December 10, 2010 -- With second-place finishes in the team roping and tie-down roping during Round 9 of the 52nd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Decatur, Texas, cowboy broke his own single-season earnings record and made the first $500,000 season in ProRodeo a distinct possibility. Brazile earned $27,680 in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,796 at the Thomas & Mack Center to push his season total to $426,574, besting his previous record mark of $425,115 from his Triple Crown season of 2007.
"It's been a lot of fun, and it's just been a great year," said Brazile, who clinched his eighth career all-around gold buckle in Round 2. "I can't begin to describe how blessed I've been all year. It's carried right into the NFR. Tomorrow night is a big night. I'm trying to pull off a Triple Crown. I'm going to have my hands full, but it's on my mind..
"Man, I've got to thank that Ram Top Gun Award for some of that. It's put a whole new perspective on this NFR. I've come out here and roped for championships, and it changes things. There are a lot of times where you're roping for a championship and you don't take chances. You'll take a lot of chances for a Ram truck."
Brazile will be looking to become the first multiple Triple Crown winner since Jim Shoulders (1956-58) and just the third in history. He could also become the first cowboy since Everett Bowman in the mid-1930s to complete a Triple Crown with two different combinations of events. His 2007 Triple Crown came in the all-around, tie-down roping and steer roping.
Brazile is in the driver's seat along with partner Patrick Smith in the team roping and also in the tie-down roping heading into Round 10. He finished second to Ryan Jarrett (7.1) in the tie-down roping with a 7.2-second run in the ninth round, leads the PRCA World Standings and is second in the tie-down roping average.
Jarrett, of Summerville, Ga., won for the first time at this year's Wrangler NFR.
"Oh, it's good, for sure," Jarrett, who was riding a horse named Batman he bought last spring, said of his round win. "Any time you win anywhere - especially at the NFR - it's good. It's exciting, and I can't wait to go to the South Point. I just wanted to get a good start, go through the motions, put a wrap and a hooey on him and see what happens."
Bull rider J.W. Harris stayed red hot in Round 9, finishing second to 2007 World Champion Wesley Silcox with an 89.5-point ride aboard Four L & Diamond S Rodeo's Insaniac to clinch his third consecutive world championship. The Mullin, Texas, cowboy became the first bull rider since Don Gay (1979-81) to win three straight gold buckles and has already clinched the Wrangler NFR average and the $44,910 that comes with it.
"It has been an awesome run here," said Harris, who has covered two more bulls (seven) than any other bull rider in Las Vegas. "It's an honor just to have your name in the same sentence as Don Gay. He's the greatest bull rider there ever has been. It's an honor, but it still doesn't feel right, but I'll take it.
"Now I can breathe little bit and relax. I came out here and did what I was supposed to do - stay on bulls. I didn't worry too much about what was going on with the world standings. I didn't even know I was in first place until Donnie (Gay) came in the locker room and was talking about it. I had the mindset that I'm going to come out and ride 10. It's been the best NFR I have ever had."
Harris, who was unable to ride in five out of 10 rounds at last year's Wrangler NFR, will break B.J. Schumacher's Wrangler NFR earnings record of $142,644 for bull riding from 2006 at the conclusion of Round 10.
Silcox won his first round of this year's Finals with a 90-pointer on Silverado Rodeos' Playmate.
"I feel really good," Silcox said. "Things could be better, but you know things could be worse, too. I just have had some bad luck. I did make a couple of good rides earlier in the week. Things kind of went cold, so it was nice to win the ninth round. I'm excited. It's feels like the first time I ever won a round here."
Calculators will be in use quite a bit during Round 10, including in the team roping. PRCA World Standings leaders Clay Tryan and Travis Graves won Round 9 in 4.2 seconds to hold onto their top spots, but the team of Brazile and Smith were second in the round in 4.3 seconds and remained second in the Wrangler NFR average standings.
Tryan and Graves lead Brazile and Smith by roughly $13,000 apiece in the world standings, but are fifth in the average. The difference between fifth and second in the average payout is roughly $21,000, so Tryan and Graves will need some shifting to go on in Round 10 to claim the gold buckles.
