All content of this website is copyright by Mid-South Horse Review and may not be copied or reprinted without express written consent of the publisher and editor

Call Us: (901) 867-1755

The Mid-South Horse Review is available at over 350 locations throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky.
April 2020 issue is now available!

Articles

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo


2020/01/06














[View More Photos]

The 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) ran December 5-14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Wrangler NFR is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Held annually since 1959 – and since 1985, every December at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas – the Wrangler NFR is Pro Rodeo’s most prestigious rodeo, and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers, and livestock in the world.

The Top 15 contestants in the standard rodeo events – bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (headers and heelers), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, WPRA barrel racing and bull riding – qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR based on money won during the regular season.

The Wrangler NFR consists of 10 rounds – one round on each of 10 consecutive days; each contestant competes once each day. Cowboys and barrel racers earn money by placing first through sixth in any round, and pick up more money by placing first through eighth in the average (cumulative times or points earned during the 10 rounds). At the end of each Wrangler NFR, there are two champions in each event (four for team roping): the average winner, who won the Wrangler NFR by having the best cumulative time or score for that event over the 10 rounds, and the world champion, who finished the year with the most money.

Highlights from this year’s NFR:

Round 1, December 5: Thursday night was a bareback riding round for the ages at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Three riders all broke the previous round record, as Richmond Champion became the king of Round 1 with his 91.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Night Crawler before 16,792 spectators at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Earlier in the round, Caleb Bennett set the Round 1 record with his 90-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Egyptian. The previous Round 1 record was 89 points, shared by Kaycee Feild (2011) and Wes Stevenson (2006).

Bennett held the record for less than five minutes as Clayton Biglow made a 90.5-point trip on Cervi Champion Rodeo’s Rodeo Houston’s Ain’t No Angel. But Champion claimed the record on Night Crawler.

Team ropers Tyler Wade and Cole Davison equaled NFR history Thursday.

The partners registered a 4.0-second time to tie the NFR Round 1 record set by Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager in 2014.

It didn’t take bull rider Stetson Wright long to win a round at the Wrangler NFR. The rookie won Round 1 with an electric 92.5-point ride on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Monte Walsh.

Tie Down roper Shane Hanchey was in top form in Round 1. Hanchey, the 2013 PRCA Tie-down Roping World Champion, stopped the clock in 7.6 seconds to capture the victory.

Rookie Barrel Racer Emily Miller was nearly overcome with emotion when she claimed a Round 1 victory with a 13.63-second run. Miller praised her 9-year-old horse Chongo.

Round 2, December 6: Saddle Bronc rider Jesse Wright, making his eighth appearance at the Wrangler NFR, won his 10th career round with an 89.5-point ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Awesome Sauce.

Bareback rider Trenton Montero’s first appearance at the Wrangler NFR created a lasting memory. The Winnemucca, Nev., cowboy had a 90.5-point ride on Sankey Pro Rodeo & Phenom Genetics’ Prairie Rose to break the NFR Round 2 record and capture the victory. Montero broke the Round 2 record of 89.5 points set by Cimarron Gerke in 2004.

Steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack won Round 2 with a 3.6-second run, claiming the ninth NFR round win of his career. The Gonzales, La. cowboy won world championships and average titles at the Wrangler NFR in 2016 and 2018.

Tie down roper Marty Yates has always been known as a fast roper. The Stephenville, Texas cowboy had his skills on display Friday, winning Round 2 with a 7.3-second run.

Bull rider Garrett Smith is making the most of his third-career appearance at the Wrangler NFR. The Rexburg, Idaho cowboy has already covered two bulls, his latest 8-second ride a 91.5-point, Round 2 gave him the victory on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Black Gold.

Team roping header Clay Smith and heeler Jade Corkill know how to win world championships. Smith and Corkill won Round 2 Friday with a 4.4-second run. Smith is the reigning team roping header world champion, and Corkill has three team roping heeler world titles – 2012-14.

Barrel racer Dona Kay Rule didn’t place in Round 1 but made up for it in Round 2. Making her inaugural appearance at the Wrangler NFR, Rule won Round 2 with a 13.69-second run.

Round 3, December 7: Bull riding: Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Spotted Demon, the 2018 PRCA Bull of the Year, met his match Saturday night. Montpelier, La., cowboy Koby Radley registered an electric 92-point ride on Spotted Demon to win Round 3 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo before a crowd of 16,831.

