The 2018 WNFR Reaches Its Half Way Point

Over the past four nights, the action inside of the Thomas & Mack Arena has been incredible as the top professional rodeo athletes take over Las Vegas in order to crown our 2018 PRCA and WPRA world champions.  A couple of the events have really stood out as the race towards Saturday night’s crowning begins to shine a light on how these cowboys and cowgirls will begin handling the task at hand over the next six rounds of action here at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.  We have seen several instances where the number one spot in the world standings have shuffled as the rounds dwindle down to close out a long and grueling professional rodeo season.  Tonight, we expect to see much of the same as the nerves and anticipation has worn off and clear minds begin to prevail.

One of the most notable races that are taking center stage is that of the all-around championship that everyone thought would be between two top-level rodeo athletes, but as they struggle to find a rhythm there are others that are beginning to nip at their heels.  The all-around race is as close as we have seen in several years with the King of the Cowboys Trevor Brazile taking over the number one spot in last night’s round four from Tuf Cooper after winning the tie-down roping fourth go-round just 24-hours ago.  That being said, the lead can change at a moments notice depending on how the average in the events that they are competing in.  These two cowboys better find their mojo as a couple of others are having a fantastic Wrangler National Finals Rodeo so far and are putting a lot of pressure on the two iconic rodeo athletes ahead of them!

Image result for junior nogueira kaleb driggers nfr

Driggers And Nogueira Rope Strong At The 2018 WNFR

Photo Credit: PRCA/Greg Westfall

Coming into this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo some of the fastest hands and talented horses were neck for neck to see who could outlast the others in the largest event, and quite possibly the spendiest event in the sport of professional rodeo, team roping.  This is probably one of the toughest timed events to compete in as you do not only have to rely on your own craftsmanship and equine partner but on your other half of the equation as well.   Between the two cowboys and the two horses having to work in complete unison, there is also the unknown on how the calf they are roping will act on any given day.  Pair that with having to time your start to the mil-second, you are in for the ride of your life if you are competing in the team roping event as part of a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association member.

Many of the teams competing here this year have been traveling together for years while others have been competing at the same events against each other for years while roping with different partners before coming together for the 2018 rodeo season.  As in any other sport, you will have your stand out athletes that are well known throughout the thousands of fans that loyally watch professional rodeo week after week.  Two of those cowboys have been putting on quite a show over the year while Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira display their quick hands and fast runs that brought them into Las Vegas in the world number one position which they have continued the dominance throughout the first four rounds of action in Las Vegas and are determined to keep riding that wave to make sure they walk out of Las Vegas as 2018 world champions!

Image result for clay smith paul eaves

Smith & Eaves Earn The Round Five Win At The 2018 WNFR

Photo Credit: PRCA Media

Each night the runs get faster and faster as the cowboys in the team roping get more used to the stock and the start here at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.  Every year these competitors talk about how different the start is here inside of the Thomas & Mack compared to any f the events they have been to over the course of the 2018 professional rodeo season.  Now that the fifteen teams have gotten a chance to see how each of the three pens behave the runs should begin to get faster and faster now that the teams have an idea of how each calf will react one the start begins on the far end of the arena.  Along with those that are getting used to the start you have a few teams that have not been affected what so ever and have had a tremendous first four rounds of action inside of the Thomas & Mack so far.

Coming into tonight’s fifth round of competition there are only four teams that are still a perfect four-for-four and are roping for not only the average paycheck at the end of the ten-day run but a 2018 world championship team roping title.  When all was said and done in round five, we still had all four of those teams that still were had five calves tied at the halfway point of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a major time spread between them.  After all was said and done tonight, the runs became a whole lot quicker that put added pressure on each team to step up their games from here on out.  Tonight, the team of Clay Smith and Paul Eaves did just that to take home the fifth go-round win after putting down an impressive 3.8-second run to regain the confidence that they needed to finish the 2018 WNFR strong!

Bareback Riding

Round Winner: Clayton Biglow (93.00)

Aggregate Leader: Kaycee Feild (425.00/5)

 World Leader: Tim O’Connell

Steer Wrestling

Round Winner: Will Lummus (3.30 Seconds)

Aggregate Leader: Will Lummus (20.70 Seconds/5)

 World Leader: Curtis Cassidy

Team Roping

Round Winner: Clay Smith & Paul Eaves (3.80 Seconds)

Aggregate Leader: Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira (27.80 Seconds/5)

 World Leaders: Clay Smith & Paul Eaves

Saddle Bronc Riding

Round Winner: Wade Sundell (92.00)

Aggregate Leader: CoBurn Bradshaw (421.00/5)

 World Leader: Ryder Wright

Tie-Down Roping

Round Winner: Trevor Brazile & Ryan Jarrett & Reese Riemer (7.50 Seconds)

Aggregate Leader: Ryle Smith (40.20 Seconds/5)

 World Leader: Shane Hanchey

Barrel Racing

Round Winner: Ivy Conrado (13.49 Seconds)

Aggregate Leader: Jessica Routier (68.98 Seconds/5)

 World Leader: Hailey Kinsel

Bull Riding

Round Winner: Eli Vastbinder (91.00)

Aggregate Leader: Garrett Tribble (262.00/3)

 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!

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.  You can have easy access to all of the video interviews Jason does from all the events across the country as well by simply clicking the link HERE to be transferred to the Rodeo Round Up’s Youtube channel as well! 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.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *