LAS VEGAS – At this point, Steven Peebles can almost be penciled in to win the second round at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER.
The Redmond, Ore., bareback rider is making his seventh appearance in Las Vegas, and tonight was his third-straight victory lap in Round 2 after he rode for 84.5 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Beaver Fever.
“I really don’t know why I always do well in the second round,” Peebles said with a big smile on his face. “I guess this round always has some really strong buckers, and those are the type of horses I like because they make me ride hard and hustle. With each horse I get on I feel better and less sore, so that may have something to do with it. It could just be simple luck, too.”
Peebles almost lost his life in July after suffering a broken rib that nicked an artery and filled his lungs with blood at the Livingston (Mont.) Roundup. He was rushed to the hospital and made it without a moment to spare as doctors were able to drain his lungs and save his life.
Peebles missed the most important part of the rodeo season while recovering, yet still made it to the WNFR for the seventh straight year.
He entered 14th, but after earning checks both of the first two nights he’s now third in the world, trailing Kaycee Feild by a little more than $33,000. He says all the added money has made things a lot more interesting.
“It makes every night more exciting and important,” Peebles said. “I don’t like to check the average or the world standings, because I don’t want to let it affect me or change my riding style in any way. I want to get on all 10 the same way and not safety up if I have a lead. If I’m in the lead when the dust settles on the last night I’ll be happier than I can even explain.”
However, just being alive and rodeoing is a victory in itself for the 26-year-old.
“It was a hard situation, but I swore that if God gave me a chance to come back I was going to take advantage of every rodeo and every ride to prove I can win a world championship,” Peebles said. “I feel very fortunate to be in this position.”
Nobody had a better night in Las Vegas Friday than bull rider Clayton Foltyn. He rode for 76.5 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s Thunderstruck, earning $26,231 for winning the round and moving to seventh in the world standings. But because he was the only bull rider to complete an eight-second ride in Round 2, he took all the money for the event, a total of $84,615 – although only $26,231 counts for the world standings.
“It was a good night,” he said. “I’ll pay off some debts. I probably have most of it spent. Two of the last three guys up were Wesley (Silcox) and Sage (Kimzey), and you don’t count on those guys bucking off.”
It was Foltyn’s first round win at this, his third WNFR – something he’s been looking forward to during his 11-year PRCA career.
“It has always been one of my biggest dreams,” he said. “It’s great to win in this building.”
It was the first time in WNFR history that there has been zero or one qualified rides in Round 2, and only the seventh time there’s only been one ride in a round at the WNFR.
Another competitor who feels fortunate for his situation is team roping header Derrick Begay. He and seven-time World Champion Clay O’Brien Cooper posted a 3.9-second run to win the second round and move to second in the world standings – less than a round win behind defending world champs Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill.
“The roping part’s just a bonus,” Begay said. “Being around Clay and just seeing who he is and how he conducts himself – I’ve learned a lot just being around him. This partnership is one of those things you always kind of wish for, but you never think it’ll come true. That’s the neatest part about roping with Champ for me.”
It was the fourth round win of Begay’s WNFR career, and the fifth time in Cooper’s decorated career that he’s taken a victory lap in Round 2.
Cooper was thrilled with the win and move in the standings, but he had a good friend on his mind Friday night – Jake Barnes, his fellow seven-time world champion, who had to miss his 27th WNFR after suffering head trauma and a fractured left ankle when his horse fell while practicing a week ago today.
“This one’s for Jake,” Cooper said. “It’s a bummer that he had an accident. Jake’s in all of our hearts anyway, because of the kind of person he is and the career that he’s had. Jake’s going to be OK. It could have been worse, and he’ll bounce back. When the want-to’s there, Jake’s never failed a mission yet.”
Two more men who took victory laps and made a move in the world standings Friday night were tie-down ropers Marty Yates and Hunter Herrin.
Both men clocked a 7.5-second time, earning each $23,481. With the top two ropers in the world standings – Tuf Cooper and Timber Moore – both failing to earn a check, Yates and Herrin moved to third and fifth in the world, respectively. Each is less than $14,000 behind the leader, Cooper.
“I’m not going to factor in the average until the eighth or ninth round,” Herrin said. “There’s $26,000 a night, and I’m going to try and hit the barrier and tie them as fast as the calf will let me. Last night (Dec. 3) I didn’t take care of business and the calf really didn’t cooperate as I would’ve liked. I knew I was fast tonight, and I knew I should get some of the money.”