Saddle bronc rider Chase Brooks won his first round of the 2019 Wrangler NFR with a Round 3 record-tying ride. The Deer Lodge, Mont. cowboy had a 90-point ride on Outlawbuckers Rodeo’s Lunatic Party.

Tie down roper Tuf Cooper added to his Wrangler NFR success by winning Round 3 with a 6.9-second run.

Bareback riderTanner Aus took the in Round 3 win with 90-point ride on Full Baggage.

Team ropers Tyler Wade and Cole Davison, who won Round 1 with a 4.0-second run, recorded a 3.7-second run on Saturday night to capture the Round 3 victory.

Steer wrestler Hunter Cure, a two-time PRCA world champion, grabbed the headlines Saturday night. The Holliday, Texas, cowboy won Round 3 with a 3.8-second run. The victory came after Cure had a wild Round 2 run where he flipped over and still registered an 8.9-second time.

Barrel racer Amberleigh Moore, after knocking down a barrel in Round 1, picked up an $11,000 check in Round 2. In Round 3, Moore claimed the title with a 13.62-second run.

Round 4, December 8: Tie-down roper Shane Hanchey, from Sulphur, La., won his second round of the week, clocking a 7.5-second run in Round 4 before 16,813 spectators Sunday night. Hanchey also won Round 1 with a 7.6-second time and placed second in Round 3 with a 7.1-second effort. The only blemish on Hanchey’s 2019 Wrangler NFR was his no-time in Round 2.

Bull rider Stetson Wright, 20, won his second round of the Wrangler NFR, recording a 91-point ride on Painted Pony Championship Rodeo’s Holy Holly in Round 4. Wright also was victorious in Round 1 with a 91-point trip on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Monte Walsh.

Bareback rider Orin Larsen had a 90-point ride on Night Fist to win the round Sunday night.
Steer wrestler Bridger Chambers won Round 4 Sunday with a 3.6-second run.

Saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright, making his fourth appearance at the Wrangler NFR, won Round 4 with an 89.5-point ride on Diamond G Rodeos’ Miss Nancy for the sixth round win of his career.

Team ropers Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison set the pace in Round 4, capturing a victory with a 3.7-second run.

Barrel racerEmily Miller won her second round with her 13.64-second run, riding her 9-year-old gelding, Chongo. Emily also captured a victory in Round 1 (13.63).

Round 5, December 9: Steer wrestler Kyle Irwin, of Robertsdale, Ala. Irwin clocked a 3.7-second time to win Round 5 and earn $26,231 before 16,827 spectators Monday night. This is Irwin’s fifth career trip to the Wrangler NFR (2014-15, 2017-19) and his fifth round win.

Tie-down roper Ty Harris, of San Angelo, Texas, won his first career Wrangler NFR round when he stopped the clock in 7.4 seconds in Round 5.

Bareback rider Clayton Biglow, of Clements, Calif., had a 92.5-point ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Scarlett Belle to win the Round 5 and the $26,231 first-place check.

Bull rider Daylon Swearingen’s first career round win at the Wrangler NFR was one for the record books. The Rochelle, Ga., cowboy had a 92-point trip on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s War Cry to win the round – and break the Round 5 record. The record was 91.5 points by Ryan Brown in 2003.

Team ropersChad Masters and Joseph Harrison make it back-to-back victories, with a 4.2-second in Round 5 after winning Round 4 with a 3.7-second run.

Saddle broncrider Jake Watson’s 92-point ride on the Cervi Brothers Rodeo’s RodeoHouston’s Womanizer won Round 5.

Barrel racer Dona Kay Rule is competing in her first Wrangler NFR. She won the second round with a 13.69-second run and added a Round 5 victory with her 13.56-second run, the fastest of the rodeo so far. Rule is riding High Valor, 10, the winner of the 2019 Purina Horse of the Year award presented by AQHA.

Round 6, December 10: Tie-down roper Ty Harris, of San Angelo, Texas, won his second consecutive round of the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, clocking a 7.1-second time in Round 6, riding Iron, before a crowd of 16,755 on Tuesday night.

Steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack, of Gonzales, La., added his second round win of the 2019 Wrangler NFR, winning Round 6 with a 3.8-second run. Waguespack also won Round 2 with a 3.6-second run.

