WNFR Daily News and Notes, Dec. 4

by | Dec 04, 2015

Percheron Thunder is the opening act and the national anthem will be performed by Nikki Scheer, a winner of the Wrangler NFR National Anthem Contest. Coors 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 2015 Wrangler NFR will be available live with a video-on-demand option via pay-per-view exclusively in Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. ProRodeo Live is airing coverage on a network of radio stations, including Rural Radio, and also online at with Steve Kenyon the lead announcer.


There was one lead change after the Round 1 action, with Ty Erickson jumping from third to first in the steer wrestling and regular-season leader Clayton Hass falling all the way to fourth. Mathematically, it is possible to have a new world standings leader tonight in every event except team roping. Saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling are the most wide open. There are five saddle bronc riders who are in position to knock Cody DeMoss out of the top spot if things fall the right way – Wade Sundell, Jacobs Crawley, Rusty Wright, Isaac Diaz and Jake Wright. In steer wrestling, there are four guys staring down the newly anointed No. 1 Erickson, with Kyle Irwin, K.C. Jones (who jumped from 11th place to third with his win last night), Hass and 2013 World Champion Hunter Cure all within the parameters of that $26,231 winner’s check. The others in reach include bareback riders Evan Jayne and Tim O’Connell; tie-down ropers Timber Moore, Matt Shiozawa and Brazile; and bull rider Parker Breding (if able to compete). Breding suffered injuries to his ribs last night after the bull he rode got a horn underneath his vest. His competing status will be updated before the rodeo.


After Round 1, Trevor Brazile’s lead over back-fence neighbor (and brother-in-law) Tuf Cooper in the all-around standings is up to $177,786. If Cooper were to win the next nine rounds of the tie-down roping and the average title, his max earnings in Las Vegas would be $303,348. By breaking the Round 1 tie-down roping record last night with a 6.8-second run, Brazile now has at least a share of the record in four of the 10 rounds at the WNFR (the others are 5, 7 and 8). Cody Ohl (3, 4, 5 and 10) also has at least a share of four round records, including the arena record of 6.5 seconds in Round 10.


The 2015 Permit Holder of the Year Challenge presented by RAM Rodeo took place at the South Point Equestrian Center yesterday, with five competitors or teams battling for honors in six different events. The winners included bareback rider Clayton Biglow, Quincy, Calif.; steer wrestler Jesse Brown, Baker City, Ore.; team ropers Lane Santos-Karney, Creston, Calif., and Ty Romo, Whiteriver, Ariz.; saddle bronc rider Dalton Rixen, Richardton, N.D.; tie-down roper Cole Robinson, Moorecroft, Wyo.; and bull rider Derek Kolbaba, Walla Walla, Wash.


Bareback rider Winn Ratliff didn’t earn a check in Round 1, but he certainly has the horsepower to do so in Round 2 tonight. The Leesville, La., native currently sits 15th in the world standings, but draws Andrews Rodeo’s PTSD Power Play – a horse which carried Clint Laye to an 88-point ride at Rodeo Austin March 28. A pair of solid horses from the Calgary Stampede stable will be in action tonight – Trail Dust and Soap Bubbles. The Round 1 winner, Tim O’Connell, will look to stay on track aboard Trail Dust. The horse carried Kaycee Feild to 87 points in Ellensburg, Wash., and Tanner Aus had an 86-point trip on Trail Dust in Puyallup, Wash. Austin Foss, who failed to earn a check last night, draws Soap Bubbles. Foss is currently fourth in the world standings and needs to keep pace with a big ride tonight. Soap Bubbles had four rides of 82 or more points during the 2015 season, and Foss is familiar with the horse – the two combined for 81 points at the 2014 Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up. On the saddle bronc riding side, Isaac Diaz draws one of the best horses out tonight, Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Killer Bee, who owns three of the top 17 saddle bronc scores of 2015. Wade Sundell and Zeke Thurston rode the horse for 90 points this year in Tucson, Ariz., and Lawton, Okla., respectively, while Chuck Schmidt rode Killer Bee for 89 points in the final round at Rodeo Austin (Texas). Taos Muncy has plenty of inside knowledge for his rematch against Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Cimmaron Jack; he rode the horse in San Antonio in February 2015 and in Elk City, Okla., in 2010. And tonight is a good night for brotherly revenge: Jake Wright faces Calgary Stampede’s Gross Beetle, who bucked off his twin brother Jesse nearly two years ago at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver; Cody DeMoss leaves the chute aboard Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Nod Big with Four Aces, who bucked off his brother Heith in Tucson, Ariz., in 2013; and Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Spade has bucked off Jacobs Crawley’s brother Sterling twice, in 2013 and 2015 – although Jacobs rode the horse for 80 points back in 2011 in Claremore, Okla. A day after drawing the 2015 PRCA Bull of the Year, Crystal Deal, Chandler Bownds draws the bull which won the award last year – Summit Pro Rodeo’s Cross the Wyoming Line. The bull is one of the toughest around, and still hasn’t been ridden in PRCA competition in 31 outs. This will be Bownds’ first shot at Cross the Wyoming Line, and he’s hoping to break the seal and earn a big check. After being bucked off last night, defending World Champion Sage Kimzey will look to rebound on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Uncle Jerry. It could be a potentially explosive matchup, as Uncle Jerry is unridden in 20 career outs, but consistently scores 46 points with the judges. If Kimzey can stay aboard for eight seconds – nobody had made it past four seconds on the bull – he should put up a large score.

Record times and scores for the second round of the WNFR:

Bareback riding: 89.5 points, Cimmaron Gerke, 2004
Steer wrestling: 3.1 seconds, Luke Branquinho, 2004
Team roping: 3.8 seconds, Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 2014
Saddle bronc riding: 90 points, Dan Mortensen, 2003
Tie-down roping: 6.8 seconds, Randall Carlisle, 2013
Barrel racing: 13.68 seconds, Kelli Tolbert, 2010
Bull riding: 95 points, Mike West, 1999; Terry Don West, 2003

Courtesy of PRCA