News And Notes

All posts tagged "Wade Sundell"

Dec 10

Wrangler NFR 2013: Wade Sundell Having a Hot Time in Las Vegas

Wrangler NFR 2013: Wade Sundell Having a Hot Time in Las Vegas

Dec. 9, 2013: Saddle Bronc Rider Wade Sundell competes in Round 5 of the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Photo courtesy of PRCA, photo credit Mike Copeman.

Wade Sundell’s time might have finally arrived. The red-hot saddle bronc rider has been close to winning a world championship the last several years, and put himself back in serious contention by winning again at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday night.

Sundell took Round 5 – he also won Round 3 – and moved to third in the world standings, less than a round win behind leader Cody Wright. It was Wright who beat Sundell for the world title in 2010, with the competition coming down to Round 10 at the WNFR.

Visit our 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo section for photos, video highlights and more >>

“It’s always in your grasp if you ride well enough and keep capitalizing each round,” Sundell said. “I’ve always wanted to win the TV pen, and it finally worked out tonight. That makes a guy feel pretty good about himself.” Continue Reading


Posted at 12:50 pm | Permalink
Dec 15

Gold Buckle Races Head for Photo Finish

Steven Peebles

Dec. 14, 2012 – Bareback Rider Steven Peebles finishes in first place on Vitalix Hell’s Fire Hostage in round 9 of the 2012 Wrangler NFR. Photo courtesy PRCA, photo credit Mike Copeman.

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.

See all the photo highlights from Round 9 >>

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.

Watch the Wrangler Round by Round recaps here >>

“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


Posted at 11:48 am | Permalink
Dec 12

Shepperson Hopes to Follow in His Father’s Gold Buckle-Winning Footsteps

Les Shepperson - Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Dec. 11, 2012 – Steer Wrestler Les Shepperson finishes tied for first in round 6 of the 2012 Wrangler NFR. Photo courtesy of PRCA, photo credit Mike Copeman.

Las Vegas – Les Shepperson need not look far to be reminded what a gold buckle looks like.

The 34-year-old steer wrestler’s father, Frank, won the world championship in that event in 1975 and might just be wearing that gold buckle in Las Vegas as you read this.

In front of a sixth-round record-setting crowd at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Shepperson put himself in position to give the family a second gold buckle. Shepperson and Gabe Ledoux each brought down their steer in 4.0 seconds, sharing the sixth-round victory at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“It would mean everything; that’s been my whole life’s goal growing up,” said Shepperson, from Midwest, Wyo. “[My father won] before I was born, but I’ve seen pictures and old videos and stuff. He’s always shared stories.”

See Round by Round Photo Highlights »

Officially, the $16,343 won by Shepperson Tuesday night leaves him in eighth place in the world standings, trailing world leader Luke Branquinho by $35,750. But Shepperson, who entered the 10-night rodeo in 11th place, leads the average race – which pays $46,821 to the winner – with a six-head time of 25.0 seconds.

With Branquinho in eighth place in the average, Shepperson rose to become a favorite after six nights, though the race will almost certainly come down to the final night on Saturday. Continue Reading


Posted at 1:00 pm | Permalink
Dec 7

Chandler Bownds Wins Round 6 of the Wrangler NFR

Chandler Bownds

Chandler Bownds photo by Greg Westfall, courtesy of the PRCA.

Resistol Bull Riding Rookie of the Year Chandler Bownds celebrated twice in front of 17,277 fans on Tuesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center.

The Lubbock, Texas, cowboy turned in an 89-point ride on Rookie Night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to win Round 6 and move to fifth in the world standings. It’s been feast or famine for Bownds, who won Round 2 with a 91-point ride on Robinson Pro Rodeo’s RMEF Bugle and won on Tuesday, but failed to make the eight-second whistle in the other four rounds.

The top rookies in each of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association events and the top Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racer were all recognized with their Montana Silversmiths buckles during the performance on Tuesday.

“I’ve had a little tough luck this Finals; I slapped my first bull and my fifth bull,” Bownds said. “But every time I ride, I hope to win the round, and I’ll take whatever I can get when I ride.”

Bownds earned $17,885 on Tuesday for his winning ride on Sutton Rodeos’ Crystal Springs Peach. He and bullfighter Darrell Diefenbach each took a hit from the bull following the ride. Bownds was left with a “good-sized hematoma on my butt, but it will be all right. I’ll be able to keep riding; it’s just a popped blood vessel.

“I had a good bull from the Suttons, and he came around left to start and then went back around to the right,” Bownds said. “He hung me out there at the end, and I had a bad get-off and he threw me over his outside shoulder.”

