Roche wins NWSS PRCA rodeo steer wrestling average
Fresh off his inaugural trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER, steer wrestler Baylor Roche continued his momentum at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo (Jan. 15-24).
The Tremonton, Utah, cowboy clocked a 13.0-second time on three head to capture the average title before a near-capacity crowd of 7,900 at the Denver Coliseum.
Roche clinched the average crown with a solid 4.3-second run in the finals.
“I had a steer they broke the barrier on and was a little bit slower,” Roche said about his steer in the finals. “I wanted to make sure I got a good start, but I wasn’t going to break the barrier. The steer was really good on the ground and I was able to throw him down and let it all play out.”
Roche easily was well ahead of veteran Josh Peek, who came in second with a time of 14.8 seconds on three head.
“This feels really good to win here because that’s something I’ve never done before,” said Roche, who was making his third appearance in Denver.
Roche, 26, left the Mile High City with $10,168 in winnings – $6,188 for winning the average crown.
“I like to stay positive, and hope to keep my momentum going in the winter,” Roche said. “Last year, my first winter rodeo was Fort Worth and I won it (paying him $14,663) and that kept me going into the summer, and I want to do the same thing this year.”
Roche was riding Cruiser, a horse owned by Cole Fulton.
“I rode Cruiser all last year, and I know how to score on him and the horse worked great (Jan. 24),” Roche said.
A year ago, Roche finished a career-best ninth in the world standings with $147,979. He won $66,423 at the WNFR in Las Vegas, including winning Round 10 in 3.6 seconds.
Other winners at the $466,672 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($10,200 in team roping and tie-down roping), bareback rider Jake Brown (252 points on three head), team ropers Clay Smith and Paul Eaves (16.7 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Sam Spreadborough (246 points on three head), tie-down roper Brazile (23.8 seconds on three head), barrel racer Shelby Herrmann (46.11 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Cody Campbell (246.5 points on three head).
Tie-down roper Riley Pruitt broke the arena record at the NWSS with his 6.9-second time in the finals. Brazile’s average time in tie-down roping also was a NWSS record.
It seems saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley is still riding the momentum of his first world championship season. In first place in the 2016 standings after his win at the SandHills Stock Show Rodeo in Odessa, Texas, a week ago, Crawley followed that up this past weekend with another win, at the Homestead (Fla.) Championship Rodeo, and a second-place finish in Denver that brought his total earnings for the season to $21,299 – the highest total in any event.