postheadericon 2016 Round 2 results

Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Tim O’Connell on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo Betty Boob and Clayton Biglow on Rafter G Rodeo Ankle Biter, 85 points, $23,481; 3. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Ty Breuer, 83, $13,327 each; 5. Winn Ratliff, 82.5, $6,769; 6. Jake Brown, 79.5, $4,231.

Steer wrestling: 1. Jason Thomas, 3.5  seconds, $26,231; 2. Matt Reeves, 3.8, $20,731; 3. Clayton Haas, 4.1, $15,654; 4. Dakota Eldridge, 4.6, $11,000; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7, $6,769; 6. Nick Guy, 5.1, $1,410 each.

Kimmie Wall

Kimmie Wall

Team roping: 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.0  seconds, $26,231; 2. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 4.2, $20.731; 3. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.3, $15,654 each; 4. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.4, $11,000 each; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.8, $6,769; 6. Levi Simpson, 4.9, $4,231.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ryder Wright, 86 points on Northcott Macza’s Get Smart, $26,231; 2. Sterling Crawley, 84, $20,731; 3. Heith DeMoss, 83.5, $15,654; 4. Jake Watson, 83, $11,000; 5. Jake Wright, 80.5, $6,769; 6. Jacobs Crawley, 80, $4,231.

Tie-down roping: 1. Marcos Costa, 7.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Cade Swor, 7.7, $20,731; 3. Ryle Smith, 7.8, $15,654; 4. Caleb Smidt, 8.0, $11,000; 5. (tie) Reese Reimer and Tyson Durfey, 8.3 , $5,500 each.

Barrel racing: 1. Kimmie Wall, 13.79 seconds, $26,231; 2. Lisa Lockhart and Sherry Cervi, 13.8, $18,192  each; 4. Amberleigh Moore, 13.81, $11,000; 5. Sarah Rose McDonald, 13.88, $6,769; 6. Ivy Conrado, 13.9, $1,410 each.

Bull riding: 1. Roscoe Jarboe, 88.5 points on Wayne Vold Rodeo’s Coopers Comet, $26,231; 2. Joe Frost and Garrett Smith, 87, $18,192; 4. Shane Proctor, 85.5, $11,000; No other qualified rides.

postheadericon Costa connects in Round 2

Marcos Costa

Marcos Costa

1. Marcos Costa, 7.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Cade Swor, 7.7, $20,731; 3. Ryle Smith, 7.8, $15,654; 4. Caleb Smidt, 8.0, $11,000; 5. (tie) Reese Reimer and Tyson Durfey, 8.3 , $5,500 each.

postheadericon Breuer returns to NFR pay window

LAS VEGAS – The last time Ty Breuer was matched with Pickett Rodeo’s Scarlet Fever, the cowboy’s only recollection was pain and numbness.

“I got on him at the 10th round the last time I was here, and I had a broken elbow,” said Breuer, who matched moves with the horse for 83 points Friday night to finish in a tie for third place in the second go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “That was a long time ago, and I was just happy to have him again.”

Ty Breuer

Ty Breuer

That ride marked the first time since the opening round of the 2013 NFR that Breuer had earned a paycheck at ProRodeo’s grand finale. This worth $13,327 and pushed the Mandan, N.D., cowboy’s season earnings to $94,445.

“Last time I didn’t really have a chance to do anything on that horse,” said Breuer, who moved up four spots to eighth in the world standings. “This time I felt like I had a chance. I remember the last time that about four seconds into the ride, everything went numb.

“This is a big confidence-booster for me. Last night I felt like I had the chance, and I kind of screwed it up. It just felt good tonight to get back and actually ride like I know I can.”

Confidence is a major piece of the puzzle, especially at the NFR. With an $8.8 million purse paid out over 10 December nights, this is every cowboy’s chance to not only cash in but to move up the world standings. In rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each event with the most money at the conclusion of the NFR will be crowned world champions.

“I still have to take it one horse at a time and remembering my basics,” he said. “I have to focus on that and see what happens. Last night I had a really nice horse, and I wasn’t even thinking about bareback riding. I was just thinking about everything else, and that horse got ahead of me.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Judges mark the rides based on the animal’s bucking motion and how the cowboy spurs in rhythm with the horse. When Breuer got behind, his half of the score was lower than he needed to place in the money. He made the changes necessary on Friday night and wants to keep it that way through the final eight rounds of the rodeo season.

“There were a lot of horses out there that were harder to ride tonight, and I just got lucky and had a pretty nice one,” Breuer said.