GAC is celebrating the union of rodeo, country music and Wrangler in December by broadcasting the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo live, December 1-10 at 10/9c each night. Plus, eight-time All-Around Champion, Trevor Brazile plays host to Suzanne Alexander and Joe Nichols on his ranch, deep in the heart of Texas in our special, Inside the WNFR 2011. Whether you are new to the sport or a die-hard fan, this must-see show gives you the 4-1-1 on all the rodeo event categories from Steer Wrestling and Barrel Racing, to the death-defying Bull Riding event.

Watch streaming highlights from each round of the WNFR here »

Check out our WNFR photo gallery, updated daily with photos from each round »

World-standings leader Shane Proctor rode for 86 points on Tuesday and split third place with Tyler Willis. He retained his lead in the standings and moved up two spots to fourth in the average race as he tries to hold off three-time World Champion J.W. Harris in the Wrangler NFR’s final days.

Now that he’s survived a traditionally slow start, four-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote is ready to bank a few extra bucks for Christmas. He got the ball rolling with a third-place check in Round 5 and gave it a huge shove forward with a first-place check worth $17,885 on Tuesday.

Mote topped Classic Pro Rodeo’s Nutrena’s Wise Guy for 87 points to easily win the round and push his Wrangler NFR earnings to $28,558. He’s seventh in the world standings and third in the average race after six rounds. Mote moved his Wrangler NFR bareback riding record to 22 round victories with the win.

“That horse has been around for quite a while, and he’s a winner,” said Mote, who saw Steven Dent finish third in the first round on the same horse. “Typically, if somebody who rides good has that horse, they’ll be in the 90’s or high 80’s. That’s what you need here; you need a great horse, because they’re all so good.”

Utah cowboy Kaycee Feild turned in an 84.5-point ride to finish third in the round and maintain his lead in both the world standings and the average race. In fact, he’s on pace to break Justin McDaniel’s Wrangler NFR average record of 859 points on 10 head, set in 2008.

Highmore, S.D., cowboy Jake Rinehart had earned less than $7,000 in the first five rounds of steer wrestling, but turned in his best run of the week and stopped the clock at 3.6 seconds and claim the first-place check in Round 6.

“That was my main goal, to break into the three-second mark,” said Rinehart, who rides his 19-year-old horse, Eight Ball. “I needed to be a heck of a lot quicker, and just to get a time in the threes was great. I knew that steer left hard and ran good. I knew if I got a good start tonight, I could cover him up pretty quick. As soon as I left the corner (of the box), I felt like I had a great start.”

Luke Branquinho placed second for the third time and continued his streak of placing in each of the rodeo’s six rounds. He’s first in the world standings, first in the average race and moved into first in the Ram Top Gun standings.

Branquinho leads Feild $80,048 to $78,462. The cowboy or cowgirl who wins the most money during the Wrangler NFR in a single event will earn the Top Gun award – which includes a new Ram truck.

After clinching his record ninth all-around world championship in Round 4, Trevor Brazile had a quiet night on Monday. That was not the case in Round 6, however, as he and partner Patrick Smith won the round in team roping. The two turned in a 3.5-second run to claim the top spot, edging a pair of teams that tied for second with runs of 3.8 seconds.

“We’re going to keep going at them every night,” Brazile said. “We don’t rodeo all year to come out here and rope safe. We’re trying to win as much as we can, and make it an interesting race.”

The round proved to be historically fast in the team roping, as teams had to be four-flat or better to win a check on the night, a first in Finals team roping history.

“When the tempo gets set like that, guys start to get even more fired up, but it also lets everyone be loose,” Smith said. “I think it actually relieves some of the pressure, because you know you’re going to have to turn it loose and try to be three seconds to place.”

Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Goin South propelled Wrangler NFR rookie Tyler Corrington of Hastings, Minn., to his first Finals victory on Tuesday. It was the second round win for Goin South, who carried Wade Sundell to victory in Round 1. Corrington marked the horse for 86 points, while Sundell topped him for 85.5.

“I just wanted to go out there and have fun,” said Corrington, who had failed to mark a qualified ride in each of the past two rounds. “That horse has been around for a while. I’d seen him quite a few times, and I always wanted to get on him. I was tickled to draw him.”

Taos Muncy, the 2007 world champion, took fourth in the round and continues to lead the world standings, while Jesse Wright holds a 36-point lead over Bradley Harter in the average race and sits fourth in the world standings.

