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Muncy, Maier earn big money at American Royal on final day of the 2012 season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Taos Muncy knows what it takes to compete in ProRodeo’s elite class.

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

He’s a two-time and reigning world champion saddle bronc rider from Corona, N.M., and in two months will be competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the fifth time in his seven-year career.

On Sunday afternoon during the final performance of the American Royal Rodeo, Muncy spurred Three Hills Rodeo’s Rockin Baby for 85 points to finish in a tie for second place, earning $2,041 in the process.

“You always want to place at a rodeo, and to end the season with a good check in Kansas City couldn’t be any better,” said Muncy, who earned $10,784 over the last four days of competition, the lion’s share of which came while competing at the Justin Boots Championships in Omaha. “It seemed to have taken me a little bit to get started this season, but since the Fourth (of July), it’s been real good.”

Yes, it has. The Midwest run moved Muncy’s season earnings past the $100,000 mark. He is fourth in the world standings heading to ProRodeo’s championship event, which takes place Dec. 6-15 in Las Vegas.

“I just try to ride every horse the same, no matter if it’s in the practice pen in my back yard or at the NFR,” he said. “I just try to stay calm and keep the same routine. Every time I get on, I’m trying to win a round and trying to win the world title.”

Ardie Maier

Ardie Maier

Bull rider Ardie Maier of Timber Lake, S.D., doesn’t own a world champion’s gold buckle just yet, but he knows how special qualifying for the NFR is – he earned a trip two seasons ago and is firmly in the top 10. On Sunday, he posted an 87-point ride on Smith Harper and Morgan’s Smilin Bob to move into third place, just behind co-winners McKennon Wimberly of Cool, Texas, and John Young of Orient, Iowa.

“It’s a great feeling,” Maier said. “It’s been a long season, and to come in here on the last day and finish strong means a lot. Now I’ll take a little break, do some hunting and get ready for the finals.”

Maier suffered a knee injury in 2010 but still played in Vegas. Last year, an injury kept him from finishing the regular season among the top 15 in the world standings.

“This is the best year I’ve had as far as being healthy,” he said. “The last time I went, I had knee surgery, and I hadn’t been on a bull in three months.

“I’m looking forward to it. Now it’s time to go down there and let the dice fly.

American Royal Rodeo
Kansas City, Mo.
Final results
Bareback riding:
1. Heath Ford, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Smiling Bob, and Ryan Gray, on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s R.D. Mercer, $3,097 each; 3. (tie) Jared Keylon and Clint Cannon, 82, $1,636 each; 5. (tie) Justin McDaniel, Josi Young, Tim O’Connell, Logan Corbett and Kyle Brennecke, 81, $444 each.
Steer wrestling:
1. (tie) Bray Armes and Todd Suhn, 3.6 seconds, $2,326 each; 3. Trell Etbauer, $1,938; 4. Travis Carnine, $1,680; 5. Riley Duvall, 4.1, $1,421; 6. Jeff Miller, 4.2, $$1,163; 8. (tie) Brad Johnson, Justin Smith and Chance Carlson, 4.4, $388 each.
Team roping: 1. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 4.4 seconds, $3,159 each; 2. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 4.5, $2,826; 3. Quista Lopez/Buddy Hawkins, 4.6, $2,494; 4. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 4.8, $2,161; 5. David Key/Bucky Campbell, 4.9, $1,829; 6. (tie) Brant Spugin/J.W. Beck and Adam Newcomb/Chad Harper, 5.0, $1,330 each; 9. Logan Olson/Matt Kasner, 5.2, $831; 7. (tie) Dustin Chohon/DustinHarris and Adam Rose/Gabe Gwaltney, 5.5, $333 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Brad Rudolf, 86 points on Smith Harper and Morgan’s Rattle Snake Shake, $3,061; 2. (tie)  Ty Atchison, 85, $2,041; 4. Jake Wright, $1,122; 5. (tie) Will Smith and Luke Butterfield, 82, $612; 7. Jesse Wright, Cole Elshere and Cody Rud, 81, $238 each.
Tie-down roping:
1. Tyson Durfey, 7.4 seconds, $2,622; 2. Justin Maass, 7.6, $2,280; 3. Trent Creager, 7.8, $1,938; 4. Bryson Sechrist, 8.0, $1,596; 5. Jeremy Kempker, 8.3, $1,254; 6. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Clint Kindred and Cody McCartney, 8.4, $570.
Barrel racing: 1. Kenna Squires, 14.43, $2,512; 2. Trula Churchill, 14.50, $2,135; 3. Lindsay Sears, 14.54, $1,758; 4. (tie) Brittany Pozzi and Kaley Bass, 14.56, $1,381; 6. Benette Little, 14.61, $879; 7. Angie Meadors, 14.64, $628; 8. Shada Brazile, 14.65, $502; 9. Robyn Herring, 14.67, $440; 10. Natalie Foutch, 14.70, $377; 11. Carolyn Uhler, 14.74, $314; 12. (tie) Christina Richman and Lisa Lockhart, 14.75, $126.
Bull riding: 1. (tie) McKennon Wimberly, ono Wild Card Rodeo’s King Pen, and John Young, on Brookman & Hyland Rodeo’s Canadian Club, 88 points, $2,971; 3. Ardie Meier, 87, $1,906; 4. Tim Bingham, 85, $1,233; 5. Cody Whitney, $785; 6. (tie) Tyler Stoltz, Bobby Welsh, Chris Roundy and Lucas Guilbeau, 82, $336.

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