Bob Wilkinson, Buffalo, South Dakota was the 2017 Pro Fantasy Rodeo winner of the 2017 Ram Truck with customized Ram 3500 4X4 Crew Cab. The truck presentation takes place after the conclusion of the 10-day Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas Dec. 7-16, 2017, by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association coinciding with the culmination of the 10-day Pro Fantasy Rodeo game, the official fantasy game of the PRCA and the WNFR.
Wilkinson, 45, said that by Round 9 he knew he had a good chance of winning but was afraid to put too much faith into it. Wilkinson who has entered the Pro Fantasy Game almost since its inception in 2003 said he was poised to win the truck four or five years ago when the 10th round competition fell apart for his team and he didn’t even end up in the top 100. “I wasn’t about to celebrate until I was notified, since the PFR website warns that results are unofficial until everything has been thoroughly checked,” he said. When asked how he’ll make use of the truck, Wilkinson said he operates a ranch in Buffalo, and the truck will certainly be put to good use, and that eventually it may also migrate to the oil fields where he is also employed.
WNFR contestants on Wilkinson’s team, and their earnings included bareback rider Jake Vold, $73,544; steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge $154,352; team roping header Dustin Egusquiza, $94,769; team roping heeler Kory Koontz, 94,769; saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright, $175,576; tie-down roper Cade Swor, $115,288; barrel racer Lisa Lockhart $97,096; and bull rider Sage Kimsey $189,326. All of Wilkinson’s team ended in the top six at the 2017 WNFR with Vold at 6th; Eldridge 1st; Egusquiza, 6th; Koontz, 6th; Wright, 1st; Swor, 3rd; Lockhart, 6th and Kimzey 2nd.
“Reva Store” was Wilkinsons’ choice to name his team—a nod to the small country general store that his parents have operated in the small (population 4) in Reva, South Dakota, where Wilkinson grew up.
Having spent many years entering the Pro Fantasy Rodeo game, Wilkinson said his usual strategy for spending his Pro Fantasy Rodeo recruiting dollars was to try to keep track of standings, study the Fan Magazine sent to potential PFR players as well as past results which are on the PFR website. Then he just picked his favorites followed by filling in the rest of the team with contestants using what recruiting dollars he had left. He likes to choose the team ropers who are a team rather than picking a header who might be separate from the heeler and felt that Kory Koontz has been a good competitor during the many years he’s watched the NFR.
Although not a rodeo competitor himself, Wilkinson been around rodeo all of his life with many family and friends as competitors. He has certainly given of his time and talent in the small town of Buffalo where for most of his life he has helped put on junior rodeos as well as helping with the Buffalo Labor Day Rodeo. “Rodeo,” he said, “is a huge part of our community and well supported, especially since we’ve had such WNFR qualifiers as Birch Negaard, Ivan Tiegan, Jesse Bail and others.”
Wilkinson concluded, “Pro Fantasy Rodeo is a great concept getting you much more involved in the Finals which make them much more exciting to watch. Rather than watching one or two events, like most of us do, you get engrossed in each event, in who’s winning the average and what your chances are at being a winner, too,” he said. “It’s great fun and everyone should try it!
I’m glad I did, and I’d like to thank Pro Fantasy Rodeo for the opportunity for me to win this truck.
Since its inception into the rodeo world, Pro Fantasy Rodeo has served as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s official fantasy game and has paid out over 2 million in prizes and payouts during the past 15 years. Pro Fantasy Rodeo paid out over $175,000 in cash and prizes for the 2017 WNFR and paid 10 places in the go-rounds (daily) and 100 places in the average. The PFR average is based on each team’s total winnings, including the team member’s average and go-round winnings. Besides the first-place prize of the truck, second in the average paid $10,000, 3rd $7,500 etc., paying money to 50th place with 51-100th place receiving a free entry for the next Pro Fantasy Rodeo game valued at nearly $100. Go-around money awarded each day paid $2,000 for 1st $1,000 for 2nd and so forth to 10th place. For more information about past winners and results plus how to enter get ready to enter a team for 2018, go to www.profantasyrodeo.com.