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Irwin’s record-tying run brings RNCFR title

kyle-irwing-2014-ram-national-circuit-finals-rodeoSteer wrestler Kyle Irwin of Robertsdale, Ala., earned the biggest win of his professional career April 12 with a 3.3-second run in the final round of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo that tied the event record. Irwin had total earnings of $9,323.

By Tracy Renck/for ProRodeo.com

GUTHRIE, OKLA. – The stars of the PRCA aligned Saturday night at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo and none shone brighter than steer wrestler Kyle Irwin.

The Robertsdale, Ala., cowboy clocked a record-tying time of 3.3 seconds to capture his first RNCFR national championship Saturday night at the historic Lazy E Arena.

“This does good things to your confidence and makes the banker really happy,” said Irwin, who pocketed $5,484 for the finals victory and $9,323 overall.

Irwin’s time tied the RNCFR record set by Stockton Graves in Oklahoma City three years ago.

“I’ve been 3.1 and 3.2 before at rodeos, but 3.3 is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Irwin, 23. “I was going for broke. The guys you are up against here in this deal, in sudden death … you have to go fast because they bulldog great. I knew I was first out and I could set the bar and I knew I could be fast on that steer. This is the highlight of my career.”

In addition to the money the national champions won on Saturday night they also each received a $20,000 voucher towards a Ram vehicle, a Montana Silversmith buckle, boots and a saddle.

While Irwin left no doubt he was the champion, two events – bareback riding and saddle bronc riding – had to be decided in a tie-breaker.

Caleb Bennett edged out four-time World Champion Bobby Mote and Joe Gunderson for the bareback riding title. All three cowboys scored 84 points in the finals, but Bennett was awarded the coveted crown because he won the semifinals with an 84-point ride.

“I don’t think this has sunk in yet,” said Bennett moments after winning his inaugural RNCFR championship.

Likewise, Jacobs Crawley and Cody Wright had identical 83-point finals rides, but Crawley won the overall crown because of his 79-point effort in the semis, while Wright had a 77.

“Anytime things come together and you win it is awesome,” Crawley said.

Tie-down roper Josh Peek, team ropers Ty Blasingame (header) and J.W. Borrego (heeler) and bull rider Parker Breding also captured national championships as did barrel racer Gretchen Benbenek.

“I just believed in myself and had confidence I could win this,” the veteran Peek said.

In the team race, the Prairie Circuit claimed the title for the first time since 2002.

The Badlands and Prairie Circuits each advanced five contestants into the final round and Texas and Turquoise each had four contestants there. The Prairie Circuit made the most of its opportunity, as all five placed in the final round: three firsts, one second and one third. The Wilderness Circuit only advanced three contestants to the final round, but all three placed: one first, one second and one third.

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo
Guthrie, Okla., April 10-12

Bareback riding: First round: 1. Joe Gunderson, 84 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Storm Cloud, $4,525; 2. Caine Riddle, 83, $3,428; 3. Morgan Wilde, 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Seth Hardwick and Jessy Davis, 80, $1,303 each; 5. (tie) Austin Foss and Bobby Mote, 79, $343 each. Second round: 1. Bobby Mote, 86 points on Pickett ProRodeo’s Scarlet Fever, $4,525; 2. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Tyrel Nelson, 83, $2,948 each; 4. (tie) Jared Smith and Evan Jayne, 82, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Shon Gibson and Seth Hardwick, 81, $343 each. Average: 1. Bobby Mote, 165 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Caine Riddle, 162, $3,428; 3. (tie) Tyrel Nelson and Seth Hardwick, 161, $2,057 each; 5. Caleb Bennett, 158, $960; 6. (tie) Shon Gibson, Jared Smith, Joe Gunderson and George Gillespie IV, 157, $171 each. Semifinals: 1. Caleb Bennett, 84 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Inky, $ 5,484; 2. Bobby Mote, 81, $4,113; 3. Seth Hardwick, 78, $2,742; 4. Joe Gunderson, 77, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Caleb Bennett, on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Delta Glamorous; Bobby Mote, on J Bar J’s Smack Daddy; and Joe Gunderson, on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, 84 points, $4,113 each. 4. Seth Hardwick, 78, $2,742. National champion: Caleb Bennett.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Will Lummus, 4.1 seconds, $4,525; 2. (tie) Trevor Knowles and Nick Guy, 4.2, $2,948 each; 4. Bray Armes, 4.7, $1,645; 5. (tie) Pep Arballo and Sterling Lambert, 4.8, $823 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Stockton Graves, 4.0 seconds, $3,976 each; 3. Kyle Irwin, 4.1, $2,468; 4. Pepe Arballo, 4.2, $1,645; 5. Beau Franzen, 4.3, $960; 6. (tie) Dirk Tavenner and Justin Morehouse, 4.4, $343 each. Average: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Trevor Knowles, 8.7 seconds on two runs, $3,976 each; 3. (tie) Pepe Arballo and Will Lummus, 9.0, $2,057 each; 5. Beau Franzen, 9.3, $960; 6. Nick Guy, 9.5, $686. Semifinals: 1. Beau Franzen, 3.8 seconds, $5,484; 2. Bray Armes, 4.1, $4,113; 3. Pepe Arballo, 4.3, $2,742; 4. Kyle Irwin, 4.4, $1,371. Finals: 1. Kyle Irwin, 3.3 seconds (ties Stockton Graves’ 2011 RNCFR record), $5,484; 2. Bray Armes, 3.9, $4,113; 3. Beau Franzen, 4.1, $2,742; 4. Pepe Arballo, 6.5, $1,371. National champion: Kyle Irwin.

