Photo by Tom Donoghue
LAS VEGAS – Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes didn’t get to rope together in Las Vegas last year. Now, they’re making up for lost time in a big way.
The pair won their second round in three nights during Round 3 action at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER with a 4.0-second time.
In 2014, Tsinigine and Motes didn’t start roping together until the spring, and as a result, Tsinigine roped with seven-time World Champion Team Roper and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Clay O’Brien Cooper at the WNFR.
“I watched the first five rounds from home last year,” said Motes, who’s making his fourth WNFR trip this year. “It was upsetting not to be here, but all my friends were competing out here. So I flew out here to be with all my friends. I told Aaron I was going to show him how to get to the South Point (for the nightly go-round buckle presentations), and he won the first round (with O’Brien Cooper) after I got here in Round 6 last year.”
This year, Tsinigine and Motes are spending quite a bit of time at the South Point together. They won Round 1 with a time of 4.1 seconds, and now will receive another pair of go-round buckles.
“Two out of three rounds is everything I’ve always dreamed of,” Tsinigine said. “Winning two out of the first three rounds blows the roof off for me. It’s what I was pretending to do when I was a little kid roping the dummy. I was roping at the NFR, and I was winning rounds. This is fun, and so far so good. But the main thing is I’m going to try and catch 10 head here.”
The team has moved from fifth to second in the world standings, and trails the two-time defending world champion duo of Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill by less than $9,000.
“It’s always good to get off to a good start,” Motes said. “The first round was great, now this. Aaron said he was going to back off a little tonight to try to stay in the average. But he got a good start, and he just couldn’t help himself. He stuck it on him good, and it was easy heeling back there.”
Bareback rider Steven Peebles also came to Las Vegas on a mission, and through three rounds he’s accomplishing it.
For the second night in a row, Peebles took the victory lap. This time, it was after an 86.5-point ride on Andrews Rodeo’s Cool Water.
“I feel awesome, mentally and physically,” he said. “After riding through pain all season and barely making it into the Finals, to be able to do all of this has me speechless. I’m trying not to overthink it, and don’t want to change a thing. I want to keep spurring every horse jump-for-jump until this is over.”
It was the second time in three years Peebles won Round 3, as he did the same in 2013. He’s earned a check all three nights, and now has a total of $71,875 in WNFR earnings this year. He’s moved to within $7,000 of world standings leader Kaycee Feild and is first in the WNFR average race.
“People asked me before I got here if I thought I had a chance coming in 14th, and I really wanted to come in here the first few rounds and be able to win and get caught up to Kaycee,” Peebles said. “I wanted to be caught up by the middle of the rodeo and have a clean slate, so this feels great.”
The win also moved Peebles to the top of the RAM Top Gun standings, the award which goes to the competitor who earns the most money in a single event during the 10 nights of the WNFR. He leads barrel racer Cassidy Kruse by $8,144 for the RAM Bighorn 3500 Cummins Diesel truck that goes to the winner.
It was a big night for tie-down roper Tyson Durfey and his wife, country musician Shea Fisher-Durfey.
After Shea sang during the opening of the rodeo, Tyson went out and split the round win with Caleb Smidt when both posted a time of 7.5 seconds.
“It’s a blessing,” Tyson said. “I get more nervous when she performs than when I actually compete. When I’m watching her, my hands are sweating, but what a blessed night this was.”
Shea says if there’s a correlation between her singing and her husband winning, she’d like to be invited back more often.
“It couldn’t get any better,” she said. “I knew he was going to be good today. If he keeps winning rounds when I sing, I should be singing every night.”
For Smidt, the win was big for his pursuit of a world title, as he moved to sixth in the world standings and is now tied for third in the WNFR average race.
However, he’s happy just to be competing in Las Vegas after he dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia and fibula in three spots in May 2014 during a steer wrestling mishap in the practice pen. He missed the majority of the 2014 season, but has come back in a big way this year.
