December 7, 2010 -- Sometimes, luck can transfer from one person to another. Just ask Cody Ohl.
Wearing 11-time World Champion Dean Oliver's "lucky" 1958 world championship buckle, Ohl won for the third consecutive night at the 52nd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo after stopping the clock in 7.3 seconds in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,032.
Ohl's winning run was one-tenth of a second faster than Round 1 winner Clif Cooper and ran his Wrangler NFR earnings to an event-best $59,315. He has moved from 13th to third in the PRCA World Standings after splitting Round 4 with Clint Cooper and sharing the Round 5 victory with Trevor Brazile.
The Hico, Texas, cowboy admires Oliver - who won eight tie-down roping gold buckles and three all-around world championships - and the ProRodeo Hall of Famer has said he thinks Ohl is one of the best tie-down ropers in PRCA history.
"He's the only idol I've got," Ohl said of Oliver. "He's said more great things in his articles about my roping. Pound for pound, he said I was the greatest calf roper he's ever seen. It all goes back to how hard you work to get there, and then you have someone who has eight world championships say that about you. I was just joking with him last night after I got off the bucking chutes last night. I said, 'Let me wear that buckle tonight. I'll rope in it, then I'll give it back.' How could it be any better? I mean, I wore that and I won the round in it."
After his third-place finish in Round 2, Ohl joined Billy Etbauer as cowboys who have earned $1 million at the Wrangler NFR.
"Any time you can beat this field three nights in a row, it's always special," Ohl said. "I've won a couple world championships getting tapped off early in the week. I'd get three or four rounds in a row right off the bat. The last couple years, it's kind of gone in the other direction. Maybe I second-guessed myself a little bit, but I hadn't had a lot of luck. I got hot last year at the same time, the fourth round. So, we're just going to roll with it."
Header JoJo LeMond has already decided not to compete full-time in 2011 to spend more time with his family. In the mean time, though, he's helping his partner Cory Petska fight for a world title.
LeMond, of Andrews, Texas, and Petska, of Marana, Ariz., won the team roping at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the second consecutive night, taking Round 6 in 3.9 seconds. The team of Brady Tryan and Jake Long, who won the fourth round, were second in 4.0 seconds.
LeMond is eighth in the world standings among headers, but the win moved Petska all the way to second place. He trails top-ranked heeler Travis Graves by just $613 heading into Round 7 after Graves and his world standings-leading partner Clay Tryan had a no-time in Round 6.
"I will stay home in 2011 and hang out with my family," said LeMond, a three-time Wrangler NFR header who has overcome a stroke and a rattlesnake bite in 2009. "I guess tomorrow is the deadline for buying your (PRCA) card (to enter some of the big winter rodeos in 2011), and I'm kind of anxious about not buying it, but I'm not going to. I don't think you can quit something with one foot in it; you've got to get out of it if you're going to get out. I don't know what I'm going to do in 2012, but in 2011, I'm going to stay home and play."
Petska is roping in his eighth Finals and felt fortunate to have won Round 6.
"I didn't think we'd win the round, but we were blessed tonight," Petska said. "I roped the steer up around the belly, and then when I came back to the (saddle) horn to dally I didn't have enough slack. I went over the top of the horn once, it was probably the third time I tried before I got dallied. We should have been 3.5 or 3.6."
The neck-and-neck battle in the saddle bronc riding between 2008 World Champion Cody Wright and Wade Sundell continued in Round 6. Wright used a re-ride horse to win his third round of this year's Finals with an 88.5-point ride on Beutler & Son Rodeo's Sand Man, with Sundell finishing second after an 86-pointer on Burch Rodeo's Holy Hoppin Hell.
Wright's win came on his second horse of the night. Judges originally thought he had missed his first horse out of the chute, but that ruling was overturned and Wright was awarded the re-ride.
"I didn't know if I missed him out," said Wright, who leads the average standings with 511 points on six head. "I didn't know if I was going to get a re-ride. They figured it out, and I was dang happy to get that second chance. I felt the first horse may have been a little weak, so I was hoping for a re-ride."
Wright leads the world standings with $167,645, and Sundell is second with $161,404. (He is also second in the average with 507 points.)
Two-time and reigning World Champion Bull Rider J.W. Harris also picked up win No. 3 at this year's event, riding Klein Brothers Rodeo's Fast Lane for 89.5 points. Wesley Silcox, the 2007 world champion and current PRCA World Standings leader, was second with an 88.5-point mark.
