2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Recap Rounds 1-3

After a long and hard-fought battle throughout the 2019 professional rodeo season, the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world converged, once again, on Las Vegas for the superbowl or rodeo, the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.  Athletes from both the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Womens Professional Rodeo Association began a te-night competition to determine who would walk out of Las Vegas with a new World Champion title to take home.  As many of you know, only the top fifteen contestants in the world standings are invited to this prestigious event held each year inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena on the campus of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.  With world title races as close as ever and a slew of rookies mixed in with seasoned veterans, this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo will be one to watch!

You may notice that the Rodeo Round Up’s coverage may be a little different this year and this is because I was unable to make the trip out west due to other obligations but that will not change the fact that we will still be covering the event.  One change you may see is that we will break our coverage up into four different parts that will all come to a head on the tenth and final night of action as we crown our new world champions.  The first segment will be rounds one through three while four through six will be the next update with seven through nine following that.  The final recap that will be offered this year is from the tenth and final night to announce the new world champions in each of the seven events.  That being said, we will still be providing updates on our social media platform each night that a story is not published.

Richie Champion Wins Round One In The Bareback Riding

Photo Credit: PRCA Media/Clay Guardipee

Things started off with a bang in round one on Saturday night as the jitters and nerves seemed to not be much of a factor as we have seen in years past with the rookie Wrangler National Finals Rodeo contestants.  This speaks volumes about the character of the veterans in the field as they act as mentors to those experiencing this honor for the first time.  Round one was truly one for the record books as the round one record was broken three times in one single event which was absolutely something to witness and that will be remembered for years to come.  It all started with the bareback riding where this happened to kick things off in a huge way with Richmond Champion breaking it for the third time of the evening with his re-ride aboard Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Night Crawler to the tune of 91.50 points, a horse that he had never been on before.

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo rookies also had a very nice outing in the first round on Saturday night with two of them taking home round winning honors on their very first try inside of the Thomas & Mack.  In the cowgirl barrel racing, WNFR rookie Emily Miller made her mark on the record books with a round winning run of 13.63 seconds, which is one of the best round one runs in the history of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo!  That was immediately followed by another WNFR rookie in the bull riding as a classic last name in professional rodeo made a mark outside of their classic event of saddle bronc riding.  Young gun Stetson Wright would deviate from family tradition and qualify for this year’s WNFR in the bull riding in which he would win his first go-round winning buckle with a huge 92.50 point rides atop of 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Monte Walsh.  A complete list of go-round winners from each event are listed below.


Bareback: Richmond Champion (91.50)

Steer Wrestling: Dakota Eldridge (3.60 Seconds)

Team Roping: Tyler Wade & Cole Davison (4.0 Seconds)

Saddle Bronc Riding: Zeke Thurston (88.00)

Tie-Down Roping: Shane Hanchey (7.60 Seconds)

Barrel Racing: Emily Miller (13.63 Seconds)

Bull Riding: Stetson Wright (92.50)

Dona Kay Rule Leads The Way In Barrel Racing IN Round Two

Photo Credit: PRCA Media/James Phifer

Following a fantastic start to the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in round one last night, the energy, enthusiasm, and expectations were set for another exciting round on Friday night as the action continues in night number two.  While things began to ramp up and the contestants began to settle into their rhythm, the average look was the furthest thing from most of their minds before round two started but that all quickly changed in a few of the events with misguided runs and the show of what pure cowboy heart is.  The sold-out crowd witnessed it all in the second round s things began to happen at a rapid pace throughout the night.  One of those was Hunter Cure’s run in the steer wrestling when he gave everything he had to complete his run and not fall out of the average race early on but left everyone wondering how much damage he did to his body following the incident down on the arena floor.

The feel-good story from round two here on Friday night has to be that of the lovely and talented Dona Kay Rule in the cowgirl professional barrel racing as she came into the Thomas & Mack proving that age is just a number that does not matter as long as you have heart.  Rule, who has also qualified for the RFD-TV’s The American says that at her 60+years of age she feels as good as ever in which she proved just that earlier in the evening.  She would bring the crowd to their feet after winning the second go-round with a blazing 13.69-second run that would set her up nicely for the rest of the week after getting the go-round win she needed early on in the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo event.  The complete list of event go-round winners are once again posted below.


Bareback: Trenten Montero (90.50)

Steer Wrestling: Tyler Waguespack (3.60 Seconds)

Team Roping: Clay Smith & Jade Corkill (4.40 Seconds)

Saddle Bronc Riding: Jesse Wright (89.50)

Tie-Down Roping: Marty Yates (7.30 Seconds)

Barrel Racing: Dona Kay Rule (13.69 Seconds)

Bull Riding: Garrett Smith (91.50)

Tyler Wade & Cole Davison Win Round Three In The Team Roping

Photo Credit: The Team Roping Journal

As the lights shined brightly down on the arena floor and the crowd began to file in, the anticipation of what was going to happen underneath the Saturday night lights filled the air with the energy that was expected at the biggest professional rodeo event in the world.  After the conclusion of round three, the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo would be a third of the way over and the look of the average and how it will come into play began to be something major to watch as the world title races tightened tremendously.  We began to see many more uns at the barriers and tighter turns round barrels but the rough stock event cowboys were just hoping to get through round three as the eliminator pen was out and they always give the cowboys all they can handle which begins to stack up on the aches and pains on the Justin Sports Medicine report coming into round four.

We spoke earlier about making extreme runs at barriers to try and get a leg up on the competition and tonight in round three we will maintain focus on just that as we look at the team roping and feature two outstanding athletes.  Tyler Wade and Cole Davison who are making their 2nd and 3rd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo appearances are having a 2019 WNFR that they could only dream of over the first three rounds.  They would win round one on Thursday night and come back two nights later to do the very same thing with a go-round win n Saturday night with a very fast 3.70-second run that put all other contestants n notice early on in the event.  That is not the only race to keep an eye on so we have again given you the full rundown of go-round winners from round three below.


Bareback: Tanner Aus (90.00)

Steer Wrestling: Hunter Cure (3.80 Seconds)

Team Roping: Tyler Wade & Cole Davison (3.70 Seconds)

Saddle Bronc Riding: Chase Brooks (90.00)

Tie-Down Roping: Tuf Cooper (6.90 Seconds

Barrel Racing: Amberleigh Moore (13.62 Seconds)

Bull Riding: Koby Radley (92.00)

As we look ahead to our next complete 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo recap following the conclusion of round six, we will begin to monitor the overall average race and include that into our coverage as well throughout the last two editions as we lead up to the tenth and final night.  Be sure to watch for any updates and catch all of the action on CBS Sports Network if you are able to.  For those that do not have that channel, there are other ways to watch as well including a week trial of Hulu Live that will allow you to watch all of the action as it happens inside of the legendary Thomas & Mack Arena.  This year’s event is one that you will not want to miss a second of as we march forward to crown our 2019 professional rodeo world champions a week from tonight!

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