So far 11th in the world, Sage Newman “wouldn’t change a thing”

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Riding the toughest broncs has never been the problem.

Sage Newman won the national high school saddle bronc title in 2016 and won the Big Sky Pro Rodeo in Great Falls two summers later.

Leaving the family ranch in Melstone to ride those broncs was no longer a problem.

“I love being at home,” Newman said. “I have a few horses and cows that I like to watch. It’s hard to leave.

Newman, encouraged by his family, leaves Melstone much more often.

And it paid off with a breakout season for the 23-year-old cowboy.

One of Montana’s newest ascendant rodeo stars returns to the Montana ExpoPark stands for the first performance of the Big Sky Pro Rodeo.

The rodeo, which continues through Saturday, includes a performance at 7 p.m. each evening.

“Great Falls is one of my favorite rodeos,” Newman said. “I like the atmosphere there.

Newman comes to Great Falls with a solid 11th place in the world rankings with $ 49,440 earned. Before the start of the 2021 season, he had earned $ 33,300 since turning pro.

“It’s been amazing,” Newman said of his year. “I drew well and rode well. The year couldn’t be better.

“Before, I didn’t really commit. I had to commit to going. I was going to go strong last year but the pandemic took care of it. I stayed home and just worked to prepare for this year. I put a lot of time on the dashboard and worked to be consistent.

He also visited the home of Sankey Pro Rodeo, where Wade Sankey trained horses for cowboys to ride.

“It has helped me a lot,” Newman said.

Sankey Pro Rodeo and Phenom Genetics are the stock suppliers this week.

Much of Newman’s money came from north of the border where he dominated the Pool A saddle horse competition at the Calgary Stampede. He won two rounds and placed second in another to pocket nearly $ 20,000 with $ 14,000 in the PRCA World Rankings. Newman went on rides of 89.5, 85.5, 90.5 and 86.5 against an enclosure of top-flight horses.

“It was awesome,” he said of his first appearance at one of the most prestigious events in professional rodeo. “I rode some really great horses. “

Newman started his season placing fourth at The American in Arlington, Texas, and followed with a salary of $ 5,000 in San Angelo, Texas in April.

“The American, I did well and it just kept rolling from there,” he said. “The resulting confidence boost was incredible. “

Newman also won the famous Miles City Bucking Horse Matched Xtreme Broncs ride event, finished second in Mandan, ND and third in Cody, Wyo. He recently won the second round of the Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Newman must continue to cash checks to keep up with his travel partners. Chase Brooks of Deer Lodge is fifth overall while Canada’s Kolby Wanchuk is seventh. Brooks and Wanchuk also won pool rounds at the Calgary Stampede. Wanchuk had a 94.5-point course, the second-highest in professional rodeo history.

Daniel Butner, of Daniel, Wyo., Recently won the saddle horse title in Helena. Butner was second at Great Falls in 2019 while Newman was tied for fourth.

Sage Newman competes in the saddle bronc event at the Montana Pro Rodeo Final at the Pacific Steel and Recycling Four Seasons Arena on Friday, January 11, 2019.

“For our platform, it’s been a good year,” Newman said, enthusiasm rising in his voice. “We all feed off of each other. It was pretty neat what we did in Calgary.

“It would be pretty cool for all of us in the rig to go to the final (National Finals Rodeo).”

Newman has two months to maintain his top-15 spot and qualify for the Super Bowl pro rodeo in Las Vegas from December 2-11.

“The start of the year, for sure, was making the final,” he said. “I wanted to be in the top 15 at the end of the year.

“I try not to think about being in the top 15. I just do what I can. Go one horse at a time and keep having fun.

He is also more willing to travel.

“We hike pretty much every day in August,” Newman said. “I just want to keep riding well and stay healthy.

“I like the challenge of being on the road. You travel all over the world and meet new people. You are with your buddies every day and you have fun. You are there everyday.

“I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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