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