Team roping: First round: 1. Dustin Bird/John Robertson, 4.5 seconds, $4,525 each; 2. Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward, 4.9, $3,428; 3. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 5.0, $2,468; 4. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 5.1, $1,645; 5. (tie) Travis Bounds/Ryan Zurcher and Justin Van Davis/Ryan Motes, 5.4, $823 each. Second round: 1. Jake Stanley/Justin Wade Davis, 4.4 seconds, $4,525 each; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.6, $3,428; 3. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 4.8, $2,468; 4. Ryan VonAhn/J.W. Beck, 5.0, $1,645; 5. Troy Boone/Derrick Peterson, 5.1, $960; 6. Ty Blasingame/J.W Borrego, 5.2, $686. Average: 1. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 9.7 seconds on two runs, $4,525 each; 2. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 10.2, $3,428; 3. Jake Stanley/Justin Wade Davis, 10.5, $2,468; 4. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 10.8, $1,645; 5. Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 11.1, $960; 6. Ryan Von Ahn/J.W. Beck, 11.3, $686. Semifinals: 1. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 4.1 seconds, $5,484 each; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.2, $4,113; 3. (tie) Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward and Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 4.6, $2,057 each. Finals: 1. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 3.9 seconds, $5,484 each; 2. Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward, 4.4 seconds, $4,113; no other qualified times. National champions: Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego.

Saddle bronc riding: First round: 1. Cody Wright, 83 points on Sutton Rodeo’s Real McCoy, $4,525; 2. Jeremy Meeks, 82, $3,428; 3. Brandon Biebelle, 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Sterling Crawley and Josh Reynolds, 80, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Jake Wright and Joe Lufkin, 79, $343 each. Second round: 1. Cody Wright, 83 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Painted Chip, $4,525; 2. (tie) Brandon Biebelle, Jacobs Crawley and Heith DeMoss, 82, $2,514 each; 5. (tie) Casey Maddox and Sterling Crawley, 80, $823 each. Average: 1. Cody Wright, 166 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Brandon Biebelle, 163, $3.428; 3. Sterling Crawley, 160, $2,468; 4. Jeremy Meeks, 159, $1,645; 5. Jacobs Crawley, 156, $960; 6. Heith DeMoss, 155, $686. Semifinals: 1. Jeremy Meeks, 81 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Spade, $5,485; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 79, $4,113; 3. Cody Wright, 77, $2,742; 4. Brandon Biebelle, 71, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Cody Wright on Lancaster and Pickett’s Total Equine Angel and Jacobs Crawley on J Bar J’s Sweatin Bullets, 83 points, $4,799 each; 3. Jeremy Meeks, 79, $2,742; no other qualified rides. National champion: Jacobs Crawley.

Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Josh Peek, 8.1, $4,525; 2. Jesse Clark, 8.3, $3,428; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.4, $2,468; 4. Justin Maass, 8.7, $1,645; 6. Shane Erickson, 9.0, $960; 6. Adam Gray, 9.2, $686. Second round: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 8.1 seconds, $4,525; 2. Kevin Peterson, 8.8, $3,428; 3. (tie) Adam Gray and Cameron Elston, 8.9 seconds, $2,057 each; 5. Trevor Thiel, 9.0, $960; 6. J.C. Malone, 9.1, $686. Average: 1. Adam Gray, 18.1 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Josh Peek, 18.5, $3,428; 3. Caddo Lewallen, 18.6, $2,468; 4. Jesse Clark, 18.7, $1,645; 5. J.C. Malone, 18.9, $960; 6. Shane Erickson, 19.1, $686. Semifinals: 1. Adam Gray, 7.6 seconds, $5,484; 2. J.C. Malone, 8.3, $4,113; 3. Josh Peek, 8.4, $2,742; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.6, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Josh Peek and Jerome Schneeberger, 7.7 seconds, $4,799 each, 3. J.C. Malone, 9.5, $2,742; no other qualified runs. National champion: Josh Peek.