"A guy can't be feeling much better than how I'm feeling right now," said Harris, who leads the average standings with a 444-point total on five head. "I'd seen that bull earlier this year at Dodge City. He was a couple (jumps) and around to the right. Today, he was right there in the gate to the left; just a really gassy, kind of showy bull. It worked out well."
Harris, of Mullin, Texas, is less than $2,000 behind Silcox and has placed in every round in which he has a qualified ride. After missing five rounds of the Finals last year with a broken hand, Harris is happy to be riding well in 2010, but still believes he can do better.
"Yeah, last year left a sour taste in my mouth," Harris said. "I wanted to come out here and make up some lost ground. Things can always be going better, but I'm not going to complain about it. I fell off a bull I shouldn't have, but that's in the past. So, I'm just going to try to ride the rest of the bulls I get and go for go-round wins."
Two-time World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho won his second round of this year's Finals after stopping the clock in 3.5 seconds to finish five-tenths of a second ahead of Wade Sumpter. The Los Alamos, Calif., bulldogger also won a share of the second round and moved to second place in the world standings thanks to tonight's win, which came a night after he broke the barrier.
"It's really big," Branquinho said of the win. "I moved down in the average - which I don't pay any attention to, anyway - but I've got four more rounds. It was a big win tonight; it kept me in the hunt. I'm going to try to be down here (talking to reporters after a win) four more times with a go-round buckle. Hopefully it works out, and on Saturday, hopefully I'll have another world championship."
Canada's Curtis Cassidy leads the PRCA World Standings with $129,915, while Branquinho is right behind him with $126,155. Cassidy stands 14th in the Wrangler NFR average through six rounds, and Branquinho moved up to fifth via the victory.
Veteran bareback rider Wes Stevenson made it two wins in a row for the "Wolf Pack" traveling group by taking Round 6 with an 88.5-point ride on Classic Pro Rodeo's Nutrena's Wise Guy. Stevenson edged Clint Cannon by 1.5 points for the round victory, his first at the Wrangler NFR since he won Round 1 of the 2006 event on the same talented horse, which is bucking at his 13th Finals.
"That horse just explodes so high, it takes every bit of your energy out of you," Stevenson said. "That is the most fun bucking horse you can get on, and if you're a bareback rider, that's what you live for. It seems like he jumps so high that it takes him five seconds to get back to the ground. He just blows up in the air with so much power, and I can't say enough about him. That horse is about 26 years old and has been here 13 times, and my hat's off to that horse. What a phenomenal bucking horse, and he has been one for a long time."
It was the third round in which Stevenson earned a check, and the $17,512 first-place money kept him in the world title hunt. The Lubbock, Texas, cowboy is third in the PRCA World Standings and third in the Wrangler NFR average heading into the final four rounds.
In the barrel racing, Brenda Mays placed for the fourth time in six nights, winning the round with a time of 13.80 seconds. That run was four-hundredths of a second better than Jill Moody, who leads the average through Round 6.
"The last two nights, I just decided to go at it," said Mays, who is riding her 11-year-old black gelding Jethro. "(Before that) I think I was just trying not to make mistakes. The last two runs, I just went back to the things that got me here."
With a third-place finish and $10,451 check, world standings leader Sherry Cervi became the first barrel racer to cross $2 million in career earnings in ProRodeo history. Cervi, who won world titles in 1995 and 1999, has a whopping $63,882 lead over second-place Lindsay Sears, the 2008 world champion. With $221,090, Cervi is within striking distance of two-time World Champion Brittany Pozzi's single-season earnings record of $279,435 set a year ago.
RAM TOP GUN AWARD UPDATE:: After his third round victory in the bull riding at this year's Wrangler NFR, Harris overtook Trevor Brazile in the Ram Top Gun Award standings with $75,132. Brazile is second with $73,579. 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. Wright is third with $68,353.
COMPLETE ROUND 6 RESULTS AND AVERAGE STANDINGS
Bareback riding: 1. Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 88.5 points on Classic Pro Rodeo's Nutrena's Wise Guy, $17,512; 2. Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 87, $13,840; 3. (tie) Kelly Timberman, Mills, Wyo.; Justin McDaniel, Porum, Okla., and Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, 84, $7,438 each; 6. (tie) Dusty LaValley, Bezanson, Alberta, and Jason Havens, Prineville, Ore., 82.5, $1,412 each; 8. (tie) Matt Bright, Azle, Texas, and Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., and D.V. Fennell, Neosho, Mo., 82; 11. Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 80.5; 12. Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 78.5; 13. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 77; 14. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 72; 15. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., out. Average: 1. Justin McDaniel, 504 points on six head; 2. Kelly Timberman, 495.5; 3. Wes Stevenson, 492; 4. Steven Dent, 491; 5. Will Lowe, 490.5; 6. Bobby Mote, 490; 7. Dusty LaValley, 488.5; 8. Joe Gunderson, 485.5; 9. Clint Cannon, 485; 10. Jason Havens, 484; 11. Steven Peebles, 479.5; 12. Kaycee Feild, 421 on five; 13. D.V. Fennell, 384; 14. Matt Bright, 325 on four; 15. Ryan Gray, 76.5 on one.
