Events Horse Happenings Western

Tie-down Roping win has Trevor Brazile leading All-Around

Photograph by Tom Donoghue

LAS VEGAS – Before the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo began, 23-time world champion Trevor Brazile announced he would be cutting his rodeo count down, not planning on going full time on the road any more.  This, the 60th edition of the Wrangler NFR would likely be his last. At 42 years old, he’s looking forward to spending more time with family.  But Sunday night, Dec. 9, in front of 16,917 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Brazile looked as young as ever, stopping the clock in 6.8 seconds to win tie-down roping. Even more significant, Brazile took over the lead in the coveted All-Around Cowboy competition from his brother-in-law Tuf Cooper.

Brazile, who now has won a PRCA-record 69 career rounds between the Wrangler NFR and the National Finals Steer Roping, has felt locked in the last couple rounds.
“I felt like I was on the cusp of the same run the last two nights,” he said. “Obviously, I just didn’t do my job (Saturday night) and (Friday night) – I may have underestimated the calf just a little. It is just those little things. They don’t pay you for your bio here. You have to compete, and you have to finish the course every night and I didn’t do that (Saturday night). I should’ve done well, and I didn’t. Tonight, I tried not to take anything for granted and complete the course.”
Sunday, aboard Deputy, Brazile went under seven seconds, always a great sign.
“It’s fun, and I’ve never had a 6-second run I didn’t like, but they always feel better in the Thomas & Mack with this crowd,” he said.
Brazile is eighth in the world standings in tie-down roping with $129,002. He also he upped his all-around cowboy earnings to $270,385, climbing over Cooper by $7,201. Brazile isn’t worried about that just yet.
“There are things I can control and things I can’t,” he said. “I started off just too aggressive. I knew it was my last time out here, and I wanted to make every run count. Looking back, I was probably a touch too aggressive, but I came in here so many times protecting leads and just being conservative, and I just wanted to do it my way this year.”
Meanwhile, Shane Hanchey, who entered the Finals as the leader in the world standings, climbed back into first place in the tie-down roping. He has $164,347 on the season.

Curtis Cassidy regains steer wrestling lead
After watching his lead in the steer wrestling world standings dissipate and then vanish, regular-season leader Curtis Cassidy tried not to concern himself.
In Round 4, he went out and did what he needed to, stopping the clock in 3.6 seconds to win the round and retake the lead in the world standings.
He knew the steer he drew was going to give him a good chance at the round win, his first since splitting the win in Round 7 in 2014 and his first outright round win since Round 5 of that year.
“Will Lummus made a good run on that steer (4.3 seconds) in Round 1, and that steer left and ran good. He was everything you could want for a steer.”
Cassidy, 40, missed his first steer of the 10-day rodeo, as did fellow Canadian Scott Guenthner. Both of them were riding Tyson, Cassidy’s horse. Since, Guenthner won Round 3 and Cassidy took Round 4.
“I don’t know if my horse (Tyson) got sick the first night, but Scott and I didn’t catch either one of our steers and the horse had a bad night,” Cassidy said. “I had a lot of anxiety over it that first night because five of us rode that horse at the Canadian Finals (Rodeo in November) and he was clutch every night. That first night here, something was wrong with him, and I don’t know what it was. I just had faith in him and faith in my program and my horses. The second night was good, and the last two nights have been awesome.”
The Bashaw, Alberta, cowboy has made $51,885 at the Wrangler NFR, helping him regain the top spot in the world standings with $157,894. Cassidy is in his first return trip to the Finals since 2014.
“No, I’m not worrying about the standings right now,” Cassidy said. “It’s 10 one-headers here, and you have to win as much money as you can every night because you don’t know what’s going to happen the next night.”

Tribble clears more than $30,000 with Round 4 win
Garrett Tribble picked a heck of a time to rein in his first outright round win.
The bull rider from Bristow, Okla., posted an 87.0-point ride on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Black Hammer to win the round.
He had a three-way split of first a year ago. This time, the win was all his.
“Well, I just stayed on my bull, we had a tough pen of bulls, and it sure was tough to stay on,” said Tribble, 21. “I had maybe one of the better picks and he made me ride, and it worked out. This is a good win for me because it’s the middle of the week and I had one ridden before. This helped me get my confidence back to where it should be to get rolling for the rest of the week.”
Adding to that win, Tribble was one of just three bull riders to make the whistle. His efforts earned him $33,564, as he, Jeff Askey and Parker Breding split the extra ground money.
“Man, it’s really something because we don’t have many chances to win this much money,” Tribble said. “It’s even better when you do it with bulls you’ve seen all year and are excited to draw them here or anywhere, really.”
Tribble knew what to expect from Black Hammer, helping with the win.
“I knew he bucks hard and tries to pull down hard, and not many guys ride him far, but if I got around the corner I would be setting just right,” said Tribble, fifth in the world standings with $154,559.

