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AQHA could amend genetic diseases rule at Convention







By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 14, 2018

Members can lead the charge toward changes that could make the AQHA and the equine industry better at this year’s AQHA Convention.

The Convention will be held March 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla. The Convention is a chance for members to review member-submitted rule-change proposals and appoint new directors, induct new members into the AQHA Hall of Fame and elect the AQHA Executive Committee. You can register online at membership/convention/pages/register-for-convention/ For questions contact AQHA at utilities/contact/aqha/

The horses to be inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame for 2018 include Maroon (TB), Otoe, Runaway Winner, Smart Chic Olena and The Ole Man. The four men and two women are Abigail Kawananakoa, Nuevo Calif.; Dr. Tom Lenz, Louisburg, Kansas; the late AQHA Past President Gene Graves, Grand Island, Neb.; Georga and the late Raymond Sutton, Gettysburg, S.D. and the late Robert Sutherland, Kansas City, Mo.

You will be able to attend many AQHA Standing Committee meetings, including Amateur, Equine Research, International, Judges, Market & Membership, Nominations & Credentials, Public Policy, Racing, Ranching, Recreational Activities, Show, Professional Horseman and Youth Activities.

The Stud Book & Registration Committee will have an interesting agenda, including the Jockey Club’s new rule to have Electronic Registration Certificates for the horses.


If you’re a breeder, you would probably be interested in a suggested Genetic Disease Rule that will be discussed in the Stud  Book & Registration Committee, I’m sure – behind closed doors. There is a suggestion to amend REG108 (member) to

  1. require all breeding stallions and mares to have a genetic panel test done, and
  2. foals resulting from a breeding involving a parent that has tested positive for any of the diseases covered by the genetic disease panel are ineligible for registration.


The AQHA has also announced that they have partnered with the National Ranch Stock  Horse Alliance, formed to preserve and perpetuate ranching traditions and ranching heritage through ranch and stock horse events.

There will be dual-approved Versatility Ranch Horse shows with other NRSHA events and the AQHA will host a National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance Show in conjunction with the 2018 Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships June 13-17 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.

The NRSHA will work toward preserving and protecting the ranching heritage by helping these events stay true to their ranching roots, record major achievements of the ranch and stock horses competing in these associations and offer educational platforms with respected horse industry trainers and through AQHA Judges Seminars.

Other associations included in the NRSHA are the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association (NVRHA), Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX), Western States Versatility Ranch Horse Association (WSVRHA), Oklahoma Stock Horse Association (OkSHA) and the East Coast Stock Horse Association (ECSHA).

For an association to become a member, they must have at least 100 members, an association show must have at least one judged cattle class and must be a non-profit. Major event placings and money earned will be made available to AQHA for inclusion on horses’ achievement records, which will also be available through AQHA’s Robin Glenn Pedigrees. Each alliance association member is eligible to compete in the NRSHA National Show held each year.

For more information, go to

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☛ The pros and cons of background checks 2-13-18



By Rick Dennis
Feb. 13, 2018

Arguably, the most often debated subject in the private sector business arena is the necessity of conducting background checks.  Most often proponents argue, “it’s a sound business principle” while opponents opt for the age ole excuse “it’s a violation of privacy.”

These two concepts have been debated through time and memorial. Each are viewed as ideologies, with only one being a clear winner in the common sense arena.  Background checks have the advantage over the “violation of privacy issue” simply due to the fact that we live in a litigation (lawsuit) and security world.

For the record, and due in-part to my law enforcement and military resume’, my life has been constantly subjected to background checks for: security clearances, law enforcement hiring, military and private security services. My typical background check includes: an annual criminal and civil records check, fingerprint evaluations, peer association including  references, education and work history verification, medical history evaluation, as well as a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) a driving records check. On occasion and depending on a Personal Detail Application (PDA) – Personal Protection engagement, I’ve been required to undergo a polygraph examination, i.e., “lie detector test.” Therefore, background checks and I are old friends – “so-to-speak.”

In an article entitled “Why Do Background Checks – The Pros and Cons” the author’s first paragraph signals the reading audience as to why “Background Checks Are A Necessity, e.g.,:  A Pre-Employment Background Check has become a matter of necessity. Too many applicants make false claims on their job applications and resumes or attempt to cover up prior criminal activity. About 40% of the background checks processed by “A Matter of Fact” turn up at least one serious discrepancy.

Yet in another “matter-of-fact” statement the author asserts the pros of employee background checks.

