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1. J.W. Harris on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Medicine Show, 88.5, $18,630; 2. (tie) Chandler Bownds and Trevor Kastner, 87.5, $ each; 4. (tie) Steve Woolsley and Tyler Smith, 86, $6,310 each; 6. Cody Campbell, 85, $3,005.
1. Taylor Jacob, 13.49 seconds, $18,630; 2. Kayley Bass, 13.77, $14,724; 3. Sherry Cervi, 13.81, $11,118; 4. Brittany Pozzi, 13.82, $7,813; 5. Sabrina Ketcham, 13.86, $4,808; 6. Shada Brazile, 13.88, $3,005.
1. Cody Ohl and Ryan Jarrett, 6.9 seconds, $16,677 each; 3. Trevor Brazile, 7.0, $11,118; 4. Scott Kormos, 8.2, $7,813; 5. Tyson Durfey, 8.5, $4,808; 6. Shane Hanchey, 8.6, $3,005.
1. Jake Wright on Brookman-Hyland Rodeo’s Kid Rock, 86 points, $18,630; 2. Wade Sundell, 83, $14,724; 3. Tyler Corrington, 82.5, $11,118; 4. Sterling Crawley, 78.5, $7,813; 5. Heith DeMoss, 78, $4,808; 6. Taos Muncy, 76.5 $3,005.
1. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 4.2 seconds, $18,630; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Travis Graves, 4.9, $14,724; 3. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.2, $11,118; 4. Dustin Bird/Paul Eaves, 5.4, $7,813; 5. Luke Brown/Colin VonAhn, 5.6, $4,808; 6. Turtle Powell/Dugan Kelly, 6.1, $3,005.
1. Jessy Davis on Growney Bros. Rodeo’s Raggidy Ann, 86, $18,630; 2. Ryan Gray, 84.5, $14,724; 3. Will Lowe, 84, $11,118; 4. Kaycee Field, 81.5, $7,813; 5. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Austin Foss, 81 $3,906 each.
1. Dean Gorsuch, 3.1 seconds, $18,630; 2. Bray Armes, 3.5, $14,724; 3. K.C. Jones, 3.6, $11,118; 4. Matt Reeves, 3.8, $7,813; 5. Jule Hazen, 4.0, $4,808; 6. Jason Miller, 4.1, $3,005.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď Very quietly, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett has made a significant run at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Over the first three nights of competition, the Comanche, Okla., cowboy has placed in two go-rounds and earned $20,733. Better yet, he‚Äôs moved up from 13th to 10th in the world standings, and there are seven rounds remaining in ProRodeo‚Äôs grand finale.
On Saturday night, Jarrett posted his fastest run of the rodeo, roping and tying his calf in 7.5 seconds. It earned him a fourth-place check worth $7,813. He‚Äôll need to continue his streak if he hopes to continue up the world standings ‚Äď in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each event who finish the NFR with the most season earnings will be crowned world champions.
Jarrett knows that feeling well. In his first venture to the Nevada desert for rodeo‚Äôs super bowl, the Georgia-raised cowboy won the tie-down roping average championship and parlayed that into the all-around gold buckle, the most coveted trophy in the game.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is a showcase that draws tens of thousands of rodeo fans daily to the Nevada desert during its 10-day run in the City of Lights.
Each go-round features a sell-out performance, with more than 17,000 fans cheering on ProRodeo‚Äôs brightest stars in one of the most electric arenas in sport. It‚Äôs a showcase, and the roar of the crowd can be deafening when they like what they see.
Saturday night‚Äôs feature was celebrated by some of the fastest times in the game, notably in steer wrestling, where all six placers finished runs in less than 4 seconds.
