Mason Clements scores big early in 2020 with Denver win
DENVER – With wounds still fresh from narrowly missing the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, bareback rider Mason Clements is focused on the future.
He showed that by going out and winning the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver with an 89.5-point ride on The Cervi Brothers’ Gander Goose in the final round Sunday.
“Being 16th at the end of the season has lit a lot of fire in me for the beginning of the season,” Clements said. “It rolled into the 2020 season and makes me hungry and keeps me disciplined to keep working out at home and riding my spur board and horses to make it all count there so that it’s all muscle memory when I get here.”
His muscle memory held strong throughout the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, as the 27-year-old, Utah cowboy won one of the first major rodeos of the 2020 season.
“Financially and for confidence, it’s just a big boost,” Clements said. “But at the same time, one win doesn’t justify 70 rodeos a year to make the NFR. I’m happy with the win and will celebrate it, but it’s only January and the (regular) season ends in October.”
Before his Denver win, Clements was sitting at 26th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $2,503, but the season is so young that he was only $9,037 away from the No. 1 position.
Closing that gap required a different approach to the Denver rodeo, as this year brought a new twist to the competition with a tournament format.
“It’s a tough one to do because there’s another rodeo (Fort Worth) going on with a tournament format,” Clements said. “It makes it fun, but tougher, to go from Fort Worth to here two different times.”
Fans didn’t have to hop planes to catch the ProRodeo action with Denver’s final round airing live on The Cowboy Channel. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo also will be broadcast through the final round on The Cowboy Channel.
Each contestant at Denver competed in the first two rounds with back-to-back performances to determine who would advance to the 24-man semifinals.
The semifinals had three brackets where every cowboy had a clean slate. The top four cowboys in each event from the semifinals brackets advanced to the finals, and Clements tied for third in the third semifinal bracket with an 86-point ride.
The slate was wiped clean again in the final round with the highest-scored ride or fastest time as the deciding factor in who was crowned champion. Ties in the final round were broken based on scores and times from previous rounds.
“Having clean slates in each round is fun,” Clements said. “You’re riding against the best guys that day.”
Clements proved to be the best on the final day with his ride on Gander Goose. He earned $7,367 in Denver, with $5,427 stemming from the final round.
Winning Denver brought a bonus of scoring valuable points in the ProRodeo Tour Standings for a shot at the ProRodeo Tour Finale in the fall.
Other winners at the $572,742 rodeo were steer wrestler Stetson Jorgensen (4.0 seconds); team ropers Cody Snow/Paul Eaves (4.2 seconds); saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright (91 points on The Cervi Brothers’ Ricky Bobby); tie-down roper Adam Gray (7.2 seconds); barrel racer Carly Taylor (14.99 seconds); and bull rider Brody Yeary (83.5 points on Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Rawhide).