Steer wrestling: 1. Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 3.5 seconds, $17,512; 2. Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 4.0, $13,840; 3. (tie) Curtis Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, and Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 4.1, $8,897 each; 5. Dane Hanna, Berthold, N.D., 4.2, $4,519; 6. Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.8, $2,825; 7. Matt Reeves, Cross Plains, Texas, 4.9; 8. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 5.0; 9. Ethen Thouvenell, Napa, Calif., 6.1; 10. Cody Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, 8.8; 11. Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., 13.6; 12. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 21.7; 13. (tie) Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo.; Jule Hazen, Ashland, Kan., and Kyle Hughes, Olney Springs, Colo., NT.Average: 1. Billy Bugenig, 26.9 seconds on six head; 2. Dane Hanna, 28.0; 3. Dean Gorsuch, 29.3; 4. Cody Cassidy, 32.9; 5. Luke Branquinho, 35.7; 6. Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 41.4; 7. Trevor Knowles, 43.3; 8. Todd Suhn, 45.2; 9. Ethen Thouvenell, 21.9 on five; 10. Matt Reeves, 27.1; 11. Wade Sumpter, 32.7; 12. Kyle Hughes, 21.3 on four; 13. Josh Peek, 21.9; 14. Curtis Cassidy, 13.8 on three; 15. Jule Hazen, 30.5.
Team roping: 1. JoJo LeMond, Andrews, Texas/Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 3.9 seconds, $17,512 each; 2. Brady Tryan, Huntley, Mont./Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan., 4.0, $13,840; 3. Chad Masters, Clarksville, Tenn./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 4.4, $10,451; 4. Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore./Russell Cardoza, Terrebonne, Ore., 4.9, $7,344; 5. Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C./Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, 5.7, $4,519; 6. Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas/Broc Cresta, Santa Rosa, Calif., 8.8, $2,825; 7. Ty Blasingame, Ramah, Colo./Cody Hintz, Spring Creek, Nev., 8.9; 8. Keven Daniel, Franklin, Tenn./Caleb Twisselman, Santa Margarita, Calif., 9.4; 9. (tie) Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas/Patrick Smith, Midland, Texas; Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla.; Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont./Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas; Britt Williams, Hammond, Mont./Bobby Harris, Gillette, Wyo.; Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas/Kory Koontz, Sudan, Texas; Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., and Nick Sartain, Yukon, Okla./Kollin VonAhn, Durant, Okla., NT. Average: 1. Luke Brown/Martin Lucero, 38.3 seconds on six head; 2. Charly Crawford/Russell Cardoza, 41.2; 3. Chad Masters/Jade Corkill, 45.8; 4. Trevor Brazile/Patrick Smith, 21.4 on five; 5. Brady Tryan/Jake Long, 30.5; 6. Turtle Powell/Broc Cresta, 31.1; 7. JoJo LeMond/Cory Petska, 34.6; 8. Clay Tryan/Travis Graves, 35.3; 9. Keven Daniel/Caleb Twisselman, 37.8; 10. Derrick Begay/Cesar de la Cruz, 27.1 on four; 11. Britt Williams/Bobby Harris, 19.0 on three; 12. Ty Blasingame/Cody Hintz, 28.1; 13. Travis Tryan/Rich Skelton, 7.9 on two; 14. Colby Lovell/Kory Koontz, 13.5; 15. Nick Sartain/Kollin VonAhn, 29.7.
Saddle bronc riding::1. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 88.5 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo's Sand Man, $17,512; 2. Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 86, $13,840; 3. Jesse Wright, Millford, Utah, 85.5, $10,451; 4. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 84, $7,344; 5. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., 83.5, $4,519; 6. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 82, $2,825; 7. Dustin Flundra, Pincher Creek, Alberta, 81.5; 8. Scott Miller, Boise, Idaho, 81; 9. Jeff Willert, Belvidere, S.D., 80.5; 10. Shaun Stroh, Dickinson, N.D., 79.5; 11. (tie) Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas, and Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., 78; 13. J.J. Elshere, Quinn, S.D., 73.5; 14. Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., 71; 15. Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, NS. Average: 1. Cody Wright, 511 points on six head; 2. Wade Sundell, 507; 3. Cody DeMoss, 487; 4. J.J. Elshere, 478; 5. Dustin Flundra, 475.5; 6. Jesse Wright, 429 on five; 7. Cort Scheer, 407.5; 8. Taos Muncy, 404.5; 9. Jesse Kruse, 401; 10. Shaun Stroh, 398; 11. (tie) Jeff Willert and Scott Miller, 396; 13. Heith DeMoss, 325.5 on four; 14. Bradley Harter, 310; 15. Sam Spreadborough, 153.5 on two.
