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NFR – ROUNDS 6-7

NFR RESULTS – ROUNDS 6 & 7

Courtesy PRCA
Dec. 13, 2018

NFR – ROUND  6

Saddle bronc riders Scheer, Thurston split Round 6, set round record

LAS VEGAS – Cort Scheer and Zeke Thurston have been cashing in for plenty of money during the 60th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

They each added another $23,481 to their world standings when they split Round 6 and set the round record with rides of 89.5 points at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Scheer did his on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sue City Sue, while Thurston was aboard Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut.

“The horses are so awesome now and everyone rides so good that you can’t count on the rest of the field to make mistakes,” said Thurston, the 2016 Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion. “You have to just worry about what you have control of.”

Scheer has been in control plenty. He won two rounds outright before adding the split in Round 6.

“I had drawn a great horse and had a good spur out, and she got better and better,” he said. “I was 90 at Houston on her earlier this year.”

Scheer has won $92,712 at the Finals through six rounds (averaging $15,452 in winnings per night). He’s also third in the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $194,554. Reigning world champion Ryder Wright continues to lead the standings with $243,194.

Thurston and Scheer were excited to share the record and the win.

“It’s a lot of fun, and with the best 15 guys and the best 15 horses, you have to do something to set yourself apart,” Thurston said. “And Cort has won like all the rounds so far, so I had to at least be co-winner.”

Scheer jumped in and joked: “I don’t want to be greedy – oh wait, yes, I do.”

“I think it’s awesome to win a round and split it with your buddy,” Scheer continued. “Zeke is a world champion, so it’s fun to win it with him.”

Scheer, of Elsmere, Neb., knows he must continue pressing if he wants to climb to the top of the chart.

“The goal is to win the round and keep your momentum going,” he said. “Don’t think about the past or future, just lift your rein and spur out and go at them.”

Cassidy notches second go-round win of 2018 Finals

Since dipping out of the pole position in the steer wrestling world standings following Round 2, Curtis Cassidy has looked determined to capture his first world title. 

Cassidy won Round 6, his second go-round victory of these 2018 Finals.

“This feels awesome,” said Cassidy, 40. “I had a good steer. It was the one (Scott Guenthner) won Round 3 on. He’s a great steer, and I was happy to get a good start and make a good run. They let me win first.”

Since reigning world champion Tyler Pearson moved into first place following the second round, Cassidy, who then dropped to fourth, has won two rounds and added a third-place finish. He’s climbed back into first with $184,125 and extended his lead to $27,654.

But Cassidy isn’t banking on anything yet. With four rounds left and him sitting 13th in the average, Cassidy knows he’s a long way from a title.

“I know I’m not in the average,” said Cassidy, who has two no-times out of six goes. “My goal is to have $60,000 more won than the next-place guy going into Round 10 because I’m not in the average.”

Cassidy has made it a family affair in the arena, using his younger brother, Cody, as his hazer.

“He has hazed for me the whole time here,” Curtis Cassidy said. “It is awesome to have him here. He’s good support to have in my corner. He watches the cattle and knows them good, and he has been doing a good job hazing.”

Kinsel captures second win of 2018 Finals

Hailey Kinsel continued to show why she’s the season leader in barrel racing.

Kinsel stopped the clock in 13.63 seconds to notch her second win of the Wrangler NFR and again extend her lead in the world standings.

Kinsel has $286,815 in the standings, putting her $93,342 ahead of second-place Amberleigh Moore.

“This win is sure good for my confidence,” Kinsel said. “I still have four more runs to make, so that won’t change anything for the next few days, but (I’ll) just go at it every night and try to do my best.”

Kinsel was aboard Sissy Hayday, “Sister,” the 2018 PRCA | AQHA Horse of the Year for barrel racing. They continue to work and progress throughout the Finals.

“You learn something new every night here,” Kinsel said. “But, Lisa (Lockhart) can tell you that this is still a new rodeo each and every day. You apply what you learn, but you still change as it goes.”

Unlike when she’s on the road throughout the rodeo season, Kinsel has plenty of family with her in Las Vegas, and it’s helping the Cotulla, Texas, cowgirl.

“Having my family here with me makes a big difference,” Kinsel said. “Most of the year I have one person with me at best, and when you come somewhere like this where it’s a big deal and your whole family gets to come, it just puts you in a good comfort zone. It’s fun.”

Boquet on the hunt after first go-round win 

Not every cowboy at the Wrangler NFR knows how he’s going to spend his winnings.

But Dustin Boquet isn’t every cowboy.

The Bourg, La., bull rider, in his first trip to the Finals, notched his first round win, riding Hi Lo ProRodeo Company’s Divinity for 91 points in Round 6.

“It’s just been great lately,” Boquet said. “The NFR didn’t start out the way I wanted, but it’s like football, and you need to have time and start somewhere.”

Boquet hadn’t been on Divinity before, but his fellow Louisianan Koby Radley had. 

“I had seen my buddy Koby ride him, and I knew I would get some points,” said Boquet, 24. “I’d seen him (the bull) a few times before that and he does the same thing all the time.”

Boquet upped his Finals earnings to $51,885, which increased his season earnings to $166,472. He’s in seventh place in the world standings and eighth in the average race.

“After tonight, I’m feeling really good,” Boquet said. “I don’t have much of a plan, just take it a bull at a time and let the good Lord put me where I need to be.”

While there are still four more rounds of the 60th edition, Boquet has his first win and is looking forward to spending some of that cash.

“It means everything,” he said of the win. “I had some goals to get some round wins and I hope to get a couple more. It’s awesome to come in and win a round. … I’ll do a bunch of duck hunting after this with the money I won.”