After pushing for Just Peachy, Bennett rides for 86.5 points
Caleb Bennett knew plenty about Three Hills Rodeo’s Just Peachy. In fact, he was the bareback rider pushing for the Three Hills Rodeo horse to make an appearance at the 2018 Wrangler NFR.
Then came the draw, and Bennett ended up aboard Just Peachy for Round 4. He made it count.
Bennett posted an 86.5-point ride on the horse, answering a night after two-time defending champ and 2018 standings leader Tim O’Connell won Round 3.
“Shoot, there’s always pressure here, whether you’re 15th or first, especially if you’re here to win and here to do good,” said Bennett, of Tremonton, Utah. “I told myself after last night I let one slip, I should have placed on that horse. I told myself, come back and match him (O’Connell), win the go-round and throw the pressure back on his turf.”
Bennett is still in second place in the world standings with $214,159. He’s closed the gap with O’Connell to $12,988. (O’Connell picked up $3,666 after splitting fifth and sixth with Jake Brown and Mason Clements.)
Knowing what Peachy was capable of, Bennett was stoked to draw the horse.
“That horse has been around for a little while now,” said Bennett, 30. “She used to be probably 50 pounds heavier. She’s trimmed down. She’s gotten really good this year, really electric. I had her in San Antonio to be 86. A handful of guys knew her, and a handful didn’t. They weren’t really sure about bringing her here. I pushed for her to get here and thought she should be here. I was grinning from ear to ear, I was glad I did that.”

Ivy/Hawkins win team roping in 4.1 seconds
Lane Ivy is making his debut at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Buddy Hawkins II is in his second trip, first since 2013.
The team roping partners looked like a pair of seasoned Wrangler NFR veterans when they stopped the clock in a Round 4-best time of 4.1 seconds.
Team roping heeler Hawkins has tried to impart a bit of wisdom on his heading partner, Ivy, 26.
“It takes everything to do good, every single thing,” said Hawkins, 32. “If there’s any advice I gave Lane coming out here it was to not be afraid of the barrier. If you break the barrier that’s fine, but if you miss the barrier it’s not fine, and that’s just the beginning of the run. You can nail the barrier and then there’s so many things that can go wrong or right and everything seemed like it went right tonight. This was the easiest run I’ve ever made here.”
Ivy is settling in to his first trip to the Finals. A little help from mom also never hurts.
“The first few nights I did absolutely terrible,” Ivy said. “I broke the barrier on one. Tonight, my mom said, ‘Hey, just take a deep breath, it’s just another rodeo.’ And that’s true, it pays a lot more, but that’s all it comes down to – being sharp and doing your job. This is what we prepared for, and I’m just excited to get the opportunity.”
The victory has Ivy and Hawkins sitting in 12th place in the world standings in their respective events. Ivy has $103,688 in the heading standings, while Hawkins has $100,682.

Rusty Wright wins again in Round 4
The first time Rusty Wright won a round in saddle bronc riding it was the fourth round.
He did that again Sunday night, riding Korkow Rodeo’s Meat Cracker for 87 points and the Round 4 victory.
“I love the fourth round,” Wright said. “It was my first round win at my first NFR in 2015. I’ve been on that horse before in Calgary, and I knew what he would do. I thought I would just stick to the basics, stay back and lift my rein and let the judges take care of the rest.”
The funny thing is Wright wasn’t envisioning himself winning, he was more worried about his brother, defending Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion Rusty Wright.
“I knew I would place high, and my brother (Ryder Wright) had Tiger Warrior,” said Rusty Wright, 23. “I wanted him to win the round. I mean, I wanted to win, of course, but if I had to be second, I wanted it to be to him – that horse isn’t easy to ride.”
Since getting to the Finals last week, Rusty Wright has been trying to get into a rhythm both in and outside the arena.
“We get up and sign autographs and then eat and then go to the rodeo, that’s the routine,” he said. “It’s hard to get in a routine, and you try to keep it simple. I haven’t really had a full meal since getting here, just peanut butter and jelly, and apples.”
Rusty Wright is in third place in the world standings with $178,030. Ryder is still in the lead with $211,463.