Ryan Jarrett, the 2005 all-around world champion, picked up his first Wrangler NFR win in 2011 with a 7.4-second run in tie-down roping on Tuesday.

“I really didn’t change my game plan,” he said referring to his mindset after his 21.1-second run in Round 2. “I came in 14th, and all I can do is go up. I just want to come across there, get close to the barrier and hope I draw a good one.”

Tuf Cooper continues to lead the world standings in the event. However, six-time World Champion Cody Ohl is first in the average and third in the world standings after finishing fourth in Round 6.

Three-time World Champion Sherry Cervi won Round 6 with a 13.93-second run to maintain her lead in the average race and the third spot in the barrel racing world standings behind Brittany Pozzi and Lindsay Sears. Pozzi is just fifth in the average, while Sears sits a close second behind Cervi.

“I knew it was really close,” Cervi said of a round in which the top four barrel racers were separated by just four-hundredths of a second. “It was a really good barrel race tonight. It’s been good every night, I think. There’s still a lot of rodeo left. I think we’re all giving it our best and trying to go as fast as we can every night.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:10 am | Permalink
Dec 2

Kaycee Feild Eyes World Title in Thursday Night’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Kaycee Feild

Kaycee Feild photo courtesy of the PRCA.

All season, the words, “world title, world title” echoed through Kaycee Feild’s head as the chute cracked open at rodeos across North America.

Since the regular season ended on Sept. 30, he has been thinking constantly about joining his ProRodeo Hall of Fame and five-time World Champion father, Lewis Feild, in the gold buckle club. After a season in which he won more than $140,000 and carried the world standings lead into the 53rd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center, Feild took yet another step toward his goal with an 89-point ride aboard Bar T Rodeo’s Bitter Robin. Feild won Thursday’s Round 1, topping Wrangler NFR rookie Casey Colletti by 1.5 points in front of 17,001 rodeo fans.

“I’ve been on that horse twice this season and was 86 and 87 on him those times and won both rodeos,” Feild said. “I won St. George (Utah) and Tremonton (Utah), and those were outdoor pens. I was excited to have that horse in an indoor pen because from what I’ve seen, he’s better in an indoor pen. I think, just like cowboys, the horses can hear the crowd and feel the excitement and they get a little pumped up, too.”

Feild extended his pre-NFR lead over three-time World Champion Will Lowe as the Texan failed to place in the money with his 80.5-point ride on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spotted Mountain. Feild picked up $17,885 for the win and now holds a $20,910 lead in the world standings.

“I’m always thinking about winning the world title,” Feild said. “The last two months, not a day went by that I didn’t think about it. I don’t think you can get too pumped up when it comes to riding bareback horses. I was definitely ready to go.

Feild could be the man to watch on Friday, as he’s won Round 2 twice in his three previous trips (2008 and 2009) to the Wrangler NFR.

GAC is celebrating the union of rodeo, country music and Wrangler in December by broadcasting the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo live, December 1-10 at 10/9c each night. Plus, eight-time All-Around Champion, Trevor Brazile plays host to Suzanne Alexander and Joe Nichols on his ranch, deep in the heart of Texas in our special, Inside the WNFR 2011. Whether you are new to the sport and or a die-hard fan, this must-see show gives you the 4-1-1 on all the rodeo event categories from Steer Wrestling and Barrel Racing, to the death-defying Bull Riding event.

Check out GAC’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo section »

Tie-down roper Cody Ohl is always a man to watch in Las Vegas. For the seventh time in 16 Wrangler NFR qualifications, Ohl won Round 1 when he stopped the clock in 7.5 seconds. He entered the Wrangler NFR with the goal of winning the average.

“Soon as I rode in there, (the announcer) said, ‘$60,000 behind” (then it was) blow the barrier and wrap and a hooey,” Ohl said. “My whole philosophy changed.”

Ohl has now won a Wrangler NFR event record 41 rounds in tie-down roping. Thanks to his $17,885 check, he moved to third place in the world standings.

In steer wrestling, Trevor Knowles and Jason Miller rode the same horse – two-time PRCA/AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, owned by Canadian Lee Graves – to identical 3.9-second runs. Both gained ground on world standings leader Dean Gorsuch, whose 4.5-second effort was just out of the money. Miller moved to within $796 of the lead thanks to the $16,010 each cowboy win for the first-place split.

“You’ve got to have a lot of confidence in your horse, and Trevor and I have a lot of confidence in Jessie,” Miller said. “He’s going to win us a lot of money this week.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:31 am | Permalink