Barrel racing: First round: 1. June Holeman, 16.97 seconds, $4,525; 2. Trula Churchill, 17.31, $3,428; 3. Kassidy Dennison, 17.35, $2,468; 4. Ann Scott, 17.36, $1,645; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.44, $960; 6. Lisa Lockhart, 17.46, $686. Second round: 1. Shelly Anzick, 17.16 seconds, $4,525; 2. Sherry Cervi, 17.26, $3,428; 3. (tie) Kenna Squires and Sammi Bessert, 17.38, $2,057 each; 5. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Shelby Janssen, 17.39, $823 each. Average: 1. Shelly Anzick, 34,82 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Ann Scott, 34.83, $3,428; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.84, $2,468; 4. (tie) June Holeman and Kassidy Dennison, 34.89, $1,303 each; 6. Nicole Yost, 34.91, $686. Semifinals: 1. Kassidy Dennison, 17.41, $5,484; 2. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.42, $4,113; 3. (tie) Shelly Anzick and June Holeman, 17.43, $2,057 each. Finals: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.13 seconds, $5,484; 2. June Holeman, 17.21, $4,113; 3. Kassidy Dennison, 17.23, $2,742; 4. Shelly Anzick, 17.45, $1,371. National champion: Gretchen Benbenek.

Bull riding: First round: 1. Aaron Pass, 88 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Spec, $4,525; 2. Reid Barker, 85, $3,428; 3. (tie) Cody Campbell, Bobby Welsh, Taygen Schuelke and Mike Adams, 83, $1,440 each. Second round: 1. Parker Breding, 87 points on D&H Cattle’s Hotwired, $4,525; 2. Cody Campbell, 85, $3,428; 3. Jeff Bertus, 84, $2,468; 4. Aaron Pass, 78, $1,645; 5. Sage Kimzey, 77, $960; 6. Brady Portenier, 75, $686. Average: 1. Cody Campbell, 168 points on two head, $4,525; 2. (tie) Aaron Pass and Jeff Bertus, 166, $2,948 each; 4. Parker Breding, 87 points on one head, $1,645; 5. Reid Barker, 85, $960; 6. (tie) Bobby Welsh, Mike Adams and Taygen Schuelke, 83, $229 each. Semifinals: 1. Parker Breding, 84 points on D&H Cattle’s Fire Show, $5,485; no other qualified rides. Finals: 1. Parker Breding, 88 points on Silver Creek Rodeo’s Rising Sun; no other qualified rides. National champion: Parker Breding.

Total payoff: $530,503. Stock contractor: D&H Cattle, David Bailey Pro Rodeo Company, J Bar J, Korkow Rodeos, Lancaster & Pickett Pro Rodeo, Mid-States Rodeo Company, Mo Betta Rodeo Company, Painted Pony Championship, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, Pickett Pro Rodeo Company, Powder River Rodeo, Rafter H Rodeo Livestock Company, Salt River Rodeo Company, Silver Creek Pro Rodeo, Southwick’s Rocky Mountain Rodeo Company and Sutton Rodeos. Rodeo secretary: Amanda Corley-Sanders. Assistant secretary: Carole Martinez. Officials: George Gibbs, Steve Knowles, Skip Emmett and Travis Howell. Timers: Jeri Reeder and Shawna Ray. Announcers: Scott Grover and Will Rasmussen. Specialty act: Max Reynolds. Bullfighters: Darrell Diefenbach and Nathan Harp. Clown/barrelman: Keith Isley. Flankmen: Hank Franzen, Dillon Page, T.J. Korkow, Travis Adams, Cullen Pickett, Jim Sutton, Shawn Graham, Sparky Dreeson, Dale Vaughn, Glenn Southwick, Jerry Dorenkamp, David Bailey, Chad Lancaster, Chad Cometti, Matt Williams, Travis Adams and Terry Walls. Chute bosses: Delbert Nuse and Gerry Byrn. Pickup men: Brent Sutton and Clint Humble. Photographers: James Phifer and Robby Freeman.s: James Phifer and Robby Freeman.

Courtesy of PRCA