Why do background checks? The benefits of comprehensive employment background screening include: increased applicant and new hire quality, reduced workplace violence, reduced negligent hiring liability, reduced losses from employee dishonesty, making the right hire the first time, and avoiding negative publicity. The bottom line is that pre-employment background checks help an organization be more successful. That means greater profits to for-profit organizations and greater impact for nonprofit’s.
Click for article on background checks>> 

There’s a whole host of relevancy that can be applied to any industry, other than the ones mentioned in my background synopsis, to justify the utilization of background checks – including the horse industry. Whether it’s for an individual applying for a directorship, board of directors/member nominee, a President or other officer, trainer, or sale company owner. In my opinion, and as a matter of fact – “anyone in a position of authority, Hall of Fame members that members and kids look up to, or those who provide clinics – especially for children, or under-age minors. Also included should be anyone in a position of responsibility or acting as a fiduciary whose authority is handling thousands of dollars (in some cases millions of dollars)  should have a background check. After all, trainers and Hall of Fame members are the icons of the horse industry representing both the non-profit horse organization, a specific performance group and also the general public. It’s irresponsible for a non-profit horse organization to elevate such an individual to its highest stature position without knowing all there is to know about that individual and ending up regretting their decision later on.

It’s just plain old good common sense to represent an individual in a factual manner instead of representing an individual as a good guy when, in reality, you may know nothing or very little about that person. I’m an active proponent of implementing a rule adoption requiring any individual included on a horse non-profit’s Trainers Directory, Directorship, or Board Member is only eligible for inclusion after a thorough background check.

My advocacy of performing background checks stems from the fact that after 911, the Patriot Act was enacted whereby individuals setting foot on any dock, offshore vessel or offshore oil and gas-producing platform to collect urine for employee drug and alcohol screening for sobriety has to have a security clearance as ordered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Therefore, if the private sector contractors has to have a background check to set foot on a dock in the United States of America, shouldn’t the same sound business principle be applied to the private sector horse industry, especially for those individuals who have a major contact with the general public either by representing a specific horse nonprofit or a specific performance category during his or her endeavor?  As a Risk Analyst, it’s just good business. The cost: $50 to $500.


Normally, a typical background check previously mentioned in the above categories can easily be performed by a private investigator, a law enforcement agency, a private security agency or an individual specializing in background checks. My personal preference is to use an outside individual or agency instead of performing them myself. This relieves me of the bias theory.  Equally, I’m not an advocate of using internet background check systems simply due to the fact the information contained therein might not be accurate or it may be deficient. My own representative of choice is “Christina Robertson Legal Services of Oceano, California. (805) 801-0346 or (805) 903-3695.

Ms. Robertson states that “If you truly want a thorough background check, you must search through Open Source Intelligence Gathering (OSINT). This is where Ms. Robertson excels.

What exactly is OSINT? Open Source Intelligence is the collection and analysis of information that is gathered from public or open sources. OSINT sources can be  media, internet, public government data, professional and academic publications, commercial data and “grey” literature, which could encompass technical reports, patents, business documents, newsletters, etc.

OSINT differs from research, in that it applies the process of intelligence to create knowledge for a specific decision by a specific individual or group.

For the record, if you’re going to have a background check performed on an individual for employment, a training engagement, or any of the criteria included in this article, it’s going to require a signed “Authorization Release Form” from the individual specifically authorizing the background check and release of information, especially if it’s referencing an employment or other work engagement decision.  That’s why you see a “disclaimer” on internet search engines advertising background checks.  A prudent business practice is to have a professional conduct this type of research of information for you.


Increase Applicant And New Hire Quality:

The first benefit of background checks that most clients see is an increase in applicant quality. We often hear from our new customers that they saw an almost immediate improvement in the quality of applicants once the word got out that they were conducting thorough background checks. A complete employee screening process results in fewer applications with serious discrepancies such as criminal records or a registered sex offender status. A background check requirement also discourages applicants who are trying to hide something, increases applications from applicants who want to work in a safe environment and increases the quality of new hires due to an improved applicant pool and improved selection process

Reduce Workplace Violence:

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the staggering cost of violence in the workplace includes the fact that 1.75 million days of work are lost each year by victims of workplace violence. The cost in lost wages account for about $55 million per year. When less direct, but further-reaching costs are considered, such as lost productivity, legal expenses and diminished public image, the annual cost of workplace violence could measure in the billions.

An Employer’s Imperative:

Employers have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. Therefore, knowing whether a potential employee has been involved in criminal activity such as sex crimes, drug or other substance abuse, reckless behavior, dishonesty, theft or dangerous and violent behaviors, allows the employer to determine if an applicant is appropriate for the job and work environment. It also helps the employer determine if the applicant poses a potential threat to other employees.


How Do Background Checks Help?

Prior history is a good predictor of future performance. Background checks are used by employers to identify applicants prone to unacceptable workplace behavior. Background check tools such as criminal-record checks including instances of animal abuse reports, registered sex offenders, incarceration for violent offenses,  prior employment verifications, education verification, license verifications and other research tools can reveal potential problem areas.


Protect Against Negligent Hiring Liability:
“What is Negligent Hiring Liability?” Negligent-hiring liability holds employers responsible both for what they do know and what they should have known about their employees, agents, assigns or representatives. It can even hold employers responsible for employees’ actions off the job. Courts have repeatedly affirmed that employers have a duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring individuals who, because of the nature of their employment, may pose a threat to the public.