Sometimes that’s all it takes.

postheadericon Long, Brown take the title

Jake Long

Jake Long

1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.0  seconds, $26,231; 2. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 4.2, $20.731; 3. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.3, $15,654 each; 4. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.4, $11,000 each; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.8, $6,769; 6. Levi Simpson, 4.9, $4,231.

postheadericon Thomas earns round victory

15-Guymon-JasonMiller1. Jason Thomas, 3.5  seconds, $26,231; 2. Matt Reeves, 3.8, $20,731; 3. Clayton Haas, 4.1, $15,654; 4. Dakota Eldridge, 4.6, $11,000; 5. Tyler Waguespack, 4.7, $6,769; 6. Nick Guy, 5.1, $1,410 each.

postheadericon O’Connell, Biglow take Round 2

Tim O'Connell

Tim O’Connell

1. (tie) Tim O’Connell on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo Betty Boop and Clayton Biglow on Rafter G Rodeo Ankle Biter, 85 points, $23,481; 3. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Ty Breuer, 83, $13,327; 5. Winn Ratliff, 82.5, $6,769; 6. Jake Brown, 79.5, $4,231.

postheadericon Jarrett starts off strong at NFR

LAS VEGAS – Ryan Jarrett knew he needed to kick off his ninth qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in a good way.

He did it on Thursday night with a 7.8-second tie-down roping run, good enough for fifth place in the first go-round and valued at $6,769. Every opportunity to collect a check is vital, especially at the NFR, which features the biggest payout in the sport over 10 nights in the Nevada desert.

“It’s always good to get tapped off right off the bat,” said Jarrett, who was raised in Summerville, Ga., but now lives in Comanche, Okla., with his wife, Shy-Anne. “It sure makes the rest of the week a little easier when you don’t have to worry about it.

Ryan Jarrett

Ryan Jarrett

“I had a decent calf, but I was a little anxious to ride that horse even though I rode him one round here last year.”

The horse is T.J., a gray horse owned by Logan Bird. Jarrett placed in the 10th round last December on the gelding

“It felt good, and I’m excited to run nine more,” he said.

Over his career, he has had just about every experience possible inside the Thomas & Mack Center. He became the third-youngest all-around world champion after a stellar run in both tie-down roping and steer wrestling in 2005, having earned more than $263,000 that season.

Now he has an opportunity to make almost that much over the course of the NFR, with go-rounds paying winners more than $26,000 a night for 10 rounds. He is focused, and that first-round run provided important confidence for the remaining go-rounds.

“You don’t see many flawless runs ever, so there’s always room to improve,” Jarrett said about his opening-round time. “I don’t really need to make any tweaks to what we did. I just want to make good, solid runs and try to win more money.”

A key to his championship 11 years ago was his winning the average title, which pays a big bonus to the tie-down roper that finishes the championship with the best 10-run cumulative time. By roping a check in the opening round, Jarrett keeps all avenues open for making money.

This marks the Georgia-born cowboy’s ninth NFR qualification in eight years. Besides his inaugural run 11 seasons ago when he was a two-event contestant, he has since returned to ProRodeo’s grand finale in tie-down roping. He understands all that is part of the competition, even in the most coveted arena in the sport.

“I don’t get nearly as nervous as I did that first year,” he said. “I wish I could say I did, but I don’t think people have any idea what you have to put into it to make it work out here. It takes a decade of work to make it all possible.”

And based on the calves that are part of the NFR, he expects every round to be fast. He realizes he needs to be one of the fastest if he hopes pad his bank account. In rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each event with the most money won at the conclusion of the finale will be crowned world champions. In Las Vegas, only the top six times earn money.

That’s why he wants to roll his momentum from the first round into a terrific week and a half in the Nevada desert.

“T.J. let me get a good start and handle my slack to help me make the best run I could,” Jarrett said. “It’s important to have all the confidence in your horse and in yourself. Now you just want to ride that streak and keep making money.”

Ryan Jarrett is on the right path.

postheadericon Struxness adds cash in NFR’s 1st round

LAS VEGAS – In only his second year in ProRodeo, steer wrestler J.D. Struxness has had some amazing experiences already.

Nothing was bigger than what the young cowboy experienced Thursday night during the first round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The nerves, the anticipation and the joy of competing in ProRodeo’s grand finale all came together in one swift motion during the opener.

J.D. Struxness

J.D. Struxness

The 21-year-old Minnesota cowboy pushed through all the obstacles before him, threw his steer down in 4.6 seconds and left the Thomas & Mack Center $5,500 richer. He finished in a tie for fifth place in the round with fellow NFR rookie Cody Cabral.

That’s vital at the NFR, even if it’s one of the lowest payouts on the night. Cashing checks in Vegas is what helps catapult cowboys toward the top, and the goal is to finish the 10-round championship at the top of the money list in order to be crowned the world champion.

Struxness has pushed his season earnings to $99,935. More importantly, he trails world standings leader Tyler Waguespack by just $19,000. With go-rounds paying more than $26,000 to the winner each night, Struxness could move into the top spot with a first- or second-place finish during Friday’s second go-round.

The Appleton, Minn., cowboy is no stranger to big championships. As a high-schooler, he qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo seven times in four season – four in tie-down roping and three in steer wrestling. Just this past June, he clinched his first national title by winning the bulldogging at the College National Finals Rodeo.

In fact, should he pull off the feat, he could become just the fourth cowboy in the sport’s history to have won a college title and a world championship in the same event in the same calendar year.

But there is a long road ahead of him, and it winds through Sin City at a precarious rate. That’s the nature of the NFR. Only the top 15 contestants in each event qualify for the championship, and all will battle for the biggest purse in the game. Every cowboy and cowgirl has a chance to leave the Nevada desert with more than $200,000 earned over 10 magical nights.

