Last night’s round seven of the 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was one that you surely did not want to miss. The world title races are beginning to shape up quite nicely for a few of the competitors here as we look into tonight’s round eight on this fateful Thursday night. The sold-out crowd of 16,880 fans shuffled into the Thomas & Mack Arena to have a chance at watching records break and possible history beginning to happen in the bull riding.
Past world champion Shane Proctor is on track to be the only man this year to be able to cover all ten bulls at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Coming into tonight’s round he is sitting a full bull ahead of all the other thirteen that are left competing here this week. After last night’s three-way split for the round win Proctor sits in the number one spot for the Top Gun award as well that gives the cowboy or cowgirl that wins the most money at the WNFR a brand new Dodge RAM pick-up.
Brooks & Dunn Open Up Round Eight Of The 2016 WNFR
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
Thursday night was all set to begin at the eighth performance of the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo opening ceremonies began. Each year the folks at Justin Boot Company sponsor a go-round and tonight was their night to shine and shine they did with an opening that no one will not soon forget when we honor our Canadian friends and invite onto the arena floor two of the most iconic country music influences that have ever graced the stage and our WNFR arena for that matter!
Even before the action inside of the arena began it was time to turn up the heat inside of the COX Pavillion as the Brit Stokes Band graced the Cowboy Corral with their presence and music much like past years. That being said, as the time grew closer to the start the fans filled the seats to take in the opening ceremonies of the eighth round of competition. Tonight the opening act was none other than Moe Bandy while Brooks & Dunn lead us in the National Anthem before President-elect Donald Trump addressed all in attendance live via the big screen above the arena!
Orin Larsen Wins Round Eight At The 2016 WNFR
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
In the bareback riding over the last seven nights the cowboys have had their share of bumps and bruises as the horsepower here this week have taken its toll on them. There have been moments of greatness as nine of the contestants here competing have been able to cover all seven of the bucking horses that have been placed underneath them. World number one, Iowa’s Tim O’Connell, has proved that he can maintain his lead and all but guarantee his 2016 world championship title.
Tonight the action and caliber of bucking horses paired up nicely with the top fifteen bareback riders in the world as round eight started off with a bang. As each round goes by the bodies of the cowboys competing take more and more abuse if you get out of rhythm at all but tonight there was one that rose above all others. That man was Orin Larsen who would come out the top dog in round eight with a stellar ride aboard Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage to the tune of 87.50 points. I was able to catch up with him following his round winning ride to see what he has to say about his huge win here this evening.
Cody Wright Wins Round Eight At The 2016 WNFR
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
The main focus over the first seven rounds has been primarily upon the event of saddle bronc riding a Wrangler National Finals rookie began this year’s event lighting the fire that has died down over the last three rounds heading into tonight’s round eight. Ryder Wright came into the WNFR on fire winning the first four straight rounds to jump to a huge lead and raise some eyebrows but over the last three rounds he has stumbled a little bit. Tonight he was not able to stay aboard his horse which almost guarantees he is out of the running for the Top Gun Award as well as the world championship title.
In tonight’s round, the cowboys somehow gained some energy and put on an electrifying display of athleticism for all of us either watching live or on CBS Sports Network. Once things were all said and done there would be eleven of the fifteen saddle bronc riders that would manage to earn a score in the eighth round. That being said, no one could match the 88 point ride that Cody Wright put up while matched up with Powder River Rodeo’s Lipstick N Whiskey. I was able to catch up with him right before he made his way to the South Point to collect his go-round winning Montana Silversmith belt buckle so take a listen and see what he has to say below!
Complete Recap Including Round Winner, Current Average Leader and Current World Leader Below
Round Winner – Orin Larsen (87.50 Points)
Average Leader – Tim O’Connell (675.00 Points)
Current World Leader – Tim O’Connell
Round Winner – Clayton Haas (4.1 Seconds)
Average Leader – Tyler Waguespack (33.3 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Tyler Waguespack
Round Winners – Dustin Bird and Russell Cardoza (3.7 Seconds)
Average Leaders – Luke Brown and Jake Long (37.50 Seconds)
Current World Leaders – Luke Brown and Jake Long
Round Winner – Cody Wright (88.00 Points)
Average Leader – Jake Watson (663.00 Points)
Current World Leader – Jacobs Crawley
Round Winner – Shane Hanchey (6.8 Seconds)
Average Leader – Riley Pruitt (67.40 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Marcos Costa
Round Winner – Amberleigh Moore (13.37 Seconds)
Average Leader – Lisa Lockhart (110.55 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Mary Burger
Round Winner – Tyler Smith (89.00 Points)
Average Leader – Shane Proctor (590.00 Points)
Current World Leader – Sage Kimzey
Tonight we honored our friends to the north as the round was dedicated to our Canadian fans and competitors. After an exciting round of rodeo concluded we look forward to the next two nights. In just 48 short hours we will find out who will be crowned as one of the eight 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s World Champions as well as the WPRA World Champion barrel racer. The Rodeo Round Up will be live to bring you all of the action as it happens from Las Vegas!
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