Finals rookie Telford notches first round win
Wrangler NFR rookie Jessie Telford is adjusting to her first trip to the Finals. So is her horse Cool Whip.
When the pair first arrived in Vegas and tried to get settled in, Cool Whip wasn’t exactly comfortable with his surroundings.
He looked perfectly at home in Round 4, as Telford and Cool Whip clocked a 13.49-second run to win the round, Telford’s first go-round victory.
“This win feels amazing,” said Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho. “My really good horse, Cool Whip, at the first practice (on Tuesday) felt like a colt – really green and spooking at everything. My other mare, Shu Fire, felt phenomenal, so I kind of went with my gut, which said run her at first until I could get him (Cool Whip) back in the pen. At the second practice that we got him back in, he felt awesome. He felt like himself – confident – that was (Saturday) morning, so he got the call.”
Telford has had a strong first four days of the Finals. She’s cashed in for $45,115, helping her to ninth place in the world standings with $133,457.

Barrel racer leads RAM Top Gun race
Through four rounds of the Wrangler NFR, Amberleigh Moore is atop the RAM Top Gun Standings, given to the competitor who wins the most money at the Finals.
Moore has won $93,346, so far. In second is tie-down roper Marty Yates with $75,788, followed by saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer ($69,231).

60th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Fourth Performance Results, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Bareback riding: 1. Caleb Bennett, 86.5 points on Three Hills Rodeo’s Just Peachy, $26,231; 2. Kaycee Feild, 86, $20,731; 3. (tie) Shane O’Connell and Tilden Hooper, 85.5, $13,327 each; 5. (tie) Tim O’Connell, Jake Brown and Mason Clements, 84.5, $3,667 each; 8. (tie) Bill Tutor and Steven Dent, 84; 10. Orin Larsen, 83; 11. Will Lowe, 82; 12. Richmond Champion, 81.5; 12. Ty Breuer, 81.5; 14. Clayton Biglow, 77; 15. Wyatt Denny, NS. Average standings: 1. Kaycee Feild, 339 points on four head; 2. Tilden Hooper, 335.5; 3. Steven Dent, 335; 4. Tim O’Connell, 332.5; 5. Shane O’Connell, 329.5; 6. Will Lowe, 328.5; 7. Richmond Champion, 325.5; 8. Bill Tutor, 323.5. World standings: 1. Tim O’Connell, $227,147; 2. Caleb Bennett, $214,159; 3. Kaycee Feild, $170,522; 4. Clayton Biglow, $166,320; 5. Orin Larsen, $161,386; 6. Steven Dent, $155,805; 7. Tilden Hooper, $144,750; 8. Mason Clements, $142,818; 9. Bill Tutor, $140,835; 10. Richmond Champion, $136,588; 11. Jake Brown, $115,069; 12. Wyatt Denny, $113,728; 13. Shane O’Connell, $107,720; 14. Ty Breuer, $101,558; 15. Will Lowe, $86,017.

Steer wrestling: 1. Curtis Cassidy, 3.6 seconds, $26,231; 2. Kyle Irwin, 3.7, $20,731; 3. (tie) Blake Mindemann and Blake Knowles, 3.8, $13,327 each: 5. Scott Guenthner, 4.1, $6,769; 6. Ty Erickson, 4.2, $4,231; 7. Will Lummus, 4.5; 8. Nick Guy, 4.6; 9. Riley Duvall, 4.8, 10. Tyler Waguespack, 5.4; 11. Bridger Chambers, 6.0; 12. Tanner Brunner, 15.0; 13. (tie) Tyler Pearson, Jacob Talley, and Hunter Cure, NT. Average standings: 1. Blake Knowles, 16.8 seconds on four head; 2. Will Lummus, 17.4; 3. Tyler Waguespack, 19.3, 4. Bridger Chambers, 29.6; 5. Riley Duvall, 34.9; 6. Nick Guy, 41.5; 7. Ty Erickson, 42.6; 8. Tanner Brunner, 53. World standings: 1. Curtis Cassidy, $157,894; 2. Scott Guenthner, $148,650; 3. Tyler Pearson, $133,856; 4. Ty Erickson, $128,854; 5. Will Lummus, $128,125; 6. Tyler Waguespack, $121,315; 7. Blake Knowles, $119,515; 8. Kyle Irwin, $119,391; 9. Hunter Cure, $118,037; 10. Blake Mindemann, $106,919; 11. Bridger Chambers, $104,505; 12. Tanner Brunner, $98,193; 13. Jacob Talley, $90,717; 14. Nick Guy, $88,373; 15. Riley Duvall, $87,643.

