Mote remains hot in Round 6 at NFR | TSLN.com

Mote remains hot in Round 6 at NFR

LAS VEGAS — Two-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote may want to ask Delta Air Lines for a sponsorship. The Culver, Ore., cowboy won his second straight Wrangler NFR round on a horse with Delta in its name. A night after winning a share of Round 5 with an 88.5-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Ship, Mote teamed with the horse’s brother, Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Force, for 87.5 points to win the sixth performance in front of 17,018 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“He turned out and blew high into the air,” Mote said of Delta Force. “He kind of stumbled in the middle somewhere, but then he just sat up and was jumping higher and higher and kicking really well. He gave me a lot of time to do my thing, and he felt good. That’s a good horse.”

The victory also moved Mote into the Wrangler NFR average lead with 505.5 points, 2.5 points ahead of Kaycee Feild. Mote has earned an event-best $44,922 so far and crossed the $200,000 mark with his Round 6 win. He now trails world standings leader Clint Cannon, who is 13th in the average, by $20,639 heading into Round 7.

“Winning here is quite a feat in itself, so to get to do it back-to-back is special,” Mote said. “I just have to count my blessings. I’m here doing what I love to do and making a living at it.”

Ryan Gray was second with an 86.5-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Pinball Wizzard to earn his first check of the 10-day event. Mote feels he is beginning to hit his stride in Las Vegas.

“We have nearly two months off where we don’t get on anything,” Mote said. “So, when you start the week out getting on horses that are kind of at the bottom of the herd, it’s hard to get that picture in your mind of what you want your ride to look like and feel like. When you get on horses like I did tonight, it’s like, “Man, this is what I’ve been missing and that’s how it’s supposed to feel.'”

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Team roping is shaping up to be a craps shoot in Las Vegas. David Key and eight-time World Champion Rich Skelton won their second round of the Wrangler NFR with a 4.2-second run in Round 6, three-tenths of a second ahead of 2007 World Champion Chad Masters and Jade Corkill. Key, of Caldwell, Texas, now stands fourth in the world standings behind Masters, who re-claimed the No. 1 spot from Luke Brown thanks to the runner-up finish. Skelton, of Llano, Texas, is third in the world standings behind Corkill and Kollin VonAhn.

“I always tend to do really well in the second half here,” Key said. “So, I feel good starting the second half with a win and hope that we can finish strong and have a good chance. We’re going to try to win every round and see how it shakes out. We’re still behind, and I feel like the other guys are going to rope well the rest of the way. We just need to win more money than they do to have a chance for a championship, and that’s what we’re after.”

Masters and Corkill are 12th in the Wrangler NFR average standings, while Key and Skelton are fourth. Brown and Lucero lead the average race with a total time of 30.2 seconds. Nick Sartain and Kollin VonAhn are also very much in the mix, standing third and second in the world standings, respectively, and second in the Wrangler NFR average.

It’s an understatement to say that the final four rounds will be interesting in the team roping.

“We have a great chance,” Skelton said. “I knew that when we left home. David’s roping great, and if I do my job, we’re going to have a heck of a chance at the end.”

Two-time and reigning World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho made a move in Round 6 by winning the performance with a rodeo-best 3.2-second run. He added $17,139 to his season earnings and gained some ground on standings leader and 2005 World Champion Lee Graves. Graves limited Branquinho from closing the gap too much by finishing second in 3.3 seconds and pocketing $13,546 of his own.

Graves, who also leads the Wrangler NFR average (22.5 seconds), leads the PRCA World Standings with $179,341, with Branquinho in second with $165,354. A bulldogger hoping to finish in the top six and earn a check in the sixth performance needed to be 3.9 seconds or faster in what was a lightning-fast round.

“The competition tonight was tough,” Branquinho said. “Everybody was running at the barrier, trying to get good starts and throw them down fast. I think that just motivates a guy, knowing he had to do that to come out on top.”

Graves posted his 3.3-second time on the run before Branquinho’s, but the speedy run didn’t throw the Los Alamos, Calif., cowboy off his game.

“I just told myself to get a good start and throw the steer down fast, and if it worked out where I beat Lee, great,” Branquinho said. “You don’t go up just trying to beat Lee. You have to beat the steer you have drawn, and I felt like I did that tonight.”

Saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell has been solid in his first Wrangler NFR appearance, placing in three of the first five rounds, and he added a round victory to his season highlights in Round 6. Sundell, of Boxholm, Iowa, spurred Bar T Rodeo’s Round Robin for 85 points to win the round by a half-point over the trio of five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer, J.J. Elshere and Isaac Diaz.

Sundell was on Cloud 9 after his victory.

“It’s something I have dreamed about since I was a little boy,” said Sundell, who stands third in the PRCA World Standings with $129,538. “It is something I have worked for as long as I can remember- since I was riding calves. It means more than anything.”