“I never expected to be here at this time after that kind injury,” he said. “I thought it was career-ending for me. I had great doctors, great surgeons and therapy, and it brought me back to where I was. It dang sure made me more determined and put me back in my place where I need to be, and I’m going to keep trying and never give up.”
Clayton Hass entered the WNFR the leader in the steer wrestling world standings, but failed to earn a check in either of the first two rounds, falling all the way to sixth.
However, he rebounded in a big way Saturday night when he grabbed the round win and $26,231 with a 3.6-second run.
“It was awesome, so hopefully I can kind of get on a roll here and break the ice and win a little bit of money and keep bearing down every night,” the Terrell, Texas, cowboy said.
Making it even better was the fact that his traveling partner and friend Ty Erickson took second in the round with a 3.8-second time. With the $20,731 he earned, Erickson moved to the top of the world standings – the third different world standings leader in as many nights.
“Ty and I rodeoed all year together and pushed each other to do better and win,” Hass said. “It didn’t matter if he won first and I won second, or if I won first and he won second, we were tickled to death about tonight.”
Hass moved back up to third in the standings, and trails his buddy by less than $12,000.
Cody Teel, the 2012 world champion bull rider and 2013 WNFR average winner, is the only bull rider with two qualified rides after the first three nights.
He covered Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lineman for 86.5 points, and not only earned a big check, but some revenge.
“He bucked me off in Round 10 last year, so this feels really good,” Teel said. “I’ve had good luck with him; I’ve been 90 on him to win Lovington (N.M.) in 2014 and was 85 in the short go at Cheyenne (Wyo. Frontier Days) in 2012 and got a nice check.”
In his quest for another gold buckle, Teel now leads the average with 164.5 points on two head – he took third in Round 1. He’s third in the world standings.
“With all the added money here, it really doesn’t matter where you are until the end, and I won’t look at the standings until then,” he said. “I’ll just try to stay focused and show up every night.”
The first two rounds of the WNFR didn’t go the way barrel racer Taylor Jacob would’ve liked. She knocked barrels over both nights and failed to earn a check. However, it all turned around Saturday. Jacob maneuvered around all three barrels and clocked a winning time of 13.77 seconds on her horse, Bo.
“Well, I got around them all so that was the best thing about tonight,” she said. “Actually, I haven’t been worried even with the barrels that went down. I knew that Bo was feeling good in those first two runs and working it as hard as he could, so I knew it would come around.”
Jacob is currently 13th in the WNFR average, and now is hoping to collect as much money as she can each night.
“I am just going for go-round checks and I’ll have to let the average take care of itself,” she said. “I knew what the rounds paid when I came, and I have a total amount in my head for what I think I can win here.”
Five-time Reserve World Champion Cody DeMoss retook the world standings lead in the saddle bronc riding Saturday night with a round win thanks to an 84-point ride on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Big Fork.
DeMoss and Jacobs Crawley – who was second in Round 3 – are the only two saddle bronc riders to earn checks in all three rounds so far. DeMoss’ lead is roughly $6,000 over Crawley.
“It feels pretty good,” DeMoss said. “I’m back to turning it loose and having fun. My brother (Heith) and I were together tonight, and that’s a great thing.”
The 57th annual Wrangler NFR continues Sunday with the fourth round at the Thomas & Mack Center. The action will be televised live and in HD on CBS Sports Net (DirecTV channel 221 and DISH Network channel 158) from 7-10 p.m. PT.
