Hump Day for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is completed. Fast times, fast horses, and hard bucks led to another action packed performance. Half way done!
Round 5 of the WNFR has a theme that is near and dear to all of our hearts as rodeo contestants, fans, sponsors, and committees. Tonight’s theme was Tough Enough To Wear Pink- a night that was started in 2004 by now commissioner of the PRCA, Karl Stressman and Terry Wheatley to support breast cancer. Karl arranged a special rush production of 200 pink shirts, after breast cancer survivor Terry proposed the idea, for all contestants to wear. This proposed a minor problem as they were not supposed to be in production till the spring 2005 line. Karl worked his magic and the shirts were delivered just in time!
Rodeo across the United States has raised over $12 million dollars to the cause, and tonight a check was presented by Karl to the fund. This campaign is huge in the rodeo community. Cowboys and cowgirls wear pink shirts, pink chaps, pink boots, pink splints and polo wraps, and very much missed this year was Josh Peek’s pink hat signed by all the contestants.
Ryan Gray and the Carr Pro Rodeo’s bucking horse MGM Deuces Night reunited in round 5 of the WNFR. Gray last drew this horse in Omaha, and successfully rode for a 90 point ride- only the second 90 point ride so far. The first place win bumped this bareback rider from 6th to 4th in the average.
Ten time WNFR qualifier and two time world champion Luke Branquinho showed off his moves with a “Shake, Shake, Shake” after his 3.5 second victory this win will keep Luke in the lead spot in the average as well as push him to the number one spot in NFR Earnings- making him a contender for the Top Gun Award.
Team Roping is still having a tough time, but this round sheds a glimpse of light that there may be hope for a better second half. The first 3 second run was made by Turtle Powell and Jhett Johnson. The 3.8 second time will push them also to the lead spot in the average and keep them in the lead for the Top Gun Award.
The bucking horse events have been full of three-peats this year! Saddle bronc rider, Jesse Wright, scored the highest of the WNFR so far with his third go round win in a row! Crazy hard jumps and high kicks by Burns Rodeo’s Chugwater Blue forced the judges to score him with a 90 point ride! The 22 year old has had a great week and is creeping up in the world standings.
The newly crowned million dollar cowboy, Matt Shiozawa, kept his momentum going in the right direction. Shiozawa tied his calf in a mere 7.4 seconds to take his second victory lap in a row. Matt has now won over $55k in just 5 days, there’s still a lot of rodeo left to even double it! A close second place tie between Cody Ohl and Cory Solomon of 7.5 seconds will pop these three cowboys to the top positions in the WNFR 2011 earnings.
What a race for the ladies! By far the fastest round we’ve seen so far. Lisa Lockhart ran the first 13 second pattern back in the 2nd round and in round 5 improved her time clocking a 13.79- but it gets better! Winner of round 4 with a 13.81 second pattern shocked us all as we watched a flawless pattern made by the beautiful buckskin Dillon. The clock stopped and the fans went nuts. 13.46 SECONDS!!! Amazing run and new arena record! The previous arena record was held by Sherry Cervi and Stingray with a 13.49 in 2010. There are still plenty of rounds for Sherry to get back on top, but for now congrats to Carlee Pierce and Dillon.
J.W. Harris had the ride of his life as he strapped himself on the back of Burch Rodeo Company’s Zombie Zoo who is unridden in the 2011 rodeo season. Harris rode for the full 8 seconds and was rewarded with a score of 90.5 points. This win was huge for J.W. Not only did it push him to the number one spot in the average, but also to the number one spot in the NFR Earnings. Shane Proctor did not cover his ride on Korkow Rodeo’s Bad Habit- which means Harris is only about $14k out of the number one spot in the world standings. With 5 rounds left it is very possible to work his way to the top!
Round 6 kicks off at the Thomas and Mack at 7pm [Vegas time]. Make sure to watch it live on GAC- the exclusive TV broadcaster of the WNFR.
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