The top specialty acts in the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association started off go round number five with a bang as the entire Thomas & Mack center stood to show their appreciation for the hard work and dedication that each of these acts give to entertain thousands of rodeo fans all season long. Tonight was also the annual “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” night to help support the Susan G. Koman’s fight against breast cancer and help bring awareness to this horrible disease. Although the opening ceremonies were finished the action was just abut to get a whole lot hotter down on the arena floor as the fifth go round was just about to get started.
Bareback riding was the first event of the evening and started right where the opening ceremonies left off with the million dollar man Richmond “Richy” Champion starting the night off in big fashion with a 88.50 aboard Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket which left all the other 13 contestants chasing him for the round win and the gold belt buckle and the $19,000 that goes to each round winner. Even though Richy was the first cowboy out he withstood the test of time to take home his first career round win and trip across the South Point stage! See what he had to say as Jason has a very special co-host for this exclusive interview, outgoing Miss Rodeo America Paige Nicholson!
With the rough and tumble sport of bareback riding in the books it was time to turn our attention to the big boy sport of steer wrestling in the opposite end of the arena. Much like the previous event the cowboys came to play and the runs proved that with some of the fastest times in the steer wrestling that we have seen all finals long. With times being so quick tonight it was either break a barrier or get a huge run underneath your belt. Curtis Cassidy was able to do just that with a smoking 3.3 second run to win the fifth go round.
Team Ropers kept the action down in the timed event side of the arena for a friendly competition of roping skills. You could tell by watching that some are getting to know the arena inside the Thomas & Mack and some teams are doing all they can to try and gain any amount of time that will take them to the pay window. Tonight it was a blazing run that secured the win for Coleman Proctor and Jake Long with a 4.1 second run.
After a short break it was time to go back to the rough stock sport of saddle bronc riding. The buzz around the locker room was that everyone was happy to have this set of bucking horses out tonight because making a qualified ride could bring you a huge score and take you to the South Point later with a go round win. The fight was a fierce one but the “Wild Man” Wade Sundell was able to take home his second go round win of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Sundell rode Bar T Rodeo’s bucking horse Son of Sadie for a 87 points. After his go round win Jason sat down with him for a pretty candid interview that you can see below!
The fast horses and even faster hands event of Tie Down Roping got even faster once the cowboys and their horses have gotten used to the start inside this arena. You knew by watching tonight that each guy was pushing things to the limit regarding taking a run at the barrier since there were so many runs that had the penalty time asessed to the back end of the time. No one could best the run that Adam Gray had to take home his first go round win of the National Finals with a 7.3 second run!
The ladies of the cowgirl professional barrel racing were next to take center stage and wow the crowd with their hair flying behind them in the air. There has been a lot of talk about the safety of the horses and competitors but with the fastest runs of the finals so far that question was finally put to rest. Many ladies had their fastest runs but no one could be any faster than Michele McLeod as she ran the clover leaf pattern with grace to clock a 13.66 second time to take home her gold go round buckle.
Bull riding was one that the fans wanted to see as half of the cowboys were able to cover their counterparts for the much elusive eight second buzzer. Some of the boys had a much needed ride to regain their confidence heading into the second half of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The bull power on display tonight was nothing other than absolutely amazing with no score below the 80 point mark! Once again Joe Frost as the top dog tonight posting a score of 89 points to take home his second round win of his first career National Finals Rodeo. Jason caught up with him following his round five win to see what he thinks of his sucess so far with five rounds still to go.
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