Cost of Employee Dishonesty:

The typical organization loses 5 percent of its annual revenue to occupational fraud. The median loss caused by occupational fraud was $140,000. More than one-fifth of fraud cases caused losses of at least $1 million. Small organizations are disproportionately victimized by occupational fraud. See, ACFE: 2012 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse. Employee theft and dishonesty can also reduce production, damage public confidence, destroy employer reputation and negatively affect employee morale.

A particular case I was involved in the horse industry was litigated by criminal charges in the Gainesville, Texas, courts whereby an assistant trainer and exercise rider, “Dakota Lindsey Harrell”  was indicted and accused of accessing a client’s bank account numbers from client-provided checks paid to the trainer for services rendered. This individual was alleged to have embezzled over $500,000 over a period of years from the client’s personal bank account. The incident was resolved by the Texas Criminal Justice System. However, this is just one instance where a background check in the horse industry may have been favorable to the trainer and the client in preventing this gross theft of funds.

I performed a Risk Analysis of the incident and initiated a series of counter measures for a recovery of assets, as well as changing the client’s entire banking process to prevent a future occurrence.

Click for theft case>>

Prevalence of Employee Dishonesty:

Theft and fraud is something that employers are aware but perhaps a bit complacent. The true prevalence of these crimes is pervasive and not well known. Approximately 30 percent of employees admit to stealing from their employers. The perpetrators are not those one would expect: 41.2 percent are managers, 39 percent are employees and 19.3 percent are owners or executives.

Therefore, it’s incumbent for anyone, whether a 50(c)3 non-profit horse organization, or any other support group of the horse industry, to do all it can to protect itself from unscrupulous individuals in our society. Remember, “failing to act” after knowing something about an individual could result in a “negligence” jury verdict for the individual or company later on, due to a mishap involving that individual.



In my book I cover a myriad of security aspects applicable to the horse industry, including implementing drug testing and background checks for employers and trainer selection.  A copy can be ordered either off the internet or from my website: It’s a five-star rated book.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:

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☛ AQHA requesting delay of ELD Mandate 2-1-18



Press release from AQHA
Feb. 1, 2018

The American Quarter Horse Association is involved with requests to delay the impending Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate for one year. The mandate went into effect on December 18, 2017. At that time, livestock haulers were granted a 90-day waiver to comply with the mandate, and that waiver will expire March 18, 2018.

The rule limits the amount of time a commercial truck driver can drive and mandates a specific amount of off-duty/non-driving time, and requires the use of electronic logging devices to track the driving and non-driving times.

While there are some exemptions from the ELD mandate for farm and agricultural hauling, many of the rigs used for hauling horses and the activities horse owners participate in may not be exempt.

AQHA and other livestock organizations are concerned about the regulation requiring 10 consecutive hours off duty and how that will affect the welfare of animals being transported. Livestock industry guidelines recommend that drivers avoid stops when hauling livestock, as stopping for long periods of time would have a detrimental effect on the animals being hauled.

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines commented on the National Pork Producer Council’s request to United State Department of Transportation for a waiver and exemption from the ELD mandate for livestock haulers. AQHA supports the exemption and is pursuing a one-year delay to address the additional issues created by changes to 49 CFR Part 395.

“AQHA members are involved in showing, racing, ranching, rodeos and recreation, and it is common for AQHA members to haul their horses interstate over long distances (much like other livestock haulers),” Huffhines said in his letter to the DOT. “We encourage the Department of Transportation to grant a one-year enforcement delay followed by a waiver and limited exemptions from compliance with the December 18, 2017, implementation date for the final rule on ELDs and hours of service. This will allow the department the opportunity to take appropriate steps to alleviate any unintended consequences that this mandate may have on the hauling of horses or other livestock.”

Read the full letter sent by Huffhines on behalf of AQHA and the Association’s members.

Overall, the Association believes more time is needed to reach out to the horse industry and ensure that industry education programs include ELD compliance and use. A one-year exemption will provide the horse industry the opportunity to educate members and allow the opportunity for the FMCSA to develop livestock-specific solutions to the ELD and underlying hours of service concerns of the industry.

What can members do?
Currently there is language in the House passed Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill that would delay the implementation of electronic logging devices for commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock and insects. Please contact your Senators and Representative to support the ELD one-year delay to give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration time to make the necessary adjustments to hours of service rules to address animal welfare concerns. (Their contact information can be found here.)

Additionally, you can tune-in the American Horse Council webinar about the ELD mandate at 2 p.m. Central on February 12. The webinar will address the details of what the ELD mandate includes and who is required to have an electronic logging device. Register for the webinar here. If you can’t watch the webinar on February 12, it will be recorded and posted on the AHC website. To read more about the implementation of electronic logging devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

To read more about the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices, visit and search “ELD Rule.”

View brochures created by the American Horse Council for more information on the Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Commercial Drivers Licenses.