"It was huge as far as making money," Tryan said. "We came in here with high hopes of winning a world championship, and we've kind of let everybody catch up, so hopefully we still have a chance. You never know in the 10th round. Those guys (Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith) probably just have to make a good run to win it because they're three spots ahead of us in the average, but sometimes that's the hardest thing to do, especially in this building. We'll be last out, and hopefully when we get to go, we'll have a chance to win it somehow, and that's all we can hope for."
The victory marked the fifth time at this year's Finals that Tryan and Graves made it to the pay window, but was their first win.
"(The round win) was fun, but like Clay was saying, our goal is to win the world championship," Graves said. "We've been going all year long with that in mind, and have had a lead, and we thought we'd be closer to getting it done by now."
The battle between 2008 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Cody Wright and Wade Sundell remained a neck-and-neck battle in Round 9, with Sundell tying for second in the round to take over the Wrangler NFR average lead. The difference between first and second in the Wrangler NFR average payout is $8,474, and Sundell's lead over Wright in the PRCA World Standings is $592, leaving both cowboys with near even chances to win the gold buckle. Sundell leads the Wrangler NFR average with 761.5 points, and Wright is second with 760 points.
Wrangler NFR rookie Cort Scheer won the round with a 85.5-point ride on Frontier Rodeo's Let 'Er Rip.
"It's way more than you imagine," Scheer said of his first Wrangler NFR. "I have butterflies. I'm feeling good. I'm glad I finally did it and my family is here to see it. I love it. (Let 'Er Rip) is one of the best horses I have ever been on, bar none. If you nod your head on that horse, you know you're feeling a bucking horse underneath you."
Kelly Timberman, the 2004 world champion, got a scouting report on his Round 9 draw from his bareback riding brother, Chris, and used it to win the round and continue a successful 2010 Wrangler NFR. Timberman, of Mills, Wyo., rode J Bar J Rodeo's Bar Bandit for 86.5 points to finish a point ahead of Kaycee Feild and win another $17,512 in Las Vegas.
"My brother had that horse in Havre, Mont., this year and won the rodeo on him," Timberman said. "I didn't know the horse at all, but we were having breakfast and I told my brother what I had. He said, 'Oh, you're going to love that horse. I won a rodeo on him.' It just gave me some added comfort, because my brother is such a great bareback rider. For him to give me that boost and tell me, 'You're going to fit that horse and you're going to love it,' it just gave me a sense of comfort."
Three-time and reigning World Champion Bobby Mote finished third with an 85-point ride and closed the gap between himself and PRCA World Standings leader Steven Dent after Dent's 60-point mark left him out of the money in Round 9. Mote ($163,529) is second in the Wrangler NFR average standings, while Dent ($169,499) dropped to eighth place.
Curtis Cassidy and 2006 World Champion Steer Wrestler Dean Gorsuch both stopped the clock in 3.6 seconds to tie for the bulldogging title in Round 9. They each earned $15,676 for the split of first place, and Gorsuch took over the Wrangler NFR average lead in the process.
PRCA World Standings leader Luke Branquinho had a costly no-time in Round 9, dropping to seventh place in the average standings and opening the door for Gorsuch and others to go for the gold buckle.
"I didn't think about (Branquinho's no-time) too much, though, because you can't think about what he's doing. It's about us not making mistakes," said Gorsuch, who is third in the PRCA World Standings heading into the final round. "I don't really want to think about (a world title) until tomorrow. Shoot, I just want to keep going at them. My horse (Pump Jack) is really feeling good; I'm really confident in him. We're all friends out here, and I'm sure happy for all of us."
Cassidy remained second in the PRCA World Standings, but is 13th in the average standings. He has now placed in four rounds, but also has three no-times.
"It doesn't matter if it's the first night or the last night, when you're having a bad week, winning a go-round makes it better," Cassidy said. "I got back on my old horse, Willy, and he was good as always. I went up there and tried to bulldog like I've been trying to do every night. The ball wasn't rolling my way at the start of the week."
Barrel racer Sherry Cervi became the first single-event contestant to clinch a world title at this year's Finals after finishing fourth in Round 9. That check put her season earnings at an insurmountable $263,457, $85,066 ahead of second-place Lindsay Sears. Cervi, who now has three gold buckles, is second in the average standings, while Sears - the 2008 world champion - is seventh heading into the final round.
