Wrangler NFR Round 7 News & Notes

by | Dec 07, 2016

Steve Amerson (Pearl Harbor remembrance) will serve as the opening act and the national anthem will be performed by the Nellis Air Force Base Airmen. Boyd Gaming is the performance sponsor.

Tonight’s Wrangler NFR presented by Polaris RANGER will be televised live and in HD on CBS Sports Net (DISH Network channel 158 and DirecTV channel 221) from 7-10 p.m. (PT) with Jeff Medders and Butch Knowles announcing, Joe Beaver and Don Gay providing commentary, Suzanne Alexander hosting the pre-show and Kadee Coffman as the sideline reporter. All 10 performances of the 2016 Wrangler NFR will be available live with a video-on-demand option via pay-per-view through exclusively in Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. ProRodeo Live is airing coverage on a network of radio stations, including Rural Radio, and online at with Steve Kenyon as the lead announcer.

Through the first six rounds of the 2016 WNFR, Canadian cowboys and roughstock animals have had a tremendous amount of success. There are two Canadian qualifiers in bareback riding – Jake Vold, of Airdrie, Alberta, and Orin Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba. Vold has earned $101,244, an event-high, and Larsen has earned $28,192. There also are three Canadian saddle bronc riders, and three team ropers. Saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, has earned $59,923 at the WNFR. Jake Watson, of Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia, has earned $59,288 in Vegas, while Nanton, Alberta, native Clay Elliott has earned $25,442. Team roping header Levi Simpson of Ponoka, and his heeler, Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood, Alberta, have each won $66,058 so far. Team roping header Kolton Schmidt of Barrhead, Alberta, has earned $10,000. Schmidt’s partner is heeler Shay Carroll. Canadian cowboys have totaled $416,205 in earnings so far. Meanwhile, Canadian bucking stock earnings through Round 6 are $240,098. Through Round 6, there have been eight victory laps taken by Canadians, and the country has five top stock of the night awards from its animals.

Prior to competing at the 2016 WNFR, bareback rider Tanner Aus sold T-shirts to benefit the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, and he raised $1,500. He then matched that amount and made a $3,000 donation to the JCCF Dec. 6. Aus enters Round 7 third in the world standings with $184,806.

Bareback rider Caleb Bennett is second in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings, with $185,436, and has a chance to add to that total when he faces Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery tonight. Jake Vold had a 90-point ride on Special Delivery in the short round at the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede in July, which was the highest-scored bareback ride of the 2016 PRCA regular season. Special Delivery also was bareback of the night in Round 5 of the 2015 WNFR. Orin Larsen, who split second place in Round 6, draws Rafter G Rodeo’s Ankle Biter, the bareback horse of night in Round 2. Clayton Biglow split the Round 2 win with an 85-point ride on Ankle Biter. J.R. Vezain faces Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Betty Boop, who carried Tim O’Connell to a split of the Round 2 win with an 85-point trip. Saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright has turned plenty of heads in his WNFR debut, as he won Rounds 1 through 4. Wright did not register a score in Rounds 5 and 6, but he has a great chance to rebound as he faces Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Killer Bee. Killer Bee was the saddle bronc of the night in Round 2 when he bucked off Zeke Thurston. Killer Bee also was the saddle bronc of the night in Rounds 2 and 7 of the 2015 WNFR. Jake Watson draws Northcott Macza’s Get Smart, the horse Ryder Wright won Round 2 on Friday with an 86-point ride. Bull rider Joe Frost faces Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Jailhouse Socks. Sage Kimzey had a 90.5-point ride on Jailhouse Socks at the Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days in July. Kimzey, the reigning two-time PRCA world champion, who is in first place in the world standings by $60,879, faces New West Rodeo Productions’ Long Haired Outlaw tonight. Kimzey won the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Spanish Fork, Utah, June 4 with a 90-point ride on that bull.

Record times and scores for the seventh round of the WNFR
BB: 91.5 points, Bobby Mote, 2008 (equals arena record)
SW: 3.1 seconds, Matt Reeves, 2013
TR: 3.6 seconds, Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 2009; Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 2012; Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 2015
SB: 90 points, Billy Etbauer, 2009
TD: 6.7 seconds, Trevor Brazile, 2007; Cody Ohl, 2013; Matt Shiozawa, 2015
GB: 13.47 seconds, Taylor Jacob, 2013
BR: 94.5 points, J.W. Harris, 2010

Courtesy of PRCA