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LAS VEGAS ‚Äď Hunter Cure lens heavily on his team.
It paid off Friday night during the second round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where Cure wrestled his steer to the ground in 4.5 second to finish third and earn $11,118. It was a good way to finally kick-start his second trip to ProRodeo‚Äôs grand finale.
‚ÄúI knew my steer was probably middle of this herd,‚ÄĚ said Cure, of Holliday, Texas, referring to the 15 steer that were wrestled Friday night. ‚ÄúI figured if I needed to win a check, I needed to make an outstanding run. My horse worked significantly better than he did last night, which certainly helped.‚ÄĚ
Yes, it did. Charlie bolted out the chute, allowing the steer the perfect head start. Cure‚Äôs hazer, Riley Duvall, did what he needed to set the steer in the correct position for the Texas bulldogger.
‚ÄúTake Luke Branquinho last night; without being in position, even a multiple world champion can‚Äôt throw one down,‚ÄĚ Cure said. ‚ÄúMy horse worked as good as anything this evening.
‚ÄúWith Riley Duvall on the other side riding Matt Reeves‚Äô good mare, Beemer, I‚Äôve got more chances than some guys. Riley was a touch behind, but then he got in there and got that steer picked up for me. The start is the most critical thing we have here at this NFR set-up.‚ÄĚ
Now that all the cogs are working together, Cure is focusing his attention to the details to continue riding the hot wave. He has pushed his season earnings to $76,124 and is sixth in the world standings.
‚ÄúI feel like that is where we needed to be tonight, and I want to strive to be in there every night,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm a big believer in setting a routing and having time to prepare yourself ahead of time. If you‚Äôve got all those things done when you back in the box, it should feel like home base.‚ÄĚ
1. Shane Proctor on New Frontier Rodeo’s Squirrel Grove, 89 points, $18,630; 2. Tyler Smith, 88, $14,724; 3. Cody Teel, 85, $11,118; no other qualified rides.
1. Sherry Cervi, 13.66, $18,630; 2. Michelle McLeod, 13.76, $14,724; 3. Mary Walker, 13.89, $11,118; 4. Kayley Bass, 13.90, $7,813; 5. Lisa Lockhart, 13.94, $4,808; 6. Jane Melby, 13.96, $3,005.
1. Randall Carlisle, 6.8 seconds, $18,630; 2. Caleb Smidt, 7.0, $14,724; 3. Shane Slack, 8.2, $11,118; 4. Shane Hanchey, 8.5, $7,813; 5. Trevor Brazile, 8.8, $4,808; 6. Sterling Smith, 8.9, $3,005.
1. Chad Ferley on Frontier Rodeo’s Tip Off, 87.5 points, $18,630; 2. Cort Scheer, 87, $14,724; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 77.5, $11,118; 4. Isaac Diaz, 76.5, $7,813; 5. Bradley Harter, 75.5, $4,808; 6. Chet Johnson, 74, $3,005.
1. Steven Peebles on Powder River Rodeo’s Craig At Midnight, 88 points, $18,630; 2. Kaycee Field, 87.5, $14,724; 3. Austin Foss, 86, $11,118; 4. Will Lowe, 84.5, $7,813; 5. J.R. Vezain, 83.5, $4,808; 6. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Ryan Gray, 82, $1,503 each.
1. (tie) Charly Crawford/Ryan Motes and Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.9 seconds, $16,677 each; 3. (tie) Luke Brown/Kollin VonAhn and Colby Lovell/Martin Lucero, 4.9 seconds. $9,465 each; 5. Nick Sartain/Rich Skelton, 5.0, $4,808; 6. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.1, $3,005.
1. Dakota Eldridge, 4.2 seconds, $18,630; 2. Luke Branquinho, 4.4, $14,724; 3. Hunter Cure, 4.5, $11,118; 4. Matt Reeves, 4.9, $7,813; 5. Wade Sumpter, 5.0, $4,808; 6. Bray Armes, 5.3, $3,005.
With Caleb Bennett winning on Wise Guy from the Pete Carr Classic Pro Rodeo firm, there were some fun photos at the South Point. You can check them out HERE.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď The first time Wise Guy led a cowboy to first place in a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo came nine seasons ago when eventual world champion Kelly Timberman posted an 87-point ride on the great bay gelding.
On Thursday night, Wise Guy wrapped a stellar career by leading Utah cowboy Caleb Bennett to the bareback riding victory during the first round of the 2013 NFR. The two athletes matched moves for 85.5 points in Wise Guy‚Äôs last trip inside the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, where the storied bronc will be retired from ProRodeo competition.