‚ÄúYou could really sense that the place had electricity,‚ÄĚ said Hunter Cure, a Holliday, Texas, bulldogger who was one of four cowboys to grapple their steers to the ground in 3.8 seconds. ‚ÄúOur job, though, is you need to block that out as much as you can.‚ÄĚ
Cure did. He joined Wade Sumpter, Jule Hazen and Casey Martin in finishing second in the third go-round; each cowboy earned $9,615 for their work. For Cure, now in his second trip to the NFR, he has earned $20,733 over three nights in Las Vegas.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs almost as much as I made at 2009‚Äôs Wrangler National Finals,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm extremely excited about the fact that we‚Äôre just this far along in the money this early in the week.‚ÄĚ
He should be.
‚ÄúI think that was, top to bottom, the best set of cattle that are here,‚ÄĚ said Cure, who attended Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, and Texas Tech University on rodeo scholarships. ‚ÄúI figured the winning time might even be faster than 3.6 (seconds).‚ÄĚ
In fact, the quartet of bulldoggers had the fastest time of the go-round until the 14th cowboy to run, four-time world champion Luke Branquinho, snagged the victory. Fellow Texan Matt Reeves scored a 3.9 to round out the top 6.
‚ÄúI think it makes it exciting not only for the fans, but also the cowboys, because you know you can‚Äôt make a mistake, and it needs to be a flawless run,‚ÄĚ Cure said.
Flawless came with the assistance of hazer Riley Duvall and Cure‚Äôs horse, Charlie.
‚ÄúRiley got that steer perfectly hazed right down the middle,‚ÄĚ Cure said. ‚ÄúThat gave my horse a great look at one, and it allowed me to get my feet in the right place to make that kind of run.‚ÄĚ
With that formula in place, Cure has seven more nights to cash in all his chips in Vegas.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď In his second qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, saddle bronc rider Tyler Corrington is having a lot of fun.
His amusement increased Saturday night on the back of Carr Pro Rodeo‚Äôs Cool Runnings, an 11-year-old black gelding that matched moves with Corrington for 85.5 points, a score worthy of second place in the third go-round. That paid the Minnesota cowboy $14,724 and gave him some much needed momentum heading into the final seven nights of ProRodeo‚Äôs grand finale.
‚ÄúThat was a really fun horse,‚ÄĚ said Corrington, who last competed in Las Vegas in 2011. ‚ÄúIt feels great to get a check somewhat early and try to keep it rolling.
‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt seen that horse much. He mainly stays in Texas with Pete Carr, but he was aweseom. He was really fun.‚ÄĚ
Bronc busters live to ride great horses, and it paid off quite well for Corrington on Saturday. Based on the 100-point scale, half the score is attributed to the horse‚Äôs bucking style, and half is awarded to how well the cowboy rides through the animal‚Äôs bucking motion. The best bronc riders in the world have the rhythm and timing to match moves with their partners while spurring the horse.
Corrington had an outstanding 2013 campaign, finishing the regular season fourth place in the world standings. He also qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which took place in early November. But success can be fleeting, so the third-round performance was key for the Minnesota cowboy‚Äôs demeanor.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm feeling confident, but I was a little shaky after having a bad Canadian Finals,‚ÄĚ Corrington said.
He has dropped to fifth in the world standings, but he remains in contention for that coveted gold buckle that is awarded to the world champion. Now Corrington has seven more nights to make it happen.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not even going to think about it right now,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm just going to have fun and let the chips fall where they may.‚ÄĚ
When a cowboy rides broncs for a living, that‚Äôs a winning approach.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď Chet Johnson likes his role as a veteran saddle bronc rider at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He also likes the fact that he‚Äôs earned money in the first three rounds of the 2013 championship. On Saturday‚Äôs third night of competition, the Douglas, Wyo., bronc buster matched moves with J Bar J Rodeo‚Äôs Sweatin‚Äô Bullets for 77.5 points to finish sixth and collect a check worth $3,005.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm way more comfortable this year than I‚Äôve ever been here,‚ÄĚ said Johnson, now in his fourth NFR qualification. ‚ÄúI have way more experience than the first three times I was here. I‚Äôm one of the older guys, too, so I‚Äôm not as intimidated.
