LAS VEGAS – Jule Hazen is a man on a mission, and that is to make good money during his 10-night business venture to the City of Lights.
On Sunday night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Ashland, Kan., steer wrestler padded his pocketbook a little bit more with a 4.0-second run to finish fifth in the fourth go-round, earning $4,808 in the process. He pushed his NFR earnings to nearly $14,500 and sits seventh in the world standings.
Sunday’s run marked the second straight payday for Hazen, who pointed to his sponsorship agreement with Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kan., as a key reason why he is competing at ProRodeo’s grand championship. The Kansas cowboy has moved his 2013 earnings to $83,689. But Las Vegas is where big money can be made, and he hopes to cash in his fair share of the chips.
Hazen rides Bam Bam, a 12-year-old black gelding that has been one of the driving forces behind a solid season. Still, he’s well within striking distance to his ultimate goal, claiming the gold buckle that is awarded to the season’s world champion.
With go-rounds paying $18,630 each night for 10 rounds, cowboys can make a significant move in the standings each day. Hazen is $42,677 behind world standings leader Casey Martin; if everything goes exactly right, Hazen can catch Martin in three rounds.
That’s what he’ll be trying to do in the final six nights of the 2013 championship.