Saddle bronc rider Dawson Hay, of Wildwood, Alberta, made his Wrangler NFR debut memorable by winning Round 6 with an 88.5-point ride on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sue City Sue. Hay is the son of 20-time NFR qualifier Rod Hay.

Bull rider Boudreaux Campbell placed second in Round 1 and third in Rounds 2 and 4. On Tuesday night, he snared the Round 6 victory with a 92.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Priefert’s Tequila Worm.

Veteran team roping brothers Riley and Brady Minor captured a Round 6 win with a 4.0-second run.

A trio of bareback riders shared the Round 6 win. Clayton Biglow (88.5 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Freckled Frog), Caleb Bennett (88.5 points on Calgary Stampede’s You See Me) and Tilden Hooper (88.5 points on Cervi Championship RodeoHouston’s Ain’t No Angel) split the win.

Barrel racer Amberleigh Moore won her second round at this year’s Wrangler NFR with a 13.55-second run, the fastest of the rodeo. Moore also won Round 3 with a 13.62 run.

Round 7, December 11: Bareback rider Clayton Biglow, of Clements, Calif., won his third round in a row at the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when he captured the Round 7 title with a 91.5-point ride on Rafter G Rodeo’s Ankle Biter before 16,786 spectators Wednesday night. “That was the best bull ride I ever made,” Biglow, 23, said with a laugh.

Bull Rider Sage Kimzey, the reigning five-time PRCA world champion ´╗┐from Strong City, Okla., won his first round of this Wrangler NFR with a 90-point ride on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Smoke Wagon.

Zeke Thurston, the 2016 saddle bronc riding world champion, matched up with Northcott Macza’s Get Smart, the 2019 saddle bronc Pendleton Whisky “Let ’er Buck” Stock of the Year, in Round 7, and the results were historic. Thurston set the Wrangler Round 7 record with a 92.5-point ride.

Team ropers Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp claimed their first round win of the 2019 Finals in record fashion, as they stopped the clock in 3.6 seconds to capture top honors in Round 7.

Steer wrestler Stetson Jorgensen, of Blackfoot, Idaho, captured his first career round win with a 3.4-second time in Round 7, the fastest of the rodeo through seven rounds. Jorgensen was quick to praise his horsepower. “It’s a horse called Mable, who’s owned by Garrett Henry from Wyoming,” he said. “This is actually her first year going, and she’s working really good, [sic] so far.”

Tie-down roper Tyler Milligan, of Pawhuska, Okla., at his Wrangler NFR debut clocked a 7.5-second run to win Round 7, the first of his career.

Barrel racer Hailey Kinsel, of Cotulla, Texas, recorded a 13.60-second run to win Round 7, her first of the 2019 Wrangler NFR.

Round 8, December 12: Bareback rider Clayton Biglow, of Clements, Calif., won his fourth round in a row at the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo when he claimed the Round 8 crown with his 90-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Showstomper before 16,892 spectators Thursday night.

Reigning five-time world champion bull rider Sage Kimzey, of Strong City, Okla., wowed the sellout crowd by winning Round 8 with a 94-point ride on Powder River Rodeo’s SweetPro’s Bruiser. Kimzey has won two rounds at the Wrangler NFR – Rounds 7 and 8.

Bruiser was voted bull of the night for Round 8. The bull was also the 2017 PRCA Bull of the Year, was second in 2018, and was also top bull of the Wrangler NFR in 2015 and 2017.

Saddle bronc rider Jake Watson snared his second round win of the Wrangler NFR. On Canadian night, the Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia, cowboy won Round 8 with an 89.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Stampede Warrior.

Steer wrestler Will Lummus, of West Point, Miss., has had a solid showing at the 2019 Wrangler NFR, and on Thursday night, he won Round 8 with a 3.6-second time.

Three tie-down ropers tied for the win in Round 8: Tyler Milligan, Riley Pruitt and Cooper Martin each clocked 7.5-second runs to win Round 8.

The top of the leaderboard in Round 8 was shared by team ropers Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan and Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira. Each team stopped the clock in 4.3 seconds.

Barrel racerHailey Kinsel made it two in a row. The Cotulla, Texas, cowgirl won Round 8 with a 13.54-second run, the fastest of the rodeo on her horse, Sister.