Tie-down roping: 1. Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, 7.3 seconds, $17,512; 2. Clif Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 7.4, $13,840; 3. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, and Stran Smith, Childress, Texas, 7.5, $8,897 each; 5. Fred Whitfield, Hockley, Texas, 7.8, $4,519; 6. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 8.5, $2,825; 7. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 9.0; 8. Trent Creager, Stillwater, Okla., 9.1; 9. Ryan Jarrett, Summerville, Ga., 9.8; 10. Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla., 10.6; 11. Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, 10.7; 12. Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., 11.1; 13. Tyson Durfey, Colbert, Wash., 11.9; 14. Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 12.6; 15. Jerrad Hofstetter, Athens, Texas, NT. Average: 1. Fred Whitfield, 49.3 seconds on six head, 2. Tuf Cooper, 50.9; 3. Trevor Brazile, 54.8; 4. Shane Hanchey, 56.2; 5. Trent Creager, 58.8; 6. Cody Ohl, 65.9; 7. Joseph Parsons, 67.1; 8. Scott Kormos, 70.3; 9. Jerome Schneeberger, 74.0; 10. Tyson Durfey, 74.9; 11. Clint Cooper, 95.6; 12. Ryan Jarrett, 43.6 on five; 13. Stran Smith, 50.2; 14. Clif Cooper, 50.5; 15. Jerrad Hofstetter, 32.4 on four.
Barrel racing: 1. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 13.80 seconds, $17,512; 2. Jill Moody, Letcher, S.D., 13.84, $13,840; 3. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 13.85, $10,451; 4. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.87, $7,344; 5. Kelli Tolbert, Hooper, Utah, 13.98, $4,519; 6. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 13.99, $2,825; 7. (tie) Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan., and Tana Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 14.06; 9. Sherrylynn Johnson, Henryetta, Okla., 14.08; 10. Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, 18.85; 11. Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, N.M., 18.87; 12. Angie Meadors, Blanchard, Okla., 18.98; 13. Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 19.17; 14. Benette Barrington, Lubbock, Texas, 19.22; 15. Nellie Williams, Cottonwood, Calif., 19.26. Average: 1. Jill Moody, 82.85 seconds on six runs; 2. Lisa Lockhart, 83.19; 3. Sherry Cervi, 83.49; 4. Sydni Blanchard, 88.52; 5. Nellie Williams, 89.09; 6. Christina Richman, 89.32; 7. Brittany Pozzi, 89.89; 8. Kelli Tolbert, 93.16; 9. Lindsay Sears, 93.17; 10. Brenda Mays, 93.50; 11. Sherrylynn Johnson, 93.95; 12. Benette Barrington, 94.02; 13. Jeanne Anderson, 99.77; 14. Angie Meadors, 103.40; 15. Tana Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 75.10 on five.
Bull riding:1. J.W. Harris, Mullin, Texas, 89.5 points on Klein Brothers Rodeo's Fast Lane, $17,512; 2. Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah, 88.5, $13,840; 3. Clayton Williams, Carthage, Texas, 87, $10,451; 4. Cody Whitney, Asher, Okla., 86.5, $7,344; 5. Corey Navarre, Weatherford, Okla., 85.5, $4,519; 6. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., 85, $2,825; 7. Kanin Asay, Powell, Wyo., 83; 8. Dustin Elliott, North Platte, Neb., 82; 9. (tie) Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah; Shawn Hogg, Odessa, Texas; Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo.; Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, S.D.; Chad Denton, Berry Creek, Calif.; Seth Glause, Rock Springs, Wyo., and D.J. Domangue, Houma, La., NS. Average: 1. J.W. Harris, 444 points on five head; 2. Cody Whitney, 421; 3. Kanin Asay, 344 on four; 4. Clayton Williams, 340; 5. Corey Navarre, 255 on three; 6. Wesley Silcox, 254.5; 7. Dustin Elliott, 240; 8. D.J. Domangue, 176 on two; 9. Bobby Welsh, 172; 10. Chad Denton, 162.5; 11. Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah, 86 on one; 12. Shawn Hogg, Odessa, Texas, 85.5.