Cowboys are starting to feel the rhythm of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo by Round 3. Each night is a chance to set a record for that round, and in 2019 team ropers Tyler Wade and Cole Davison set their second NFR round record in the third round.
Setting a round record at the NFR is a special feat few ProRodeo athletes achieve, but holding two at the same time is exceptionally rare and setting two in the same year is practically unheard of.
In Round 1, Wade and Davison’s 4.0-second run matched the record set by Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager in 2014.
Then in Round 3, Wade and Davison stopped the clock in 3.7 seconds, breaking the previous record of 3.8 seconds that was shared by three sets of team ropers: Wade Wheatley/Kyle Lockett (2002), Daniel Green/Kory Koontz (2003) and Travis Tryan/Michael Jones (2009).
“I don’t think you can plan to be 3 (seconds) or even try for it, you just put the best run together that you can with all the variables – the start, how the heeler throws, the flag you get, the timer being ready – all the stars have to line up to make it happen,” Wade said. “It’s a pretty special deal but it’s not uncommon to be 3 (seconds) these days, so the odds of it being beat are pretty good.”
Davison credited their fast runs to Wade.
“He roped amazing there last year, and he’s hard to catch up to since he gets on them so dang fast,” Davison said. “Tyler is unbelievable at getting it on the steer that fast, so you just have to react. He turned probably five or six more for rounds like that; he was on a roll out there, and it was cool to watch him.”
The duo went on to place 10th in the average at the 2019 NFR.
“We had high hopes in those first three rounds and the confidence that no matter what happens you had a good week,” Wade said. “We didn’t win anything else, but it was a good week and we were blessed to be there.”
The $68,462 they earned at last year’s Finals took Wade to 11th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings for team roping heading, while Davison finished 12th among heelers.
“I thought I set a record there for roping the most legs,” Davison joked. “It was cool, I wish I could have kept on keeping on but obviously just the money is cool.”
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 3 records are:
• Justin McDaniel on J Bar J Ranch’s Delta Ship, 2007
• Tim O’Connell on C5 Rodeo’s Virgil, 2017
• Ricky Huddleston, 1985
Tyler Wade/Cole Davison, 2019
Saddle Bronc Riding
• Billy Etbauer on Beutler Brothers and Cervi’s Rio Bravo, 1999
• Billy Etbauer on Sankey Rodeo’s Skitso, 2005
• Isaac Diaz on Sutton Rodeo’s South Point, 2018
• Chase Brooks on Outlawbuckers Rodeo’s Lunatic Party, 2019
• Cody Ohl, 2014
• Hailey Kinsel, 2017
• Colby Yates on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Splinter, 2002
Courtesy of PRCA