Round 9, December 13: Saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston, from Big Valley, Alberta, captured his third round win of the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, winning Round 9 with a 91-point ride on Vold Rodeo Company’s Sun Glow on Friday night before 16,880 fans. Thurston set the Wrangler NFR Round 7 record with a 92.5-point ride. He also won Round 1 with an 88-point ride on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Sue City Sue.

Ty Erickson came into the 2019 Wrangler NFR as the steer wrestling regular-season leader for the third time in four years. The Helena, Mont., cowboy scored a huge Round 9 win with a 3.6-second run. It was Erickson’s first round win of this year’s Finals.

Tie-down roper Marty Yates kept his name in the gold buckle mix by winning Round 9 with a 7.0-second run. Yates also won Round 2 with a 7.3-second run.

After a tough opening seven rounds of the Wrangler NFR, team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira have heated up. After splitting the Round 8 win with a 4.3-second run, the Driggers/Nogueira team won Round 9 outright with a 3.6-second run. Their Round 9 time tied Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp’s for fastest run of this year’s Finals: a 3.6-second run in Round 7.

Bull rider Boudreaux Campbell, of Crockett, Texas, has placed in seven rounds and won for the second time in Round 9 with a 91 point-ride on Bar T Rodeo’s Goofy.

Bareback rider Jake Brown, of Cleveland, Texas, had an 89.5-point ride on J Bar J’s Blessed Assurance to win Round 9.

Barrel racer Stevi Hillman, from Weatherford, Texas, placed in just one round – third in Round 1. Until Friday night, when she won her first career Wrangler NFR round with a 13.53-second run in Round 9, the fastest of the rodeo.

Round 10, December 14: Sage Kimzey is the king of PRCA bull riders! The Strong City, Okla., cowboy won his sixth consecutive world championship at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo before 16,904 fans in Saturday night. Kimzey also won the average with 709 points on eight head.

Rookie Stetson Wright came in as the leader in the all-around standings and held off all challengers to win the prestigious title with $297,923. He edged team roping header world champ Clay Smith ($279,672) for the crown. Tuf Cooper, the 2017 all-around champ, finished third in the standings with $265,794. Wright became the first roughstock rider to win the all-around crown since ProRodeo Hall of Famer Ty Murraydid itin 1998.

Bareback rider Clayton Biglow had a Wrangler NFR for the ages to claim his first career gold buckle. The Clements, Calif., cowboy won five rounds at the Wrangler NFR, including winning Round 10 with an NFR record-tying ride of 93 points on Northcott Macza’s Stevie Knicks.

Rookie Haven Meged is tie-down roping world champion. On Saturday night, the Miles City, Mont., cowboy was holding the gold buckle with $246,013. He also won the average with an 85.7-second time on 10 head.

For the second time in four years, saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston is PRCA world champion.

Steer wrestler Ty Erickson came into the 2019 Wrangler NFR as the regular-season leader for the third time in four years. The Helena, Mont., cowboy earned $234,491 to win the world championship. Matt Reeves won the average with a 48.4-second time on 10 head.

Team roping header Clay Smith now has won back-to-back gold buckles. The Broken Bow, Okla., cowboy earned $268,820 to edge Cody Snow ($256,938). Smith – with partner/heeler Jade Corkill, who finished fourth in the world standings – placed in six rounds, including winning Round 2 to clinch his world title.

Team roping heeler Wesley Thorp left the Thomas & Mack Center as a world champion for the first time. The Throckmorton, Texas, cowboy – roping with header Cody Snow, who finished second in the world standings – earned $249,181 to finish atop the world standings. Heeler Junior Nogueira was second with $238,243. Snow/Thorp won the average with a 43.8-second time on eight head.

For the second consecutive year, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel finished the season as a world champion. The cowgirl from Cotulla, Texas earned $290,020 to finish atop the world standings. Ivy Conrado-Saebens was second with $264,673, and she also won the average with a 138.44-second time on 10 head. Kinsel was quick to praise her horse, Sister, whom she rode for both world championships.

Find more information about the NFR at: https://www.prorodeo.com/prorodeo/national-finals-rodeo

Go Back »

Photo Gallery

Additional photos from this month's events.

Calendar

Upcoming events for the next three months.

Media Kit

Advertising rates, display ad dimensions & photo requirements, mission statement & who we are, demographics of readership, and yearly editorial calendar.

Scroll To Top