The first round of Semifinalists secured their spots for the RODEOHOUSTON® Finals and are one step closer to winning the $50,000 grand prize. 

Team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira qualified for the finals at the top of the leaderboard for semifinals 1 with a speedy 4.7-second run. “Roping in Houston is a little bit different here with a big venue, the steers can move a little bit more,” Driggers said. “We try to get as good a start on the steer as we can without breaking the barrier and put yourself in a good spot to catch; we were fortunate enough to have a really good steer tonight to win the round.” 

Stalter Wright continued to shine in saddle bronc riding with a Semifinal win after scoring 86 on ‘Daunting News’ at RODEOHOUSTON.  

Bull rider Tristen Hutchings scored big last night, finishing Semifinal 1 with a score of 85. Referring to the drawing, Hutchings stated, “drawing is everything.” He continued, “We ran another bull in, he ended up being really good and into my hand, which most bull riders like; he kept me hustling the whole time.” 

After a successful run, tie-down roper Marty Yates from Stephenville, Texas, secured his spot for the finals. “The best part about coming to RODEOHOUSTON is getting to come out and compete in front of this huge crowd that loves the sport of rodeo,” Yates said. 

Bareback rider Richmond Champion lived up to his name after scoring an 85.5, which put him at the top of the category going into the finals on Sunday. Champion emphasized the importance of youth learning from the rodeo industry. “There’s a lot of adversity when it comes to riding bucking horses for a living and I feel like there’s a lot to learn from that.”  

Stetson Jorgenson claimed the top spot in Steer Wrestling and will move on to the finals along with fellow steer wrestlers Dalton Massey, Tristan Martin and Dakota Eldridge. Eldridge, speaking on the steer draw and how it can affect the results of the finals stated, “I think by the final round, we should have them [the steers] sorted pretty good and I usually draw pretty good in Houston so that always helps.”  

With a time of 14.76 seconds at RODEOHOUSTON, Hayle Gibson will be making another appearance in the NRG Stadium at the finals in the barrel racing event. With her mare, Fancy, having her first run out of recovery since being injured in July, Gibson discussed how important her run truly was. “There’s a bond like no other between me and that mare…I wasn’t really sure how she would handle Houston but she’s doing everything and more than I expected.” 

Taylor Munsell and Jackie Crawford beamed after tying for the top spot in breakaway roping. Munsell speaking about her advancement said, “I was riding a horse I call Colonel; he’s been kind of my go to mount for the big rodeos for a couple years now. He was outstanding… [Colonel] stayed behind the barrier and made my life real easy.”  

The RODEOHOUSTON Finals will begin Sunday, March 17 at 2:45 p.m. in NRG Stadium. 

Last night’s winners advancing to the Finals (winnings to date): 

  • Tie-Down Roping: Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas 
  • Bareback Riding: Richmond Champion, Stevensville, Montana  
  • Team Roping: Kaleb Driggers, Hoboken, Georgia; Junior Nogueira, Presidente Prudente, Sao Paulo, Brazil 
  • Saddle Bronc: Statler Wright, Milford, Utah 
  • Steer Wrestling: Stetson Jorgensen, Blackfoot, Idaho 
  • Barrel Racing: Hayle Gibson, Redcrest, California 
  • Breakaway Roping: Taylor Munsell, Alva, Oklahoma; Jackie Crawford, Stephenville, Texas 
  • Bull Riding: Tristen Hutchings, Monteview, Idaho 

About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $600 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2024 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 17. The 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 22 – 24. For more information, visit and follow @RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.