Stage fright from competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has usually been shaken off as the Top 15 cowboys head into Round 2, and the round records show it.
In 2019, Nevada cowboy Trenten Montero made his NFR debut one for the record books by setting a Round 2 record in bareback riding with a 90.5-point ride on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics’ Prairie Rose. The previous Round 2 record was 89.5 points, set by Cimmaron Gerke on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Alley Trail in 2004.
“It was really awesome to go to my first NFR and get on an awesome horse like that and put it together,” Montero said. “That was my first time on him, and I knew he was one I wanted to draw.”
Montero began his ProRodeo career in 2011. He caught his big break in 2019 by winning the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo. He also split the win at the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
“Just being able to make it in the first place was a lifelong goal,” Montero said. “I know a lot of guys ride really good and either had injuries or didn’t have good luck, so I was grateful to make it there. Knowing I had to match up against the top guys and top horses in the world, and then to come out on top in Round 2 was a huge relief to me. It let me know that I deserved to be there and could compete with those guys.”
After that, Montero had a more relaxed approach to competing at the Finals. He covered all 10 broncs to finish seventh in the average with 839 points. He earned $89,538 at the 2019 NFR to finish 10th in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $170,296.
“I was still nervous for every ride, but it gave me relief to have that win under my belt,” Montero said. “It was less nerve-racking knowing I had one win and I knew what it took to compete there.”
This year’s Wrangler NFR competitors will get a different experience with the Finals moving to Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While a different arena means past NFR records likely will remain untouched this year, the best rides and runs of the past remain a good measuring stick as the 120 best ProRodeo athletes kick up dust on a new batch of arena dirt.
Every point counts and a fraction of a second can mean the difference between winning the world or coming in second at the Wrangler NFR.
The following records, and the records for the other nine rounds, could be broken Dec. 3-12. Fans can check with ProRodeo.com for updates throughout the competition and can watch the action unfold live on the PRCA on the Cowboy Channel Plus app.
The NFR Round 2 records are:
Trenten Montero on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics’ Prairie Rose, 2019
Luke Branquinho, 2004
Turtle Powell/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 2014
Saddle Bronc Riding
Cort Scheer on Hi Lo ProRodeo’s Larry Culpepper, 2018
Randall Carlisle, 2013
Amberleigh Moore, 2017
Mike White on Flying Five Rodeo’s Yellow Jacket, 1999
Terry Don West on Slash T Rodeo’s Snake Eater, 2003
Courtesy of PRCA