Jesse Wright gets first National Finals Rodeo victory
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Saddle bronc rider Jesse Wright earned his first National Finals Rodeo victory with an 89.5 on Lunitic Fringe during the fifth round on Monday.
“That horse is awesome,” Wright said. “I hadn’t been on him, but my brother and a lot of my friends had. They all said that they wished everybody would have a go at him, and they were right. The horse is like a rocking chair. Anybody could get in time with him.”
Wright, of Milford, Utah, who has placed among the top six in four of the five rounds, advanced to his first NFR as an alternate for Rod Hay, who could not compete due to a leg injury. Wright is competing despite a broken bone in his left ankle.
“I hope I can keep coming every year now,” he said.
Cody Wright, Jesse’s brother, did not place among the top six riders but maintained his world standings lead with $150,133. Cody and Jesse Wright are tied for first with $50,841 apiece in total NFR earnings.
In bareback riding, three-time world champion Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, notched his first NFR win since round 10 in 2007 with an 87 on Street Dance.
“You go a while without getting one and you’re thinking ‘Is it ever going to come back around?'” Lowe said. “But there are 15 guys who are out there trying their hardest, and they’re the best bareback riders in the world. So, when you think about it, it’s not uncommon to go a little while without getting a round win.”
Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., leads the world standings with $169,499. Dent, who took over the top spot from the injured Ryan Gray on Saturday, did not place among the top six in round five.
Dent was tied for first in the NFR aggregate standings, but Justin McDaniel of Porum, Okla., placed fifth on Good Time Charlie in the fifth round and took over the aggregate lead with 420 points, one better than Dent.
In tie-down roping, Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and five-time world champion Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, tied for first with times of 6.9 seconds. Ohl also tied for first in the fourth round.
Two-time world champ Brazile is the world standings leader with $161,237. Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, is second with $132,225.
Seven-time world champ Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas, leads the NFR aggregate race with a time of 41.5 over five rounds. He also is fifth in the world standings with $116,363.
In team roping, JoJo LeMond of Andrews, Texas and Cory Petska of Marana, Ariz., came in first in a time of 3.6 seconds.
Brazile and Patrick Smith of Midland, Texas, who placed third in 3.8, lengthened their impressive lead in the NFR standings. They are at 21.4 seconds for the five rounds while Luke Brown and Martin Lucero, both of Stephenville, Texas, are second at 32.6.
In bull riding, defending world standings champion J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, won with an 89-point showing on Velvet Revolver. The only other successful riders in the round were Clayton Williams of Carthage, Texas, with an 85.5 on Black Mamba and Corey Navarre of Weatherford, Okla., with an 84 on Butch.
Harris is now first in the NFR standings with 354.5 points and second in the world standings with $145,423. Leader Wesley Wilcox of Santaquin, Utah, has $150,667.
NFR rookie Ethan Thouvenell of Napa, Calif., earned his second win in steer wrestling with a 3.7-second run.
Todd Suhn of Hermosa, S.D., didn’t finish in the top six, but continues to lead the world standings with $122,127. Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta, with $121,018, remains in second.
Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Ore., who was fourth in 4.1, took over the aggregate lead with a time of 21.6 over five rounds.
In barrel racing, Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., won her second NFR round with a 13.62-second run. Jill Moody of Letcher, S.D., finished second in 13.63 and is the aggregate standings leader with a time of 69.01 over five rounds.
World standings leader Sherry Cervi of Marana, Ariz., who placed third in 13.70, has earned $210,638 this season, well ahead of second-place Lindsay Sears of Alberta, Canada, with $157,208.
In all-around, 2010 champion Brazile has earned $369,990 this season.