Wrangler NFR Round 5 News & Notes, Dec.8

Madison MacDonald is the opening act and the national anthem will be performed by Sheyenne Weaver on Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night, the WNFR performance dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. Montana Silversmiths 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 andSuzanne 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 wrapped up work on his 12th all-around gold buckle Saturday night by finishing second in the team roping with Travis Graves and fourth in the tie-down roping to mathematically eliminate his final challenger, Tuf Cooper. Brazile’s total earnings remained at $361,046 on Sunday when he failed, for the first time this week, to collect a check. That total has him sixth on the all-time single-season list (he’s accounted for the top eight totals in the sport’s history), with six nights of competition and the average checks still to be distributed. The all-around title was 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; he now trails only Guy Allen (11 straight in steer roping, 1991-2001). With the all-around and the steer roping titles out of the way, Brazile is now looking to tie the record held by Jim Shoulders (1956-58) of winning three Triple Crowns – three gold buckles in a single season – or even do the unprecedented and complete a Grand Slam; he is second in the tie-down roping world standings and third among team roping headers. Brazile 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.

Among the many great matchups in the bareback riding tonight, the most intriguing is Richmond Champion, who split sixth in Round 4 for the first check of his first WNFR, taking on his old friend Dirty Jacket of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. Champion rode the horse for 91 points at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and Steven Dent also put up a 91 on Dirty Jacket at the Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas. Those are the two highest-marked bareback rides of the season, and Champion hopes he and Dirty Jacket – the 2014 Bareback Horse of the Year – can make sweet music together again tonight. Kaycee Feild draws the horse which had the second-highest marked ride of any bareback horse in 2014, Vold Rodeo’s Mucho Dinero. Jake Vold rode the horse for 90.25 points to win the Strathmore (Alberta) Stampede in August, and Feild is hoping the horse lives up to its namesake and delivers him a large check … Tonight’s pen of saddle bronc riding horses is absolutely loaded, with plenty of names capable of taking cowboys to the pay window. A year after winning his second saddle bronc riding world title, Chad Ferley hasn’t had the best four nights in Vegas thus far. Ferley failed to earn a check the first three nights, and placed fourth in Round 4. However, his luck may have turned around. Ferley draws 2014 Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year Medicine Woman of Frontier Rodeo, a horse that Wade Sundell rode for 92 points in Dodge City, Kan., for the highest-marked saddle bronc ride of 2014. Bradley Harter is hoping his tough luck turns around tonight as well. Harter hasn’t earned a check in the first four nights, but draws Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spring Planting – two-time winner of the PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year award. Rusty Allen rode the horse for 90 points in Salt Lake City, Utah … Four-time and defending bull riding world champion J.W. Harris had to be happy to see his name next to Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s News Flash. Harris rode the bull for 93 points at the 2013 Justin Boots Championships in Omaha, Neb., and also covered it for 80 points in San Antonio earlier this year. Since placing second in Round 1, Tim Bingham hasn’t been able to stay on his bull the last three nights. He may get the jolt he needs tonight, when he faces Corey & Lange Rodeo’s Wild Eyes. The bull loves the bright lights in Vegas, as it helped Chandler Bownds place second in the first round in 2013, before taking Trevor Kastner to the sixth round win with 88 points.

Four-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote is just $6,204 away from becoming the seventh person to earn $1 million in WNFR competition, after tying for the win in Round 4 on Sunday night. He would follow Brazile, Cody Ohl, Billy Etbauer, Sherry CerviFred Whitfield and Joe Beaver into that elite territory. Four-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho is within $32,158 of hitting the milestone after banking his fourth big check in as many nights on Sunday and Rich Skelton, the eight-time world champion heeler, is just $45,712 shy of reaching seven figures … Bareback riders Mote and Will Lowe have a long history of success in Round 5. Mote has 10 checks in 13 appearances, including wins in 2008 (when he tied the arena record for the first time), 2009 and 2013, while Lowe has gone to the pay window 10 times in 12 appearances, also with three wins (2006-07, 2010) … Branquinho hasn’t finished lower than second in Round 5 in the past three years and four of the last five … Jesse Wright won the saddle bronc riding in Round 5 in each of his first two years he appeared here (89.5 in 2010 and 90 in 2011) … Cody Ohl has banked a check from Round 5 in each of the last eight years, with four of those being winner’s checks … Brazile has finished either first or second in Round 5 of the tie-down roping in three of the last four WNFRs … Sage Kimzey, bidding to become just the second bull rider to earn a gold buckle in his rookie season (Bill Kornell did it in 1963), is also closing in on Steve Woolsey’s rookie earnings record for a full season (any event) of $197,646. After Sunday night’s second-consecutive round win, Kimzey’s total stands at $192,510 with six rounds and average checks still pending; he is leading the average with 252 points on three head, one of only two riders to cover three of four (along with Joe Frost). Tonight Kimzey will be trying to become the first bull rider to win three consecutive rounds at the WNFR since J.W. Harris did it in 2010 (rounds 5-7) … Harris has earned Round 5 checks for four straight years, with two wins (89 in 2010 and 90.5 in 2011) … Through four rounds, 98 of the 119 competitors have earned at least one check.

Record times and scores for the 5th round of the WNFR:
Bareback riding:          91.5 points, Bobby Mote, 2008
Steer wrestling:           3.0 seconds, Steve Duhon, 1986 (also arena record)
Team roping:               3.6 seconds, Garrett Tonozzi/Kinney Harrell, 2008; JoJo LeMond/Cory Petska, 2010
Saddle bronc riding:   93 points, Billy Etbauer, 2003 (also arena record)
Tie-down roping:        6.9 seconds, Cody Ohl, 2010; Trevor Brazile, 2010
Barrel racing:               13.46 seconds, Carlee Pierce, 2011
Bull riding:                  91.5 points, Ryan Brown, 2003

Courtesy of PRCA