Saddle bronc rider Logan Hay makes it 3 consecutive NFR round wins |

Saddle bronc rider Logan Hay makes it 3 consecutive NFR round wins

LAS VEGAS – Logan Hay had never competed in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge before this year.
That’s hard to believe based on the results he’s putting up in his debut.
Hay won his third round in a row when he captured Round 7 with a 90-point ride on Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Garden City Gal before 17,166 spectators Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
“Yeah, it’s crazy man. I never ever expected it to be as good as it’s been going,” said Hay, 25. “It’s unbelievable. I’m drawing really good horses and I’m riding good too. I can’t deny it.”
Hay is fifth in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $261,054 and he’s second in the average with 603.5 points on seven head.
“It definitely helps to get on a roll like the one I’ve been on,” Hay said. “It was really good for me to get that first one under my belt. Even though I didn’t win money, I was happy just to get one rode here. I was relaxed after that. I knew I could take it the way I’ve been doing it all year and to get on a roll, it definitely helps for the confidence.”
I haven’t even looked at the standings all week. I don’t like to do that. I just want to keep focusing on my horse that day and stick to my game plan. I’m just going to keep riding how I’ve been and let the chips fall where they will.”
The record for saddle bronc riding round wins at an NFR is five shared by ProRodeo Hall of Famers Billy Etbauer  (1992, 1999, 2005) and Dan Mortensen (1998) and Ryder Wright (2016, 2020).
Stetson Wright breaks two more PRCA single-season records
Another day.
New PRCA records for Stetson Wright.
The Milford, Utah, cowboy, after earning $30,935 for finishing second in bull riding with a 75.5-point ride on Rocky Mountain Rodeo’s Black Magic, set the PRCA’s single-season bull riding earnings mark, including ground money, at $482,784.
The bull riding earnings record was held by seven-time world champion Sage Kimzey at $480,797, including ground money in 2019.
Wright also established the new all-around season earnings mark at $586,512. Wright initially set the record with $585,850 a year ago.
On Tuesday, Wright clinched his fourth all-around title and added the single-season PRCA earnings record at $722,824 to his resume. Wright initially set that record in 2021 at $686,513.
Bareback rider Jess Pope wins another round
Jess Pope’s success at the Wrangler NFR keeps picking up steam.
Pope had an 89-point ride on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Mayhem to win Round 7. It was his second round win at the 2022 NFR as he also won Round 3 with an 86.5-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Mr. Harry.
“I had never been on that horse,” Pope said. “That ride was fun, but it was a bit tough. He has a weird build; a real short back and he hits you in the back the whole time. It feels really empty when he starts turning back like that, but it worked out and I was pretty happy to have him.”
Pope, who won the average at the 2020 and 2021 NFRs, is leading the average with 606 points on seven head. He’s also leading the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $290,979.
“My mindset is I have the best job in the world, and I’m just tickled to be here. Whatever happens is going to happen and it sure beats the heck out of having to show up to an office every day and I’m thankful to get to ride bucking horses for a living.”
At the 2022 NFR, Pope has not had a ride lower than 85 points in the seven rounds.
Veteran bull rider Trevor Kastner snares Round 8 title
Trevor Kastner is still one of the best bull riders in the world at age 34.
The Roff, Okla., cowboy had a 90.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Midnight Rider.
Kastner was one of only three cowboys to make the eight-second whistle on Wednesday and earned $36,997 for the victory.
“It’s been a little while since I’ve been back in here, so it feels great,” he said. “He (Midnight Rider) actually turned me off this spring at the San Angelo (Xtreme Bulls, April 10). I didn’t really remember it, but I think short-term memory may have helped on that. It was nice getting him rode tonight.
“The past few years I’ve made the finals and it’s gone terrible. This year, I think it really hinged on Round 1. I was able to knock him down and I was able to keep going with it. I just try to look at it bull-by-bull. I’m just wanting to stay one bull at a time and take it from there.”
Kastner is third in the world standings with $229,996. He has earned $106,457 at this year’s NFR. He also is third in the average with 429 points on five head.
Steer wrestler Ty Erickson takes another victory lap
In his return to the NFR for the first time since he won the 2019 PRCA Steer Wrestling World Championship, Ty Erickson is making up for lost time.
Erickson won for the second time at the latest NFR capturing the Round 7 crown with a 3.7-second run. He also won Round 5 with a 3.9-second time.
“They had won a second and a first on that steer, so I knew that I had a good shot to win it tonight, I just had to make sure I did my job,” Erickson said. “I got a great start, in fact so good that I wasn’t sure I got out on the barrier, but I looked back and saw I was good.”
Erickson has moved up to third in the world standings with $187,737.
“Crush worked so good tonight,” Erickson said of his horse. “His best quality is he is so good in the box; anyone can get on him and he just is ready to perform.  My wife and I bought him off Facebook a few years ago and just kept working with him and now he just is so good to ride.
“I just have to keep running for the round wins and get as much money as I can.”
Team ropers Tyler Wade/Trey Yates win another NFR round
Tyler Wade/Trey Yates are definitely making some noise at the 2022 Wrangler NFR.
The duo won its second round of the rodeo, capturing Round 7 with a 3.9-second time. Wade/Yates won Round 4 with a 3.9-second run.
Wade moved up to fifth in the world standings with $173,862 and Yates is seventh with $170,300.
“I’ve been here five times now, haven’t had a great NFR yet, and it’s shaping up to be a little better one,” Wade said. “So, I’m excited for the next three steers.
“I think our horses & our style of roping complement each other well, so it makes for a pretty smooth run when it works out.”
Yates of Pueblo, Colo., took a moment to talk about his horsepower.
“I’m riding a bay horse that I call Dude that we’ve had for a long time,” Yates said. “He’s kind of my old reliable. I’ve ridden him at every NFR I’ve been at, so he’s pretty special.”
Tie-down roper Kincade Henry gets his second round win
Kincade Henry is making plenty of memories in his NFR debut.
The Mount Pleasant, Texas, cowboy clocked a 7.1-second run to win Round 7. He also split the Round 5 victory at 7.3 seconds.
“That’s pretty lucky,” Henry said. “I like 7s.”
Henry acknowledged horsepower has been a key to his success.
“The horse I’m riding – it’s not supposed to be easy, but he makes it easy,” said Henry, 20. “The past couple of nights whenever I won the go-around I threw right there and then the next night I did the same thing and last night I had a stupid throw right there that I missed. So, to make that run, add another extra swing that builds confidence for these next three rounds, knowing I can go that far and still tie her in a short seven. So that’s a huge confidence builder for these next three rounds and the next couple of years to come.”
Barrel racer Wenda Johnson claims Round 7 victory
Wenda Johnson now has two round wins at the 2022 Wrangler NFR.
Johnson’s latest accomplishment came in Round 7 with a 13.60-second run.
Johnson is third in the world standings with $206,677 and is first in the average with a 96.55-second time on seven head.
“Absolutely. That’s one thing I strive to help him with. He’s smooth and easy so the less I can do, the better off we are,” Johnson said. “We had a couple of slower rounds so I’ve had to build up his confidence a little bit. Tonight, he attacked his first spot and it set us up for the rest of the run.”
Johnson also talked about the quality of the arena dirt.
“No doubt, being on top of the ground makes a big difference,” Johnson said. “I’ve got to give credit to the grounds crew because the dirt the last couple of nights has been amazing. But there still is a definite advantage to being towards the front.”