Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody DeMoss on Smith/Harper & Morgan’s Painted Feather, 86, $18,257; 2. Cody Wright, 85, $14,429; 3. Isaac Diaz, 84, $10,895; 4. (tie) Bradley Harter and Jesse Wright, 80.5, $6,183; 6. (tie) Chad Ferley and Sterling Crawley, 77.5, $1,472. AVERAGE: 1. Cody DeMoss, 798.5 points on 10 rides, $46,821; 2. Cody Wright, 740.5 on nine, $37,987; 3. Wade Sundell, 628 on eight, $30,036; 4. Cole Elshere, 620.5, $22,085; 5. Cort Scheer, 609, $$15,901; 6. Jesse Wright, 583 on seven, $11,484; 7. Cody Taton, 553, $7,951; 8. Isaac Diaz, 548.5, $4,417. WORLD CHAMPION: Jesse Wright, $22,887.
Team roping: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Jade Corkill, 4.0 seconds, $18,257; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Martin Lucero and Turtle Powell/Dugan Kelly, 4.1, $12,662; 4. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 4.9, $7,656; 5. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 5.2, $4,712; 6. Erich Rogers/Kory Koontz, 5.7, $2,945. AVERAGE: 1. Chad Masters/Clay O’Brien Cooper, 73.4/10, $46,821; 2. Keven Daniel/Chase Tryan, 65.2/9, $37,987; 3. Erich Rogers/Kory Koontz, 46.4/8, $30,036; 4. Brock Hansen/Ryan Motes, 63.8/8, $22,085; 5. Kaleb Driggers/Jade Crokill, 31.2/7, $15,901; 6. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 40.5/7, $11,484; 7. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 52.3/7, $7,951; 8. Colby Lovell/Russel Cardoza, 52.5/7, $4,417. WORLD CHAMPIONS: Header, Chad Masters, $196,099; heeler, Jade Corkill, $190,797
Bareback riding: 1. J.R. Vezain on Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, 86.5, $18,257; 2. Bobby Mote, 86, $14,429; 3. (tie) Steven Dent, Kaycee Field and Steven Peebles , 85.5, $7,656; 6. Casey Colletti, 84, $2,945. AVERAGE: 1. Kaycee Feild, 834.0/10, $46,820.91, 2. Will Lowe, 813.0/10, $37,986.78, 3. Bobby Mote, 809.5/10, $30,036.06, 4. J.R. Vezain, 808.0/10, $22,085.34, 5. Justin McDaniel, 801.0/10, $15,901.44, 6. Jessy Davis, 795.5/10, $11,484.38, 7. Caleb Bennett, 782.5/10, $7,950.72, 8. Wes Stevenson, 780.5/10, $4,417.07. WORLD CHAMPION: Kaycee Feild, $276,850
Steer wrestling: 1. Gabe Ledoux, 3.3, $18,257; 2. Bray Armes, 3.5, $14,429; 3. Wade Sumpter, 3.7, $10,895; 4. Dean Gorsuch, 3.9, $7,656; 5. (tie) Luke Branquinho and Matt Reeves, 4.2, $3,828. AVERAGE: 1. Les Shepperson, 48.6/10, $46,820.91, 2. Casey Martin, 50.0/10, $37,986.78, 3. Beau Clark, 54.3/10, $30,036.06, 4. Bray Armes, 55.2/10, $22,085.34, 5. KC Jones, 57.7/10, $15,901.44, 6. Dean Gorsuch, 62.9/10, $11,484.38, 7. Luke Branquinho, 36.8/9, $7,950.72, 8. Todd Suhn, 41.2/9, $4,417.07. WORLD CHAMPION: Luke Branquinho, $158,963.
LAS VEGAS – Tyrell Smith and Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Runnings have a lot in common.
Both were born in Canada and live the nomad life that is rodeo. They’re both in the City of Lights this week, competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time each.
Oh, and they came together quite well on Thursday night to win the saddle bronc riding title during the eighth go-round of the 2012 championship. The combination was worth 84 points, and it provided Smith with a paycheck of $18,257.
