To say that the year 2020 has been full of ups and downs would be a huge understatement, bringing with it many very noticeable changes in our everyday lives as well as within the sport that we all love. Over the year, many contestants and contract acts, among thousands of rodeo fans, have had to change direction and figure out what to do with their lives as performances were canceled left and right due to our current COVID situation. All of the turmoil that we endured over the past twelve months comes to a head these next ten days as the 2020 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo takes center stage, bringing with it a whole new feel for this year.
Each and every year, we expect to make our way to Las Vegas with our team here at the Rodeo Round-Up to bring you inside of all the action from the WNFR, but this year things have changed quite a bit. The venue has changed, bringing the event to the great state of Texas and giving it a stadium feel for the first time in its history as Globe Life Stadium hosts the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world over the next ten nights. This will change our way of bringing you all of the updates as CBS has been dropped and many more households will not be able to stay on top of everything or even have the option of watching the performances or not. Each night, we will post a complete round recap here as well as providing up to the minute stats over on our Facebook page which you can find a link to at the bottom of the story!
Erich Rogers & Paden Bray bring home the team-roping win in round one
Photo Credit: PRCA Pro Rodeo
Much like last year’s coverage of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo our team here at the Rodeo Round-Up will be focusing on two different events while recapping all-round winners later in each night’s stories. Tonight, our first event will be an event that is quickly becoming a very fun one to watch that will offer something that we have never seen at the WNFR as the team ropers work a brand new arena format. The hype and excitement surrounding this exciting night here in Texas have been the talk of the town all week long as we all waited to see how this new set up would affect the cowboy teams making the runs down on the arena floor.
Like we talked about earlier, this year has been very different as the contestants here this year did not compete at nearly as much as they have in year’s past, and pairing that with a new arena layout this should be an exciting ten days of action, especially for the roping teams here at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Although the layout provided a new distraction, in round one many of the team ropers took advantage of an open arena and did not have to worry about roping next to a wall right out of the gate. Once the runs were completed, it would be the team of Erich Rogers and Paden Bray who would lay down a solid 4.8-second run to take home the round one win here at the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Hailey Kinsel Rides Her Way T0 The Round One Win
Photo Credit: PRCA Pro Rodeo
Looking to give some focus on the female athletes here this year, we will concentrate on our second event feature of the ladies of cowgirl barrel racing which has had its fair share of controversy even before the first run was laid down inside of Globe Life Stadium. Fan-favorite Donna Kay Rule came into Texas on a high, looking to make a statement in the barrel racing this year aboard her 2020 Horse of the Year but COVID threw a wrench into that for this talented lady. After testing positive for COVID, showing no signs and feeling healthy, it was decided that she would be disqualified from the competition which set the social media outlets ablaze with criticism for the decision as well as well-wishes for the talented cowgirl, ending her hopes of competing this year before she even started.
All that being said, there would still be fifteen of the top barrel racers in the world that would do what they could and complete the cloverleaf pattern in the fastest time possible in the hopes of winning the 2020 world championship title ten days from now. This arena is much different than that of the Thomas & Mack back in Las Vegas which would make for some memorable moments in all eight events as well as longer-timed runs in the barrel racing event that began this evening. When all fifteen were completed it would be Hailey Kinsel who would set the tone after winning round one with a time of 17.18 seconds, heading into round two tomorrow night with a full head of steam.
Round One Winners From The 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Round Winner: Richmond Champion (87.50)
2002 WNFR Average Leader: Richmond Champion (87.50)
World Title Leader: Tim O’Connell
Round Winner(s): Blake Knowles, Jesse Brown & Dakota Eldridge (3.9 Seconds)
2002 WNFR Average Leader(s): Stetson Jorgensen, Jesse Brown & Dakota Eldridge (3.9 Seconds)
World Title Leader: Matt Reeves
Round Winners: Erich Rogers & Paden Bray (4.8 Seconds)
2002 WNFR Average Leaders: Erich Rogers & Paden Bray (4.8 Seconds)
World Title Leaders: Luke Brown/Joseph Harrison
Saddle Bronc Riding:
Round Winner(s): Lefty Holman & Rusty Wright (86.00)
2002 WNFR Average Leader(s): Lefty Holman & Rusty Wright (86.00)
World Title Leader: Wyatt Casper
Round Winner: Marty Yates (7.1 Seconds)
2002 WNFR Average Leader: Marty Yates (7.1 Seconds)
World Title Leader: Shad Mayfield
Round Winner: Hailey Kinsel (17.18 Seconds)
2002 WNFR Average Leader: Hailey Kinsel (17.18 Seconds)
World Title Leader: Hailey Kinsel
Round Winner: Stetson Dell Wright (90.50)
2002 WNFR Average Leader: Stetson Dell Wright (90.50)
World Title Leader: Ky Hamilton
As you can see, tonight gave all of us the impression that any of the world titles are up for grabs at this year’s 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo! Some major shifts in the world standings have already begun as you can see above highlighted by two well-followed races. The cowgirl barrel racing is as close as ever and with Hailey Kinsel’s win tonight she moves to the front of the pack in the quest for another world championship title. The other crazy race is that in the bull riding where Sage Kimzey came into round one with the world title lead, trying to claim his seventh world title, but it would be Ky Hamilton who would walk out of Globe Life with the world title lead heading into tomorrow night’s second round!
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.