Oh Canada was in the air as the eight round of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was about to begin and provide two and a half hours of total non-stop entertainment that no one will ever soon forget. The night started off by welcoming the beautiful and talented Casey Jamerson into the arena for some countryfied rock and roll from this wonderful songwriter artist from Pendleton Indiana. Once she was done warming up the great fans in attendance she once again used her set of lungs to raise everyone to their feet by singing a beautiful rendition of our nation’ National Anthem. It was a very special night for all of the Canadians in the house as we honor them once again this year with our featured Canadian Night here at this year’s National Finals Rodeo!
The bareback riding was set to begin as the big boy horses of the eliminator pen were going to give the top 14 cowboys in the World a run for their money on this exciting Thursday night action begins inside the Thomas & Mack arena. As the rounds get further away from the start of this year’s round one the more sore the cowboys start to become which made tonight’s round event that more exciting as there were close calls, great rides and scary buck offs all within the first 20 minutes of action in the eighth round of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. No one was able to come close to Austin Foss as he made a qualified ride to the tune of 85.50 points aboard Beutler & Sons Rodeo Company’s Black Kay to win tonight’s round of competition and take a trip across that South Point stage tonight for the second time this week! Jason was able to catch up with him following the winning ride he made to see what he had to say about the health of the cowboys and how much harder it is to get on the back of a rank one the second time as the National Finals are about to come to a close.
Once the cowboys of the bareback riding picked themselves up off of the arena floor and the horses were wrangled up it was time for the slightly bigger guys of the sport of professional rodeo, the steer wrestlers, to take their turn to see who would claim the $19,000 payday and the Montana Silversmith go round winning belt buckle after the eighth round of this year’s National Finals Rodeo. With the “good set” of steers out tonight the boys were going for broke and the times showed it as they have been some of the fastest times we have seen yet this week. At the end of the day it was Ty Erickson and Kyle Irwin who reigned supreme as they did everything they could and was rewarded with a huge time of 3.78 seconds to split the win the eighth round at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Jason had the chance to sit down and talk to Ty following his run to find out what this set of steers does to a guy coming into the round knowing the times would be fast and what he has to do to mentally prepare himself for a go round winning run.
As the action stayed in the timed event of the arena it was time for the fast teams, hands and ropes of the team roping as we have seen some major issues with some of the top teams throughout the first seven rounds of competition. Tonight some teams go some things turned around and made huge runs to start to regain their confidence at the right time as the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo gets closer and closer every night to drawing to a close and seeing who will be crowned World Champion. Tonight all the teams pushed their limits and the times showed, whether good or bad, but all the teams did all that they could to win tonight’s go round performance. It was eventually the team of Trevor Brazile and Travis Graves that made an impressive run of 3.8 seconds to claim the title of go round winners for the eighth round of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Jason talked to them to see what their thoughts are going forward for the last three rounds and what this win means to them going forward and making a run at the average payout once Saturday night’s tenth performance is in the books.
When the action came back to the boys in the rough stock division of the saddle bronc riding there was something very odd and the feeling was deflated for the first few minutes as it was announced that two time World Champion Cody Wright has to withdraw out of the competition after dislocating his left shoulder last night but is questionable for round ten. Even though that had been announced the rest of the competitors vowed to ride hard and provide much excitement inside the Thomas & Mack arena for all those in attendance. Once the scores were on paper it was Heith DeMoss who was able to make a qualified ride of 84 points aboard Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Vitalix Hell’s Fire Hostage to claim the go round win and head to the South Point to collect his $19,000 and his gold and silver belt buckle!
Tie-down was next and the display of fast horses, fast starts and quick hands were all on display tonight. The eighth go round record for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was 6.9 seconds coming into tonight’s eighth round and even though the cowboys tried to take over that record it still stays in place for at least another year. Although the record did not fall the runs inside the Thomas & Mack arena were still quite amazing to witness live. At the end of the night it was Trevor Brazile and Matt Shiozawa that took home the go round win by splitting it with 6.8 second runs to make the World Championship race come together just a little tighter. Jason caught up with Trevor following his run to talk about the stock, how important your hazer is and his expectations on the last three rounds for the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Pretty ladies on fast horses was the theme of the evening once the barrels were set in place out of the back of the beautiful Dodge Ram pick up truck on display. The cowgirl professional barrel racing was taking center stage as the bling and shimmer took over the Thomas & Mack arena for 15 runs around the clover leaf pattern. Every night the ladies have gotten faster and faster but still having problems with cutting in too close to some barrels and tipping them over causing a 5 second penalty for each one. Although the runs were quick and things were looking better no one could beat the time that was set by the beautiful and talented Mary Walker as she raced her way to the eighth go round victory with a blazing time of 13.79 seconds.
Bull riding is the toughest professional sport in the eyes of many and as the past rounds have fallen so did tonight in the eighth round. The bull power that has been on display so far in this 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo the cowboys are just doing anything they can to hang on for a qualified ride. In the past if you have made a qualified ride, regardless of the score, you were in the money as over half of the bull riders have gone by the wayside and tonight was no different. Once all the dust settled and the WNFR flag girls took their last lap around the arena it was set in stone that no one would be able to take over the 85.50 point ride that Jordan Spears put fourth tonight aboard Rafter G Rodeo’s Johnny Ramone to claim his eighth go round win at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
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