34. Walt Woodard won his first gold buckle in the team roping event back in 1981, and used a stellar NFR performance to regain the world championship throne more than two and a half decades later in 2007. Woodard, who was 52 when he won his second championship, plans to retire from the full-time rodeo road after the 2008 NFR.
35. Fred Whitfield raised the Thomas and Mack Center roof in 1997 with a 10-round record of 84 seconds flat. Whitfield's won seven world titles in the tie-down roping thanks to stellar NFR performances in Vegas, and in 1999 also captured the coveted world all-around crown. As the PRCA Overall and Tie-Down Roping Rookie of the Year in 1990, Whitfield set an NFR record of 91.7 seconds and an NFR earnings record of $70,609 before later erasing those marks.
36. Twice in NFR history steer wrestlers have matched the 3.0-second mark. The record runs were made by Steve Duhon in 1986, and Bryan Fields in 2001.
37. The fastest steer ever roped in the team roping at the NFR was a 3.5-second run by Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith in 2005, when they won the world together. That run tied the world record in the event. Leading up to their signature season, Smith won the 2003 NFR average behind Matt Tyler, and Tryan took the 2004 NFR team roping title in front of Michael Jones.
38. Rope Myers parlayed an NFR steer wrestling record of 37.4 seconds on 10 head into the 2001 world title in that event. The record still stands. Myers is the son of 1980 World Champion Steer Wrestler Butch Myers, who won the NFR average in 1986 and 1997. Butch has another NFR-regular son, Cash, along with daughter Tygh (of "Rope and Tygh for Cash" fame). Ty Murray is a cousin to Rope, Tygh and Cash, and a nephew to Butch.
39. Tie-down roper Mike Johnson is an NFR institution. He qualified for his first Finals in 1983, and 2008 will be his 23rd. At 44, Johnson will outdo his own record for most NFR qualifications in the event.
40. Olin Young won the tie-down roping average at the first NFR in 1959, and went on to win the 10-head contest three more times in 1962-63 and 1971 for a total of four NFR average wins. The four wins tie him for the most ever in the event with Roy Cooper, Joe Beaver and Fred Whitfield.
41. Wacey Cathey and Ted Nuce are the co-ironmen of the bull riding event at the NFR. Cathey and Nuce each qualified for a record 14 NFRs in their storied careers, Cathey in 1976, 1978-79 and 1981-91; Nuce from 1982-95.
42. ProRodeo Hall of Famer Chris Lybbert won back-to-back NFR tie-down roping averages in 1980-81, then returned to the 1982 NFR and took the steer wrestling average crown. The 1982 NFR average victory propelled
Lybbert to that year's world all-around championship.
43. Three-time World Champion Steer Wrestler and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Roy Duvall qualified for a record 24 NFRs over the span of four decades in that event. He bulldogged at his first Finals in 1966, and his last one in 1994. Duvall won the Finals in 1984. He qualified for the most consecutive NFRs in any event with a string of 21 straight Finals appearances from 1966-86.
44. In 1971, Bobby Berger qualified for the NFR in all three roughstock events (after replacing an injured Larry Mahan in the bareback riding and moving up from 16th) and overcame the obstacle of multiple injuries en route to winning the NFR bull riding title. By round 10, Berger had a broken hand and toe, a sprained wrist and bruised elbow. But he would not be denied. Berger was the first man ever to make a qualified ride on Beutler Brothers, Linger and Cervi's notorious Charolais bull 00 (pronounced Double Ott). In 1979, Berger beat out Tom Miller by a mere $5 for the gold buckle after 10 hard fought rounds at the NFR.