"I haven't let myself think about it," Cervi said of winning the world championship. "It's definitely a dream come true. It's something you dream about as a little girl. This is the third horse that I've done it on. Hawk and Troubles got me to where I'm at, but Stingray's right there with them."
Angie Meadors won her second round of the Wrangler NFR with a 13.59-second run, five-hundredths of a second ahead of average leader Jill Moody.
"It's been a long week. I knew I had two really nice horses," she said, referring to Mulberry and Fanny, a 6-year-old sorrel mare. "I had to flip a coin to see what horse I was going to ride tonight. I was literally standing there with two saddles trying to figure out which horse I was going to ride, the gray or the sorrel. I think when you get to the National Finals, you want to win. I've had trouble with the first barrel, so I've been working on that. I wanted to have a good run, especially being on top of the ground."
RAM TOP GUN AWARD UPDATE: Brazile continues to lead the Ram Top Gun Award standings with $130,163 in Las Vegas earnings, with Harris in second with $106,484. The Ram Top Gun Award recognizes the competitor who wins the most money during the 10-day event, and the winner gets a Ram truck, a custom buckle from Montana Silversmiths and a one-of-a-kind Ram Truck Top Gun-branded rifle from Commemorative Firearms.
COMPLETE ROUND 9 RESULTS AND AVERAGE STANDINGS
Bareback riding:1. Kelly Timberman, Mills, Wyo., 86.5 points on J Bar J's Bar Bandit, $17,512; 2. Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, 85.5, $13,840; 3. Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 85, $10,451; 4. Dusty LaValley, Bezanson, Alberta, 84, $7,344; 5. Jason Havens, Prineville, Ore., 82.5, $4,519; 6. (tie) Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, and Justin McDaniel, Porum, Okla., 81, $1,412 each; 8. Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 80; 9. Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., 79; 10. Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 75; 11. D.V. Fennell, Neosho, Mo., 72.5; 12. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 60; 13. (tie) Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash.; Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., and Matt Bright, Azle, Texas, NS. Average: 1. Justin McDaniel, 753 points on nine head; 2. Bobby Mote, 746.5; 3. Kelly Timberman, 741; 4. Dusty LaValley, 738; 5. Clint Cannon, 721; 6. Will Lowe, 718; 7. Joe Gunderson, 714.5; 8. Steven Dent, 696; 9. Kaycee Feild, 673 on eight; 10. Jason Havens, 651; 11. Wes Stevenson, 636; 12. Steven Peebles, 629.5; 13. D.V. Fennell, 612.5; 14. Matt Bright, 405.5 on five; 15. Ryan Gray, 76.5 on one. World standings: 1. Steven Dent, $159,024; 2. Bobby Mote, $163,529; 3. Ryan Gray, $159,024; 4. Kaycee Feild, $150, 740; 5. Clint Cannon, $147,882.
Steer wrestling:1. (tie) Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, and Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 3.6 seconds, $15,676 each; 3. Dane Hanna, Berthold, N.D., 3.7, $10,451; 4. (tie) Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., and Cody Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, 4.4, $5,931; 6. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 4.5, $2,825; 7. Kyle Hughes, Olney Springs, Colo., 4.6; 8. Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.9; 9. Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 5.4; 10. Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 6.0; 11. Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 6.8; 12. (tie) Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo.; Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif.; Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., and Jule Hazen, Ashland, Kan., NT. Average: 1. Dean Gorsuch, 40.9 seconds on nine head; 2. Billy Bugenig, 41.4; 3. Cody Cassidy, 44.5; 4. Trevor Knowles, 55.9; 5. Nick Guy, 57.8; 6. Todd Suhn, 68.2; 7. Luke Branquinho, 42.7 on eight; 8. Matt Reeves, 43.1; 9. Wade Sumpter, 51.8; 10. Ethen Thouvenell, 30.5 on seven; 11. Dane Hanna, 31.7; 12. Kyle Hughes, 35.4; 13. Curtis Cassidy, 26.5 on six; 14. Josh Peek, 31.3; 15. Jule Hazen, 38.3 on five. World standings: 1. Luke Branquinho, $155,812; 2. Curtis Cassidy, $149,263; 3. Dean Gorsuch, $145,804; 4. Trevor Knowles, $132,859; 5. Todd Suhn, $128,059.