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☛ UHC announces “Operation Chip” 1-11-18





Jan. 11, 2018
Press release from Unwanted Horse Coalition

(Washington, DC)- Starting in 2018, the Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) will be offering a new service to its popular Operation Gelding program called “Operation Chip.”

“The industry as a whole is moving towards microchipping as the preferred method of identification,” said UHC Director Ashley Furst. “Initially, organizations hosting Operation Gelding clinics will be eligible to apply for microchips for Operation Chip. Eventually we hope to expand the program to be able to offer rescue organizations the opportunity to apply for just the chips to be inserted into the horses in their care. Microchipping horses in rescue organizations is one of the best ways to be able to track them through the system, as well as give the industry the ability to reunite them with their owner in the case of a natural disaster.”

The UHC has partnered with MicrochipID Equine to provide the microchips for the program. The chips provided will come with a chip syringe, as well as a pre-paid registration card, and the veterinarian providing the gelding services at the clinic will be responsible for inserting the chips. “In order to ensure the horses are getting registered, the UHC will also be covering the cost of registration for each chip that is put into a horse,” said Furst. “A survey of rescues that have participated in Operation Gelding showed that only 50% of rescues are scanning horses for chips upon intake. The cost of scanners can be prohibitive for rescues, so as a result the UHC will also be providing eligible 501c3 rescues with an opportunity to apply for a deeply discounted scanner.”

The UHC is able to provide the scanners and chips to participants due to the generosity of The Right Horse Initiative. “The Right Horse Initiative is proud to support the UHC in its efforts to provide a more robust identification system in equine welfare,” said Christy Counts, President of The Right Horse. “Lack of identification is a major barrier to safe transitions for horses in this country. Providing easy access to microchipping for horse owners and horse rescues is a relatively easy and inexpensive solution to achieving our collaborative goal of providing opportunities for at-risk horses.”

Information about Operation Chip and how to apply can be found on the UHC website here: For any questions, please contact UHC Director Ashley Furst at 202-846-1607 or

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☛ Taylor tabbed for PRCA CEO 1-11-18




Press release from PRCA
Jan. 11, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association has named George Taylor its Chief Executive Officer.

Taylor is a former executive with Caterpillar, where he was most recently a company officer and vice president with responsibility for the Marketing & Digital Division. Taylor takes over for Karl Stressman, who retired as PRCA Commissioner after nine years at the helm. Taylor will begin his job as PRCA’s CEO on Jan. 22.

“I’m honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead an organization with the history and the brand recognition of the PRCA,” Taylor said. “It’s a dream for me to be involved and I couldn’t be more excited about the future potential for our membership and the PRCA team.”

Over his 19 years with Caterpillar, Taylor, 56, also served as Chief Marketing Officer and President of Caterpillar Venture Capital, where he and his team drove enterprise brand, innovation and digital transformations for the industry-leading Fortune 50 Company.

Before working for Caterpillar, Taylor had extensive executive experience with IBM. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois and a B.S. in Computer Science from Illinois State University.

“I have had the opportunity to work for two iconic global companies during my career and I believe the PRCA is yet another example of an iconic organization representing the best in the sports and entertainment industry,” Taylor said.

Taylor has built a reputation as a big-picture thinker who can manage and inspire people on a day-to-day basis. He’s also known for his positive attitude and forward thinking, and he’s keenly aware of how digital solutions impact customers and business.

Among his early goals, Taylor wants to hear from PRCA members.

“First of all, I am going to spend time listening to the membership of the PRCA and the staff to prioritize initiatives that will move us forward,” Taylor said. “Secondly, I think that we need to physically and digitally innovate both the customer and member experiences. We have to keep advancing our sport to drive fan and membership engagement.  Leveraging digital technologies and rodeo content will be an important aspect of that. Lastly, PRCA needs to continue to expand rodeo’s reach to increase our fan base and deliver the Western lifestyle experience around the globe. In the end, it’s about continuing to grow revenue and the PRCA ProRodeo brand for the benefit of its members.”

Keith Martin, the Chairman of the PRCA Board of Directors, praised the hiring of Taylor.

“George’s business acumen and his ability to work with so many different types of people are going to be really strong attributes, because in our organization that’s really needed,” Martin said. “We appreciate his financial, digital and marketing strengths, and those things all enter into being a good fit for us, taking us into the next century. His communication skills are excellent, and I think that’s needed so much in our organization. Karl (Stressman) did a great job and left us in good shape, and the whole PRCA Board helped that endeavor. This is taking us to the next level.”

Before moving to Colorado Springs, Taylor and his wife, Chris, were living in Snowmass, Colo., where they enjoyed numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and snowboarding. The Taylors have three adult children – two daughters and a son – and three grandchildren.

