2019 Wrangler NFR Video Highlights Round 8

Bareback rider Clayton Biglow continues winning, setting records
LAS VEGAS – Bareback rider Clayton Biglow is making this look easy. The Clements, Calif., cowboy won his fourth round in a row at the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when he claimed the Round 8 crown with his 90-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Showstomper before 16,892 spectators at the Thomas & Mack Center, Thursday night. Biglow made history in the process, becoming the first bareback rider to win four-consecutive rounds at the Wrangler NFR. Bareback rider Kaycee Feild won three rounds in a row in 2011 at the Finals. Feild won a bareback riding-record six NFR rounds that year.  “I’m dreaming and don’t wake me up,” said Biglow, who had won four career Wrangler NFR rounds before this year. “It has not hit me yet, I will tell you that. I lay in bed at night thinking about having a Finals like this and I still have two more to get on. This just doesn’t seem real.” Biglow also set the Round 8 record at the Wrangler NFR. The old mark was held by Steven Peebles in 2015 with his 89.5-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage. “That horse (Showstomper) is a handful right there with Killer Bee (the 2019 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year),” Biglow said.  Needless to say, Biglow is having an incredible Wrangler NFR. He won Round 5 with a 92.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlett Belle and then shared Round 6’s top honor with Caleb Bennett and Tilden Hooper after all three riders had 88.5-point rides. Biglow’s ride in Round 6 came on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Freckled Frog. He then added a win in Round 7 with his 91.5-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Ankle Biter. Biglow arrived at the Wrangler NFR as the leader in the PRCA | RAM World Standings, and he remains there with $319,016. He leads the average with 705 points on eight head. Orin Larsen is second in the world standings with $253,673. Biglow has earned $137,064 at the Wrangler NFR. “I haven’t looked at the standings once, and I don’t need to because everyone is telling me what’s going on,” he said. “I’m not letting it bother me. I’m just coming out every night wanting to ride the horse I have the best I can. That’s the only thing I’m worried about right now.” Biglow is a four-time qualifier for the Wrangler NFR – 2016-19. His career-best finish came last year when he ended the season fourth in the world standings. 

Sage Kimzey posts electric 94-point ride to win Round 8 Reigning five-time world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey was at his best Thursday night. The Strong City, Okla., cowboy wowed the sellout crowd by winning Round 8 with a 94-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s SweetPro’s Bruiser. Bruiser was voted bull of the night for Round 8. The bull was also the 2017 PRCA Bull of the Year and was second in 2018. Bruiser also was top bull of the Wrangler NFR in 2015 and 2017. Kimzey has won two rounds at the Wrangler NFR – Rounds 7 and 8. He won Round 7 with a 90-point ride on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Smoke Wagon. “It’s just incredible,” Kimzey said of his ride on Bruiser. “Man, Bruiser is one of the most incredible bulls of all time, and getting on him is a dream in itself. I’m speechless, honestly. Today, I kept telling myself not to let the moment be bigger than you, and I feel like I was made for this moment.” Kimzey’s ride was a career best in terms of points and just missed breaking the round record of 95 points set by Colby Yates in 2002 aboard Big Bend Rodeo’s Unforgiven.
“This is a personal best, and it’s special to have it at the NFR,” Kimzey said. “My previous best was a 93. If you’re that many points you’re never going to have a good seat, and it is toe-to-toe and us swapping blows. It’s pretty miraculous – it was pure bliss, it really was. Bruiser is a smooth bull and is a big pet really. I scratched him in the loading alley, and he looked at me like, ‘It’s you and me tonight, champ,’ and it really was.” Kimzey was trying to keep things in perspective before he climbed aboard SweetPro’s Bruiser. “I knew I had a big piece over me, and it was champ vs. champ and it was the storyline of the round,” he said. “Stetson (Wright) being 93.5 or not, it was all about me and Bruiser whether we got the win or not, it was us duking it out. “It’s going to take time for it to set in, but I can’t even put it into words. It’s awesome, I know that’s an overused word for it, but that’s what it is.” Kimzey is leading the world standings with $390,047. Kimzey set the bull riding record for most money won in a season in 2017 with $436,479, which included ground money. He’s also leading the Finals average.  “I feel great and am healthy and riding good, obviously,” Kimzey said. “It’s been an incredible week, and it’s God’s blessings raining down in abundance.”  

