulations to the 2023 National Little Britches Rodeo Association Resistol Rookies of the Year!

2023 Little Wrangler Resistol Rookie of the Year – Neligh Robinson from Nebraska

2023 Junior Boys Resistol Rookie of the Year – Devin Johnson from Utah

2023 Junior Girls Resistol Rookie of the Year – Cadie Agner from Florida

2023 Senior Boys Resistol Rookie of the Year – Bubba Johnson from Utah

2023 Senior Girls Resistol Rookie of the Year – Adell Evans from Colorado

The finale of the celebration was The Resistol “Man of the Year” award. This award goes to someone in the industry that goes above and beyond to further our industry, our sport and our lifestyle and exemplifies what the Resistol brand means. Previous recipients include Cody Johnson, Billy Pipes, Tandy Freeman, J Pat Evans, George Strait, Red Stegall, Michael Gaughan, Denis Carroll, Karl Stressman, Cody Johnson, Cotton Rosser, Neal Gay, Bob Tallman, and Ryan Growney. Resistol awarded this year’s title to two deserving individuals– Dr. Charles Graham, distinguished as one of the world’s best equine veterinarians with the largest veterinarian clinic in Texas at one time, and Ricky Bolin, four-time NFR qualifier, who recently announced his retirement as the General Manager of HatCo.


The PRCA Resistol Rookies of the Year were again recognized in the arena during Round 6 of the NFR and presented their Montana Silversmiths champion buckles by Dustin Noblitt, Ricky Bolin, and Mary Jane Carpenter.

Resistol looks forward to returning to the South Point Hotel in 2023 for the next Resistol Rookie Celebration!