LAS VEGAS – One final night will decide who brings home the gold.
Eight world champions will be crowned on the final night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Saturday night – and not a moment sooner.
While two races have much heavier favorites to win gold buckles than the others at the Thomas & Mack Center, every race except the all-around is still mathematically undecided, including a handful of races that will almost certainly send the statisticians to their calculators.
Included in that category is the tie-down roping race, where defending World Champion Tuf Cooper will attempt to hold off Justin Maass – who led the world standings for most of the regular season.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Cooper said after posting his ninth-round time of 7.2 seconds. “Coming in, I didn’t plan on it coming down to the 10th one, but how many times has it come down to the 10th round? It’s going to be an exciting night.
“We’ll come out and give the folks their money’s worth for their tickets.”
Cooper tied for third place in Round 9, extending his lead in the world standings to $16,444 over Maass.
“Earlier, I put myself in a position where I had to go at these [calves] the last couple rounds,” Cooper said. “I had a good calf tonight and the round was fast, so I had to be fast if I wanted to win something.”
Bradley Bynum and Clint Robinson shared the Round 9 victory, posting the fastest runs of the NFR – 6.9 seconds.
“I thought he had that round won outright – it was a heck of a run,” Robinson said. “Sixes don’t happen just regularly; it’s gotta be pretty masterful work.”
GAC is the official broadcast home of the WNFR. Watch all the action live on GAC December 6 – 15 beginning at 10p|9c every night. Check out our special WNFR section for photos, the full schedule and to watch highlights from last year’s WNFR!
Maass is No. 2 in the NFR average race, one spot ahead of Cooper. With a $7,949 difference between second- and third-place money in the average, Saturday night’s runs will decide the world championship. Continue Reading