Wade/Davison cash in with 3.9-second run

Team roping header Tyler Wade and his partner, heeler Cole Davison, were one spot out of the money in Rounds 1 and 5.

The three rounds in between also were fruitless.

But Tuesday night, the duo clocked a 3.9-second run to win the round and take home $26,231 apiece.

“Awesome,” Wade said. “Glad to get the ball rolling finally.”

Wade, 26, is in his second trip to Las Vegas for the $10 million rodeo.

Davison, 29, now has his first go-round win in his first trip to the Finals. Despite the drought before Round 6, Davison was feeling pressure. But he did say he needed to relax, and that worked.

“I’m not a very pressure-filled person,” Davison said. “I finally quit trying so hard tonight and just let it happen.”

Nine team roping pairs missed in the round. Wade and Davison didn’t worry about that, they were focused on their steer.

“We stay in our own lane and do our own deal,” Wade said. “We’ve been playing tag a little bit – he’s missed one, I’ve missed one. But we’re on the same page and glad to be here. We’re just going to keep roping and hopefully it will pay out.”

Team roping heading leader Clay Smith and heeling leader Paul Eaves did not miss. They added $15,654 to their bank accounts when they placed third in Round 6. Each of them has $197,127 won on the year. They each have nearly $30,000 leads on their next closest competitors.

Wade and Davison have been keeping busy with their families on the trip with them.

“Yeah, I’ve got two little girls, my wife, her parents and my parents are here,” said Davison, of Stephenville, Texas. “Everybody is out here.”

Wade has his family in town, too. 

“Oh, yeah, I’ve got a kid,” said Wade, of Terrell, Texas. “We went to the dolphin habitat about nine times. We’ve also been busy signing autographs. It kind of fills up the whole day.”

Cooper Martin stops clock in 7.6 seconds.

In his second trip to the Wrangler NFR, tie-down roper Cooper Martin nailed down his second career round victory.

Martin stopped the clock in 7.6 seconds, the same time he clocked in Round 4 of the 2017 Finals.

It was the first money he’s won through the first six rounds.

“It has been a rough week and a round win always helps,” Martin said. “I was just looking for any kind of check and to get things turned around.”

Martin has been riding Cade Swor’s horse, Shooter, who helped him get the job done.

“My good horse, Waterboy, got injured in October,” said Martin, 21. “I called Cade up and this horse, Shooter, is the one I have been riding all week. I rode (Shooter) about eight times and won eight checks on him before I came here. This is a great start to the second half (of the Wrangler NFR).”

The Alma, Kan., cowboy knew what to expect from his calf, and he wasn’t disappointed. He was focused on making a good run.

“These calves were the bigger set, and they have been pretty good all week,” he said. “Sometimes stuff doesn’t go right and the guys make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes all week, so I don’t have anything to talk about. It is hard to put runs together out here in this building.” 

Shane Hanchey continued to hold on to first place in the world standings for tie-down roping. Hanchey has $164,347 this season. Marty Yates is close behind, trailing by $2,076.

Breuer stays focused to win Round 6

Through the first five rounds, bareback rider Ty Breuer had yet to place. Not finishing in the top six was starting to get to him.

But the 28-year-old, North Dakota cowboy put those rounds behind him and rode Calgary Stampede’s Tootsie Roll for 88 points and the Round 6 win.

“Oh, that was big time for me,” Breuer said. “You know, when you go the first five rounds and you don’t win a check you start wondering if you don’t belong here. But tonight, it felt good, really good.”

Breuer knew he had a good chance when he drew Tootsie Roll. The two knew each other and had won a round at the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up.

“Really excited, especially because usually the second time they buck her she’s even better,” Breuer said. “She was out the first round, so this round I knew she was going to be good. I just had to do my part.”

After leaving the arena $26,231 richer, Breuer climbed the bareback riding world standings to 11th with $127,789.

Breuer knew not to lose faith in his skills.

“You’ve just got to believe,” said Breuer, who won Round 4 at the Finals last year. “You have to believe, trust the Lord and keep spurring.”

Two-time defending world champion Tim O’Connell continues to lead the race to the coveted gold buckle. O’Connell has won $227,147. He’s leading Caleb Bennett by $7,488.

Brazile extends lead in all-around race

Trevor Brazile continued his pace toward winning the all-around world title and his PRCA-record 24th world championship.

Brazile placed fifth in the tie-down roping in Round 6 with an 8.3-second run, earning $6,769.

Brazile is up to $298,026 in all-around money. He holds a $34,842 lead over his brother-in-law, Tuf Cooper. 

Rhen Richard is third in the all-around race with $192,647. While Cooper and Brazile are competing in tie-down roping at the Finals, Richard is in tie-down roping and team roping.

Kinsel gains ground in Top Gun chase

Barrel racer Hailey Kinsel closed the gap on fellow barrel racer Amberleigh Moore in the race for the Top Gun Award, given to the Wrangler NFR competitor who wins the most money during the Finals.

Moore leads the way with $104,346. Kinsel, after winning the barrel racing Tuesday, is $10,365 behind. 

Saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, who split the Round 6 win with Zeke Thurston, is $11,634 behind Moore.