‚ÄúI was hoping they‚Äôd retire him tonight and I‚Äôd be the last one to get on him,‚ÄĚ Bennett told the PRCA, referring to the Pete Carr‚Äôs Classic Pro Rodeo bucking machine. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs been a great horse.‚ÄĚ
Yes, he has. In fact, Bennett earned $18,630 for Thursday‚Äôs ride. Over the 16 times Wise Guy has bucked at the NFR, he has led cowboys to eight round titles and has helped them pocket $228,534.
‚ÄúHe is actually one of the horses to have in this round based off everybody else‚Äôs talk,‚ÄĚ Bennett said. ‚ÄúI knew if I did my part, he‚Äôd dang sure take me to the pay window.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm probably not going to quit smiling for a little bit.‚ÄĚ
It was a great way to kick-start the NFR, with Bennett and Wise Guy being the first out of the chutes of the 10-day championship.
‚ÄúI was jacked up watching Caleb be a bunch of points on Wise Guy for the last time ever,‚ÄĚ said fellow bareback rider Casey Colletti, who posted an 83.5-point ride of his own to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place. ‚ÄúWatching Caleb‚Äôs ride brought me back down, and I realized, ‚ÄėYeah, now‚Äôs the time for me to come out and spur horses.‚Äô ‚ÄĚ
That‚Äôs exactly what Bennett did. Based on the 100-point scale, half the score is given to the horse, while the other half is based on how well the cowboy makes the spur ride in time with the animal‚Äôs bucking action.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve been watching that horse on TV since I was probably 10 years old,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm 25 now, so I‚Äôve been watching him for a long time.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs an amazing feeling. Growing up, those sure are the kind of horses guys dream of getting on.‚ÄĚ
The dream career is now over for Wise Guy. He will return to east Texas, where he will enjoy the finer comforts of life afforded to champions.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď Even for the greatest cowboys in the game, the setting for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo can be somewhat intimidating.
Each night for 10 go-rounds, more than 17,000 fans pack the Thomas & Mack Center, which boasts of an arena about the same size as a hockey rink. For tie-down ropers, it‚Äôs imperative they go fast.
How fast? Imagine riding a horse that‚Äôs chasing a calf, then roping the calf and tying it down in less than 8 seconds or less. That‚Äôs what it took to earn a paycheck Thursday during the opening round of the 2013 ProRodeo finale. Fortunately for Ryan Jarrett, he was one of those.
Jarrett blazed through a 7.7-second run to finish in a tie for second place in the round with Texan Stetson Vest ‚Äď they were just one-tenth of a second off the winning run by Louisiana cowboy Shane Hanchey. Still, Jarrett and Vest pocketed checks worth $12,921 for their runs in the tiny arena.
That‚Äôs a great start for the cowboy from Comanche, Okla., who grew up in Summerville, Ga. This marks his eighth qualification to the NFR, and he‚Äôs done well inside the Thomas & Mack before. In fact, Jarrett‚Äôs first trip to Las Vegas came in 2005 when he qualified in both tie-down roping and steer wrestling.
That December, he won the NFR average championship in tie-down roping and finished the season with $263,665, earning him the coveted all-around world championship ‚Äď at just less than 22 years of age, he was the third youngest all-around title in rodeo history; only Ty Murray in 1989 and Jim Shoulders in 1949 were younger.
In the six trips to Vegas since that magical season, Jarrett has focused his qualifications on tie-down roping. A start like this one is critical if he wants to make a significant move in the world standings ‚Äď in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants with the most money won in each event at the conclusion of the NFR will be crowned world champions.
Jarrett already owns one gold buckle. He‚Äôs riding for another.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď As a veteran saddle bronc rider, Chet Johnson knows a thing or two about his discipline.
He knows quite a bit about horses, too, so he knew his match-up with Sankey Rodeo‚Äôs Hermit was going to be something special for Thursday‚Äôs first go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Johnson‚Äôs traveling partner, fellow NFR qualifier Tyler Corrington won the rodeo in Great Falls, Mont., on the bronc with an 89-point ride.
Unfortunately, Hermit‚Äôs anticipation of a strong performance resulted in a foul when the powerful horse slammed into the chute gate upon leaving the starting line. The result was Johnson getting another shot on The Cervi Brothers‚Äô Multi-Chem War Glory.