“First four jumps kind of scared me,” Smith said of the ride. “I had to take him squatting down; it wasn’t the best shot at that horse. Pete (Carr) told me that if you mess with him too much, he’ll get worse.
“I just kind of took a bad shot at him, and hoped it was going to work out. When I spurred him out, he hated me and tried to throw me off. I kept swinging for the fences, and it worked.”
Carr, who owns the Dallas-based livestock company, purchased Cool Runnings from Dale Woodward, who owns Outlaw Buckers, a Canadian livestock producer. Now the 10-year-old black gelding is helping cowboys earn their keep in the sport they love.
Thursday’s ride was the second time Cool Runnings has helped cowboys at the NFR. He matched moves with Sterling Crawley for 80.5 points in the third round, which was good enough for sixth place; Crawley earned $2,945. Another NFR qualifier, Jake Wright, won the rodeo in Window Rock, Ariz., with an 88-point ride.
“He’s pretty fast and a little stronger than I expected,” Smith said. “He’s just a good bucking horse. I’ve had people tell me I set my feet pretty hard, and I guess I must. Because every time I set my feet, I could feel him ball up and kick harder. He just felt like he was getting stronger. It worked out better than I thought it was going to.
Cool Runnings was the second Carr horse to guide a cowboy to the first-place prize, joining veteran River Boat Annie, who guided reigning world champion Kaycee Feild to a share of the second-round win. The tandem posted an 86.5.
“She’s been good for I don’t know how long,” Feild said of the 11-year-old red roan mare, who is at the NFR for the eighth time; she was the reserve world champion bareback horse in 2007. “I had never been on that horse. All my traveling partners have been on her a number of times, and I was just happy to see my name on the draw next to her.
“She’s constantly strong. She never changes up. She always has that consistent power, which is awesome, because you send feet as high as you want and set them as hard as you can. It seems like she’s in the air so high that you can set your feet, and you’re waiting for her to hit the ground, and you’re thinking about what you’re going to do the next jump. It’s all smooth. There’s never a real snatch or a real jerk, and she never hits the ground real hard. That’s just a fun one to get on.”
LAS VEGAS – One round remains in ProRodeo’s 2012 season, and Carlee Pierce has a game plan.
“We’re just going to run as fast as we can and focus on each barrel in the pattern,” said Pierce, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stephenville, Texas. “With rounds paying as much as they do, there’s no reason to let off now.”
That’s true. Pierce has already cashed in for $61,544 and has placed in just four rounds. She earned the $18,257 for winning the sixth round and finished runner-up in Rounds 4, 7 and 8. She and her 12-year-old buckskin gelding, Rare Dillion, have clocked well; a couple of overturned barrels have cost the pair another $20,000.
In fact, they rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 13.90 seconds in Friday’s ninth go-round of the NFR, which would’ve been good enough to finish in a tie for third place, but a barrel on the ground provided a five-second penalty and knocked the duo out of the money.
“I am still so very proud of Dillion,” Pierce said. “I can’t complain a bit about this NFR. We’ve won $60,000, and Dillion has been awesome.”
This is the best finals for Pierce, who was born in Red Deer, Alberta, and who lived in northwest Oklahoma for several years – in Freedom and Woodward. She and her family moved to Stephenville in the fall of 2011, where they also won Branded P, a Western store.
For Saturday night, the business is to cash in one final time at this year’s NFR.
“I’m extremely blessed just to be here, and I appreciate everything that’s happened,” said Pierce, who has earned more than $186,000 this season. “This has been an awesome ride.”
LAS VEGAS – Bareback rider Matt Bright contributes his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo success to numerous factors.
He’s riding without injury, which is rare in a sport where a cowboy’s hand is virtually locked onto the back of a bucking beast; he’s had great support; and, most importantly, Bright has his mind in the right place. Now in his third straight trip to sport’s grand finale, he’s having solid success.
