Rough Stock Events – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding:
Competition Format – Bareback and saddle bronc riders have two full rounds. Their scores will be added together and the top 12 will advance to the championship finals. Bull riders ride once with the 12 highest scores competing for the championship.
Three was a charm for Richmond Champion in the bareback riding last night. After his first two horses fell down, the third one he got on took him to an 81-point ride. Another solid ride tonight will see him competing for Reno Rodeo spurs tomorrow. Champion is a former NFR qualifier, but his biggest claim to fame was winning $1 million in the bareback riding at the inaugural rodeo called The American. Ty Breuer is also in good shape to stay in Reno another night after scoring 79.5 last night.
Garrett Smith is one of the best cowboys to come out of the ranks of high school rodeo – he won three all-around championships there. He competed in multiple events in high school and still might be seen in the steer wrestling at PRCA rodeos. However, his main focus and love is bull riding. He narrowly missed qualifying for the NFR last year finishing in 22 nd place. He is 30 th now and needs an eight-second ride here to give him a boost. This lanky cowboy can ride the rank ones, then turn around and get on a horse and do any job that needs to be done.
Reid Barker is one of the best bull riders in the PRCA with 2 NFR qualifications to his credit. However, this is one guy who really has a hard time staying healthy. Two years ago, he missed part of the season with a broken eye socket and a concussion. Less than six weeks later he was back and won the Caldwell Night Rodeo. His competition at last year’s NFR was cut short when a bull stepped on him in the third of 10 rounds. He had a shoulder injury and broken ribs. He’s healthy now and ready to ride!
Saddle bronc riders are going to have to move their feet quickly and stay on for eight seconds tonight to have a chance to stay for tomorrow’s championship finals. The 2014 world champion Spencer Wright has the best opportunity after an 82.5-point ride last night. Dean Wadsworth is also in good shape with 1 79.5. The rest of the field has some ground to make up.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing:
Competition Format – All of the timed-events feature two full rounds of competition. Their times are added together with the 12 contestants with the fastest total times advancing to the championship finals.
We expect the tie-down roping to be fast tonight. World Standings leader Hunter Herrin is known for his fast ties and if he gets the right calf, arena records can fall. Ryan Jarrett is second in the tie-down world standings, and the 2005 all-around world champion is leading in that category. It’s amazing that neither one of these men has won a set of champions’ spurs here.
There will likely be changes in the overall leaders in steer wrestling tonight. Two-time world champion Dean Gorsuch had a 3.6-second run in slack to move into first place in the first round. NFR qualifier Matt Reeves was a 4.0 and Jack Vanderlans had a 4.2. Cousins Blake Knowles and Trevor Knowles were just out of the money at 4.6 and 4.7 respectively, but all of these men have a great opportunity to move into the top 12 that advance to the finals.
It’s going to be hard to beat Stevi Hillman’s 17.06-second run from last night, but there are 12 women who will attempt it tonight. Among them is Ivy Conrado who is having a tremendous year. Conrado finished second at Denver and won Fort Worth in January and February. She has continued to get checks and is second in the world standings.
Brittany Pozzi – Tonozzi is not just the contestant with the most Zs in her name, she is also a talented barrel racer that is fun to watch. Married to team roper Garrett Tonozzi, the two-time world champion has been bringing along a young mare “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” that she calls Mona. We hope she is riding the sorrel mare tonight.
Shelby Herrmann started her season off with a bang by winning the National Western in Denver. She is in her second year of making a run for the NFR. Last year, she finished in 22nd place. She is in 26th place now but a win here could change all of that.