60th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Sixth Performance Results, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018

Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Bareback riding: 1. Ty Breuer, 88 points on Calgary Stampede’s Tootsie Roll, $26,232; 2. (tie) Steven Dent, Richmond Champion and Tilden Hooper, 87.5, $15,795 each: 5. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Will Lowe, 87, $5,500 each; 7. Tim O’Connell, 86.5; 8. Kaycee Feild, 85; 9. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Mason Clements, 84.5; 11. Jake Brown, 84; 12. Orin Larsen, 82.5; 13. Shane O’Connell, 78.5; 14. Wyatt Denny, NS, 15. Bill Tutor, INJ. Average standings: 1. Steven Dent, 510.5 points on six head; 2. Kaycee Field, 510; 3. Tilden Hooper, 507.5; 4. Tim O’Connell, 505; 5. (tie) Will Lowe and Richmond Champion, 501.5; 7. Shane O’Connell, 494.5; 8. Caleb Bennett, 485.5. World standings: 1. Tim O’Connell, $227,147; 2. Caleb Bennett, $219,659; 3. Clayton Biglow, $192,551; 4. Steven Dent, $184,926; 5. Richmond Champion, $173,114; 6. Kaycee Feild, $170,522; 7. Orin Larsen, $165,617; 8. Tilden Hooper, $160,545; 9. Bill Tutor, $154,162; 10. Mason Clements, $149,587; 11. Ty Breuer, $127,789; 12. Jake Brown, $115,069; 13. Wyatt Denny, $113,728; 14. Shane O’Connell, $107,720; 15. Will Lowe, $91,517. 

Steer wrestling: 1. Curtis Cassidy, 3.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Jacob Talley, 3.7, $20,731; 3. (tie) Tyler Waguespack, Kyle Irwin and Nick Guy, 4.1, $11,141 each; 6. (tie) Scott Guenthner and Will Lummus, 4.5, $2,115; 8. Blake Mindemann, 4.8; 9. Hunter Cure, 5.1; 10. Riley Duvall, 5.5; 11. Bridger Chambers, 6.1; 12. Tanner Brunner, 6.7; 13. Blake Knowles, 10.9; 14. Tyler Pearson and Ty Erickson, NT. Average standings:1. Will Lummus, 25.2 seconds on six head; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 26.9; 3. Blake Knowles, 35.8; 4. Bridger Chambers, 39.4; 5. Riley Duvall, 44.3; 6. Nick Guy, 53; 7. Tanner Brunner, 76.2; 8. Kyle Irwin, 20.2 on five. World standings: 1. Curtis Cassidy, $184,125; 2. Will Lummus, $156,471; 3. Tyler Waguespack, $153,186; 4. Scott Guenthner, $150,765; 5. Kyle Irwin, $139,416; 6. Tyler Pearson, $133,856; 7. Ty Erickson, $128,854; 8. Hunter Cure, $122,268; 9. Bridger Chambers, $120,159; 10. Blake Knowles, $119,515; 11. Jacob Talley, $111,448; 12. Blake Mindemann, $106,919; 13. Nick Guy, $99,514; 14. Tanner Brunner, $98,193; 15. Riley Duvall, $96,528.

Team roping: 1. Tyler Wade/Cole Davison, 3.9 seconds, $26,231 each; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Chase Tryan, 4.4, $20,731; 3. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.5, $15,654; 4. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkings II, 8.7, $11,000; 5. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 19.5, $6,769; 6. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, Riley Minor/Brady Minor, Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, Luke Brown/Jake Long and Erich Rogers/Clint Summers, NT. Average standings: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 48.4 seconds on six head; 2. Clay Smith/ Paul Eaves, 21.9 on five; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 27.8; 4. Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 42.2; 5. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 43.2; 6. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 22.0 on four; 7. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 25.1; 8. Erich Rogers/Clint Summers, 31. World standings (headers): 1. Clay Smith, $197,127; 2. Kaleb Driggers, $167,964; 3. Bubba Buckaloo, $148,721; 4. Riley Minor, $139,361; 5. Aaron Tsinigine, $134,237; 6. Cody Snow, $133,594; 7. Luke Brown, $130,756; 8. Dustin Egusquiza, $129,723; 9. Clay Tryan, $122,785; 10. Derrick Begay, $121,068; 11. Chad Masters, $120,304; 12. Lane Ivy, $114,688; 13. Tyler Wade, $109,376; 14. Erich Rogers, $98,450; 15. Rhen Richard, $92,790. World standings (heelers): 1. Paul Eaves, $197,127; 2. Junior Nogueira, $168,948; 3. Trey Yates, $148,631; 4. Joseph Harrison, $139,477; 5. Brady Minor, $138,169; 6. Jake Long, $130,756; 7. Wesley Thorp, $129,904; 8. Kory Koontz, $129,723; 9. Chase Tryan, $128,136; 10. Cory Petska, $127,525; 11. Travis Graves, $118,928; 12. Buddy Hawkins II, $111,682; 13. Clint Summers, $109,563; 14. Cole Davison, $102,482; 15. Quinn Kesler, $88,906. 

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Zeke Thurston, on Powder River Rodeo’s Miss Chestnut and Cort Scheer on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Elsmere, 89.5 points, $23,481 each; 3. Chase Brooks, 89, $15,654; 4. Ryder Wright, 87.5, $11,000; 5. Joey Sonnier III, 86, $6,770; 6. (tie) Taos Muncy and Wade Sundell, 85.5, $2,115 each; 8. Clay Elliott, 85; 9. (tie) Rusty Wright and CoBurn Bradshaw, 82; 11. Isaac Diaz, 79.5; 12. Sterling Crawley, 76.5, 13. Jacobs Crawley, Brody Cress and Jake Wright, NS. Average standings: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 503 points on six head; 2. (tie) Wade Sundell and Zeke Thurston, 432.5 on five; 4. Cort Scheer, 432; 5. Rusty Wright, 427; 6. Clay Elliott, 424; 7. Ryder Wright, 351.5 on four; 8. Isaac Diaz, 334.5. World standings: 1. Ryder Wright, $243,194; 2. Jacobs Crawley, $204,331; 3. Cort Scheer, $194,554; 4. Rusty Wright, $193,684; 5. Zeke Thurston, $179,118; 6. Wade Sundell, $170,848; 7. Isaac Diaz, $160,970; 8. CoBurn Bradshaw, $132,325; 9. Jake Wright $128,287; 10. Clay Elliott, $126,445; 11. Chase Brooks, $121,680; 12. Brody Cress, $121,587; 13. Sterling Crawley, $108,748; 14. Joey Sonnier III, $95,883; 15. Taos Muncy, $90,906.