For now, though, the young Minnesota cowboy – who attended Missouri Valley College and is a senior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University – will focus on his next opportunity to cash in. That mentality helped him earn his first NFR qualification and guided him to the college championship already.

It’s bound to keep working in Las Vegas.

postheadericon Proctor places on opening night

LAS VEGAS – Practice has become a saving grace for Coleman Proctor, and it paid off Thursday during opening night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Proctor, the 15th-ranked header in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings, got a late start in his first-round run with heeler Billie Jack Saebens. That put him behind the steer he was hoping to catch quickly.

Coleman Proctor

Coleman Proctor

“Being the first man out tonight, I wanted to make sure he was stepping in front of me and that I didn’t break the barrier,” said Proctor of Pryor, Okla. “He was a step ahead of me the whole way, and I had to make a throw at the end of the pen.”

He made the turn, and Saebens roped the two back legs to stop the clock in 5.2 seconds. The tandem finished sixth on the night and pocketed $4,231 in the process.

“I’ve never won money in Round 1, so I was really excited to do that,” Proctor said. “I had hoped to come in here and get the round win with my partner’s first NFR, but instead I had to run him to the back end of the pen and let him throw for the money.”

Every the realist, he took every step of the run in stride, even making a joke about it.

“Thank God Lonestar makes a long rope,” he said with a laugh.

Proctor pushed his season earnings to $76,254 and remains 15th in the world standings, but nine rounds of the richest rodeo in the world remain ahead of him.

“I’m going to go home tonight and study film and think about making a better run tomorrow,” he said. “I’m going to work on trying to get a better start, but it’s good that we can still catch some at the back end (of the arena). It just goes to show how great my partner is and how great our horses are.”

But that’s where practice has come into play. Proctor has worked on every scenario possible when it comes to roping inside Thomas & Mack Center.

“It’s easy to rope at the NFR if you stay within 30 feet of the (start),” Proctor said. “Then it gets really hard when you run one past that. I’ve always set up so I could go toward the back end and still be able to stay with it. I just focus on staying relaxed and finishing the run. It’s encouraging that when I put myself into that situation that I was able to respond and still finish in the money.

“It’s especially nice with how much the average pays now.”

The team that finishes with the best 10-round cumulative time will win the average championship and more than $67,000 in the process.

“We’re still going to have the same approach that we’ve had since the beginning, and that’s to try to win something on every steer we run,” he said. “We just need to do what we do, and that’s make the best run on every steer we have. That’s what we’ve been practicing to do since we got together in April.”

It’s worked pretty well so far.

postheadericon 2016 NFR Round 1 results

Bareback riding: 1.Tanner Aus, 85.5 points on Cervi Rodeo Control Freak, $26,231; 2. Clayton Biglow, 84, $20,731; 3. Tim O’Connell, 83, $15,654; 4. Wyatt Denny, 81.5, $11,000; (tie) Caleb Bennett, Jake Brown and Jake Vold, 81, $9,413 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Clayton Haas and Tyler Waguespack, 3.8 seconds, $23,481; 3. Matt Reeves, 3.9, $15,654; 4. Baylor Roche, 4.3, $11,000; 5. (tie) J.D. Struxness and Cody Cabral, 4.6, $5,500

Sage Kimzey

Sage Kimzey

Team roping: 1. Levi Simpson/Jeremy Buhler, 4.4 seconds, $26,231; 2. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 4.6, $20.731; 3. (tie) Luke Brown/Jake Long and Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 4.9, $13,327 each; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.1, $6,769; 6. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.2, $4,231.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Ryder Wright, 87.5 points on Frontier Rodeo Times Up, $26,231; 2. Cody Wright, 86.5, $20,731; 3. Jake Wright, 85.5, $15,654; 4. Allen Boore, 85, $11,000; 5. Rusty Wright, 82.5, $6,769; 6. Sterling Crawley, 82, $4,231.

Tie-down roping: 1. Shane Hanchey, 7.1 seconds, $26,231; 2. Marty Yates, 7.2, $20,731; 3. Hunter Herrin, 7.3, $15,654; 4. Riley Pruitt, 7.6, $11,000; 5. Ryan Jarrett, 7.8, $6,769; 6. (tie) Reese Riemer, Matt Shiozawa and Ryle Smith, 4.6, $1,410 each.

Barrel racing: 1. Pamela Capper, 13.75 seconds, $26,231; 2. Kimmie Wall, 13.9, $20,731; 3. Jana Bean, 13.93, $15,654; 4. Sherry Cervi, 13.96, $11,000; 5. Amberleigh Moore, 14.02, $6,769; 6. Mary Burger, 14.1, $1,410 each.

Bull riding: 1. Sage Kimzey, 86.5 points on Frontier Rodeo Aftershock, $26,231; 2. Shane Proctor, 83.5, $20,731; 3. (tie) Brennon Eldred and Roscoe Jarboe, 83, $13,323; 5. Joe Frost, 82.5, $6,769; 6. Cody Rostockyj, 79, $4,231.