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☛ NFR Finals – Day 2 12-9-17



Courtesy of PRCA
Dec. 9, 3017

Bradshaw closes gap in saddle bronc riding

LAS VEGAS – It’s only Day 2 of the 10-day Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER.
Saddle bronc rider CoBurn Bradshaw may have already found his groove.
A night after placing second in the saddle bronc riding, Bradshaw scored 89.5 points on Calgary Stampede’s Tiger Warrior to win Round 2 at the WNFR on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Thomas & Mack Center. The score tied for the second most points in Round 2 history.
Bradshaw was good for 87 points in the first round on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Big Tex.
“The saddle is feeling good,” said Bradshaw, 23. “I was nervous coming in since it’s a new saddle and I had been on 15 horses with it, and they were little. So, I took my leathers up and was nervous they would be too tight. Last night’s horse (Big Tex) I had been on before and I knew Tiger Warrior was a good horse and my leathers were feeling good. I was nervous about Tiger Warrior because he is big and strong, and I was questioning my saddle, but now my confidence is up.”
Bradshaw also won Round 2 in 2015.
“I don’t know, I just have good luck in it and I guess it’s turning into my round – I’ve been nervous every year in the first round,” he said. “Last year, I had new leathers, too, and I threw my old ones on after the third round and did better.”
Also rising for Bradshaw after two nights were his season earnings. The Utah cowboy has earned $56,962 – including his $10,000 check for qualifying for the WNFR – in two rounds, putting him in the lead for the RAM Top Gun Award.
He’s still sitting in third place in the saddle bronc riding competition, but instead of being behind by more than $61,000, he’s behind leader Jacobs Crawley by about $12,000.
“I hope to be first place every night from now on,” Bradshaw said. “I’ve got a lot of ground to make up.”

Smith rides for 87 points to win bull riding competition

Once upon a time, Garrett Smith was at the WNFR in an accomplice role.
Smith, at the ripe old age of 19, hazed for his brother, Wyatt, at the 2014 Finals.
On Friday, Smith won Round 2 of the bull riding competition with 87 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s J Lazy.
“It means a lot and helps your confidence going into the next round; and going into the week it makes everything better,” said Garrett Smith, now 22 years old.
Smith can operate at either end of the arena, but for him, there’s only one end he’s interested in at the moment, and it’s showing with his second-place position in the world standings.
“That’s always been my dream since I was little, to be a bull rider, but when my brother asked me to haze it was cool,” he said. “I bulldog quite a bit, but I’m having too much fun riding bulls while I’m young to go for the Linderman Award.”
Smith’s win gives him $253,797. He trails three-time, defending World Champion Sage Kimzey by less than $12,000.
Smith isn’t planning on changing anything to close the gap further.
“You’ve got to keep doing what you are doing, and if you keep doing that it should go good,” he said.

Brazile wins tie-down roping title, extends all-around lead

Trevor Brazile was back to his old ways Friday night, winning his record 67th career go-round by taking the Round 2 tie-down roping victory in 7.4 seconds.
“It is just cool every time you win a round here,” said the 41-year-old Texas cowboy. “It just puts you in the (record) book and lets you be a part of the rich history of our sport, and it’s a lot of the reason we do what we do.”
With the win, Brazile increased his PRCA record in career go-rounds won overall, including the National Finals Steer Roping and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, to 67. Tie-down roper Cody Ohl (55) and saddle bronc rider Billy Etbauer (51) are second and third, respectively.
Brazile has won 23 career PRCA gold buckles (all-around 2002-04, 2006-15; tie-down roping 2007, 2009-10; team roping 2010; steer roping 2006-07, 2011, 2013-15).
The win also added to Brazile’s lead in the race for the all-around cowboy gold buckle, as he built his total winnings for 2017 up to $298,183. He leads brother-in-law Tuf Cooper by $58,161.
“I know it’s a race, but I also know it’s not a sprint either,” he said. “So, I’m just roping, and you can start worrying about it (the all-around standings) when you get close to the end, but until then, there’s nothing you can do.”

Amberleigh Moore posts Round 2 record

Amberleigh Moore, the barrel racer who holds the NFR earnings record won Round 2 in a round record time of 13.54 seconds on CP Dark Moon (Paige).
“I took a deep breath before I came up the alleyway because last night took a little bit of wind out of my sail,” Moore said. “I’m very happy for tonight.”
Moore bested the previous record (set by Sherry Cervi in 2013) by .12 seconds.
“Being top of the ground (second out) definitely was an advantage, I feel,” Moore said. “Tonight, Paige readjusted how she ran and adapted to the ground and got it done.”
Moore made an equipment change ahead of her ride.
“I had a new saddle,” Moore said. “I’ve had it for about two months and a couple times I felt a little bit uncomfortable in it, and last night was the final, ‘Go back to the saddle you’ve ridden in for the past year.’ I think it helped – at least I felt more confident in it.”

Aus, Champion share bareback riding title

Entering the WNFR, Tanner Aus had the largest deficit of any cowboy sitting in second place. He trailed defending world champion Tim O’Connell by $65,259.

