Tryan, Petska tie world record on way to Round 8 victory | TSLN.com

Tryan, Petska tie world record on way to Round 8 victory

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

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Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.

LAS VEGAS – The grandest stage in ProRodeo can often inspire greatness, and that certainly was the case in the team roping during Round 8 of the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Travis Tryan and Cory Petska not only won the round, but also thrilled the 17,463 in attendance by tying the PRCA world record with a blistering 3.5-second time. Their mark ties the record shared by Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy (2001), Clay Tryan and Patrick Smith (2005) and Colter Todd and Cesar de la Cruz (2008).

It was the first round victory of the 10-day rodeo for Tryan and Petska and just their third check in the first eight performances, but they made it count in a major way.

“It’s the coolest feeling I’ve ever had in my roping career,” said Tryan, of Billings, Mont. “I got emotional after the run. I threw my hat, and I never do that. I had a feeling tonight that we were going to break the record, which I’ve never had before in my life, and can’t explain why. When I was riding up to the box, I was thinking we were going to get the record. We had a great steer that stayed straight, maybe even stepped to the right a little, which helped us be fast because it helped my horse quicken up a little because he doesn’t duck too hard, so it made things happen fast.”

Petska is honored to have a share of the world record.

“I don’t think it’s set in yet that we just tied the world record,” said Petska, of Lexington, Okla. “I got a little emotional at first. I was the same as Travis said, when we started to do the TV interview, I was a little worried that I would choke up. You own a piece of history.”

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith continue to lead the Wrangler NFR average race and are on pace to crush the average record of 59.1 seconds for 10 head set by Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper in 1994. They have a 41.4-second total through eight rounds and need only to finish the final two rounds in less than 17.6 seconds to lower the record mark.

Speaking of Brazile, his second tie-down roping round victory at this year’s Wrangler NFR not only put $16,767 in his pocket, but also catapulted him to the No. 1 spot in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. The ever-focused Brazile, who won Round 6 in 7.7 seconds, took the eighth performance title with a 7.0-second run, edging Round 7 winner Jeff Chapman by one-tenth of a second. The PRCA’s all-time leading money winner now leads the world standings with $159,025, with Josh Peek in second with $156,475.

“Well, I came from probably the toughest team roping round that’s ever been to a – well, the start of the round looked pretty soft in the calf roping,” said Brazile, who is looking to become the PRCA’s first $3 million cowboy. “It ended up picking up the pace – that usually doesn’t happen. Previously, that calf had beat everybody out of the chute. He ran hard and was wild on the end of the rope and ran around guys. That calf let me be really aggressive at the line, which let me be at the front of my saddle where I could reach. I put a wrap and a hooey on him because I’ve got a lot of winning to do.”

Brazile has now earned $44,892 in tie-down roping in Las Vegas this year and stands sixth in the average race, while Stran Smith leads the average with eight runs in 71.8 seconds.

Royce Ford didn’t end up riding the horse he had originally drawn, but it made no difference to the talented bareback rider. Ford, of Briggsdale, Colo., teamed with Classic Pro Rodeo’s Touched By An Angel for an 87.5-point score that won the round by 2.5 points over Wrangler NFR average leader Justin McDaniel, who has placed in six of eight rounds so far in Las Vegas. Ford was originally supposed to ride Beutler & Son Rodeo’s High Motion, but the horse was under the weather and was replaced by the Classic Pro Rodeo horse.

That was just fine for Ford, who also won the third performance earlier in the rodeo.

“This was our ‘eliminator pen,’ and with that set of horses, even the re-rides are set well,” said Ford, who has now earned $53,546 at this year’s Wrangler NFR. “I kind of just let it roll off and said to myself, ‘All right, I’ll just go win the round on this one.’ I just capitalized on having a good one in this pen. She was just as solid as can be and just angled there to the right, with no ducks or dives, just a straight drop. She made me stay good with my feet, and it worked out.”

After five rounds in obscurity, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles has hit his stride. He finished second in Round 6, tied Curtis Cassidy for first place in Round 7 and won the eighth performance to continue the resurrection of his Wrangler NFR experience. Knowles, of Mount Vernon, Ore., won his second round in as many days with a 3.6-second run, which was two-tenths of a second faster than a pair of world champions: 2006 World Champion Dean Gorsuch and reigning World Champion Jason Miller.

Knowles, riding Lee Graves’ 2007 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, has now earned $45,027 in eight days in Las Vegas and is currently the hottest bulldogger at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“I’m drawing really, really well,” Knowles said of his recent success. “I made an OK run. There were a couple of guys who made outstanding runs, but their steers weren’t as good as mine. I just outdrew them. That steer was supposed to run and be really snappy and fast-handling on the gorund. I got an OK head catch and was just trying to hold on.”

Saddle bronc rider J.J. Elshere knows what it takes to achieve great things at the Wrangler NFR, and he showed that during Round 8. The 2006 Wrangler NFR average champion spurred Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Surprise Party for 85.5 points to win the eighth performance by two points over Bradley Harter. The win put another $16,767 in Elshere’s pocket and kept him third in the Wrangler NFR average and third in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World standings.

“It was a pretty good feeling, but it was also pretty nerve-wracking when you’re sitting there waiting for Cody Wright and Billy Etbauer to ride,” said Elshere, of Quinn, S.D. “This is the first round I’ve ever won, and it’s a pretty good one for me. She (Surprise Party) bucks and kicks hard, and she feels like she is dropping a mile out there and trying to rip the swells away from you every time, but I was lucky enough to stay under her this time.”

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer continues to lead the world standings with $204,065, but was bucked off for the second night in a row to fall to seventh in the average. Cody Wright is just behind Etbauer in the standings with $203,065, but stands second in the average heading into the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

Bull riding was a survival of the fittest, as only two out of 15 riders made the eight-second whistle on a rank pen of buckers. Steve Woolsey, who also won Round 2, picked up another victory thanks to an 87-point mark on Silverado Rodeo’s Rusty, while Kanin Asay was the other rider to make the whistle, riding Corey & Horst Rodeo’s Rez Boy for 79 points.

Woolsey was excited to survive the “eliminator pen” of bulls.

“I thought I’d fit that bull well,” Woolsey said. “I don’t mind the bulls who drop and have that power. I try to crawl out over them and stay in front of them. I try to prepare myself for whatever’s coming. I’d heard about him (Rusty) from other guys in the locker room, but I’d never been on him. I knew he’d be out around to the left and moving ahead and have a lot of drop. Eliminator bulls don’t scare me.”

Barrel racing is becoming the “Lindsay Sears and Martha Show” at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sears guided her mare Martha through the cloverleaf pattern in 13.57 seconds to win her third round in a row and fourth in six days, clinch her first world title and break Brittany Pozzi-Pharr’s single-season earnings record from last year in the process. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, has an insurmountable $274,892, while reigning World Champion Pozzi-Pharr is a distant second with $196,346.

Sears isn’t fixating on the achievement just yet, choosing instead to focus on the final two rounds of the Wrangler NFR.

“I honestly haven’t kept track of my total winnings so far. Actually, I really don’t want to know,” said the new World Champion Barrel Racer Sears. “I just go out there and concentrate on getting around three barrels and getting a time. That’s the job I do and then I wait for what happens.”

INJURY REPORT: Bareback riders Tilden Hooper and Kelly Timberman are probable for Round 9 after suffering concussions in the eighth performance, while steer wrestler Casey McMillen will compete despite fracturing his right fibula at the knee. Tie-down roper Jerrad Hofstetter will compete in the ninth performance after suffering a lacerated left leg in Round 8.