By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids Jokela ProWest bull ride attendees witnessed a young star in the making at the 35th annual event.

Professional bull rider Cody Nance was the top money winner at this year’s PBR, receiving $14,841.

“We’ve never paid that much out to someone in Park Rapids. That was a first,” said Randy Jokela, ProWest show producer.

Going into the Park Rapids event, Nance was ranked #3 worldwide in the Built Ford Tough Series.

Although the final rankings from the Fourth of July weekend aren’t all compiled yet, it looks like Nance could be the #1 ranked Built Ford Tough Series rider after his performance in Park Rapids, Jokela said.

“He’s on a winning streak right now,” Jokela added. “We might have seen some of the best rides in Park Rapids ever.”

Nance is a 25-year-old rider from Paris, Tenn. He is becoming one of the top riders in the world.

Other notable money winners in the Park Rapids event included Josh Ehlers, from Mandan, N.D. ($6,452), Budd Williamson, from Australia ($2,640), Carrson Hiatt, from Rosalia, Kan. ($2,640) and Sean Willingham, from Summerville, Ga. ($1,408). Six additional bull riders won money at the Park Rapids event.

Many top bull riders attended the Park Rapids event this year, Jokela said.

“We had some great bulls, some tough bulls and our bull riders were top notch,” he added.

Jokela said the event as a whole went very well. It rained Saturday but he said two out of three days for good weather wasn’t bad.

“The dances were fantastic, the bands were great,” he said.

The sheep riding for children was again a thrill for kids and adults.