“It seems like I’ve been real good at trying to treat it like a new rodeo every day,” said Bright, who has placed in four rounds, most recently an runner-up finish in Friday’s ninth go-round after posting an 84-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Dunny – so far, Bright has pocketed $33,668 in his nine days in Las Vegas, including the $14,429 he earned Friday.
“You’re getting to go at $18,000 every day,” he said, referring to the $18,257 that is paid to go-round winners for each of the NFR’s 10 nights. “That’s more than we get to nod for in one ride anywhere all year long. Getting on one horse for $18,000 … that’s the biggest rodeo you get all year. That’s probably why I’ve had a lot more success.”
How much better is the 2012 championship than the previous two? Bright entered this season with just two NFR go-round checks, one each in 2010-2011. Friday’s second-place finish was his best so far – he finished in a tie for third in the third round, tied for fifth in the fourth and finished fourth in the seventh. Having a great Texas horse worked out quite well for the Texas cowboy.
“I knew, by word of mouth, that I had a good horse,” he said of Dunny. “I was pretty excited. Me and Stace matched up yesterday, so I kind of wanted to redeem myself on one of his horses.”
Bright was referring to his 77-point ride atop Smith’s R.D. Mercer in the eighth go-round.
‘This is the most consistent I feel I’ve had at the finals,” Bright said. “I’ve had a no score and a couple bad rides, but I think I’ve been really good about not bringing it to the table the next day and starting fresh the next day, and I think that’s been a factor in riding as well as I have.
“I’ve won 10 times as much as I’ve won my whole life.”
LAS VEGAS – Justin McDaniel hasn’t had his best run at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but it’s getting better.
“I’m just glad I’m finally feeling good,” said McDaniel, a two-time NFR bareback riding average winner and the 2008 world champion.
McDaniel placed for the fourth time at this year’s finale with an 83.5-point ride atop J Bar J Inc.’s Dirty Rags, earning $7,754 in the process. That pushed his NFR earnings to $23,067; he has earned more than $83,000 this season.
But it’s come with a price. McDaniel, 26, of Porum, Okla., has struggled with back and shoulder issues at this year’s championship. Riding the toughest bucking horses in the world is tough; doing so with a bad back and a wrecked shoulder is even tougher.
“My back has finally stayed in for two days now,” he said. “It feels strong, and I feel like I can do my job now. I’m looking forward to the rank pen tomorrow night.”
The NFR features the top 100 bucking horses in the world, as selected by the bareback riders who try to tame them. The 10th-round horses are the cream of the crop. It’s a powerful to put a close to the 10-round slugfest that is ProRodeo’s grand championship.
“Even when you get here, it’s still a drawing contest,” McDaniel said of the blind draw that pits cowboy vs. animal that is still a vital part of the sport. “The horses have been outstanding this week, especially the ranker pen of horses.”
The first time this grouping of horses was bucked in the fifth go-round, five cowboys failed to register a score. McDaniel was 80.5 and just missed out on placing Monday night. He had a little better pony on Friday.
“It was good to break the ice a little bit and finally spur one,” said McDaniel, who is fourth in the average with a cumulative score of 722.5 points on nine rides – if he remains in that position, he’ll earn a bonus of $22,085 after the NFR concludes Saturday night. “That horse was just nice, and it was one you could really spur. I changed gloves tonight where I could squeeze a little better. I took my shoulder brace off and tried to loosen up and just have fun.”
Bull riding: 1. Trevor Kastner on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Bailey Hou, 84.5, $18,257; no other qualified rides.
Barrel racing: 1. Lisa Lockhart, 13.66, $18,257; 2. Lee Ann Rust, 13.88, $14,429; 3. Mary Walker, 13.90, $10,895; 4. (tie) Brenda Mays and Christy Loflin, 14.24, $6,184; 6. Christina Richman, 14.29, $2,945.
Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Clint Robinson and Bradley Bynum, 6.9 seconds, $16,343; 3. (tie) Monty Lewis, Cory Solomon and Tuf Cooper, 7.2, $7,656; 6. Cody Ohl, 7.7, $2,945.