The energy inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena was nothing more than electrifying as the 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicked off! The tone was set early on as the “Rodeo To Vegas” extravaganza lit up the fans and recapped the intense struggle it has been for each one of these athletes to make it here this year. After the crowd got pumped up by the video it was country music superstar Mark Wills who led the fan base in a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
Once the pomp and circumstance was concluded it was time to introduce this year’s citizens of “Cowboy Town” as they flew into the arena state by state to set the stage for the start of the intense 10-day marathon of rodeo action that was about to commence. As each state’s flag waved proudly the cowboys and cowgirls of their respective states rode in behind it to make the customary horseshoe shape to be able to tip their hats to the crowd and get on with the action of the first round!
Tim O’Connell Vs. Dilly Bar
Since today’s contest focused in on the event of bareback riding we will showcase that event for tonight’s report. It was a test of skill and will power to see who would rise to the top of the heap and collect the first $26,321 payday. Not to mention that the second place finisher, with the pay bump this year, will make more than what the winner of each round won just a short year ago. After all was said and done it was Tim O’Connell who managed to take home the victory aboard D&H Cattle’s Dilly Bar for a score of 84.5 points.
Other winners of the night’s other events included K.C. Jones winning the steer wrestling, the team of Aaron Tsinigine and Ryan Motes winning the team roping and then the infamous “Wild Man” Wade Sundell pulling out the win in the saddle bronc riding event. Much to everyone’s enjoyment it was the “King of the Cowboys” Trevor Brazile that ended up taking home the win in the tie-down roping event. WNFR rookie barrel racer Cassidy Kruse won her very first round in her very first WNFR appearance and bull rider Parker Breding rounded out the round one champions with a win on the arena floor inside of the Thomas & Mack!
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