Yates wasn’t sure what to expect with his calf, but finished his run quickly and effectively.
“I wasn’t sure whether that calf would be that good or not, and I got a great start and got it on her really fast,” Yates said. “I knew she was one that might want to kick, so I had to really slow down and get her tied good and keep going with my game plan.”
CoBurn Bradshaw is handling his first trip to Las Vegas well, as he took the saddle bronc riding victory lap with an 83.5-point ride on C5 Rodeo Company’s Curly Bill.
The 21-year-old brother-in-law of the Wright brothers – Cody, Jesse, Jake and Spencer – got off to a fast start in Round 1, earning a sixth-place check. Friday night, he got his hands on the first WNFR go-round buckle of his young career.
While Bradshaw may be riding like a veteran, he admits the nerves have been there.
“I was actually more nervous about the grand entry than I was about riding,” he said. “I was gut sick yesterday. I was even a little nervous last night about riding, but I felt a little better tonight.”
Bradshaw moved to eighth in the world standings and moved more than $24,000 ahead of fellow rookie Zeke Thurston for the lead in the PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year race.
He’s trying to soak it all in.
“It’s almost like a dream – I almost have to pinch myself,” Bradshaw said.
With his second-place finish in Round 2 – coupled with his first-round win last night – Wade Sundell moved into the world standings lead by nearly $10,000 over Cody DeMoss, and Sundell also leads the average with 169 points on two head.
Another change at the top of the world standings came in the steer wrestling, as Hunter Cure took over the top spot after splitting the round win with Luke Branquinho when each posted a time of 3.5 seconds.
Cure, the 2013 world champion, won the third WNFR round of his career. However, moving into the top spot doesn’t change anything for him.
“The approach is the same,” Cure said. “From here on out it’s just keep the pedal to the metal and keep trying to move forward. Both Luke and I needed to make some adjustments on our start to get our horses to the steer a little bit faster tonight, and I feel like he and I were able to do that.”
Branquinho, a five-time world champion, already owned the record for the most wins in the event in WNFR history with 23 – four-time Champ of the World and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Ote Berry is second with 20. It was the eighth straight year that Branquinho placed in the second round.
“The main thing tonight was getting a good start – we didn’t do a very good job at that last night and that was the key adjustment tonight, to make sure we got the start we needed to get caught up to the steer,” Branquinho said. “Last night, I set a game plan for my steer, but he changed the plan up on me. That’s one thing I try not to do is make a game plan, because you never really know what’s going to happen.”
Barrel racer Michele McLeod took the Round 2 win aboard her horse, Slick. It was a wild ride for the 45-year-old, and was the second WNFR round win of her career – the other came in Round 5 in 2014. She moved up to sixth in the world standings and third in the WNFR average race
“Oh my gosh, Slick did it all on his own tonight,” McLeod said. “I had all I could do to stay on. He was running so very hard. I had to lift a leg twice during that run and he nearly lost me. This win was Slick all the way.”
The 57th annual Wrangler NFR continues Saturday with the third 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.
Second Performance Results, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.
Bareback riding: 1. Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 84.5 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Beaver Fever, $26,231; 2. Kaycee Feild, Spanish Fork, Utah, 83.0, $20,731; 3. Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore., 82.0, $15,654; 4. Bobby Mote, Stephenville, Texas, 81.5, $11,000; 5. Clint Laye, Cadogan, Alberta, 81.0, $6,769; 6. Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 79.0, $4,231; 7. (tie) Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, and Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., 77.0; 9. Evan Jayne, Marseille, France, 75.5; 10. (tie) Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, and Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 72.5; 12. Caleb Bennett, Tremonton, Utah, 71.0; 13. Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 56.0; 14. (tie) Jake Brown, Hillsboro, Texas, and Winn Ratliff, Leesville, La., NS. World standings: 1. Kaycee Feild, $158,290; 2. Tim O’Connell, $127,026; 3. Steven Peebles, $125,729; 4. Austin Foss, $124,395; 5. Evan Jayne, $123,751; 6. Bobby Mote, $109,486; 7. Jake Brown, $107,994; 8. Will Lowe, $102,396; 9. Orin Larsen, $101,041; 10. Clint Laye, $97,077; 11. Clint Cannon, $96,686; 12. Tanner Aus, $95,660; 13. Caleb Bennett, $91,302; 14. Seth Hardwick, $90,639; 15. Winn Ratliff, $85,755.
Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Hunter Cure, Holliday, Texas, and Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 3.5 seconds, $23,481 each; 3. (tie) Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta, and Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 3.7, $13,327 each; 5. Ty Erickson, Helena, Mont., 3.8, $6,769; 6. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 3.9, $4,231; 7. Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas, 4.0; 8. Dakota Eldridge, Elko, Nev., 4.2; 9. K.C. Jones, Decatur, Texas, 4.3; 10. Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., 4.5; 11. Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 4.7; 12. Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 4.9; 13. Baylor Roche, Tremonton, Utah, 5.2; 14. Kyle Irwin, Robertsdale, Ala., 5.7; 15. Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 13.3. World standings: 1. Hunter Cure, $125,874; 2. Ty Erickson, $122,203; 3. Luke Branquinho, $109,672; 4. Kyle Irwin, $107,317; 5. K.C. Jones, $107,216; 6. Clayton Hass, $105,181; 7. Nick Guy, $93,288; 8. Tanner Milan, $89,654; 9. Blake Knowles, $88,074; 10. Dakota Eldridge, $86,438; 11. Baylor Roche, $85,786; 12. Trevor Knowles, $85,359; 13. Tyler Waguespack, $85,245; 14. Casey Martin, $84,041; 15. Seth Brockman, $81,559.
Team roping: 1. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Clay O’Brien Cooper, Gardnerville, Nev., 3.9 seconds, $26,231 each; 2. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 4.0, $20,731; 3. Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas/Kory Koontz, Stephenville, Texas, 4.1, $15,654; 4. (tie) Clay Smith, Broken Bow, Okla./Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo., and Matt Sherwood, Pima, Ariz./Travis Woodard, Stockton, Calif., 4.2, $8,885 each; 6. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla./Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 4.4, $4,231; 7. Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash./Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 4.8; 8. Aaron Tsinigine, Tuba City, Ariz./Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 5.6; 9. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas/Patrick Smith, Lipan, Texas, 9.1; 10. (tie) Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., Coleman Proctor, Pryor, Okla./Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., 9.9; 12. Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas/Kollin VonAhn, Blanchard, Okla., 11.2; 13. JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas/Junior Nogueira, Scottsdale, Ariz., 14.3; 14. (tie) Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., and Jake Cooper, Monument, N.M./Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., NT. World standings (headers): 1. Clay Tryan, $151,497; 2. Derrick Begay, $131,099; 3. Colby Lovell, $120,138; 4. Aaron Tsinigine, $119,999; 5. Erich Rogers, $109,400; 6. Luke Brown, $103,140; 7. Chad Masters, $102,658; 8. Trevor Brazile, $102,268; 9. Nick Sartain, $93,809; 10. Jake Cooper, $90,933; 11. Clay Smith, $90,113; 12. Matt Sherwood, $86,321; 13. Coleman Proctor, $80,130; 14. Riley Minor, $77,592; 15. JoJo LeMond, $76,303. World standings (heelers): 1. Jade Corkill, $151,497; 2. Clay O’Brien Cooper, $132,219; 3. Kory Koontz, $119,775; 4. Ryan Motes, $118,867; 5. Kollin VonAhn, $109,755; 6. Cory Petska, $105,558; 7. Patrick Smith, $102,268; 8. Travis Woodard, $97,404; 9. Paul Eaves, $96,315; 10. Travis Graves, $95,265; 11. Rich Skelton, $93,809; 12. Junior Nogueira, $86,833; 13. Jake Long, $78,344; 14. Brady Minor, $76,263; 15. Russell Cardoza, $76,080.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. CoBurn Bradshaw, Beaver, Utah, 83.0 points on C5 Rodeo’s Curly Bill, $26,231; 2. Wade Sundell, Coleman, Okla., 82.5, $20,731; 3. Tyrel Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 81.5, $15,654; 4. Jacobs Crawley, Boerne, Texas, 81.0, $11,000; 5. (tie) Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., and Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, 75.0, $5,500 each; 7. Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., 74.0; 8. Spencer Wright, Milford, Utah, 73.0; 9. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 64.5; 10. Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 54.5; 11. (tie) Isaac Diaz, Desdemona, Texas; Jake Wright, Milford, Utah; Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb.; Bradley Harter, Loranger, La.; Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., NS. World standings: 1. Wade Sundell, $151,641; 2. Cody DeMoss, $141,666; 3. Jacobs Crawley, $140,862; 4. Rusty Wright, $131,487; 5. Isaac Diaz, $113,566; 6. Jake Wright, $111,078; 7. Taos Muncy, $108,654; 8. CoBurn Bradshaw, $106,607; 9. Heith DeMoss, $99,085; 10. Cort Scheer, $98,737; 11. Chuck Schmidt, $94,910; 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) Marty Yates, Stephenville, Texas, and Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., 7.5 seconds, $23,481 each; 3. (tie) Marcos Costa, Childress, Texas, and Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 7.6, $13,327 each; 5. Sterling Smith, Stephenville, Texas, 7.7, $6,769; 6. Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas, 7.8, $4,231; 7. Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 7.9; 8. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, and Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas, 8.5; 10. Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 8.6; 11. Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 8.8; 12. Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas, 9.2; 13. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 11.0; 14. Tyson Durfey, Savannah, Mo., 12.1; 15. Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, NT. World standings: 1. Tuf Cooper, $140,803; 2. Timber Moore, $136,125; 3. Marty Yates, $132,762; 4. Trevor Brazile, $128,209; 5. Hunter Herrin, $127,293; 6. Matt Shiozawa, $115,720; 7. Marcos Costa, $107,669; 8. Caleb Smidt, $101,681; 9. Cade Swor, $101,200; 10. Shane Hanchey, $100,553; 11. Monty Lewis, $97,134; 12. Ryan Jarrett, $95,967; 13. Cory Solomon, $92,483; 14. Sterling Smith, $89,066; 15. Tyson Durfey, $82,060.
Barrel racing: 1. Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 13.89 seconds, $26,231; 2. Fallon Taylor, Whitesboro, Texas, 13.93, $20,731; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga., 13.94, $15,654; 4. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.99, $11,000; 5. Cassidy Kruse, Gillette, Wyo., 14.03, $6,769; 6. Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 14.09, $4,231; 7. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 14.10; 8. Callie duPerier, Boerne, Texas, 14.18; 9. Deb Guelly, Okotoks, Alberta, 14.21; 10. Jana Bean, Fort Hancock, Texas, 14.35; 11. Vickie Carter, Richfield, Utah, 14.53; 12. Taylor Jacob, Carmine, Texas, 18.79; 13. Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas, 19.11; 14. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 19.22; 15. Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 28.87. World standings: 1. Lisa Lockhart, $193,251; 2. Callie duPerier, $183,692; 3. Sarah Rose McDonald, $160,253; 4. Mary Walker, $135,759; 5. Cassidy Kruse, $124,346; 6. Michele McLeod, $117,628; 7. Fallon Taylor, $117,559; 8. Sherry Cervi, $114,744; 9. Nancy Hunter, $106,686; 10. Taylor Jacob, $90,508; 11. Carley Richardson, $87,820; 12. Jackie Ganter, $87,780; 13. Vickie Carter, $72,768; 14. Jana Bean, $70,162; 15. Deb Guelly, $69,769.
Bull riding: 1. Clayton Foltyn, Winnie, Texas, 76.5 points on Rafter G Rodeo’s Thunderstruck, $26,231; (tie) Sage Kimzey, Strong City, Okla.; Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah; Parker Breding, Edgar, Mont.; Brennon Eldred, Sulphur, Okla.; Cody Teel, Kountze, Texas; Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, Texas; Joe Frost, Randlett, Utah; Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash.; Kody DeShon, Helena, Mont.; Brett Stall, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Dustin Bowen, Waller, Texas; Caleb Sanderson, Hallettsville, Texas; Ty Wallace, Collbran, Colo.; Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas; NS. World standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $184,601; 2. Parker Breding, $158,477; 3. Brennon Eldred, $120,041; 4. Wesley Silcox, $115,778; 5. Shane Proctor, $109,744; 6. Cody Teel, $108,672; 7. Clayton Foltyn, $101,457; 8. Chandler Bownds, $98,441; 9. Joe Frost, $93,812; 10. Caleb Sanderson, $86,114; 11. Brett Stall, $86,089; 12. Dustin Bowen, $75,250; 13. Ty Wallace, $73,905; 14. Reid Barker, $73,847; 15. Kody DeShon, $72,633.