International Finals Rodeo 45
International Professional Rodeo Association world champions were named January 18 in Oklahoma City.
By Ted Harbin | January 18, 2015
From International Finals Rodeo
Sean Prater and Shawn Minor have been locked in a dogfight for the International Professional Rodeo Association’s saddle bronc riding world title.
The battle waged all the way through the final day of the season, January 18 during the fourth go-round of International Finals Rodeo 45. Prater posted 79.5-point ride on Southern Rodeo’s Little Eddie to put the pressure on Minor, the final bronc rider of the afternoon. When Minor bucked off Southern’s Big Jill, Prater gathered his third gold buckle, matching the titles he earned in the 2008 and 2012 seasons.
“I didn’t even start off my year to win a world championship,” said Prater of Muskogee, Oklahoma. “I was just taking my family down the road rodeoing. My wife is a barrel racer, so we just stick around Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, southwest Missouri and, occasionally we get off out east.”
That’s quite a different tale than the one told by Minor, a 23-time world champion who on Sunday clinched gold buckles in bareback riding and the all-around to close the gap on Dan Daily as the most decorated champion in IPRA history. Minor, of Camden, Ohio, competes for a living, while Prater spends most of his time on a ranch in eastern Oklahoma.
“I have a ranching job, so the IPRA allows me to go to good rodeos throughout the week and still tend to things on the ranch,” said Prater, an 11-time qualifier who first qualified for the IFR at 15 years of age. “It still gives me a chance to qualify for a good finals in the wintertime.”
His work at the finals made it pretty good. He won two go-rounds and pocketed nearly $3,600 in the process to pass Minor.
“It’s hard for me to be in that position, because I don’t go to as many rodeos,” said Prater, who first qualified for the IFR at the age of 15.
He earned the title by performing well enough at the rodeos in which he competed to be in position. It helps quite a bit that Prater rides well.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bad year,” he said. “Some are just better than others.”
This marks the conclusion of one of the better seasons for Prater, who serves as the saddle bronc riding director on the IPRA board. He continues to compete because of a true passion he has.
“I love to ride good horses, and I have a passion for the association,” he said. “My family’s been part of it for a long time. The IPRA’s been good to me and my family for a lot of years.”
Prater owns the gold buckles to prove it.
Shawn Minor, Camden, Ohio, $68,204
Average: Shawn Minor, 312.25 points on four rides, $3,583
World champion: Shawn Minor, $41,912
Steer wrestling: Ronnie Fields, 16.5 seconds on four runs, $3,583
World champion: Cody Mousseau, $19,395
Average: Cody Mousseau/Tyler Kidd, 29.8 seconds on four runs, $3,583
World champion header: Cody Mousseau, $23,362
World champion heeler: Caleb Anderson, $21,146
Saddle Bronc Riding
Average: Shane Hand, 235.5 points on three rides, $3,583
World champion: Sean Prater, $36,386
Average: Ethan Hill, 37.8 seconds on three runs, $3,583
World champion: Justin Thigpen, $24,442
Average: Megan Rinehart, 11.2 on four runs, $1,333
World champion: Amanda Stewart, $11,592
Average: Amber Mostoller, 61.617 seconds on four runs, $3,583
World champion: Natalie Overholt, $26,009
Average: Garrett Tribble, 252.5 points on three rides, $3,583
World champion: Garrett Tribble, $52,103