If you’re looking for the wellspring of Kade Bruno’s spectacular rise in ProRodeo, look no further than the RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo.
On Oct. 22, Bruno collected his third straight win during the 2022 edition held in Redmond, Ore. He rode a trio of Corey & Lange bucking horses to win the average with 243.5 points and earned $8,722.
“The Columbia River Circuit has been good to me, the circuit system is how I got my start,” said Bruno, 22. “When I was on my permit in 2020, and COVID cancelled all the rodeos, I got to a couple and made the circuit finals there in Hermiston.”
Bruno won that contest and went to his first RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., in April 2021 as a rookie. He finished second in the rookie race that year and 28th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings.
His sophomore season in 2022 has been – in his words – magical.
Bruno won the 2021 RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals Rodeo to kick things off, went to his second national circuit finals, rebranded the NFR Open powered by RAM in July, and won more than any another other contestant.
That $25,000-plus payday helped launched Bruno to make his debut at the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge. He finished ninth in the world standings with $137,726 won, he will compete in Las Vegas Dec. 1-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“It’s been a really fun year,” Bruno said. “Everything fell into place for me.”
A third average title in Redmond, along with a second straight year-end championship, was icing on the cake for the Challis, Idaho, cowboy.
In Redmond, Bruno had a rematch with Summer Camp in round one for 79.5 points and second place finish. He followed with two consecutive round wins aboard Shiney Object and Mud Hook with scores of 79.5 and 84.5, respectively.
“I’ve seen Mud Hook the last two or three years and always wanted to get on him,” Bruno said. “He’s a really nice horse and a great one to have in the third round here.”
With just over a month to go until the Wrangler NFR, Bruno has just a couple of events on his schedule along with getting on practice horses to stay sharp. He also plans to enjoy time at home with his family.
“Any time I get a chance, I try to hang out with them, get outdoors and relax,” he said. Along with his parents, Mike and Mindy, Bruno has two sisters, Vanessa, who is older, and Jacey, who is younger. “My older sister had a baby, so I have a nephew. It’s pretty cool to get to hang out with him.”
Unfortunately, none of the crew got to come be his cheering squad in Redmond.
“I won some cows at Mitch Pollock’s bronc match last year and dad has some of his own, so he gets stuck at home a lot taking care of things,” Bruno said. “I sure appreciate everything he does.”
Bruno also appreciates his home circuit.
“We have one of the best circuits. Our rodeos are great, and our committees are awesome,” Bruno said. “They’ve been everything to me – when you can get out of your circuit with $20,000 or $30,000 won, you’ve got a great shot at the NFR.”
“I appreciate everything they’ve done for me.”
Other winners at the $172,862 rodeo were all-around cowboy Jared Parke ($5,900, tie-down roping and team roping); bareback rider Austin Foss (247 points on three head); steer wrestler Cody Cabral (12.1 seconds on three head); team ropers T.C. Hammack/Jason Duby (19.6 seconds on three head); tie-down roper Luke Potter (26.5 seconds on three head); barrel racer Kacey Gartner (45.52 seconds on three runs); breakaway roper Annie Minor (11.8 seconds on three head); steer roper Taylor Santos (35.2 seconds on three head); and bull rider Jordan Spears (167 points on two head).
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Courtesy of PRCA