Sage Kimzey admits it. Yes, he is chasing the all-time bull riding record.
Donnie Gay of Mesquite, Texas, owns the most world championships with eight PRCA world crowns.
“I’m going after him, but it’s a tall task,” Kimzey said last week during his stops in Cody on June 30 for the Xtreme Bulls and July 4 for the Cody Stampede Rodeo.
Gay, 66, a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, won his last title in 1984.
There really haven’t been any serious challenges to Gay’s supremacy since.
But Kimzey, who will not turn 25 until the end of August, already has five titles on his resume and in 2019 is leading the money standings for a sixth. All in a row too.
“He could have nine by the time he’s 30,” Gay said.
“And then I can retire,” Kimzey chimed in.
Kimzey, from Strong City, Okla., lengthened his lead in this year’s rankings over Cowboy Christmas, despite saying, “I don’t try to kill myself over the Fourth.”
Parker Breding, from nearby Edgar, Mont., moved into second-place behind Kimzey.
Breding won bulls at the Stampede. Kimzey, who was thrown at 7.42 seconds in Xtreme Bulls for a no score, returned with an 87-point ride on July 4.
Kimzey took second in his session, but only tied for seventh overall in the rodeo.
As of last accounting, Kimzey had banked $146,550 this season.
When introduced in Xtreme Bulls, announcer Boyd Polhamus ran down some of Kimzey’s accomplishments for the packed-in Stampede Park crowd.
“This could be the greatest bull rider who ever lived,” Polhamus said.
Gay did some in-event handicapping during Xtreme Bulls and when it was Kimzey’s turn to ride in his section, Gay said, “That’s my pick.”
It didn’t turn out that way.
There is little margin for error aboard bucking bulls. Sometimes the bull outsmarts the rider and sometimes the rider can out-last the bull for eight seconds.
“When they crack the gate, it is what it is,” Kimzey said.
This season has been a little bit different for Kimzey in one way. His younger brother Trey has joined the circuit full-time and is traveling with him.
“He’s building his own resume now,” Polhamus announced about Trey.
The younger Kimzey, 20, won bull riding in Strong City, Kan., a community with the same name as his hometown, perhaps a good omen.
The Kimzeys have only been rolling together for a few weeks, but “It’s a good start,” Trey said.
That was no exaggeration. After the July 4 holiday, Trey was 12th in the world standings with nearly $60,000 in winnings.
He does have a one-on-one tutor to provide tips.
“He helps me a lot,” Trey said of Sage.
And Sage said bro listens.
“He’s a good student,” he said.
Trey was glad to be introduced to Cody for Xtreme Bulls and the Stampede.
“Cody is legendary,” he said.