Tie-down roping: 1. Cooper Martin, 7.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Ryan Jarrett and Reese Riemer, 7.8, $18,192 each: 4. Jake Pratt, 8.1, $11,000; 5. Trevor Brazile, 8.3, $6,769; 6. Ryle Smith, 8.8, $4,231; 7. Caleb Smidt, 9.0; 8. Rhen Richard, 9.1; 9. Cory Solomon, 9.7; 10. (tie) Shane Hanchey, 10.0; 12. Tyson Durfey, 11.5; 13. Tuf Cooper, 17.2; 14. (tie) Sterling Smith and Marty Yates, NT. Average standings: 1. Ryle Smith, 49.0 seconds on six head; 2. Caleb Smidt, 49.5; 3. Rhen Richard, 52.6; 4. Reese Riemer, 57.3; 5. Matt Shiozawa, 60.2; 6. Trevor Brazile, 63.8; 7. Cooper Martin, 64.5; 8. Cory Solomon, 67.8. World standings: 1. Shane Hanchey, $164,347; 2. Marty Yates, $162,271; 3. Reese Riemer, $159,454; 4. Tuf Cooper, $158,095; 5. Caleb Smidt, $157,932; 6. Trevor Brazile, $156,643; 7. Ryle Smith, $153,056; 8. Jake Pratt, $142,088; 9. Tyson Durfey, $136,518; 10. Cooper Martin, $128,169; 11. Ryan Jarrett, $126,616; 12. Matt Shiozawa, $122,923; 13. Sterling Smith, $111,647; 14. Rhen Richard, $111,283; 15. Cory Solomon, $110,002. 

Bull riding: 1. Dustin Boquet, 91 points on Hi Lo ProRodeo Company’s Divinity, $26,231; 2. Chase Dougherty, 88.5, $20,731; 3. Koby Radley, 88, $15,654; 4. Joe Frost, 87, $11,000; 5. Parker Breding, 86.5, $6,769; 6. Jeff Askey, 85.5, $4,231; 7. Sage Kimzey, Tyler Bingham, Roscoe Jarboe, Boudreaux Campbell, Garrett Tribble, Cole Melancon, Eli Vastbinder, Trevor Kastner and Trey Benton III, NS. Average standings:1. Joe Frost, 347 points on four head; 2. Jeff Askey, 340; 3. Parker Breding, 330.5; 4. Garrett Tribble, 262 points on three head; 5. Koby Radley, 259; 6. Chase Dougherty, 257; 7. Sage Kimzey, 254; 8. Dustin Boquet, 175.5 points on two. World standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $358,852; 2. Parker Breding, $225,232; 3. Jeff Askey, $174,855; 4. Garrett Tribble, $174,136; 5. Joe Frost, $173,150; 6. Chase Dougherty, $172,375; 7. Dustin Boquet, $166,472; 8. Koby Radley, $160,072; 9. Trey Benton III, $141,393; 10. Tyler Bingham, $135,064; 11. Eli Vastbinder, $132,191; 12. Roscoe Jarboe, $130,737; 13. Boudreaux Campbell, $116,431; 14. Cole Melancon, $109,973; 15. Trevor Kastner, $104,396. 

All-around world standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $298,026; 2. Tuf Cooper, $263,184; 3. Rhen Richard, $192,647; 4. Steven Dent, $184,513; 5. Curtis Cassidy, $171,352; 6. Ryle Smith, $169,562. 

RAM Top Gun standings: 1. Amberleigh Moore, $104,346; 2. Hailey Kinsel, $93,981; 3. Cort Scheer, $92,712; 4. (tie) Paul Eaves and Clay Smith, 81,782; 5. Jessica Routier, $80,854; 6. (tie) Curtis Cassidy and Ryder Wright, $78,116; 8. Marty Yates, $75,789; 9. Steven Dent, $75,506; 10. Tyler Waguespack, $73,603. 

NFR ROUND 7

Dougherty notches first win at first Finals 

LAS VEGAS – Bull rider Chase Dougherty is enjoying his first trip to the Wrangler NFR. The competition is as stiff as he’ll see at any rodeo.

But it isn’t the bull riding or the competing that has been his favorite part.

It’s been the opening ceremonies, although notching his first go-round Finals victory Wednesday isn’t bad either. 

Dougherty rode Frontier Rodeo’s Lookin Up for 87.5 points and the win before 16,770 during Round 7 of the 60th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Military Night in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Dec. 12.

“It means a lot,” said Dougherty, 20. “I’ve always wanted to make the NFR, and to get a round win out of it is going to put the icing on the cake.”

Dougherty, who won $27,077 including ground money, has climbed to third in the average after seven rounds, with 344.5 points on four head. Only one bull rider – Jeff Askey – has covered five head. Dougherty has won $90,103 at the Finals, upping his season total to $199,452, third most in the world standings.

He’s not planning on doing much different.

“Same as usual, just stay loose and cool and treat it like the practice pen, since it’s the practice pen of the best of the best,” said the Canby, Ore., cowboy.

Dougherty expected his bull to be good, but he wasn’t sure what Lookin Up would do, and that’s how he likes it.

“I knew he was red and would buck pretty good,” Dougherty said. “I guess (Dustin) Boquet rode him good this week, too. But, I don’t study my bulls too much since you have to get on them one way or another, so I’d rather not know.”