Team roping: 1. Lane Ivy/ Buddy Hawkins II, 4.1 seconds, $26,231; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Jake Long and Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 4.2, $18,192 each; 4. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira and Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 4.3, $8,885 each; 6. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 4.8, $4,231; 7. Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 5.0; 8. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 5.3; 9. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 6.5; 10. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 14.2; 11. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, Bubba Buckaloo/Chase Tryan, Tyler Wade/Cole Davison and Erich Roger/Clint Summer, NT. Average standings: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 17.7 seconds on four head; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Trey Yates, 23.7; 3. Derrick Begay/Cory Petska, 33.3; 4. Rhen Richard/Quinn Kesler, 33.7; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 13.1; 6. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 13.6; 7. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 14.8; 8. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 18.1. World standings (headers): 1. Kaleb Driggers, $167,964; 2. Clay Smith, $155,242; 3. Cody Snow, $133,594; 4. Luke Brown, $130,756; 5. Bubba Buckaloo, $127,990; 6. Aaron Tsinigine, $123,237; 7. Clay Tryan, $122,785; 8. Derrick Begay, $121,068; 9. Riley Minor, $118,631; 10. Dustin Egusquiza, $116,396; 11. Chad Masters, $113,534; 12. Lane Ivy, $103,688; 13. Rhen Richard, $92,790; 14. Erich Rogers, $85,123; 15. Tyler Wade, $83,145. World standings (heelers): 1. Junior Nogueira, $168,948; 2. Paul Eaves, $155,242; 3. Trey Yates, $137,631; 4. Joseph Harrison, $132,707; 5. Jake Long, $130,756; 6. Wesley Thorp, $129,904; 7. Cory Petska, $127,525; 8. Travis Graves, $118,928; 9. Brady Minor, $117,438; 10. Kory Koontz, $116,396; 11. Chase Tryan, $107,406; 12. Buddy Hawkins II, $100,682; 13. Clint Summers, $96,236; 14. Quinn Kesler, $88,906; 15. Cole Davison, $76,252.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Rusty Wright, 87 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Meat Cracker, $26,231; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 86.5, $20,731; 3. Ryder Wright, 85, $15,654; 4. CoBurn Bradshaw, 80.5, $11,000; 5. Cort Scheer, 78.5, $6,769; 6. Isaac Diaz, Brody Cress, Zeke Thurston, Wade Sundell, Jake Wright, Joey Sonnier III, Clay Elliott, Taos Muncy and Chase Brooks, NS. Average standings: 1. Cort Scheer, 342.5 points on four head, 2. CoBurn Bradshaw, 333.5; 3. Wade Sundell, 255 points on three head; 4. Rusty Wright, 254.5; 5. Jake Wright, 254; 6. Zeke Thurston, 253; 7. (tie) Jacobs Crawley and Clay Elliott, 249.5. World standings: 1. Ryder Wright, $211,463; 2. Jacobs Crawley, $204,331; 3. Rusty Wright, $178,030; 4. Cort Scheer, $171,073; 5. Isaac Diaz, $160,970; 6. Zeke Thurston, $144,637; 7. Wade Sundell, $142,502; 8. CoBurn Bradshaw, $132,325; 9. Jake Wright, $128,287; 10. Brody Cress, $121,587; 11. Clay Elliott, $119,676; 12. Sterling Crawley, $108,748; 13. Chase Brooks, $101,795; 14. Joey Sonnier III, $89,114; 15. Taos Muncy, $88,790.

Tie-down roping: 1. Trevor Brazile, 6.8 seconds, $26,231; 2. Ryle Smith, 7.1, $20,731; 3. Matt Shiozawa, 7.3, $15,654; 4. Shane Hanchey, 7.4, $11,000; 5. Sterling Smith , 7.6, $6,769; 6. Jake Pratt, 7.7, $4,231; 7. Cory Solomon, 8.1; 8. Reese Riemer, 8.2; 9. (tie) Rhen Richard, Caleb Smidt and Marty Yates, 8.7; 12. Cooper Martin, 9.1; 13. Ryan Jarrett, 9.3; 14. Tyson Durfey, 9.9; 15. Tuf Cooper, 13.4. Average standings: 1. (tie) Marty Yates and Ryle Smith, 31.3 seconds on four head; 3. Caleb Smidt, 32.0; 4. Rhen Richard, 34.0; 5. Tyson Durfey, 37.3; 6. Cooper Martin, 38.9; 7. Reese Riemer, 42.0; 8. (tie) Matt Shiozawa and Shane Hanchey, 42.1. World standings: 1. Shane Hanchey, $164,347; 2. Marty Yates, $162,271; 3. Tuf Cooper, $158,095; 4. Caleb Smidt, $151,163; 5. Ryle Smith, $144,595; 6. Tyson Durfey, $136,518; 7. Jake Pratt, $131,088; 8. Trevor Brazile, $129,002; 9. Reese Riemer, $120,390; 10. Matt Shiozawa, $111,923; 11. Sterling Smith, $111,647; 12. Rhen Richard, $111,283; 13. Cory Solomon, $110,002; 14. Cooper Martin, $101,938; 15. Ryan Jarrett, $87,552.

