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J.R. Vezain

J.R. Vezain – Cowley, Wyo. ($113,312)
5-time WNFR qualifier
2-time RNCFR quaiifier

The highest that J.R. Vezain has ever finished in the world standings is fourth. That was in 2012, when he qualified for his first of five Wrangler National Finals Rodeos.

This year he is entering the NFR in fourth place after having the best regular season of his career earning $113,312. He competed in Las Vegas for three consecutive years and was planning on his fourth.

He was at an invitational event in Cloverdale, British Columbia in May of 2015 when a horse flipped over on him and broke his back. He spent the rest of the season with his fiancée, Shelby Newman, planning for their wedding.

They got married June 4th in 2016 and then it was time to focus on rodeo. That focus and love of getting on bareback horses saw him back in Las Vegas at the NFR last year where he tied for second in the average and won over $85,000.

His journey to becoming a top bareback rider started under his uncle, Duncan Vezain. He competed in all three rough-stock events in high school and college, but after winning bareback titles at both of those levels concentrated on that. He was also a two-time state high school wrestling champion.

J.R. has family and friends all over the northwest corner of Wyoming and southeastern Montana. With his marriage to Shelby, who is from Melstone, Montana, that has increased again. The talented bareback rider has quite a fan base to watch him at this year’s NFR.

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