Shaun Stroh held onto his Wrangler NFR average lead (490.5 points) with another solid ride, while Elshere gained more ground on world standings leader Jesse Kruse. Kruse leads the world with $155,763 and is sixth in the average, while Elshere — the 2006 Wrangler NFR average champ who has earned an event-best $49,022 in Las Vegas — is second with $135,929.

Sundell has enjoyed every aspect of his first Wrangler NFR berth.

“It’s just been fun being here – hanging out with all the guys who have made it for so many years,” Sundell said. “I get to say now that I have been here with Billy Etbauer, who has been here 21 times, and I get to ride with him.”

Tie-down roper Monty Lewis showed the top form that earned him a world title in 2004 during the sixth performance. Lewis, of Hereford, Texas, stopped the clock in 7.2 seconds to edge 2007 World Champion Tie-Down Roper Trevor Brazile by three-tenths of a second.

“I feel good, and winning helps everything,” Lewis said. “I need to win because I’m down in the average. I feel like I’ve been roping pretty well. I felt like I started my second and third (calves) to win top-three, and it just didn’t work out for me. It feels really good to know I can win, because you can get to doubting yourself. I wanted to get a good start tonight. It was one of those where, when it left my hand, I wanted it back. I took a shot, kind of hung a leg flanking, and it was a really ugly run, but it stopped the clock. I needed that.”

Brazile’s second-place finish, coupled with world No. 2 Clint Robinson’s no-time in Round 6, widened his lead in the tie-down roping world standings. Brazile, of Decatur, Texas, leads the way with $166,227, while Robinson is second with $129,698, but Robinson’s no-time dropped him from third to 11th in the Wrangler NFR average.

Six-time World Champion Cody Ohl, who won the fourth round and shared first place in Round 5 with Brazile, is still very much a factor even despite having tough luck in Round 6. He stands third in the world standings with $111,065 and third in the Wrangler NFR average, while Brazile is eighth in the average race.

The bulls dominated again in Round 6 of the Wrangler NFR. A night after all 15 bull riders were bucked off for the first time since 1997, only Corey Navarre was able to record a qualified ride. His 70.5-point score on Flying Diamong Rodeo’s Boom Town earned him the $17,139 first-place check after he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second whistle.

He was offered the option of a re-ride, but declined and decided to let his score stand. That decision paid off handsomely.

“I would much rather take a win home with a 90 rather than a 70, but the money will spend either way,” said Navarre, who has earned $25,986 so far in Las Vegas. “It’s a tough decision. You don’t want to stay with a 70-and-a-half, but I did because of the way things went last night, and the first re-ride bull was the bull I had the other day that I didn’t like at all. I knew 70-and-a-half was definitely going to win something, but I never dreamed I would win a round at the NFR with it.”

Navarre pocketed an additional $38,149 in “ground money,” unofficial earnings that do not count toward the PRCA World Standings, but that will spend just find for the Weatherford, Okla., cowboy.

Navarre’s ride ended a streak of 23 consecutive buck-offs in the bull riding at this year’s Wrangler NFR, and the bulls have now won 67 of the 88 matchups through Round 6. Bobby Welsh leads the Wrangler NFR average with 315.5 points on four head, while Douglas Duncan is second with 256 points on three head.

Barrel racer Jordon Peterson watched her mother, Kristie, win four world titles at the Thomas & Mack Center in the 1990s, and now she can join her as a round winner after taking Round 6. Peterson stopped the clock in 13.72 seconds to finish .14 seconds ahead of two-time World Champion and Wrangler NFR average leader Sherry Cervi.

“I was real solid through the first four rounds and then last night, I got a barrel,” Peterson said. “So, that took the pressure of the average off, and tonight I just went for it all. It seems that I tend to do my best when the pressure is off.”

Peterson said the pressure of living up to her mother’s level of excellence hasn’t affected her during her first Wrangler NFR.

“I have had to live with that all my life, but I did not put that pressure on myself this week,” Peterson said. “I don’t know if anyone else had expectations, but I didn’t do it to myself.”

Canada’s Lindsay Sears, the reigning world champion, placed in her sixth consecutive round after tying for fourth place. Her $4,792 check moved the Nanton, Alberta, cowgirl closer to 2007 World Champion Brittany Pozzi — who finished out of the money in Round 6 — in the world standings race. Pozzi, who stands third in the average, leads the way with $210,324, while Sears is second with $204,892.

INJURY REPORT: Bareback rider Royce Ford, who won Round 4, suffered a fractured fibula in his right leg following his 82-point ride on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hylo Hills, but is listed as probable for Round 7. Bull rider Zack Oakes is also listed as probable after spraining his right wrist while attempting to ride Powder River Rodeo’s Savage Shaker in Round 6.

