Whitfield qualifies for 20th National Finals Rodeo
HOCKLEY, Texas (Nov. 5, 2012) – Eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield has qualified for this 20th National Finals Rodeo after finishing the regular season ranked 12th in the world with $69,987 in earnings.
While he has some ground to make up on the No. 1 ranked roper Justin Maass with $144,001, the 2012 NFR is boasting $6.125 million in prize money with each round paying $18,257 and the average a whopping $46,821 so anything can happen and no lead is safe. The NFR is where Whitfield shines the brightest having won eight gold buckles, including one all-around title in 1999. One more and he’d have eight tie-down roping titles which would tie him with Dean Oliver, who currently holds the record for most tie-down roping titles in the PRCA.
Earlier this year, Whitfield rewrote the record books breaking the single-event earnings record. During the California Rodeo Salinas, he broke Billy Etbauer’s record of earnings in a single event.
“That’s crazy,” Whitfield said after learning of the record. “I’ve been rodeoing too long, is what that means. I’ve done more than I set out to accomplish with a rope and I have no regrets. If I can get to another NFR, I’ll try to win just as much money as I can there and maybe ride off into the sunset. It may be just about time.”
Fans can be assured there is still a lot of competitive fire burning within Whitfield and he would like nothing more than to strap on another gold buckle before riding off into the sunset. Then, next year, Fred’s fans can look forward to the release of his autobiography, “Gold Buckles Don’t Lie: The Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield.”
Terri Powers is co-writing Whitfield’s book that starts with his childhood in Cypress, Texas and ends with the upcoming 2012 NFR, the last chapter in Fred’s story. In addition to an inside look at his meteoric career in ProRodeo, fans who thought they knew all about Fred will be stunned at some of the details...many of which have never been told until now.
“This book will be a must read,” said Cassie Whitfield, Fred’s wife. “Through the book writing process Fred has opened up about so many things that his fans have never heard and even a few I didn’t know. You won’t want to miss it.”
Be sure to check Whitfield’s website www.fredwhitfield.com for more information about his book and to see a schedule of where he will be signing autographs during the 2012 NFR.
July 21, 2012
By Blaine Santos, ProRodeo.com
Whitfield breaks single-event earnings record Fred Whitfield's 10.0-second run in the first round of the tie-down roping at California Rodeo Salinas helped him break Billy Etbauer''s single-event earnings record.
Since being inducted in 2004 – the last year active cowboys were eligible – Whitfield has added an eighth world title, five Wrangler NFR qualifications and a series of earnings records that shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.
By winning two rounds and finishing second in the tie-down roping average at California Rodeo Salinas on July 22, Whitfield broke the ProRodeo record for most money won in a single event held by freshly-minted Hall of Famer Billy Etbauer.
With the $9,569 he banked at Salinas and a fifth-place result at the Snake River Stampede in Nampa, Idaho, Whitfield’s career earnings stand at $3,015,284 – $1,242 more than Etbauer’s total in saddle bronc riding.
“That’s crazy,” Whitfield said. “I’ve been rodeoing too long, is what that means. I’ve done more than I set out to accomplish with a rope and I have no regrets. The brightest part of what this weekend means to me is it gets me closer to qualifying for my 20th (Wrangler) NFR.
“If I can get to another one, I’ll try to win just as much money as I can there and maybe ride off into the sunset. It may be just about time.”
Along with Trevor Brazile, Whitfield and Etbauer are the only PRCA cowboys with career earnings of more than $3 million; Whitfield and Etbauer are the only men to also have surpassed $3 million in a single event.
Fred Whitfield's 10.0-second run in the first round of the tie-down roping at California Rodeo Salinas helped him break Billy Etbauer''s single-event earnings record.It might be time to get somebody busy on a rewrite of Fred Whitfield’s ProRodeo Hall of Fame plaque.