LAS VEGAS – Team ropers split the world championship. The outcome simply wasn’t the one that appeared most likely. The possibility of a header from one team winning the world championship with a heeler from another partnership became more and more real as the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo wore on, but in a final-round stunner, heeler Jade Corkill came from behind to capture his first gold buckle along with Chad Masters, who won a world championship for the second time.
LAS VEGAS – J.W. Harris wasn’t focused on sending any sort of message on the first night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He did anyway. The three-time world champion bull rider came to the Thomas & Mack Center entrenched in one of the most intriguing battles – trailing long-time 2012 world standings leader and NFR rookie Cody Teel by a little more than $7,000 – but erased it and took over the world lead in front of 17,460 fans, winning the first round with a 90.5-point ride aboard Four Star Rodeo’s Stink Eye.