Like so many other competitors at the Finals, Dougherty is wearing down but trying to keep at it.

“Honestly, I’m sore but good,” he said. “It’s a good kind of sore. I definitely do not want to do a lot of partying and just get some sleep tonight, but I’m excited for the next round.”

As for his favorite part of the 10-day rodeo. That’s easy.

“The grand entry and getting to carry the flag for Oregon,” he said. “I wish we could go a heck of a lot faster and it was a bigger arena, so it would last longer, but it’s awesome.”

Sage Kimzey continues to lead the bull riding world standings with $358,853. Parker Breding is second with $225,232.

Durfey rides to first round win since 2016

Riding on a horse who had ridden in only 14 rodeos before the Wrangler NFR, former tie-down roping world champion Tyson Durfey wasn’t sure what would happen.

Durfey also hadn’t won a Finals round since winning his world championship in 2016.

But Wednesday night, Durfey’s horse Mitch looked like a veteran and Durfey took care of the rest, as the duo stopped the clock in 7.2 seconds to win Round 7.

“This feels absolutely amazing,” said Durfey, of Weatherford, Texas. “I went from not placing in any go-round on my young horse Mitch to winning this round. Before we came here, he had been to 14 rodeos in his life. He’s 14, but he was a working cow horse before he was a calf horse. I haven’t roped on him very much, and I’m thankful to get a win on him.”

Durfey’s horse Nikko, whom Durfey won the world title on, died Nov. 23. Winning aboard Mitch brought back some memories to Durfey, who cashed in for $26,231.

“When you win a round, you jump off your horse and they rush you to a TV interview,” Durfey said. “It is surreal to get the go-round win because there were a lot of times I got to take that victory lap on Nikko. He was my rock for so many years. I don’t know if there are any more tears to cry. When I think of the moment I won the world and all the things he’s given me, it’s hard not to get emotional.”

Tuf Cooper took over the lead in the tie-down roping world standings after placing third in the round. Cooper is up to $173,749. Marty Yates is second with $166,502.

Kinsel continues torrid run, notches third round win

Hailey Kinsel is dominating the Wrangler NFR the way she dominated the regular season.

Kinsel wrapped up her third round win of the 2018 Finals – and second in a row – by stopping the clock in 13.61 seconds Wednesday.

“No, it doesn’t,” she said when asked if winning a round ever gets old. “You see new faces every time too, and I always get to look up to where my family is sitting and wave at them, so it’s fun.”

The victory gives her $120,212 won at the Finals alone. She continues to lead the barrel racing world standings with $313,046. Her next closest competitor (Amberleigh Moore) has yet to break the $200,000 barrier. 

Kinsel entered the Finals with a lead of $46,0008.

“It’s nice (having a big lead in the standings),” Kinsel said. “I mean, it’s good to have a shot at it. I think that everybody who comes here has a shot at it because of the money here, so it’s great. You have to have a good NFR. I’m glad it’s been going good so far. We have three more rounds, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Kinsel was again riding DM Sissy Hayday, “Sister,” the 2018 PRCA | AQHA Horse of the Year for barrel racing. 

“The run felt really good,” Kinsel said. “She (Sister) was honest and nice tonight.”

Larsen pushes pain aside to win bareback riding round

Orin Larsen underwent knee surgery in late November, putting his fourth consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearance in doubt.

But Larsen opted to ride, and in Round 7 he showed he could handle the pain. 

Larsen won Round 7 with an 89-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Tip Off, notching his first Finals go-round win since Round 8 of 2016.

“Man, I’ve been wanting to do that for quite a while,” said Larsen, of Inglis, Manitoba. “It’s beyond words – I get to go to the media room and do all the South Point stuff. I’m pretty grateful.”

With the win, Larsen, 27, is fifth in the world standings with $191,847. After failing to cash a check in either of the first two rounds, Larsen placed second in the third round, sixth in the fourth round and sixth in the sixth round. 

He’s dealing with the pain and trying to ignore it every time he climbs aboard.

“I guess so,” he said when asked if it feels like he’s getting stronger as the rounds have gone along. “Justin Sportsmedicine has kept me gathered up pretty well, and that’s been really helping, as has drawing the right horses at the right time. It’s hard to win when you’re healthy, let alone when you’re hurt. There are a lot of great horses and the best athletes in the world here.”

Larsen had never been on Tip Off, but he knew what to expect.

“Clayton Biglow got along with it really well the last time out, and he said it was going to be up and down and really strong and really turn it on at the end,” Larsen said. “That’s exactly what it did. I just tried to do my part and executed it as well as I could.”

The bareback riding got a new leader in the world standings. Caleb Bennett’s 88-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Ankle Biter put him in second place in the round. That earned him $20,731 and bumped him up from second to first in the world standings, supplanting two-time defending world champion Tim O’Connell with three rounds left in the 10-day rodeo. They are separated by $13,243.

Cure, Pearson tie in steer wrestling

A pair of world champion steer wrestlers split first in Round 7 with 3.6-second runs.

Defending champion Tyler Pearson and two-time champion Hunter Cure shared the round-winning honors, each cashing in for $23,481.

Pearson is trying to defend his title. He won Round 2, which moved him into first place in the world standings. But he failed to record a time on his next four steers until Wednesday night.

“This is really cool,” said Pearson, who is riding Scooter, the two-time PRCA | AQHA Horse of the Year in steer wrestling. “I missed four steers in a row. It was nice to finally get a time and get back in the groove of things. I also won some money which was great. If you back off at all here, it is going to cost you more. I’ve been trying to go for first, and it paid off tonight.” 

Cure’s horse is starting to get comfortable in the arena, and it’s paying off for the 2013 and 2015 champion.