Jake Watson claims another saddle bronc riding win Saddle bronc rider Jake Watson snared his second round win of the Wrangler NFR. On Canadian night, the Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia, cowboy won Round 8 with an 89.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Stampede Warrior. “It’s pretty cool, and I know there’s going to be a lot of people cheering for me,” Watson said about winning on Canadian night on a Canadian horse. “This is our night, and that’s kind of how we go at it.” Watson also won Round 5 with a 92-point ride on the Cervi Brothers Rodeo’s RodeoHouston’s Womanizer. Watson has earned $83,615 at the Wrangler NFR and is seventh in the world standings with $192,406. Watson’s ride on Stampede Warrior was a match-up from the Canadian Finals Rodeo a couple of years ago. “I’m not very good at math, but it’s either 23 or 24 points higher than the last time I had her,” Watson said. “She was a lot better today, and I was much, much better today. It worked out really good. I just picked up on my rein, and I think she had a little step sideways or something. It didn’t really surprise me, but it reminded me that I had to ride her, and she wasn’t going to do it for me. I had to pick up on my rein and spur.” Watson and his traveling partners Zeke Thurston and Dawson Hay have won four rounds in a row and five of the first eight. “It’s pretty cool, and I actually didn’t even realize that,” Watson said. “I knew we’d gotten half the round so far, and hopefully we get seven out of 10. We’re pretty easygoing, and when we leave the dressing room, we give each other a fist bump and say, ‘Let’s go.’ The first one out needs to set the bar high, and everybody else can go chase him and try to beat him.” 

Will Lummus snares first round win Steer wrestler Will Lummus has had a solid showing at the 2019 Wrangler NFR, and it got a lot better Thursday night. The West Point, Miss., cowboy won Round 8 with a 3.6-second time. “I’d like to say I haven’t had a great Finals, but I’ve placed in four of seven rounds,” he said. “It’s been OK, but I just haven’t won a lot of money. You know, $26,000 helps a lot.” Lummus earned a $26,231 paycheck and is sixth in the world standings with $154,498. He has earned $68,103 at the Wrangler NFR. “Dakota Eldridge was 4-flat on him in Round 5 and won second in the round on him,” Lummus said. “It’s just a good steer. I may have gotten just a little better start than Dakota.” Lummus switched horses before Round 8, and it worked. “We have an awesome, gray horse that Justin Schaeffer, who I rodeo with, owns, and I’ve won a lot of money on that horse,” he said. “But for some reason or another, it just wasn’t working. We’ve got another mare named Baby we hauled all summer that’s young – she’s only 7 – and a friend of ours in Arkansas was gracious enough to let us use her all summer and bring her here as a backup. I sure was glad to have her tonight. We just needed to change something, and it worked.” J.D. Struxness is leading the steer wrestling world standings with $190,137. 

Trio of tie-down ropers share Round 8 title It was bunched at the top for tie-down ropers in Round 8. Tyler Milligan, Riley Pruitt and Cooper Martin each clocked 7.5-second runs to win Round 8. This was Milligan’s second win in a row after claiming the Round 7 title with a 7.5-second run. “I like that time and I would like to keep it,” said Milligan, who is third in the world standings with $186,307. “I really liked my calf; she is a really good calf and I just tried to do my job and not mess up. I think it’s great. The more the merrier.” Pruitt and Martin won for the first time at this year’s Wrangler NFR. Pruitt is second in the world standings with $203,599. “I feel good,” said Pruitt, who won the average at the 2016 Wrangler NFR. “Tonight, I had one that was wild and needed to get to her as fast as I could. I managed to sneak by her and get a go-round win, it helps for the world. I may move up in the average, but these guys are roping good this week. I hope I keep drawing good, make some good runs and keeping winning money and see what happens.” Martin concurred with Pruitt. “This week has been pretty rough, but these guys have been roping all week and I finally got my kinks worked out,” Martin said. “I got to practice (Wednesday) morning and I think it really helped me relax. If things don’t go right, right off the bat, it’s hard.” Shane Hanchey is leading the world standings with $209,928.  