‚ÄúWhen I first came here (in 2005), the veterans were Billy Etbauer, Dan Mortensen, Glen O‚ÄôNeal and Rod Hay. They were my heroes, and I was riding against them. There was an intimidation factor there. Now I‚Äôve been rodeoing with these guys my entire career. A lot of them are just new guys; they still ride really good, but it‚Äôs just different.‚ÄĚ
Over three nights in the City of Lights, Johnson has pocketed more than $7,000. This is the place where big money can be made, with go-round winners earning $18,630 each night of the 10-round championship, but the Wyoming cowboy likes that he‚Äôs earned something in the opening few nights.
Most importantly, his cumulative score of 229.5 points through three rides is third best.
‚ÄúI honestly didn‚Äôt think I was going to place in that round,‚ÄĚ he said Saturday. ‚ÄúA lot of the horses didn‚Äôt have their day. You get out of rhythm, and I think horses do, too. I don‚Äôt know if it‚Äôs the weather, but it seems like a lot of them are worse in the chute, and they‚Äôre just not having their day.
‚ÄúI thought it would take 82 or 83 points to place tonight. The horses just haven‚Äôt been doing what they‚Äôre supposed to be doing. Like everything, you don‚Äôt know what all is affecting them.‚ÄĚ
Only the top 6 scores earn money each night, and Johnson‚Äôs was one of two money-makers who didn‚Äôt surpass the 80-point marking. Based on the 100-point scale, half the score comes from the ride, half comes from the animal.
‚ÄúEverything I‚Äôve been on, the horses just don‚Äôt have the action, so you‚Äôve got to do it all yourself,‚ÄĚ Johnson said. ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt complain; I‚Äôm still getting checks.‚ÄĚ
That, especially in Las Vegas, is a good thing.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď The true competitive spirit that burns inside header Brandon Beers and heeler Jim Ross Cooper was sparked during the first two rounds of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The team roping tandem failed to score a time in the opening go-round, then suffered a 5-second penalty on Night 2. They entered ProRodeo‚Äôs championship event third in the world standings and well within striking range of their first world championships
‚ÄúDoing bad lit a little bit of a fire underneath us,‚ÄĚ said Cooper, a four-time NFR qualifier from Monument, N.M. ‚ÄúWe came in here thinking we were going to be solid and make good runs, but that‚Äôs not how we got where we were all year long. We got there by letting our hair down and having a good time and going fast. We just decided to get back to that plan.‚ÄĚ
During the third go-round Saturday night, that‚Äôs just what happened. Beers and Cooper stopped the clock in 4.2 seconds to finish in a three-way tie for first place with Riley and Brady Minor and Drew Horner and Buddy Hawkins.
Cooper said he noticed the steers were a little jittery during their pre-NFR runs, so he adjusted his positioning so that his movement didn‚Äôt push the animals too far toward Beers.
‚ÄúI stayed back too far in the first two, and that made Brandon miss the first one and put me in a bad position on the second one,‚ÄĚ Cooper said. ‚ÄúI realized tonight that I needed to get out there and take our chances and deal with them where I want and see what happens.‚ÄĚ
What happened was the first check of the NFR for the tandem. Each cowboy collected $14,824.
‚ÄúThis has been our M.O. at the NFR,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôd miss one or two, then we‚Äôd get ticked off and go on a good roll. We‚Äôre going to try to rope angry the rest of the week.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs all about the money this week, and the average take care of itself in the end. You just go fast and have fun. As a kid, you back in to the box and say, ‚ÄėThis is in the NFR,‚Äô and you make a practice run. That‚Äôs what we need to do the rest of the week.‚ÄĚ
Maybe it‚Äôll be making angry practice runs, or many it‚Äôs just an assertive focus toward their tasks, but it‚Äôs what they have on their minds for the next seven nights.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs aggressive as I‚Äôve ever been at the NFR,‚ÄĚ Cooper said. ‚ÄúThis is my fourth year here, and that‚Äôs the first time I‚Äôve ever won a round.‚ÄĚ