Wrangler NFR News & Notes, Dec.6, Round 3

The Snake River Stampeders will be the opening act and the national anthem will be performed by Caitlyn Ochsner from the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede. Hesston by Massey Ferguson is the performance sponsor.

Tonight’s Wrangler NFR 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, Kadee Coffman the arena-side interviews and Suzanne Alexander the pre-game show from the ProRodeo Zone. Live HD coverage will be broadcast in Canada through CBS SN carriers Rogers, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, SaskTel, Canadian Cable Systems and Ontario Inc. ProRodeo Live is airing coverage on a network of radio stations, including Rural Radio, and also online at with Steve Kenyon, Wade Wheatley, Freya Ford and Jolee Jordan announcing.

Trevor Brazile finished second in the tie-down roping for the second consecutive night to increase his lead over Tuf Cooper in the all-around world standings to $179,522 and he could clinch his record 12th all-around title (nobody else has won more than seven) and 21st gold buckle overall as early as tonight. By winning the remaining eight rounds of the tie-down roping and the average, Cooper can earn $200,751, but that’s a huge (and unprecedented) if. Anything like the results of the first two nights – Brazile has three checks in four chances, while Cooper is zero for two – would put the question to rest. Having already claimed the steer roping world title last month, Brazile can tie the record held by Jim Shoulders (1956-58) of winning three Triple Crowns – three gold buckles in a single season – if he can win the all-around and the team roping, with partner Travis Graves. He previously won the Triple Crown in 2007 (AA, SR, TD) and 2010 (AA, TR, TD); if he were to win the Triple Crown with AA, SR and TR, it would be his third different combination. His season earnings of $338,059 places him seventh on the all-time list with eight days of competition still ahead of him (he holds the first eight spots on the single-season earnings list and Friday  bumped his 2006-self down one spot). If he wins the all-around championship, it will be his ninth in a row, moving him out of a tie for second on the list of most consecutive world titles with the team roping pair of Speed Williams and Rich Skelton, trailing only Guy Allen (11 straight in steer roping, 1991-2001).

Justin McDaniel has a dream draw as he’s reunited with Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Ship, the horse he rode to a share of the Thomas & Mack Center record of 91.5 points back in 2007, when the horse was owned by J Bar J. McDaniel shares the record with Will Lowe(2007) and Bobby Mote (twice in 2008).

Steven Peebles, who won the bareback riding in Round 2, is matched again with Powder River Rodeo’s Craig at Midnight, the horse he rode for 88 points and the second-round win at the 2013 WNFR. Peebles will try to repeat last year’s double, when he won Rounds 2 and 3.

Tim O’Connell, who was bucked off in Round 2 by Andrews Rodeo’s PTSD Power Play, looks to rebound quickly aboard highly-decorated Full Baggage, who was the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year in 2011 and 2013 and the Wrangler NFR Bareback Horse of the Year in 2010 and 2012. O’Connell was helped from the arena Friday by the Justin Sportsmedicine team and treated for an elbow strain, abdomen contusion and hamstring strain.

Frontier Rodeo’s Show Stomper, the bareback horse drawn by Winn Ratliff, was fourth in the voting for top bareback horse at the 2013 Wrangler NFR.

Saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley has a chance to go back-to-back after winning Round 2, as he’s drawn Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Hell’s Fire Hostage, a horse that was ridden for 90 points by Cody DeMoss at Denver’s National Western Stock Show & Rodeo this year.

Andrews Rodeo’s Fire Lane is paired with saddle bronc rider Cole Elshere. Taos Muncy won Round 1 in 2012 on Fire Lane, who was Horse of the Round on opening night in 2013.

Cody DeMoss has drawn Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Gold Coast, who took Jesse Wright to the Round 7 win in 2012.

Cody’s younger brother, Heith DeMoss, gets Going South of Stace Smith Pro Rodeo, a horse that carried Jesse Wright to the Round 6 win last year.

Sage Kimzey, the bull riding world standings leader, will come out of the chutes on Line Man, a bull he rode for 92 points to share the win at the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo back in May.

Bull rider Elliot Jacoby will climb on Big Stone, Moreno & Growney Rodeo’s Mr. Bull, who was second in the voting for 2013 PRCA Bull of the Year.

With a third-place finish Friday night, Sherry Cervi has now earned checks in 12 consecutive rounds, the longest current streak.

Four-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote is just $34,554 away from becoming the seventh person to earn $1 million in WNFR competition, following Brazile, Cody Ohl, Billy Etbauer, Cervi, Fred Whitfield and Joe Beaver. Rich Skelton, the eight-time world champion heeler, is just $48,777 shy of reaching seven figures, and four-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho is within $58,516 after his tie for first place on Friday night, his event-record 23rd WNFR round win.

Branquinho, coming back from surgery to repair a torn latissimus dorsi, has finished first or second both nights thus far and he was the Round 3 winner a year ago with a time of 3.6 seconds; in 12 WNFRs, Branquinho has placed in the third round seven times, including the win last year and another in 2006.

Team ropers Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager haven’t just won both of the first two rounds, they have done it in record-breaking fashion. They were 4.0 in Round 1 and 3.8 on Friday, breaking the record for the round each time. This must all seem vaguely familiar to Powell, who entered the 2011 WNFR in 12th place, finished first or second in each of the first three rounds and went on to win the gold buckle with Jhett Johnson; Powell entered this WNFR in 13th spot.

Prineville, Ore., team roper Charly Crawford reached $1 million in career earnings in Round 1 when he and Shay Carroll finished second; his total stands at $1,002,131 …

Some of the contestants here are wearing the initials CB on their shirts, a mute tribute to Texas Circuit bareback rider Colt Bruce, who was killed in a single vehicle accident Dec. 4 near his hometown of Weatherford, Texas.

Cody Ohl has the fastest time ever recorded in six of the 10 rounds at the WNFR, including Round 3, in which he clocked a time of 6.7 seconds a year ago. He’s won Round 3 seven times since his WNFR debut in 1994, including the last two and three of the last six.

J.W. Harris has placed in Round 3 in three of the last four years (average score of 88.25) and Cody Teel has placed in this round in each of his two prior WNFR appearances, including a win in 2012 with an 88-point ride.

Record times and scores for the 3rd round of the WNFR:
Bareback riding:          91.5 points, Justin McDaniel, 2007 (equal to arena record)
Steer wrestling:           3.1 seconds, Ricky Huddleston, 1985
Team roping:               3.8 seconds, Wade Wheatley/Kyle Lockett, 2002; Daniel Green/Kory Koontz, 2003
Saddle bronc riding:   90 points, Billy Etbauer, 1999 and 2005
Tie-down roping:        6.7 seconds, Cody Ohl, 2013
Barrel racing:               13.65 seconds, Sherry Cervi, 2010
Bull riding:                  94 points, Colby Yates, 2002

Courtesy of PRCA