This time of year is always fun, not only for the fans that make their way west to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo but for those contestants that have been invited to compete here as well. What some of you may not know, especially if you have never been to this event in person before, is that the stress and strain that these cowboys and cowgirls have to endure each and every day is something that no one else could possibly imagine. Not only do they all have to ready themselves for ten straight nights of action against the best in the world but they also have a tremendous amount of obligations that they must adhere to throughout the entire day, leaving them not much time to relax during their time here in Las Vegas as they vie for a world championship title of their own.
So far, over the first three rounds of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, many of the veterans have begun shining as they have been through the wear and tear in previous years while some WNFR rookies have slowly started to let the nerves and excitement subside just enough to begin finding their strides. It is always fun to watch how the rookies adjust to the fast starts and blind entrances that the Thomas & Mack gives these cowboys and cowgirls as well as how the veterans will do as they come in more comfortable than those that have not made the trip before. So far, Both veterans and rookies have impressed and given the sold-out crowd much to cheer about with last night’s third round being one of the best rounds that we have seen in recent memory which should set things up nicely for the remaining rounds here this year!
Tyson Durfey Suffers Heartbreaking Loss Just Before the 2018 WNFR
Photo Credit: PRCA/Larry Smith
As the saying goes, each and every one of us that are involved in the sport of professional rodeo are considered to be a part of one big happy family regardless if you are a human or one of the fantastic rodeo animal athletes that travel down the road with us all season long. This is especially true when you are a timed event cowboy or cowgirl since you can not do your job and make a living without your equestrian counterpart that works just as hard as you do. No matter if it is team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing or tie-down roping every contestant will do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone has the exact same opportunity to make a living just as everyone they are competing against. That has been highlighted to the extreme as the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo made its way to Las Vegas.
This year has been a fantastic one up until late for the 2016 PRCA tie-down roping world champion Tyson Durfey after earning yet another birth and invitation to Las Vegas to compete for a 2018 world title. Not only did he qualify but he came into Las Vegas well within reach to obtain just that before suffering a heartbreaking loss just before the start of the WNFR a couple of short weeks ago. Anyone that has ever watched Durfey compete knows the love he had for his equine partner Nikko who helped carry him to his 2016 PRCA world championship title. Unfortunately, Nikko suffered some complications after Colic surgery and ultimately passed away just before the start of the 2018 WNFR. He would come into Las Vegas with a heavy heart but his fellow competitors bonded together and gave up their rides in order to still allow him to compete but Nikko would be well within everyone’s thoughts and prayers throughout the ten-day run here in Las Vegas.
Trevor Brazile Takes Home The Round Four Tie-Down Roping Win At The 2018 WNFR
Photo Credit: PRCA/Larry Smith
Seeing as our feature spotlight for the evening was focused around two athletes in the tie-down roping event we thought that we should stay on task and feature the event in our round four recap from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This is one event that has mainly been dominated so far by one cowboy that is quickly putting himself in position to make a serious run at the 2018 world championship title. Texas cowboy, Marty Yates, is no stranger to making a name for himself in Las Vegas and strives to compete in this arena that is very different from any other that they see throughout the year which makes him become razor sharp from the very first moment he makes his first run down on the dirt. In both rounds two and three, he would be the man winning the round and heading to the South Point Hotel and Casino to claim the go-round winning belt buckle.
Now that we are going full steam and the fifteen cowboys in the tie-down roping event have seen the three sets of roping calves, it is time to see a change in the dynamic of how the rest of the rounds will play out. Over the first three rounds, we have seen some of the top athletes in the world have a hard time finishing runs without bobbles or finishing them at all. Beginning tonight we would begin to see the tides turn back towards the cowboy’s way with some very solid runs being laid down on the dirt tonight in round four. After all was said and done, round four would belong to the King of the Cowboys, Trevor Brazile, who would leave the Thomas & Mack with a 6.8 second, round winning run on Sunday night that would leave him headed across town to the South Point Hotel and Casino to collect his god at the go-round buckle presentation later on in the night!
Round Winner: Caleb Bennett (86.50)
Aggregate Leader: Kaycee Feild (339.00/4)
World Leader: Tim O’Connell
Round Winner: Curtis Cassidy (3.60 Seconds)
Aggregate Leader: Blake Knowles (16.80 Seconds/4)
World Leader: Curtis Cassidy
Round Winner: Lane Ivy/Buddy Hawkins II (4.10 Seconds)
Aggregate Leader: Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira 17.70 Seconds/4)
World Leaders: Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira
Saddle Bronc Riding
Round Winner: Rusty Wright (87.00)
Aggregate Leader: Cort Scheer (342.50/4)
World Leader: Ryder Wright
Round Winner: Trevor Brazile (6.80 Seconds)
Aggregate Leader: Marty Yates/Ryle Smith (31.30 Seconds/4)
World Leader: Shane Hanchey
Round Winner: Jessie Telford (13.49 Seconds)
Aggregate Leader: Amberleigh Moore (54.55 Seconds/4)
World Leader: Hailey Kinsel
Round Winner: Garrett Tribble (87.00)
Aggregate Leader: Joe Frost (260.00/3)
World Leader: Sage Kimzey
World Leader: Trevor Brazile
Now that the world title races are beginning to take shape and many positions will jockey each and every night we have a lot to cover and keep track of to make sure you are all well informed of everything that is happening here in Las Vegas. For that reason, we would like to give you the opportunity to check out the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association website by clicking HERE to check out what is happening around town, where the parties are at and where you can watch the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo performances if you were not able to secure a ticket of your own to the Thomas & Mack. For those of you that have not been able to join us in Las Vegas, you can keep up to date right here at the Rodeo Round Up or even watch it for yourselves each night at 9 P.M. Central on CBS Sports Network!
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