Barrel racing: 1. Jessie Telford, 13.49 seconds, $26,231; 2. Jessica Routier, 13.58, $20,731; 3. Amberleigh Moore, 13.64, $15,654; 4. Kelly Bruner, 13.71, $11,000; 5. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 13.74, $6,769; 6. Carman Pozzobon, 13.76, $4,231; 7. Nellie Miller, 13.78; 8. Tammy Fischer, 13.83; 9. Tracy Nowlin, 13.93; 10. Stevi Hillman, 14.06; 11. Lisa Lockhart, 14.07; 12. Kylie Weast, 18.70; 13. Hailey Kinsel, 18.78; 14. Taci Bettis, 18.81; 15. Ivy Conrado, 19.66. Average standings: 1. Amberleigh Moore, 54.55 seconds on four head; 2. Jessie Telford, 55.06; 3. Jessica Routier, 55.13; 4. Nellie Miller and Carman Pozzobon, 55.68; 6. Tammy Fischer, 55.81; 7. Hailey Kinsel, 59.93; 8. Kylie Weast, 59.96. World standings: 1. Hailey Kinsel, $242,392; 2. Amberleigh Moore, $182,473; 3. Nellie Miller, $167,826; 4. Lisa Lockhart, $159,746; 5. Jessica Routier, $154,397; 6. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $154,036; 7. Kylie Weast, $138,369; 8. Stevi Hillman; $133,559; 9. Jessie Telford; $133,457; 10. Ivy Conrado, $128,270; 11. Tracy Nowlin, $116,150; 12. Taci Bettis, $113,692; 13. Kelly Bruner, $111,515; 14. Tammy Fischer, $101,277; 15. Carman Pozzobon, $101,177.

Bull riding: 1. Garrett Tribble, 87 points on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Black Hammer, $33,564; 2. Jeff Askey, 84, $28,064; 3. Parker Breding, 81, $22,987; 4. Sage Kimzey, Chase Dougherty, Tyler Bingham, Dustin Bouquet, Roscoe Jarboe, Boudreaux Campbell, Cole Melancon, Joe Frost, Eli Vastbinder, Koby Radley, Trevor Kastner and Trey Benton III, NS. Average standings: 1. Joe Frost, 260 points on three head; 2. Parker Breding, 244, $32,987; 3. Sage Kimzey, 176 on two head, $54,212; 4. Garrett Tribble, 172.5, $50,333; 5. Trey Benton III, 170, $40,462; 6. Chase Dougherty, 168.5, $42,295; 7. Jeff Askey, 167.5, $49,064; 8. Roscoe Jarboe, 162.5, $21,000. World standings: 1. Sage Kimzey, $351,237; 2. Parker Breding, $218,463; 3. Joe Frost, $162,150; 4. Jeff Askey, $156,451; 5. Garrett Tribble, $152,559; 6. Chase Dougherty, $151,644; 7. Trey Benton III, $141,393; 8. Dustin Bouquet, $140,241; 9. Tyler Bingham, $135,064; 10. Roscoe Jarboe, $130,737; 11. Koby Radley, $130,245; 12. Boudreaux Campbell, $116,431; 13. Cole Melancon, $109,973; 14. Eli Vastbinder, $105,114; 15. Trevor Kastner, $104,396.

All-around world standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $270,385; 2. Tuf Cooper, $263,184; 3. Rhen Richard, $192,647; 4. Ryle Smith, $161,101; 5. Steven Dent, $155,391; 6. Curtis Cassidy, $145,122; 7. Paul Tierney, $82,868; 8. Jordan Ketscher, $71,659; 9. Marcus Theriot, $64,759; 10. Dakota Eldridge, $60,005.
RAM Top Gun standings: 1. Amberleigh Moore, $93,346; 2. Marty Yates, $75,788; 3. Cort Scheer, $69,231; 4. Caleb Smidt, $61,192; 5. Kaycee Feild, 59,500.