Hall/Tryan, Driggers/Nogueira share Round 8 team roping honors The top of the leaderboard in Round 8 was shared by team ropers Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan and Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira. Each team stopped the clock in 4.3 seconds.  This was the first round wins for both teams at this year’s Finals. “Our steer didn’t want to stand good in the chute, and I hate sitting in the box, it makes me so nervous,” Hall said. “He finally stood up and I tried to get a good start, and I don’t remember anything after that. I can tell you everything about the first seven rounds, but the round we actually won I can’t remember anything. It’s huge to me, this is my first Finals and to win it with a guy who put so much trust in me is a great feeling.” Tryan was just trying to do his job. “The steer didn’t have a good track record, so I was riding as hard as I could to get to him,” he said. “It’s awesome to win a round at the NFR. I felt bad when I missed my dallies and it missed us some rounds, but it was a softer round tonight to win first. Everything fell in our favor tonight, and we’re truly blessed.” The round win was welcomed by Driggers since his talented team has struggled in and outside the arena.  “Well, we’ve had a terrible Finals so far, and I had the flu for the first five rounds,” Driggers said. “It wasn’t enjoyable to go back to the room after each round, but the last few nights we went back to how we rope all the time.” Nogueira agreed.  “It was like he (Driggers) said, and I got sick too and it wasn’t working the way we planned on it,” Nogueira said. “But it’s not over until the 10th round. Fortunately, we were good tonight.”  Header Clay Smith ($241,320) and his heeling partner Jade Corkill ($199,446) are leading their respective world standings. Barrel racer Hailey Kinsel wins again in Round 8 Make it two in a row for Hailey Kinsel. The Cotulla, Texas, cowgirl won Round 8 with a 13.54-second run, the fastest of the rodeo on her horse, Sister. “She’s feeling really, really good,” Kinsel said. “She was a tiny bit tight tonight, and the ground was a little heavier for everybody, so I felt like I had to move her through it a little more. I’m glad we get to get back in the arena in the morning for practice tomorrow so I can relax her a little bit and get her a little more free.” Kinsel, who leads the world standings with $262,944, is gunning for her second straight world title. “Just to stay in (the driver’s seat) and stay on,” Kinsel said. “It’s two more runs regardless, and I want them to be two good runs. There’s good money up, and I get one really good spot on the ground tomorrow, so I hope to use that and learn from earlier in the week. I’m just going to try and make two good runs and do my best by her.” 

Stetson Wright still leads tight all-around world standings race Rookie Stetson Wright still leads the all-around race in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $268,307. He has a slim lead over reigning world champion team roping header Clay Smith ($252,172). Tuf Cooper, the 2017 all-around champ, is third in the standings with $222,640. Wright finished second in Round 8 in the bull riding with a 93.5-point ride on Andrews Rodeo’s Diddy Wa Diddy to earn $20,731. He is third in the bull riding world standings with $237,729. Wright is trying to become the first roughstock rider to win the all-around crown since ProRodeo Hall of Famer Ty Murray did it in 1998. 

Bareback rider Biglow takes over RAM Top Gun Award standings lead Bareback rider Clayton Biglow’s magical ride in the 2019 Wrangler NFR received a bonus Thursday night. Biglow’s Round 8 victory, which earned him $26,231, pushed him to $137,064 in Wrangler NFR earnings. That is the most money earned of any 2019 contestant – not counting ground money – to put him atop the RAM Top Gun standings. Another element of excitement at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the RAM Top Gun Award which goes to the one contestant who wins the most money in any single event at the Wrangler NFR. Bull riders Sage Kimzey ($129,942) and Boudreaux Campbell ($122,327) are second and third, respectively, in the RAM Top Gun standings. 

Link to Wrangler NFR photoshttps://prorodeo.box.com/s/8gmy5xpxx4jyfjfcjtj0sazdfackawea