“I’m riding a 9-year-old horse I trained named Zooming Up Front,” said Cure, of Holliday, Texas. “This is his first time to the NFR, and he’s the youngest horse in the field. I really feel like this horse is just now starting to show me the potential he has. We were maybe a little bit slower going early in the week, but I feel like we have some momentum headed our way.”

Canadian Curtis Cassidy continues to lead the steer wrestling world standings with $184,125. Will Lummus, who leads the average in steer wrestling, is second to Cassidy by $14,327.

Two sets of team ropers post 3.9-second runs

Luke Brown and Jake Long made their first victory lap of the 2018 Wrangler NFR. 

Derrick Begay and Cory Petska took their second.

Both sets of team ropers stopped the clock in 3.9 seconds to split the round, as all four ropers walked away with $23,481.

Team roping heeler Long liked his effort throughout the Finals, until Tuesday night. He got over that feeling quickly Wednesday.

“I felt really good until last night,” Long said. “I was pretty frustrated all day. It never feels good to drop the ball. It feels good to bounce back tonight, come through and finish the round.”

Team roping header Brown said he made an adjustment to help the team.

“My horse is a little bit too quick,” he said. “So, I asked Jake to haze him a little bit. That gets you off on the left fence and you lose momentum sometimes. But it’s a safer bet on making the steer heel, so we went with that and it worked out.”

Begay and Petska got to enjoy their second win. The two have won $71,135 each through seven days of the rodeo.

“We had an amazing steer and my partner did an amazing job tonight,” said heeler Petska. “I’m just excited to have this opportunity again.”

Header Begay is trying to make sure he and Petska continue to do what’s working.

“I’ve been roping my whole life, so you just have to trust what you do every day, not really think about it too much, and go through the motions,” Begay said. “It’s about muscle memory and using your brain.”

Clay Smith and Paul Eaves continue to lead the tie-down roping world standings with $197,127.

Sundell, Brooks tie in saddle bronc riding

At 24 years of age, Chase Brooks is in his first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 

At 33, Wade Sundell is enjoying his eighth.

On Wednesday, the two split the Round 7 win with a pair of 90-point rides.

Brooks rode Corey and Lange Rodeo’s Diamond Fever to notch his 90 and get his first go-round win. Sundell did it aboard Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Total Equines Angel Fire. They tied the round record set by Billy Etbauer in 2009.

Brooks knew what to expect from Diamond Fever.

“I had won St. Paul, Ore., (with an 87.5-point ride) this summer on mine,” said the Belgrade, Mont., cowboy. “I knew when she got out she would buck, and she felt awesome today.”

Sundell had never ridden Angel Fire, but he had a feeling what the bronc might do.

“I’d seen her before and knew she would have some moves, and there were a few more than I thought,” he said. “She lived up to every bit of it.”

Sundell also won Round 5. He’s up to fifth in the world standings with $194,329. Brooks is at $145,161, putting him in eighth place.

Brooks is trying to soak up his first trip.

“Everything here is awesome,” he said. “I’d never been to the Thomas & Mack before, and practicing for the grand entry was just surreal. It’s everything I hoped for and more.”

Sundell loves qualifying for the Finals in Vegas.

“Just being here is the coolest thing you ever get to do,” he said. “Every day is like the first time. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, I’m just glad to be here.”

Reigning, defending world champion Ryder Wright continues to lead the saddle bronc riding world standings with $243,194. Ryder’s brother Rusty has made it a family affair by climbing into second place in the standings after winning $15,654 Wednesday. Ryder Wright leads by $33,856.

Brazile still ahead in All-Around 

Trevor Brazile continues to lead in the hunt for the All-Around cowboy race. 

But both second-place Tuf Cooper and first-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Rhen Richard, who sits in third, cut into the lead a bit. 

Brazile, who holds a PRCA-record 23 world titles, is first in the all-around with $298,026. Second is Cooper, Brazile’s brother-in-law, with $278,838. Richard is third with $199,416.

Cooper won $15,654 in tie-down roping Wednesday. Richard won $34,327 combined in tie-down roping and team roping. Richard is also fourth in the aggregate in team roping and second in the aggregate for tie-down roping. 

Kinsel grabs RAM Top Gun Award lead

After notching her third round win of the 2018 Wrangler NFR, Hailey Kinsel climbed into the lead for the RAM Top Gun Award, given to the Finals competitor who wins the most money over the 10 days in one event.

Kinsel has won $120,212. Amberleigh Moore is second to Kinsel in the Top Gun race (she’s also second to Kinsel in the barrel racing world standings) with $104,346.

Saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer is third with $96,942.

60th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Seventh Performance Results, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Bareback riding: 1. Orin Larsen, 89 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Tip Off, $26,231; 2. Caleb Bennett, 88, $20,731; 3. Tilden Hooper, 87, $15,654; 4. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Steven Dent, 86.5, $8,885 each; 6. Jake Brown, 85.5, $4,231; 7. Shane O’Connell, 84.5; 8.Ty Breuer, 84; 9. Tim O’Connell, 83; 10. Richmond Champion, 79; 11. Kaycee Feild, 74; 12. Mason Clements, 73; 13. Wyatt Denny, 71; 14. Will Lowe, NS; 15. Bill Tutor, INJ. Average standings: 1. Steven Dent, 597 points on seven head; 2. Tilden Hooper, 594.5; 3. Tim O’Connell, 588; 4. Kaycee Feild, 584; 5. Richmond Champion, 580.5; 6. Shane O’Connell, 579; 7. Caleb Bennett, 573.5; 8. Clayton Biglow, 511.5 on six. World standings: 1. Caleb Bennett, $240,390; 2. Tim O’Connell, $227,147; 3. Clayton Biglow, $201,435; 4. Steven Dent, $193,811; 5. Orin Larsen, $191,847; 6. Tilden Hooper, $176,199; 7. Richmond Champion, $173,114; 8. Kaycee Feild, $170,522; 9. Bill Tutor, $154,162; 10. Mason Clements, $149,587; 11. Ty Breuer, $127,789; 12. Jake Brown, $119,300; 13. Wyatt Denny, $113,728; 14. Shane O’Connell, $107,720; 15. Will Lowe, $91,517.

Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Hunter Cure and Tyler Pearson. 3.6 seconds, $23,481 each; 3. Will Lummus, 3.7, $13,327 each; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 3.7, $13,327; 5. (tie) Bridger Chambers and Jacob Talley, 3.8, $5,500 each; 7. Scott Guenthner, 4.3; 8. Riley Duvall, 4.6; 9. Tanner Brunner, 5.1; 10. Curtis Cassidy, 6.1; 11. Blake Knowles, 13.7; 12. Nick Guy, 13.9; 13. Ty Erickson, 16.8; 14. Blake Mindemann, 17.9; 15. Kyle Irwin, NT. Average standings: 1. Will Lummus, 28.9 seconds on seven head: 2. Tyler Waguespack, 30.6; 3. Bridger Chambers, 43.2; 4. Riley Duvall, 48.9; 5. Blake Knowles, 49.5; 6. Nick Guy, 66.9; 7. Tanner Brunner, 81.3; 8. Scott Guenthner, 25.4 on six World standings: 1. Curtis Cassidy, $184,125; 2. Will Lummus, $169,798; 3. Tyler Waguespack, $166,513; 4. Tyler Pearson, $157,337; 5. Scott Guenthner, $150,765; 6. Hunter Cure, $145,749; 7. Kyle Irwin, $139,416; 8. Ty Erickson, $128,854; 9. Bridger Chambers, $125,659; 10. Blake Knowles, $119,515; 11. Jacob Talley, $116,948; 12. Blake Mindemann, $106,919; 13. Nick Guy, $99,514; 14. Tanner Brunner, $98,193; 15. Riley Duvall, $96,528.

Team roping: 1. (tie) Luke Brown/Jake Long and Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 3.9 seconds, $23,480 each; 3. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 4.0, $15,654; 4. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 4.3, $11,000; 5. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 4.8, $6,769; 6. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 4.9, $4,231; 7. Erich Rogers/Clint Summers, 5.1; 8. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 6.7; 9. Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II, 9.1; 10. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, Bubba Buckaloo/Chase Tryan, Riley Minor/Brady Minor and Tyler Wade/Cole Davison, NT. Average standings: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 53.3 seconds on seven head; 2. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 32.1; 3. Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 46.1; 4. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 49.9; 5. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 21.9; 6. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp 29.9; 7 (tie) Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison and Erich Rogers/Clint Summers, 36.1. World standings (headers): 1. Clay Smith, $197,127; 2. Kaleb Driggers, $178,964; 3. Luke Brown, $154,237; 4. Bubba Buckaloo, $148,721; 5. Derrick Begay, $144,549; 6. Cody Snow, $140,363; 7. Riley Minor, $139,361; 8. Aaron Tsinigine, $138,468; 9. Chad Masters, $135,958; 10. Dustin Egusquiza, $129,723; 11. Clay Tryan, $122,785; 12. Lane Ivy, $114,688; 13. Tyler Wade, $109,376; 14. Erich Rogers, $98,450; 15. Rhen Richard, $92,790; World standings (heelers): 1. Paul Eaves, $197,127; 2. Junior Nogueira, $179,948; 3. Joseph Harrison, $155,130; 4. Jake Long, $154,237; 5. Trey Yates, $152,862; 6. Cory Petska, $151,006; 7. Brady Minor, $138,169; 8. Wesley Thorp, $136,673; 9. Kory Koontz, $129,723; 10. Chase Tryan, $128,136; 11. Travis Graves, $118,928; 12. Buddy Hawkins II, $111,682; 13. Clint Summers, $109,563; 14. Cole Davison, $102,482; 15. Quinn Kesler, $88,906.

Saddle bronc riding: 1 (tie) Wade Sundell, on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Total Equines Angel Fire, 90 points, and Chase Brooks, on Corey & Lange’s Diamond Fever, 90 points, $23,481 each: 3. Rusty Wright, 88, $15,654; 4. CoBurn Bradshaw, 85.5, $11,000; 5. Zeke Thurston, 84.5, $6,769; 6. Cort Scheer, 84, $4,231; 7. Jake Wright, 82; 8. Jacobs Crawley, 81.5; 9. Brody Cress, 79.5; 10. Ryder Wright, Isaac Diaz, Sterling Crawley, Joey Sonnier III, Clay Elliott and Taos Muncy, NS. Average standings: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, 588.5 points on seven head; 2. Wade Sundell, 522.5; 3. Zeke Thurston, 517 on six; 4. Cort Scheer, 516; 5. Rusty Wright, 515; 6. Clay Elliott, 424 on five; 7. Jacobs Crawley, 415.5; 8. Chase Brooks, 354 on four. World standings: 1. Ryder Wright, $243,194; 2. Rusty Wright, $209,338; 3. Jacobs Crawley, $204,331; 4. Cort Scheer, $198,785; 5. Wade Sundell, $194,329; 6. Zeke Thurston, $185,887; 7. Isaac Diaz, $160,970; 8. Chase Brooks, $145,161; 9. CoBurn Bradshaw, $143,325; 10. Jake Wright, $128,287; 11. Clay Elliott, $126,445; 12. Brody Cress, $121,588; 13. Sterling Crawley, $108,748; 14. Joey Sonnier III, $95,883; 15. Taos Muncy, $90,906.

