On Wednesday night round seven of the 2014 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was set to make a very high impact on many different levels. After singer/songwriter Steve Amerson sang his version of a true American pride song the announcer’s voice overcame the Thomas & Mack center with pride. That pride came from being able to announce the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds that were standing in the center of the arena as the crowd erupted in applause. Once the noise level came to where we could all hear each other again it was time for the goose bumps to form as the 3rd Division Marine Corps Aircraft Wing Band performed our nation’s National Anthem. Once all the pop and circumstance was concluded it was time to let the horses fly for go round number seven of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo!
Once the bareback riding started the bucking horses let everyone of the 17,528 fans in attendance that it was going to be their night and if any cowboys were going to cover they would have to earn every second of their ride tonight. The eliminator pen was out tonight and forced all but one of the top 15 cowboys in the world to fight for every point before the eight second whistle. The scores were very average and plentiful because of the difficulty of the bucking stock on display. Of those making a qualified ride no one could post a better score than Richmond “Richy” Champion who scored 86 points aboard Three Hills Rodeo’s Angel Eyes. Jason caught up with Richy following his go round win to see what he had to say about the stock tonight and a very special gift he was given earlier in the week after his first ever Wrangler National Finals go round win.
The steer wrestling did not disappoint either with everyone of the contestants making clean runs except for one that missed the steer which made for an outstanding round and displayed exactly why each and every one of these cowboys made their way to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this year. With a fast round and many great times we all knew that it was going to be a very tight race to see who the go round seven winner would be as the steer wrestlers lit the Thomas & Mack on fire. No cowboy could do any better than two that split the round tonight. Both Dakota Eldridge and Curtis Cassidy posted 3.4 second runs to split the round giving Dakota his first go round win while Curtis claimed his second go round win of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Jason caught up with Dakota following his round winning performance to see what he had to say about the set of steers and the excitement of winning his first go round of this year’s finals.
Once the steer wrestlers put out the fires they started in the arena it was time to stay on the timed event end of the arena for the always challenging team roping event. As it looked early on in the team roping it was going to be a long night for the contestants as ropes were flying all over the place and legs were still shaking free once the time had stopped. Through it all there were plenty of nice runs that the sold out crowd inside the Thomas & Mack appreciated and they showed their acceptance when they saw something they liked. Once all the scores were in and the runs were done it was the team of Dustin Bird and Paul Eaves that ran last and eventually won the go round with a 3.7 second run.
The saddle bronc riding was where the rank pen was at tonight and every cowboy in the event paid the price one way or another. The eliminator pen was bucking hard tonight and gave the 17,528 fans in attendance exactly what the wanted to see, the very best cowboys in the world matched up with the hardest bucking bucking horses going down the road today. This round did not fair too well for the cowboys of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as just about half of them came down prematurely and hit the ground hard before the eight second whistle had sounded. For those that did manage to stay on it was a wild ride that made them earn every point they received tonight. No one could do it any better than Spencer Wright earning him a score of 85 points aboard Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Pretty Boy. Jason caught up with the go round winner to get his take on the bucking horses tonight and his second go round win in his first career Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
When the action turned back to the timed event side it was time for the tie-down ropers to see what they could do. Trust me when I say that the true definition of cowboy try was exhibited tonight inside that arena for the fans to witness first hand that were there to see the seventh round of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack arena. Once the runs were complete there was no one better than Tuf Cooper and Cody Ohl, two names synonymous with the sport of tie-down roping, splitting the round with 7.3 second runs respectively.
The cowgirl professional barrel racing saw some true highs and lows and will define how certain cowgirls come back and perform in the final three rounds of competition when it would be too easy to dwell on the past instead of looking ahead to future rounds to start winning some go round money. We saw some nice runs as well as some runs that the ladies would like to forget very soon. When all the cans were run and the horses were put away it was the first lady to run tonight that took home the seventh go round win with a 13.73 run and that was, once again, Lisa Lockhart!
Ending out the night once again were the fan favorites, the cowboys of the sport of professional bull riding. Tonight was a rough round on the cowboys with only a total of five making a qualified ride in order to gain a score and help their efforts in being crowned World Champion Bull Rider. There were two cowboys that ended up splitting the win tonight after everything was said and done with a 86.50 score. Elliot Jacoby was able to do it aboard Hurst Pro Rodeo’s Cactus Jungle as well as Sage Kimzey aboard 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Haunted Mesa. Jason caught up with Elliot following his first go round win of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to get his take on the livestock and the competition so far this year and what he expects to accomplish in the remaining 3 rounds.
Be sure to keep up to date with all the happenings regarding the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo by checking in with the Rodeo Round Up each day for daily updates, breaking news and exclusive interviews all this week live from Las Vegas, Nevada! You can do this by copying this website into your favorites in your web browser for easy access, follow and like us on Instagram and Twitter at @therodeoroundup or by liking and following us on facebook here.
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