The 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo continued tonight as the second round of competition heated up the atmosphere inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena once again. After last night’s performance many of the rookie WNFR contestants came out big winners and got rid of their nervousness in a quick fashion. Last night 39 of the contestants here in Las Vegas made their first trip down the alley way and had their first experience of competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Tonight we would witness, once again, the excitement that surrounds the ten day event that we are all honored to be a part of but for some it will be extra special after winning the go round as well as picking up the Montana Silversmith gold and silver belt buckle. The team roping as well as the saddle bronc riding events were both won by WNFR rookies when the team of Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler took home the round win in the team roping and Ryder Wright took home the win in the saddle bronc riding event. The momentum of the rookies is undeniable as we all headed into tonight’s second round of competition.
Clay Walker Performs The National Anthem
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
As the excitement of round one began to fade into the background the anticipation and action of tonight’s second round began to take center stage. This year’s 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the first chance for many to experience what it is like to compete at the superbowl of professional rodeo after a long run throughout the entire 2016 season to make it right here to the Thomas & Mack. Along with all of the fantastic rodeo action the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association includes a star studded line-up to start out each and every performance.
Tonight was no different as the opening ceremonies were full of fantastic performances and an exhilarating rendition of our nation’s National Anthem. The night began with an energetic performance by Madison McDonald and Bobby Kerr showing off their skills with wild mustangs and a talented trick riding routine. Once they were done it was time for country music superstar Clay Walker to take to the dirt and lead us in a beautiful rendition of our nation’s National Anthem.
Luke Brown and Jake Long Take Home The 2nd Go-Round Win
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
Tonight, like other years in the past, we take a close look at the third event of the second performance with the talented individuals of the team roping event. This event looks simple as the top fifteen headers and heelers in the world team up to see who can lay down the fastest run of the night. Last night’s runs would be hard to beat but each and every one of the cowboys down on the arena floor gave it their best efforts to see who would take a trip south of the strip to the South Point Hotel later in the evening.
In round two the action began at a blazing pace as the runs were very comparable to those that we saw just 24-hours ago. Tonight it would be the team of Luke Brown and Jake Long who would manage to squeak out the round win after laying down a very solid run with an 4.0 second time. I was able to catch up with the dynamic duo following their second go-round winning run just before they made their way down to South Point to receive their Montana Silversmith go-round winning belt buckles! See what they had to say below as I spoke to them down in the media room earlier this evening.
Ryder Wright Wins His Second Consecutive Round
PRCA Photo By Greg Westfall
Last night was the “Wright Night” to be a saddle bronc rider at the 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Young gun Rusty Wright, who is competing at his first WNFR, was able to jump out to the early lead after claiming the round one win. Tonight the other fourteen contestants knew they had to come in with guns drawn to show the rookie that they would not be willing to go down that easy. That being said, tonight’s round two performances were unbelievable and something that saddle bronc riding fans will not soon forget!
In tonight’s round it would be a total of ten of the top fifteen saddle bronc riders in the world that would manage to make the eight second buzzer keeping them solidly in the average heading into tomorrow night’s round three. With that being said only one man was able to claim the top spot tonight and that would be non other than Ryder Wright, once again, who put up an 86 point ride aboard Northcott Macza’s Get Smart. See what he had to say when I was able to catch up with him immediately after his ride to see what he had to say about his year and his chances on claiming the overall average title at this year’s WNFR.
As all of us here covering the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the Rodeo Round Up strive to bring each and every one of you the coverage that you want we have added a feature to this year’s round by round recap stories. We will be giving you a breakdown of each round winner, who holds the overall average lead in each event and who is the current world champion leader from night to night. We hope that this will give you the information that you need but does not prohibit you from hearing the information prior to the airing of the round if that is what you like. Below you will see a complete breakdown from each event after round two’s performance.
Round Winner – Clayton Biglow & Tim O’Connell (85.00)
Average Leader – Clayton Biglow (169.00)
Current World Leader – Tim O’Connell
Round Winner – Jason Thomas (3.7 Seconds)
Average Leader – Matt Reeves (7.7 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Clayton Haas
Round Winner – Luke Brown & Jake Long (4.0 Seconds)
Average Leader – Dustin Bird & Russell Cardoza
Current World Leader – Luke Brown & Jake Long
Round Winner – Ryder Wright (86.00)
Average Leader – Ryder Wright (175.50)
Current World Leader – Jacobs Crawley
Round Winner – Marcos Costa (7.6 Seconds)
Average Leader – Shane Hanchey (15.50 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Marcos Costa
Round Winner – Kimmie Wall (13.79 Seconds)
Average Leader – Kimmie Wall (27.69 Seconds)
Current World Leader – Mary Burger
Round Winner – Roscoe Jarboe (88.50)
Average Leader – Roscoe Jarboe (171.50)
Current World Leader – Sage Kimzey
Tonight was once again a performance to remember as the top rodeo athletes in the world put on a show for the sold out crowd of 16,863! After all of the drama last year regarding the barrel racers of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the arena ground conditions you can see the major improvements that have been put in place. Along with faster and safer runs we have all seen some amazing scores being placed up on the leader boards while keeping in mind we all still have eight more performances to go. Times and scores will continue to rise as many of these contestants begin feeling a little more comfortable inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena.
It is quite easy to follow all the breaking news and excitement with the Rodeo Round Up simply by copying this website into your favorites in your web browser for easy one-click access to event statistics. You can also like and follow us on Facebook here, or by liking and following us on Instagram at @rodeoroundup and on Twitter at @therodeoroundup. Jason has also made it easy for you to be a part of his interviews by opening up a listener comment line. If you have a question for a certain rodeo star simply call in and leave your name, where you are from, who the question is for and what your question is and he will do his best to get it answered for you during his interviews!