Tie-down roping: 1. Tyson Durfey, 7.2 seconds, $26,231; 2. Sterling Smith, 7.3, $20,731; 3. Tuf Cooper, 7.5, $15,654; 4. Ryan Jarrett, 7.8, $11,000; 5. Rhen Richard, 8.1, $6,769; 6. Marty Yates, 8.2, $4,231; 7. Cooper Martin, 8.6; 8. Jake Pratt, 8.7; 9. Caleb Smidt, 9.2; 10. Shane Hanchey, 9.4; 11. Matt Shiozawa, 9.7; 12. Trevor Brazile, 16.8; 13. Ryle Smith, 17.6; 14. Reese Riemer, 19.0; 15. Cory Solomon, NT. Average leaders: 1. Caleb Smidt, 58.7 seconds on seven head; 2. Rhen Richard, 60.7; 3. Ryle Smith, 66.6; 4. Matt Shiozawa, 69.9; 5. Cooper Martin, 73.1; 6. Reese Riemer, 76.3; 7. Trevor Brazile, 80.6; 8. Tuf Cooper, 92.5. World standings: 1. Tuf Cooper, $173,749; 2. Marty Yates, $166,502; 3. Shane Hanchey, $164,347; 4. Tyson Durfey, $162,749; 5. Reese Riemer, $159,454; 6. Caleb Smidt, $157,932; 7. Trevor Brazile, $156,643; 8. Ryle Smith, $153,056; 9. Jake Pratt, $142,088; 10. Ryan Jarrett, $137,616; 11. Sterling Smith, $132,378; 12. Cooper Martin      ; $128,169; 13. Matt Shiozawa, $122,923; 14. Rhen Richard, $118,052; 15. Cory Solomon, $110,002.

Barrel racing: 1. Hailey Kinsel, 13.61 seconds, $26,231; 2. Jessie Telford, 13.64, $20,731; 3. Ivy Conrado, 13.72, $15,654; 4. (tie) Taci Bettis and Kylie Weast, 13.74, $8,885 each; 6. Stevi Hillman, 13.77, $4,231; 7. Jessica Routier, 13.81; 8. Lisa Lockhart, 13.87; 9. Kelly Bruner, 13.94; 10. Carman Pozzobon, 14.07; 11. Amberleigh Moore, 18.64; 12. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 18.84; 13. Tammy Fischer, 18.94; 13. Tracy Nowlin, 18.94; 15. Nellie Miller. 24.44. Average standings: 1. Jessica Routier, 96.52 seconds on seven head; 2. Carman Pozzobon, 97.91; 3. Hailey Kinsel, 100.76; 4. Jessie Telford, 101.61; 5. Ivy Conrado, 102.02; 6. Stevi Hillman, 102.38; 7. Tammy Fischer, 102.76; 8. Amberleigh Moore, 105.55. World standings: 1. Hailey Kinsel, $313,046; 2. Amberleigh Moore, $193,473; 3. Ivy Conrado, $185,809; 4. Jessica Routier, $179,358; 5. Nellie Miller, $167,825; 6. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $160,805; 7. Lisa Lockhart, $159,746; 8. Jessie Telford, $154,188; 9. Kylie Weast, $147,253; 10. Stevi Hillman, $142,020; 11. Taci Bettis, $140,346; 12. Kelly Bruner, $129,708; 13. Tracy Nowlin, $116,150; 14. Tammy Fischer, $101,277; 15. Carman Pozzobon, $101,177. 

Bull riding: 1. Chase Dougherty, 87.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Lookin Up, $27,077; 2. (tie) Dustin Boquet           and Boudreaux Campbell, 87, $19,038 each; 4. Roscoe Jarboe, 84.5, $11,846; 5. Jeff Askey, 84, $7,615; 6. Sage Kimzey, Parker Breding, Tyler Bingham, Garrett Tribble, Cole Melancon, Joe Frost, Eli Vastbinder, Koby Radley and Trey Benton III, NS. 15. Trevor Kastner, INJ. Average standings: 1. Jeff Askey, 424 points on five head; 2. Joe Frost, 347 on four; 3. Chase Dougherty, 344.5; 4. Parker Breding, 330.5; 5. Dustin Boquet, 262.5 on three; 6. Garrett Tribble, 262; 7. Koby Radley, 259; 8. Sage Kimzey, 254. World standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $358,853; 2. Parker Breding, $225,232; 3. Chase Dougherty, $199,452; 4. Dustin Bouquet, $185,511; 5. Jeff Askey, $182,470; 6. Garrett Tribble, $174,136; 7. Joe Frost, $173,150; 8. Koby Radley, $160,072; 9. Roscoe Jarboe, $142,584; 10. Trey Benton III, $141,393; 11. Boudreaux Campbell, $135,469; 12. Tyler Bingham, $135,064; 13. Eli Vastbinder, $132,191; 14. Cole Melancon, $109,973; 15. Trevor Kastner, $104,396. 

All-around world standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $298,026; 2. Tuf Cooper, $278,838; 3. Rhen Richard, $199,416; 4. Steven Dent, $193,397; 5. Curtis Cassidy, $171,352; 6. Ryle Smith, $169,562.

RAM Top Gun standings: 1. Hailey Kinsel, $120,211; 2. Amberleigh Moore, $104,346; 3. Cort Scheer, $96,942; 4. Wade Sundell, $91,019; 5. Ivy Conrado, $87,423; 6. Tyler Waguespack, $86,929; 7. Rusty Wright, $85,731; 8. Steven Dent, $84,391; 9. Will Lummus, $82,840; 10. Chase Dougherty, $81,923. 

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