Johnson and the bronc matched moves for 78 points, which earned the Sheridan, Wyo., cowboy a share of sixth place on opening night ‚Äď he finished tied with two-time world champion Taos Muncy and five-time NFR qualifier Wade Sundell, and all three cowboys earned $1,002.
While the earnings aren‚Äôt much considering the magnitude of the NFR, any check is important in the sport. This is the fourth qualification for Johnson, a Canadian champion who credits his sponsor relationship with Wyoming Tourism and RodeoAustin as keys to his success. He has finished the season as high as 11th in the world standings, doing so the first year he earned the right to play in Las Vegas.
Now Johnson sits 14th in the world standings, and he has nine rounds remaining in ProRodeo‚Äôs championship event. The Wyoming cowboy‚Äôs goal heading into the NFR was to win the coveted average championship by having the best cumulative score through 10 rides. With one qualified ride accomplished, he‚Äôs well on his way to achieving a watermark event in his long career.
LAS VEGAS ‚Äď Every bronc rider who makes a living on the back of bucking beasts knows the key to a good ride is the start.
The first step is make sure his spurs are over the front of the horse‚Äôs shoulders when the animal leaps from the chute. Not only is it following the rules, but it helps set up the strong spur ride that makes saddle bronc riding the classic event in rodeo.
‚ÄúI feel like I spurred that horse out better than any horse I spurred out last year at the NFR,‚ÄĚ said Cort Scheer, a 27-year-old cowboy from Elsmere, Neb., now competing for the third time at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
On Thursday during the opening night of ProRodeo‚Äôs grand championship event, Scheer spurred Frontier Rodeo‚Äôs Griz for 80.5 points to finish third in the round, earning $11,118 in the process. That cash helped Scheer move from sixth to fifth on the money list in his chase for the coveted world championship ‚Äď in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants in each event with the most money won at the conclusion of the NFR will win the prestigious gold buckle.
‚ÄúI think a lot of what‚Äôs going on was the Canadian Finals and the PRS,‚ÄĚ Scheer said, referring to the Canadian Finals Rodeo that took place a month ago and the Professional Roughstock Series finals that wrapped the 2013 season three weeks ago. ‚ÄúLeading up to this, I got to get on a lot of great bucking horses and got through all the pressure situations. Now you‚Äôre here, and you‚Äôre just wanting those good horses.‚ÄĚ
He had one in Griz.
‚ÄúThat horse is amazing,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI got on that horse about four years ago in Corpus Christi (Texas) and got along real good with him. They always place on him in this round. He‚Äôs just one of those horses that you‚Äôve got to spur him out and go at him, because it‚Äôs your own fault if you don‚Äôt place on him.‚ÄĚ
In Friday‚Äôs second round, Scheer has drawn Rafter H Rodeo‚Äôs Spade, an animal that‚Äôs been known to be a pill for cowboys.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a really strong, black horse, and he‚Äôs fighting the chute, kicking, dripping sweat in the chute,‚ÄĚ Scheer said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs wanting to get it on. I‚Äôm just going to give him the same treat treatment, but I¬† ain‚Äôt going to be sweating.‚ÄĚ
No, he‚Äôs not. Scheer is confident and talented. That‚Äôs what it takes to get through the toughest bucking horses in rodeo.
Heeler Riley Minor, who won the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo‚Äôs opening round with his brother, Brady, on Thursday night, celebrated during the Montana Silversmiths Go-Round Buckle Presentation by proposing to his long-time girlfriend, Jordan Crossley, on the South Point stage.
After Riley and Brady visited with hosts Randy Corley and Flint Rasmussen, they introduced their family, who was standing behind the tandem on stage. With the microphone in hand, Riley got down on one knee, pulled out the ring box and proposed.
A stunned Crossley smiled, looked at Riley Minor and said, ‚ÄúYeah, I guess.‚ÄĚ
Apparently the couple has been dating for six years, which prompted coos from the South Point audience: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs about time.‚ÄĚ
Reigning world champion heeler Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., suffered an injury to his left (reining) hand during the first round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
‚Äú(I‚Äôm) not sure how but the top strap of my dally came off the horn when I went to pull back,‚ÄĚ Corkill posted on his Facebook page this morning. ‚Äú(It) made it to where I didn‚Äôt even have a dally and the coils came tight around my left hand and sucked it to the (saddle) horn.‚ÄĚ
Corkill reported that three fingers suffered cuts and that he is seeking the advice of a specialist today.
‚ÄúThey are saying that could be the tendon on the first finger and bone on pinky so being cautious about joint infection,‚ÄĚ he wrote.
He plans to continue to compete and defend his world title