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.
Tonight’s bareback riding should see some lead changes as 9 of the 12 competitors are among the top 50 in the World Standings. Highest ranked of them is Caleb Bennett who is fifth. The four-time NFR qualifier hasn’t had much luck here in the past, but he’s planning on changing that tonight. “I have a different mindset, I’m 100% and ready to win,” he said.
The reigning champion and reserve champion college bareback riders are also here tonight. Wyatt Denny won the title last Saturday in Casper, Wyo., while his traveling partner and Feather River College Rodeo teammate, Clayton Biglow finished second. Denny was last year’s PRCA Rookie of the Year and is ranked 24th in the world. Biglow has set a goal of winning the rookie title this year and is ranked 11th.
The next four nights will see eight members of the Wright family competing in saddle bronc riding. Tonight look for twins Jesse and Jake along with their brother Alex. Also, their brother-in-law CoBurn Bradshaw who had an excellent NFR last year in his first appearance. Alex is the only brother that hasn’t ridden for a world title in Las Vegas, but he is on a mission to join his family in the arena there.
Shane Proctor won this rodeo in 2011 and then went on to win a gold buckle for his bull riding prowess. Currently ranked 10th, he is on his way to a fifth NFR qualification. Josh Frosts is going to be pretty busy here the next two days in Reno. The younger brother of NFR bull rider Joe Frost, Josh is competing in the bull riding tonight. The talented all-around cowboy will also be in the tie-down roping during slack in the morning and the performance tomorrow night.
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.
Timi Lickley may not have as big of a rodeo resume as many of tonight’s barrel racers, but she has one thing none of them do – a pair of silver spurs from the Reno Rodeo. That list includes the 2012 world champion Mary Walker. Also watch for Kellie Collier who is currently ranked 13th. Kellie competed at the College National Finals Rodeo last week in barrel racing and break away roping. The Texas Tech University sophomore finished fifth in the barrel racing. Along with setting a goal of qualifying for the NFR, she has plans to graduate with a degree in ag communications.
No one in tonight’s field (probably no one entered in this year’s rodeo) has won more championship spurs than Josh Peek. He won the all-around title here last year as well as in 2010 and 2008. He also won the tie-down roping in 2008. He will compete in tie-down roping tonight and will be in the steer wrestling during slack tomorrow morning. He is 25rh in the world standings in tie-down and 11th in the steer wrestling.
The second and third ranked steer wrestlers will be here tonight. Ty Erickson who had the AQHA steer wrestling horse of the year last year is looking for his 3rd NFR qualification and his first gold buckle for being the world’s best. Tyler Waguespack qualified for his first NFR last year and with being in third place in the world standings, he is looking good for another trip to Las Vegas this year.
Aaron Tsinigine made the Navajo Nation very proud when he won the team roping world championship in the heading category last year. He will be roping with Kinney Harrell here. Harrell is known for throwing fast and taking chances so this duo is likely to be in the money or come up empty.
There are no team ropers that are being talked about more right now than Zac Small and Wesley Thorp. They started out the year winning second at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Then they balanced college rodeos and pro rodeos and most importantly school. Zac graduated from Tarleton State University and has been accepted to Lincoln Memorial University’s vet school so will be moving to Tennessee to start his journey of becoming a DVM and following in his father’s footsteps.
Wesley Thorp just won the team roping for Ranger (Texas) College then met up with Zac here to rope in the BFI. They stayed steady through the competition and won the prestigious roping. Small is currently fifth in the heading standings and Thorp is ranked fourth. They are likely headed to their first NFR.
Wednesday night’s sixth performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at www.renorodeo.com or by calling 800-325-7328.