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.
We predicted that last night’s bareback riding would be good and we were right. There were four scores that were 80 points or better. All four of those men ride again tonight – Clayton Biglow, Wyatt Denny, Caleb Bennett and Evan Jayne. If any of them have a repeat on their second horse, there is likely to be an overall leaderboard change. Tyler Nelson currently leads that category with 162 points on two rides.
Saddle bronc riding was exciting as well last night. Ryan Mackenzie is tied for the lead with Taos Muncy and the way he rode last night, we think he is a favorite tonight as well. Jake Wright celebrated his birthday with an 83. His twin brother Jesse was 75.5 so has some ground to make up. Their brother-in- law, CoBurn Bradshaw was 79.5 last night. He is ranked second in the world standings and Jake is fifth. The rest of the field could use a big check from the Reno Rodeo to move into the top 15.
Eight of tonight’s bull riders have ridden in the famed yellow bucking chutes in Las Vegas at the NFR. Of the remaining four, two are in the top 15 in the world standings. So, expect to see some great bull rides. The 2012 world champion Cody Teel is 21 st in the world and needs a win here to get his summer off on the right start and qualify for his fifth consecutive NFR.
Timed Events – Steer Wrestling, Steer Roping, 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.
There are some steer wrestlers competing tonight that are very health conscious. Wyatt Smith is a spokesperson for Idaho’s Project Filter and uses every opportunity to talk to kids and adults about the dangers of tobacco use. A newcomer to the pro rodeo circuit is Dane Browning and his journey here has been a rocky one to say the least. While in high school this talented athlete was having seizures. Doctors discovered a tumor and when Dane was a junior, they did brain surgery to remove it. Now he is seizure free and competing in the tie-down roping and steer wrestling at the Reno Rodeo.
Baylor Roche is a goal oriented cowboy that writes them down, looks at them every day and leaves a copy at his house in Utah so his wife can remind him of his goals too. That worked last year as he qualified for his first NFR. He also added a new family member when his wife had a baby boy last October. He set his goals higher this year and winning the Reno Rodeo would get him closer to achieving them.
Josh Frost did double duty in the bull riding last night. He got fouled at the gate and got a re-ride where he scored 72 points. He had a day to recover and change his game face from the bull riding to the tie-down roping. Trading a bull rope and chaps for a horse and saddle might not seem that difficult, but in today’s rodeo, cowboys tend to specialize and if they compete in more than one event it is usually at the same end of the arena. Frost grew up competing in multiple events and while he and his brother Joe are known as being great bull riders, they are both versatile athletes that are equally at home on the back of a saddle horse.
Last night there were lots of penalties in the barrel racing. Tonight’s field will be working hard to keep barrels up and get fast times. The barrel racing is very tight here. In fact, less than half a second separates the top six in the overall standings. Kelly Schnaufer is a veteran barrel racer from Colorado who is making her first run for the NFR. She is 36th in world.
NFR qualifier Sue Smith is also on tonight’s roster. Not only is she a top barrel racer, she also is an accomplished farrier. Keeping horses feet in good shape is key in barrel racing and this been key in her success.