Third Performance Results, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
Bareback riding: 1. Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 86.5 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Cool Water, $26,231; 2. Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, 84.0, $20,731; 3. Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore., 80.0, $15,654; 4. Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 79.5, $11,000; 5. (tie) Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, and Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., 79.0, $5,500 each; 7. Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 74.5; 8. Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 74.0; 9. Kaycee Feild, Spanish Fork, Utah, 72.5; 10. Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La., 70.0; 11. Evan Jayne, Marseille, France, 69.5; 12. Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 65.5; no other qualified rides. World standings: 1. Kaycee Feild, $158,290; 2. Steven Peebles, $151,960; 3. Austin Foss, $140,049; 4. Tim O’Connell, $127,026; 5. Evan Jayne, $123,751; 6. Clint Laye, $117,807; 7. Bobby Mote, $109,486; 8. Jake Brown, $107,994; 9. Will Lowe, $107,896; 10. Clint Cannon, $107,686; 11. Orin Larsen, $101,041; 12. Seth Hardwick, $96,139; 13. Tanner Aus, $95,660; 14. Caleb Bennett, $91,302; 15. Winn Ratliff, $85,754.
Steer wrestling: 1. Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas, 3.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 3.8, $20,731; 3. (tie) Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas; Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis.; and Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala., 4.1, $11,141 each; 6. Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 4.3, $4,231; 7. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 4.6; 8. Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 4.8; 9. K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas, 5.2; 10. Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 5.3; 11. Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 5.7; 12. Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta, 6.7; 13. Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 8.2; no other qualified times. World standings: 1. Ty Erickson, $142,933; 2. Hunter Cure, $137,015; 3. Clayton Hass, $131,411; 4. Kyle Irwin, $118,458; 5. Luke Branquinho, $109,672; 6. K.C. Jones, $107,216; 7. Nick Guy, $104,429; 8. Tanner Milan, $89,654; 9. Blake Knowles, $88,074; 10. Dakota Eldridge, $86,438; 11. Seth Brockman, $85,790; 12. Baylor Roche, $85,786; 13. Trevor Knowles, $85,359; 14. Tyler Waguespack, $85,245; 15. Casey Martin, $84,041.
Team roping: 1. Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz./Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 4.0 seconds, $26,231 each; 2. Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 4.5, $20,731; 3. Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla./Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., 4.6, $15,654; 4. JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas/Junior Nogueira, Scottsdale, Ariz., 5.2, $11,000; 5. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 6.1, $6,769; 6. (tie) Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., and Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz./Travis Woodard, Stockton, Calif., 9.3, $2,115 each; 8. Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash./Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 9.4; 9. Jake Cooper, Monument, N.M./Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 9.5; 10. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Clay O’Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev., 9.6; 11. (tie) Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas/Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas, and Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas/Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., 9.7; 13. Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla./Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo., 10.8; no other qualified times. World standings (headers): 1. Clay Tryan, $153,612; 2. Aaron Tsinigine, $146,230; 3. Derrick Begay, $131,099; 4. Chad Masters, $123,389; 5. Colby Lovell, $120,138; 6. Erich Rogers, $116,169; 7. Luke Brown, $103,140; 8. Trevor Brazile, $102,268; 9. Coleman Proctor, $95,783; 10. Nick Sartain, $93,809; 11. Jake Cooper, $90,933; 12. Clay Smith, $90,113; 13. Matt Sherwood, $88,436; 14. JoJo LeMond, $87,303; 15. Riley Minor, $77,592. World standings (heelers): 1. Jade Corkill, $153,612; 2. Ryan Motes, $145,098; 3. Clay O’Brien Cooper, $132,219; 4. Kory Koontz, $119,775; 5. Travis Graves, $115,996; 6. Cory Petska, $112,327; 7. Kollin VonAhn, $109,755; 8. Patrick Smith, $102,268; 9. Travis Woodard, $99,519; 10. Junior Nogueira, $97,833; 11. Paul Eaves, $96,315; 12. Jake Long, $93,998; 13. Rich Skelton, $93,809; 14. Brady Minor, $76,263; 15. Russell Cardoza, $76,080.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 84.0 points on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Big Fork, $26,231; 2. Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, 83.5, $20,731; 3. Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, 83.0, $15,654; 4. CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah, 82.5, $11,000; 5. Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 81.5, $6,769; 6. Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas, 80.5, $4,231; 7. Wade Sundell, Coleman, Okla., 80.0; 8. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 79.0; 9. Bradley Harter, Loranger, La., 77.5; 10. (tie) Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, and Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., 76.5; 12. Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah, 74.5; no other qualified rides. World standings: 1. Cody DeMoss, $167,897; 2. Jacobs Crawley, $161,594; 3. Wade Sundell, $151,641; 4. Rusty Wright, $131,487; 5. Jake Wright, $126,731; 6. Isaac Diaz, $117,797; 7. CoBurn Bradshaw, $117,607; 8. Taos Muncy, $108,654; 9. Chuck Schmidt, $101,679; 10. Heith DeMoss, $99,085; 11. Cort Scheer, $98,737; 12. Tyrel Larsen, $86,826; 13. Spencer Wright, $84,338; 14. Zeke Thurston, $82,278; 15. Bradley Harter, $81,310.
Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas, and Tyson Durfey, Savannah, Mo., 7.5 seconds, $23,481 each; 3. (tie) Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, and Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, 7.7, $13,327 each; 5. Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., 7.8, $6,769; 6. Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 8.0, $4,231; 7. Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 8.7; 8. Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, 8.9; 9. Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 9.2; 10. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 9.3; 11. Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas, 9.4; 12. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 10.0; 13. Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas, 12.4; no other qualified times. World standings: 1. Timber Moore, $149,452; 2. Tuf Cooper, $140,803; 3. Hunter Herrin, $134,063; 4. Marty Yates, $132,762; 5. Trevor Brazile, $128,209; 6. Caleb Smidt, $125,162; 7. Marcos Costa, $120,996; 8. Matt Shiozawa, $115,720; 9. Tyson Durfey, $105,540; 10. Monty Lewis, $101,365; 11. Cade Swor, $101,200; 12. Shane Hanchey, $100,553; 13. Ryan Jarrett, $95,967; 14. Cory Solomon, $92,483; 15. Sterling Smith, $89,066.
Barrel racing: 1. Taylor Jacob, Carmine, Texas, 13.77 seconds, $26,231; 2. Cassidy Kruse, Gillette, Wyo., 13.80, $20,731; 3. (tie) Fallon Taylor, Whitesboro, Texas, and Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas, 13.83, $13,327 each; 5. Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga., 13.84, $6,769; 6. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.94, $4,231; 7. Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 14.00; 8. Callie duPerier, Boerne, Texas, 14.08; 9. Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 14.10; 10. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 14.15; 11. Vickie Carter, Richfield, Utah, 14.17; 12. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 14.38; 13. Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 19.03; 14. Deb Guelly, Okotoks, Alberta, 19.43; 15. Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 19.65. World standings: 1. Lisa Lockhart, $197,482; 2. Callie duPerier, $183,692; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, $167,023; 4. Cassidy Kruse, $145,077; 5. Mary Walker, $135,759; 6. Fallon Taylor, $130,886; 7. Michele McLeod, $117,628; 8. Taylor Jacob, $116,739; 9. Sherry Cervi, $114,744; 10. Nancy Hunter, $106,686; 11. Carley Richardson, $101,147; 12. Jackie Ganter, $87,780; 13. Vickie Carter, $72,768; 14. Jana Bean, $70,162; 15. Deb Guelly, $69,769.
Bull riding: 1. Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas, 86.5 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Lineman, $26,231; 2. Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla., 84.5, $20,731; 3. Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas, 74.0, $15,654; no other qualified rides. World standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $205,331; 2. Parker Breding, $158,477; 3. Cody Teel, $134,903; 4. Brennon Eldred, $120,041; 5. Wesley Silcox, $115,778; 6. Shane Proctor, $109,744; 7. Clayton Foltyn, $101,457; 8. Chandler Bownds, $98,441; 9. Joe Frost, $93,812; 10. Reid Barker, $89,501; 11. Caleb Sanderson, $86,114; 12. Brett Stall, $86,089; 13. Dustin Bowen, $75,250; 14. Ty Wallace, $73,905; 15. Kody DeShon, $72,633.