LAS VEGAS — Two-time World Champion Bareback Rider Bobby Mote may want to ask Delta Air Lines for a sponsorship. The Culver, Ore., cowboy won his second straight Wrangler NFR round on a horse with Delta in its name. A night after winning a share of Round 5 with an 88.5-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Ship, Mote teamed with the horse’s brother, Frontier Rodeo’s Delta Force, for 87.5 points to win the sixth performance in front of 17,018 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“He turned out and blew high into the air,” Mote said of Delta Force. “He kind of stumbled in the middle somewhere, but then he just sat up and was jumping higher and higher and kicking really well. He gave me a lot of time to do my thing, and he felt good. That’s a good horse.”

The victory also moved Mote into the Wrangler NFR average lead with 505.5 points, 2.5 points ahead of Kaycee Feild. Mote has earned an event-best $44,922 so far and crossed the $200,000 mark with his Round 6 win. He now trails world standings leader Clint Cannon, who is 13th in the average, by $20,639 heading into Round 7.

“Winning here is quite a feat in itself, so to get to do it back-to-back is special,” Mote said. “I just have to count my blessings. I’m here doing what I love to do and making a living at it.”

Ryan Gray was second with an 86.5-point ride on Burch Rodeo’s Pinball Wizzard to earn his first check of the 10-day event. Mote feels he is beginning to hit his stride in Las Vegas.

“We have nearly two months off where we don’t get on anything,” Mote said. “So, when you start the week out getting on horses that are kind of at the bottom of the herd, it’s hard to get that picture in your mind of what you want your ride to look like and feel like. When you get on horses like I did tonight, it’s like, “Man, this is what I’ve been missing and that’s how it’s supposed to feel.'”

Team roping is shaping up to be a craps shoot in Las Vegas. David Key and eight-time World Champion Rich Skelton won their second round of the Wrangler NFR with a 4.2-second run in Round 6, three-tenths of a second ahead of 2007 World Champion Chad Masters and Jade Corkill. Key, of Caldwell, Texas, now stands fourth in the world standings behind Masters, who re-claimed the No. 1 spot from Luke Brown thanks to the runner-up finish. Skelton, of Llano, Texas, is third in the world standings behind Corkill and Kollin VonAhn.

“I always tend to do really well in the second half here,” Key said. “So, I feel good starting the second half with a win and hope that we can finish strong and have a good chance. We’re going to try to win every round and see how it shakes out. We’re still behind, and I feel like the other guys are going to rope well the rest of the way. We just need to win more money than they do to have a chance for a championship, and that’s what we’re after.”

Masters and Corkill are 12th in the Wrangler NFR average standings, while Key and Skelton are fourth. Brown and Lucero lead the average race with a total time of 30.2 seconds. Nick Sartain and Kollin VonAhn are also very much in the mix, standing third and second in the world standings, respectively, and second in the Wrangler NFR average.

It’s an understatement to say that the final four rounds will be interesting in the team roping.

“We have a great chance,” Skelton said. “I knew that when we left home. David’s roping great, and if I do my job, we’re going to have a heck of a chance at the end.”

Two-time and reigning World Champion Steer Wrestler Luke Branquinho made a move in Round 6 by winning the performance with a rodeo-best 3.2-second run. He added $17,139 to his season earnings and gained some ground on standings leader and 2005 World Champion Lee Graves. Graves limited Branquinho from closing the gap too much by finishing second in 3.3 seconds and pocketing $13,546 of his own.

Graves, who also leads the Wrangler NFR average (22.5 seconds), leads the PRCA World Standings with $179,341, with Branquinho in second with $165,354. A bulldogger hoping to finish in the top six and earn a check in the sixth performance needed to be 3.9 seconds or faster in what was a lightning-fast round.

“The competition tonight was tough,” Branquinho said. “Everybody was running at the barrier, trying to get good starts and throw them down fast. I think that just motivates a guy, knowing he had to do that to come out on top.”

Graves posted his 3.3-second time on the run before Branquinho’s, but the speedy run didn’t throw the Los Alamos, Calif., cowboy off his game.

“I just told myself to get a good start and throw the steer down fast, and if it worked out where I beat Lee, great,” Branquinho said. “You don’t go up just trying to beat Lee. You have to beat the steer you have drawn, and I felt like I did that tonight.”

Saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell has been solid in his first Wrangler NFR appearance, placing in three of the first five rounds, and he added a round victory to his season highlights in Round 6. Sundell, of Boxholm, Iowa, spurred Bar T Rodeo’s Round Robin for 85 points to win the round by a half-point over the trio of five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer, J.J. Elshere and Isaac Diaz.

Sundell was on Cloud 9 after his victory.

“It’s something I have dreamed about since I was a little boy,” said Sundell, who stands third in the PRCA World Standings with $129,538. “It is something I have worked for as long as I can remember- since I was riding calves. It means more than anything.”