After missing out on the money in the first round while O’Connell took home more than $13,000, Aus went back to his hotel and refocused.
On Friday night, Aus and Richmond Champion each scored 87.5 points to split the Round 2 victory.
“It’s nice to start off early,” said Aus, who rode Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet Fever. “I had kind of a slow night last night. You go back to the hotel and you think about your mistakes and try to rectify the situation, so I felt like I did an all right job doing that.”
Champion did his damage on a familiar horse, Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free.
“Man, it was awesome,” Champion said. “It’s a horse that’s been around a long time – Fancy Free of Pete Carr’s – I think she might be older than I am. I knew I had a good one. I wasn’t sure she was going to be enough. Like I said, she’s an older horse, but she bucked like a colt today.”
While Aus and Champion each won $23,481, O’Connell placed again, bringing his 2017 WNFR earnings to $36,654.
Over the months leading up to the WNFR, Aus was contemplating what he needed to do to track down O’Connell.
“From the end of September to the beginning of December, those two months are pretty slow,” the Minnesota cowboy said. “Then the three days when you get to Vegas are the slowest. You try to keep your mind right and have a little fun. But here we are, second night down, and once she gets started it goes pretty fast.”
In his third trip to the Finals, this was Champion’s first time placing before the fourth round. Friday brought a different feeling.
“In the past two qualifications here, I’ve been a notorious slow starter,” an elated Champion said. “My goal this year was to get the ball rolling early. Last night didn’t go my way, but I kind of had a feeling tonight was going to be a better night, and I guess we’re right on track.”

Tanner Milan wins first career round win

With a little help from his family steer wrestler Tanner Milan nailed down his first career WNFR round win.
Milan won Round 2 in 3.5 seconds, tying for the fifth-fastest Round 2 time.
“This is incredible. This is just a heck of a feeling. This feels awesome,” Milan said. “Now, I have to just stay real aggressive on the start and run at the barrier every night and try and catch up as fast as I can.”
The win has Milan in fifth place in the world standings. His brother, Baillie, had a big hand in Friday’s win.
“I got a real, real good start and that little horse I’m riding (Maverick) is owned by Tom Lewis, and he gets across there so fast and he’s a real good, honest horse,” Milan said. “I had my brother, Baillie, hazing, and I have great support here from my family and friends. I couldn’t ask for a better way to have things go for me in Round 2.”
Tyler Pearson took second place in Round 2, bringing his NFR earnings after two nights to $51,462. Pearson now trails leader Ty Erickson by less than $12,000. Erickson’s lead going into the NFR had been more than $52,000.

Bird, Cardoza post 3.9-second round in team roping

When the first team ropers of the night shot out to a 4.1-second time, Dustin Bird and Russell Cardoza didn’t let it pressure them.
The team roping veterans topped it with a time of 3.9 to win Round 2, tying the round’s second quickest time, and cashing in for $26,231 apiece.
“After missing one last night, we weren’t going to just catch him, that’s for sure,” Bird said. “He was a good enough steer that allowed us to make a good run and win first.”
Bird and Cardoza are old hats at making the trip to Vegas. Bird is in his fifth WNFR competition, while Cardoza is in his sixth.
“Vegas is fun anytime you come, but if you’re in the rodeo it makes it that much better,” said Cardoza, who sits fourth place in the team roping heeler world standings.
Bird is fifth place among headers after scoring the first-place check.
“That’s the big thing, being back here in Vegas, but to actually go and do good is another thing, so it feels good,” Bird said.
Header Kaleb Driggers and teammate heeler Junior Nogueira did not place, but continue to lead the world standings in their respective events. Each lead by at least $11,000 over their nearest competitor.

Second Performance Results, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017

Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Tanner Aus on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet Fever and Richmond Champion on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, 87.5 points, $23,481 each; 3. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Jake Vold, 87, $13,327 each; 5. Jake Brown, 86.5, $6,769; 6. Orin Larsen, 85, $4,231; 7. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Caleb Bennett, 84 each; 9. (tie) J.R. Vezain and R.C. Landingham, 83.5 each; 11. Mason Clements, 83; 12. Ty Breuer, 81.5; 13. Steven Dent, 78.5; 14. Bill Tutor, 78; 15. Wyatt Denny, 73.5. Average standings: 1. Jake Vold, 174.5 points on two head; 2. Tim O’Connell, 172; 3. Orin Larsen, 171.5; 4. Jake Brown, 169; 5. Richmond Champion, 168.5. World Standings: 1. Tim O’Connell, $238,567; 2. Tanner Aus, $170,138; 3. Jake Vold, $151,718; 4. Clayton Biglow, $138,153; 5. Richmond Champion, $134,678; 6. Orin Larsen, $134,202; 7. J.R. Vezain, $130,081; 8. Jake Brown, $119,982; 9. Wyatt Denny, $119,353; 10. Caleb Bennett, $118,793; 11. Mason Clements, $109,441; 12. Bill Tutor, $106,039; 13. Steven Dent, $105,767; 14. R.C. Landingham, $99,261; 15. Ty Breuer, $99,106.
Steer wrestling: 1. Tanner Milan, 3.5 seconds, $26,231; 2. Tyler Pearson  , 4.0, $20,731; 3. (tie) Kyle Irwin and Jon Ragatz, 4.1, $13,327 each; 5. Nick Guy, 4.2, $6,769; 6. Tyler Waguespack, 4.3, $4,231; 7. (tie) Ty Erickson and Scott Guenthner, 4.5 each; 9. (tie) Olin Hannum and Chason Floyd, 4.9 each; 11. Ryle Smith, 5.9; 12. Rowdy Parrott, 6.4; 13. Dakota Eldridge, 7.1; 14. J.D. Struxness, 13.8; 15. Baylor Roche, NT. Average standings: 1. Tyler Waguespack, 7.8 seconds on two head; 2. Tyler Pearson, 7.9; 3. Jon Ragatz, 8.4; 4. Scott Guenthner, 8.8; 5. Kyle Irwin, 8.9. World Standings: 1. Ty Erickson, $173,152; 2. Tyler Pearson, $161,380; 3. Tyler Waguespack, $144,405; 4. Olin Hannum, $120,951; 5. Tanner Milan, $120,304; 6. Scott Guenthner, $117,032; 7. Baylor Roche, $109,340; 8. Jon Ragatz, $108,198; 9. Ryle Smith, $103,463; 10. Kyle Irwin, $103,011; 11. Nick Guy, $99,737; 12. J.D. Struxness, $93,973; 13. Rowdy Parrott, $91,088; 14. Dakota Eldridge, $90,981; 15. Chason Floyd, $88,723.
Team roping: 1. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 3.9 seconds, $26,231 each; 2. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 4.5, $20,731; 3. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.6, $15,654; 4. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 4.7, $11,000; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.8, $6,769; 6. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.1, $4,231; 7. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 5.3; 8. Jr. Dees/Tyler McKnight, 9.3; 9. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 9.4; 10. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 22.2; 11. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, Tom Richards/Jeremy Buhler and Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, NT. Average standings: 1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 9.2 seconds on two head; 2. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 9.3; 3. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 10.1; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves,10.8; 5. Jr. Dees/Tyler McKnight, 13.6. World Standings: (headers) 1. Kaleb Driggers, $170,208; 2. Clay Smith, $154,402; 3. Erich Rogers, $152,596; 4. Luke Brown, $128,381; 5. Dustin Bird, $114,519; 6. Charly Crawford, $113,821; 7. Riley Minor, $110,818; 8. Jr. Dees, $109,694; 9. Coleman Proctor, $108,033; 10. Chad Masters, $99,739; 11. Dustin Egusquiza, $98,437; 12. Tom Richards, $91,415; 13. Clay Tryan, $91,383; 14. Cody Snow, $89,236; 15. Garrett Rogers, $85,614. (heelers) 1. Junior Nogueira, $170,938; 2. Paul Eaves, $158,519; 3. Cory Petska, $152,596; 4. Russell Cardoza, $136,004; 5. Billie Jack Saebens, $120,930; 6. Jake Long, $119,852; 7. Joseph Harrison, $118,063; 8. Brady Minor, $110,818; 9. Tyler McKnight, $110,105; 10. Travis Graves, $106,649; 11. Kory Koontz, $95,652; 12. Jade Corkill, $91,383; 13. Wesley Thorp, $90,836; 14. Jake Minor, $85,614; 15. Jeremy Buhler, $78,006.