Ky Hamilton secured his first world title in bull riding, breaking the single-season earnings record.
Bull rider Ky Hamilton’s journey at the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has sure been an emotional rollercoaster.
Leading the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $516,667, Hamilton secured his first PRCA World Championship on Friday (Dec. 15) at the Thomas & Mack Center. Hailing from Mackay, Australia, he became the first Australian to clinch a PRCA Bull Riding World Championship, joining the ranks of ProRodeo Hall of Famers Dave Appleton (all-around, 1988) and Glen O’Neill (saddle bronc riding, 2002) as the only native Australians to achieve PRCA World Championships.
Hamilton’s Return After Round 5 Knockout
The Australian cowboy had previously been thrown off while attempting Honeycutt Rodeo’s Bales Hay’s MAGA last week on Tuesday (Dec. 12). Following the injury, the Medical Director of the Justin Sportsmedicine team, Dr. Tandy Freeman, provided additional details on the incident.
“Ky and the bull smacked heads against one another. He lost consciousness and has a concussion. He was sent to University Medical Center Trauma Center (in Las Vegas) for evaluation and observation.”
Dr. Tandy Freeman also added, “He’s doubtful for competition Wednesday (Dec. 13) evening.” Despite this significant setback, Hamilton ended up proving the doctor’s prediction wrong.
Not only did he manage to compete in Round 6, but he also executed a flawless ride.
Hamilton split third in Round 6 with his 85.5-point ride on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics’ Love The Grind’s Bouchon.
During an interview with Tanner Barth on the day of Round 6, Hamilton revealed what he was thinking when he woke up the morning after the incident.
“The doctor’s pretty much told me I couldn’t get any worse riding and getting off, so to me that was a green light. I knew I had two great bulls to get on this morning and tonight, so I just figured I’d go and do my job.”
“This is what I’ve wanted since I started riding. There was nothing getting in the way of that. To come this far and this close, there was no way I wasn’t showing up today.”
Round 10 Grand Finale Showdown
While Hamilton is set to take a re-ride in Round 10 as the first bull rider, he has already secured the world crown due to the outcomes of Round 9. According to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, even if a rider were the sole participant in Round 10 ($99,053) and won the average ($78,747), they couldn’t surpass Hamilton in the world standings. In Round 10, Hamilton is scheduled to mount Championship Pro Rodeo’s Dark Thoughts for his re-ride, going first, and he will be the last rider in Round 10, riding Rafter G Rodeo’s Western Haulers Hurricane.
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Hamilton has earned the most of any competitor so far at this year’s NFR, acquiring $262,502, counting ground money.
We were happy to see Hamilton make a swift recovery and return to the competition!