Shaun Stroh held onto his Wrangler NFR average lead (490.5 points) with another solid ride, while Elshere gained more ground on world standings leader Jesse Kruse. Kruse leads the world with $155,763 and is sixth in the average, while Elshere — the 2006 Wrangler NFR average champ who has earned an event-best $49,022 in Las Vegas — is second with $135,929.

Sundell has enjoyed every aspect of his first Wrangler NFR berth.

“It’s just been fun being here – hanging out with all the guys who have made it for so many years,” Sundell said. “I get to say now that I have been here with Billy Etbauer, who has been here 21 times, and I get to ride with him.”

Tie-down roper Monty Lewis showed the top form that earned him a world title in 2004 during the sixth performance. Lewis, of Hereford, Texas, stopped the clock in 7.2 seconds to edge 2007 World Champion Tie-Down Roper Trevor Brazile by three-tenths of a second.

“I feel good, and winning helps everything,” Lewis said. “I need to win because I’m down in the average. I feel like I’ve been roping pretty well. I felt like I started my second and third (calves) to win top-three, and it just didn’t work out for me. It feels really good to know I can win, because you can get to doubting yourself. I wanted to get a good start tonight. It was one of those where, when it left my hand, I wanted it back. I took a shot, kind of hung a leg flanking, and it was a really ugly run, but it stopped the clock. I needed that.”

Brazile’s second-place finish, coupled with world No. 2 Clint Robinson’s no-time in Round 6, widened his lead in the tie-down roping world standings. Brazile, of Decatur, Texas, leads the way with $166,227, while Robinson is second with $129,698, but Robinson’s no-time dropped him from third to 11th in the Wrangler NFR average.

Six-time World Champion Cody Ohl, who won the fourth round and shared first place in Round 5 with Brazile, is still very much a factor even despite having tough luck in Round 6. He stands third in the world standings with $111,065 and third in the Wrangler NFR average, while Brazile is eighth in the average race.

The bulls dominated again in Round 6 of the Wrangler NFR. A night after all 15 bull riders were bucked off for the first time since 1997, only Corey Navarre was able to record a qualified ride. His 70.5-point score on Flying Diamong Rodeo’s Boom Town earned him the $17,139 first-place check after he was the only cowboy to make the eight-second whistle.

He was offered the option of a re-ride, but declined and decided to let his score stand. That decision paid off handsomely.

“I would much rather take a win home with a 90 rather than a 70, but the money will spend either way,” said Navarre, who has earned $25,986 so far in Las Vegas. “It’s a tough decision. You don’t want to stay with a 70-and-a-half, but I did because of the way things went last night, and the first re-ride bull was the bull I had the other day that I didn’t like at all. I knew 70-and-a-half was definitely going to win something, but I never dreamed I would win a round at the NFR with it.”

Navarre pocketed an additional $38,149 in “ground money,” unofficial earnings that do not count toward the PRCA World Standings, but that will spend just find for the Weatherford, Okla., cowboy.

Navarre’s ride ended a streak of 23 consecutive buck-offs in the bull riding at this year’s Wrangler NFR, and the bulls have now won 67 of the 88 matchups through Round 6. Bobby Welsh leads the Wrangler NFR average with 315.5 points on four head, while Douglas Duncan is second with 256 points on three head.

Barrel racer Jordon Peterson watched her mother, Kristie, win four world titles at the Thomas & Mack Center in the 1990s, and now she can join her as a round winner after taking Round 6. Peterson stopped the clock in 13.72 seconds to finish .14 seconds ahead of two-time World Champion and Wrangler NFR average leader Sherry Cervi.

“I was real solid through the first four rounds and then last night, I got a barrel,” Peterson said. “So, that took the pressure of the average off, and tonight I just went for it all. It seems that I tend to do my best when the pressure is off.”

Peterson said the pressure of living up to her mother’s level of excellence hasn’t affected her during her first Wrangler NFR.

“I have had to live with that all my life, but I did not put that pressure on myself this week,” Peterson said. “I don’t know if anyone else had expectations, but I didn’t do it to myself.”

Canada’s Lindsay Sears, the reigning world champion, placed in her sixth consecutive round after tying for fourth place. Her $4,792 check moved the Nanton, Alberta, cowgirl closer to 2007 World Champion Brittany Pozzi — who finished out of the money in Round 6 — in the world standings race. Pozzi, who stands third in the average, leads the way with $210,324, while Sears is second with $204,892.

INJURY REPORT: Bareback rider Royce Ford, who won Round 4, suffered a fractured fibula in his right leg following his 82-point ride on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Hylo Hills, but is listed as probable for Round 7. Bull rider Zack Oakes is also listed as probable after spraining his right wrist while attempting to ride Powder River Rodeo’s Savage Shaker in Round 6.