Cole Franks closes season with Stephenville victory
The spotlight was hot and focused on a pair of rodeos Sept. 25, the final Sunday of the 2022 ProRodeo regular season.
The Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas, was one of the rodeos showcasing the battles ProRodeo athletes were waging for the final spots into the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge. Stephenville represented one of the last opportunities for contestants to put money towards their earnings as they bid to finish inside the Top 15 of the PRCA | RAM World Standings.
But while other bubble cowboys dashed across the country, competing in high-pressure, must-win situations, bareback rider Cole Franks wasn’t feeling the strain of the bubble with the final weekend looming. He finished out his 2022 sophomore ProRodeo campaign with an 88-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Worth the Whiskey to capture the win in Stephenville.
Ironically, Franks had a hand in setting up the meeting with Worth the Whiskey.
“I was actually sitting at the Bucking Horse Sale in Vegas last year with my dad and Pete Carr when they bucked that horse,” said Franks, 21. “They had him in the saddle broncs and he was fighting it a little. We told Pete he should try to get him bought, that he’d make a good bareback horse.”
Carr made the deal and Worth the Whiskey debuted in ProRodeo in San Antonio in February.
“I saw him earlier this year and it seemed like he took off the second half of the season and he gets better and better with each out,” Franks said. “I was definitely looking forward to getting on him. He’s one anybody in the world would want to have.”
Competing on Saturday night in Stephenville, the horse left the chutes fast and gave Franks a fun trip for the win.
“He felt awesome. I had a little bobble in there in the middle and I think I was just having too much fun and quit lifting on my rigging,” he said. “I thought, I better finish this.”
With the win, Franks closed out his season 10th in the world standings with more than $114,000.
“It’s awesome,” Franks said. “I’ve dreamed ever since I was little and worked towards this my whole life and it’s awesome to finally see it coming to fruition.”
Franks was successful in his first Wrangler NFR trip as a rookie in 2021, finishing third in both the average and the world standings.
“It’s not to say I wasn’t expecting to do good; I knew I could, but I’m trying to outdo what I did last year,” he said.
“My goal is to win some go rounds,” Franks said. “We’re so packed in there (in the world standings) that only a round and a half separates us. I’m shooting for the gold.”
Other winners at the $103,873 rodeo were all-around cowboy Marty Yates ($1,470, tie-down roping and team roping); steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack (3.5 seconds); team ropers JC Yeahquo/LJ Yeahquo (4.0 seconds); saddle bronc rider Brody Cress (88.5 points on New Star Pro Rodeo’s Southpoint Buckle); tie-down ropers Cory Solomon and Chet Weitz (7.6 seconds); breakaway roper Danielle Lowman (1.8 seconds); barrel racer Wenda Johnson (14.94 seconds); steer roper Chet Herren (34.1 seconds on three head); and bull rider Ernie Courson Jr. (83.5 points on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s This Is It).
The information enclosed in this release is courtesy of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)