Team roping:1. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 4.2 seconds, $17,512 each; 2. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas/Patrick Smith, Midland, Texas, 4.3, $13,840; 3. (tie) Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas/Broc Cresta, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore./Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., and JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas/Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 4.4, $7,438 each; 6. Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont./Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 4.6, $2,825; 7. Keven Daniel, Franklin, Tenn./Caleb Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 5.0; 8. Ty Blasingame, Ramah, Colo./Cody Hintz, Spring Creek, Nev., 10.3; 9.Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C./Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 12.4; 10. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 14.1; 11. Nick Sartain, Yukon, Okla./Kollin VonAhn, Durant, Okla., 14.6; 12. (tie) Chad Masters, Clarksville, Tenn./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev.; Britt Williams, Hammond, Mont./Bobby Harris, Gillette, Wyo.; Brady Tryan, Huntley, Mont./Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., and Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas/Kory Koontz, Sudan, Texas, NT. Average:1. Luke Brown/Martin Lucero, 60.5 seconds on nine head; 2. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 42.6 on eight; 3. Keven Daniel, Franklin, Tenn./Caleb Twisselman, 52.5; 4. Turtle Powell/Broc Cresta, 40.3 on seven; 5. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 44.1; 6. Charly Crawford/Russell Cardoza, 45.6; 7. Brady Tryan/Jake Long, 48.3; 8. Chad Masters/Jade Corkill, 62.8; 9. JoJo LeMond/Cory Petska, 39.0 on six; 10. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 45.0; 11. Ty Blasingame/Cody Hintz, 42.4 on five; 12. Travis Tryan/Rich Skelton, 16.8 on four; 13. Nick Sartain/Kollin VonAhn, 48.8; 14. Britt Williams/Bobby Harris, 19.0 on three; 15. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 27.5. World standings (heading): 1. Clay Tryan, $177,113; 2. Trevor Brazile, $164,956; 3. Turtle Powell, $143,281; 4. Brady Tryan, $138,397; 5. Chad Masters, 135,928. (Heeling) 1. Travis Graves, $178,158; 2. Patrick Smith, $165,753; 3. Cory Petska, $164,646; 4. Jade Corkill, $135,928; 5. Jake Long, 135,204.
Saddle bronc riding: 1.Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., 85.5 points on Frontier Rodeo's Let 'Er Rip, $17,512; 2. (tie) Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa; J.J. Elshere, Quinn, S.D.; Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., and Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 84.5, $9,038 each; 6. Shaun Stroh, Dickinson, N.D., 81.5, $2,825; 7. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 78.5; 8. (tie) Scott Miller, Boise, Idaho, and Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, 75; 10. Jeff Willert, Belvidere, S.D., 53; 11. (tie) Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas; Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M.; Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La.; Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., and Dustin Flundra, Pincher Creek, Alberta, NS. Average: 1. Wade Sundell, 761.5 points on nine head; 2. Cody Wright, 760; 3. Cody DeMoss, 745; 4. J.J. Elshere, 718; 5. Jesse Wright, 675.5 on eight; 6. Cort Scheer, 659; 7. Shaun Stroh, 635.5; 8. Scott Miller, 624.5; 9. Jeff Willert, 603; 10. Taos Muncy, 561.5 on seven; 11. Heith DeMoss, 493.5 on six; 12. Dustin Flundra, 475.5; 13. Jesse Kruse, 401 on five; 14. Bradley Harter, 393; 15. Sam Spreadborough, 392. World standings: 1. Cody Wright, $188,829; 2. Wade Sundell, $188,237; 3. Cort Scheer, 134,192; 4. Jesse Wright, $131,757; 5. Cody DeMoss, $125,721.
Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Jarrett, Summerville, Ga., 7.1 seconds, $17,512; 2. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 7.2, $13,840; 3. Trent Creager, Stillwater, Okla., 7.6, $10,451; 4. (tie) Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., and Jerrad Hofstetter, Portales, N.M., 7.8, $5,931; 6. Stran Smith, Childress, Texas, 8.0, $2,825; 7. Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, 8.4; 8. Tyson Durfey, Colbert, Wash., 8.8; 9. Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.6; 10. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, and Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla., 10.1; 12. Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., 12.4; 13. Fred Whitfield, Hockley, Texas, 17.1; 14. Clif Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 18.2; 15. Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, NT. Average:: 1. Shane Hanchey, 79.0 seconds on nine head; 2. Trevor Brazile, 79.5; 3. Fred Whitfield, 83.6; 4. Tuf Cooper, 89.8; 5. Trent Creager, 91.1; 6. Scott Kormos, 95.7; 7. Tyson Durfey, 100.4; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 101.2; 9. Joseph Parsons, 112.6; 10. Clif Cooper, 87.2 on eight; 11. Clint Cooper, 116.3; 12. Stran Smith, 66.2 on seven; 13. Ryan Jarrett, 67.9; 14. Cody Ohl, 73.1; 15. Jerrad Hofstetter, 49.6 on six. World standings: 1. Trevor Brazile, $188,917; 2. Cody Ohl, $153,325; 3. Tuf Cooper, $150,020; 4. Shane Hanchey, $144,348; 5. Stran Smith, $135,978.
Barrel racing:1. Angie Meadors, Blanchard, Okla., 13.59 seconds, $17,512; 2. Jill Moody, Letcher, S.D., 13.64, $13,840; 3. Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan., 13.74, $10,451; 4. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 13.75, $7,344; 5. Kelli Tolbert, Hooper, Utah, 13.81, $4,519; 6. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 13.87, $2,825; 7. Sherrylynn Johnson Henryetta, Okla., 13.88; 8. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 13.89; 9. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.93; 10. Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 14.04; 11. Nellie Williams, Cottonwood, Calif., 14.11; 12. Benette Barrington, Lubbock, Texas, 14.25; 13. Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, 15.05; 14. Tana Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 18.98; 15. Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, N.M., 18.99. Average: 1. Jill Moody, 124.41 seconds on nine runs; 2. Sherry Cervi, 124.43; 3. Lisa Lockhart, 130.32; 4. Brittany Pozzi, 131.58; 5. Kelli Tolbert, 134.67; 6. Brenda Mays, 135.56; 7. Lindsay Sears, 135.78; 8. Christina Richman, 136.27; 9. Benette Barrington, 136.75; 10. Sherrylynn Johnson, 136.78; 11. Nellie Williams, 137.35; 12. Sydni Blanchard, 140.38; 13. Angie Meadors, 150.58; 14. Jeanne Anderson, 151.66; 15. Tana Poppino, 108.16 on seven.
Bull riding:1. Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, 90 points on Silverado Rodeos's Playmate, $17,512; 2. J.W. Harris, Mullin, Texas, 89.5, $13,840; 3. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 89, $10,451; 4. Corey Navarre, Weatherford, Okla., 86.5, $7,344; 5. Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah, 83.5, $4,519; 6. Dustin Elliott, North Platte, Neb., 83, $2,825; 7. (tie) Shawn Hogg, Odessa, Texas; Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo.; Kanin Asay, Powell, Wyo.; Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, S.D.; Chad Denton, Berry Creek, Calif.; Seth Glause, Rock Springs, Wyo.; Clayton Williams, Carthage, Texas; D.J. Domangue, Houma, La., and Cody Whitney, Asher, Okla., NS. Average: 1. J.W. Harris, 628.0 points on seven head; 2. Cody Whitney, 421.0 on five; 3. Corey Navarre, 401.5; 4. Bobby Welsh, 347.5 on four; 5. Wesley Silcox, 344.5; 6. Kanin Asay, 344; 7. Clayton Williams, 340; 8. Dustin Elliott, 323; 9. Tyler Smith, 254 on three; 10. D.J. Domangue, 176 on two; 11. Shawn Hogg, 170; 12. Steve Woolsey, 169.5; 13. Chad Denton, 162.5; 14. Seth Glause, 85 on one; 15. Ardie Maier, 80. World standings: 1. J.W. Harris, $194,287; 2. Wesley Silcox, $182,020; 3. Tyler Smith, $132,971; 4. Shawn Hogg, $132,547; 5. Clayton Williams, $132,063.