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 89.5 points on Calgary Stampede’s Tiger Warrior, $26,231; 2. Sterling Crawley, 83, $20,731; 3. Brody Cress, 82.5, $15,654; 4. Cody DeMoss, 81.5, $11,000; 5. Audy Reed, 78, $6,769; 6. (tie) Jake Wright and Taos Muncy, 76.5, $2,115 each; 8. Jacobs Crawley, Zeke Thurston, Hardy Braden, Layton Green, Ryder Wright, Heith DeMoss, Clay Elliott, Jesse Wright, NS. Average standings: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 176.5 points on two head; 2. Cody DeMoss, 167; 3. Sterling Crawley, 163; 4. Brody Cress, 162; 5. Jake Wright, 161.5. World Standings: 1. Jacobs Crawley, $193,927; 2. Zeke Thurston, $184,122; 3. CoBurn Bradshaw, $181,077; 4. Cody DeMoss, $151,657; 5. Hardy Braden, $139,004; 6. Brody Cress, $131,319; 7. Ryder Wright, $125,015; 8. Sterling Crawley, $123,723; 9. Layton Green, $120,613; 10. Jake Wright, $107,527; 11. Heith DeMoss, $102,280; 12. Taos Muncy, $100,517; 13. Clay Elliott, $99,332; 14. Audy Reed, $92,418; 15. Jesse Wright, $86,630.
Tie-down roping: 1. Trevor Brazile, 7.4 seconds, $26,230; 2. Cade Swor, 7.7, $20,731; 3. Marcos Costa, 8.1, $15,654; 4. Cory Solomon, 8.4, $11,000; 5. Tyson Durfey, 8.8, $6,769; 6. Shane Hanchey, 9.0, $4,231; 7. Marty Yates, 9.2; 8. Tuf Cooper, 10.0; 9. Cooper Martin, 10.5; 10. Timber Moore, 10.9; 11. J.C. Malone, 13.9; 12. Matt Shiozawa, 14.1; 13. Ryan Jarrett, 18.6; 14. Caleb Smidt, 24.7; 15. Randall Carlisle, NT. Average standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, 15.30 seconds on two head; 2. Cade Swor, 15.80; 3. Marcos Costa, 16.0; 4. Tyson Durfey, 17.80; 5. Tuf Cooper, 18.40.: World Standings 1. Tuf Cooper, $200,445; 2. Marcos Costa, $165,748; 3. Caleb Smidt, $156,425; 4. Trevor Brazile, $155,856; 5. Shane Hanchey, $138,729; 6. Ryan Jarrett, $132,286; 7. Cade Swor, $127,191; 8. Tyson Durfey, $124,192; 9. Marty Yates, $107,173; 10. Cory Solomon, $106,210; 11. Matt Shiozawa, $103,363; 12. J.C. Malone, $103,068; 13. Timber Moore, $95,962; 14. Randall Carlisle, $95,566; 15. Cooper Martin, $95,438.
Barrel racing: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 13.54 seconds, $26,231; 2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 13.62, $20,731; 3. Hailey Kinsel, 13.65, $15,654; 4. Nellie Miller, 13.74, $11,000; 5. Sydni Blanchard, 13.80, $6,769; 6. Kellie Collier, 13.83, $4,231; 7. Taci Bettis, 13.87; 8. Ivy Conrado, 13.89; 9. (tie) Tillar Murray and Kathy Grimes, 13.90 each; 11. Lisa Lockhart, 13.96; 12. Tiany Schuster, 14.10; 13. Kimmie Wall, 19.07; 14. Kassie Mowry, 19.24; 15. Stevi Hillman, 23.67. Average standings: 1. Hailey Kinsel, 27.34 seconds on two runs; 2. Nellie Miller, 27.38; 3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 27.61, 4. Kathy Grimes, 27.75; 5. (tie) Tillar Murray and Ivy Conrado, 27.79 each. World Standings: 1. Tiany Schuster, $260,378; 2. Stevi Hillman, $195,952; 3. Nellie Miller, $177,768; 4. Amberleigh Moore, $157,037; 5. Kassie Mowry, $145,894; 6. Hailey Kinsel, $140,015; 7. Kathy Grimes, $132,785; 8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $123,660; 9. Sydni Blanchard, $108,131; 10. Taci Bettis, $107,023; 11. Lisa Lockhart, $106,454; 12. Tillar Murray, $102,789; 13. Kellie Collier, $97,569; 14. Ivy Conrado, $92,412; 15. Kimmie Wall, $86,294.
Bull riding: 1. Garrett Smith, 87 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s J Lazy, $26,230; 2. (tie) Sage Kimzey and Joe Frost, 86.5, $18,192 each; 4. Trey Benton III, 85.5, $11,000; 5. Jordan Hansen, 84.5, $6,769; 6. Cole Melancon, 78.5, $4,231; 7. Ty Wallace, Tim Bingham, Jordan Spears, Dustin Bowen, Roscoe Jarboe, Trevor Reiste, Guthrie Murray, Brennon Eldred and Boudreaux Campbell, NS. Average standings: 1. Trey Benton III, 175.5 points on two head; 2. Garrett Smith, 172.5; 3. Joe Frost, 170.5; 4. Sage Kimzey, 165.5; 5. Roscoe Jarboe, 87 points on one head. World Standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $265,345; 2. Garrett Smith, $253,797; 3. Ty Wallace, $167,077; 4. Trey Benton III, $157,702; 5. Joe Frost, $155,925; 6. Jordan Spears, $141,423; 7. Roscoe Jarboe, $133,586; 8. Tim Bingham, $129,515; 9. Cole Melancon, $117,850; 10. Jordan Hansen, $109,429; 11. Trevor Reiste, $107,121; 12. Dustin Bowen, $104,668; 13. Brennon Eldred, $102,991; 14. Boudreaux Campbell, $102,294; 15. Guthrie Murray, $97,288.
All-around world standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $298,183; 2. Tuf Cooper, $240,022; 3. Junior Nogueira, $172,660; 4. Caleb Smidt, $166,221; 5. Ryle Smith, $150,876; 6. Russell Cardoza, $149,026; 7. Erich Rogers, $147,649; 8. Dakota Eldridge, $114,200; 9. Josh Peek, $105,470.
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