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NFR Vegas

Wrangler NFR 2014 Champions Crowned

CLN’s 12 Days of Cowboy Christmas is a wrap, as the Wrangler NFR 2014 crowns repeat, rookie and veteran champions at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Wrangler-NFR-2014-Champions-Crowned-(FI)

Wrangler National Finals 2014 crowns repeat, rookie and veteran Champions

Kaycee Feild American300 Tours and CLN

Kaycee Feild American300 Tours and CLN

Bareback rider Kaycee Feild clinched his fourth consecutive gold buckle and average crown on 12-13-14 when he rode Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Scarlet’s Web, for 86 points to place second in Round 10. He won the world championship along with the impressive average title. 

The Utah native is a fan favorite.  Earlier this week Cowboy Lifestyle Network interviewed Mike McKell and JD Parry both Utah residents outside the Thomas & Mack on the UNLV campus.   McKell, Parry and their wives were walking into the WNFR for Round 7 and predicting Feild would make history. 

Five Golden (rings) Buckles – 5x World Champion Luke Branquinho, wins Steer Wrestling

Luke Branquinho Steer Wrestling Champion

Luke Branquinho Steer Wrestling Champion

Branquinho becomes the eighth person to earn $1 million in WNFR competition, joining Trevor Brazile, Cody Ohl, Billy Etbauer, Sherry Cervi, Fred Whitfield, Joe Beaver and Bobby Mote (who joined that elite group earlier this week).  He finishes the WNFR with $202,380.02 for the world title.  Branquinho earned $136,388.20 alone during the ten-day run of the Superbowl of Rodeo.   A very emotional Branquinho accepted his fifth gold buckle and the average title on Saturday night. 

Team Roping partners Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill repeat

Clay Tryan & Jade Corkill Awards

Clay Tryan & Jade Corkill Awards

“I have to give the glory to God, because without him I wouldn’t be here,” stated Clay Tryan on national television.  He followed up with acknowledging they executed their game plan nightly.  Heeler Jade Corkill reflected, “I tried not to put too much pressure on myself tonight. I just focused on doing my job.”  The duo roped 10 steers in XX.XX seconds to also win the average title.  They were the only team to rope all 10 steers during the WNFR.   

Spencer Wright goes from 13th to number 1st in ten days, bypasses three of his brothers

Spencer Wright Awards

Spencer Wright Awards

The former 2012 Saddle Bronc Rookie of the Year, Spencer Wright won his first world title on 12-13-14 on Saturday .  He joins World Champion brothers Cody and Jesse in the gold buckle circle.  During his arena-side interview he said, “My mind is blown. I sure wanted to come in and win, it’s a dream come true.”   The Wright Dynasty continues as Spencer walks out of the Thomas & Mack arena winning the world.   Several cowboys were fighting for the title going into the 10th round.   Low scores for Cort Scheer, 71 points with no re-ride option and only a 69.5 for Heith DeMoss dimmed their hopes for gold.  South Dakotan, Cole Elshere was bucked off in a “triple dipper, 720 degree move with two rotations” surprising even the television commentators. 

Tuf Cooper wins his Third World Championship

Tuf Cooper Awards

Tuf Cooper Awards

Tuf Cooper Victory LapSaturday night in December belonged to the Super Looper’s youngest son, Tuf Cooper.  Cooper roped his tenth calf in 9.4 seconds to win the Tie-Down World Championship and average title.  “Being in the Cooper family is a big blessing,” mentioned Cooper with his arena-side interview.  He followed it up by stating “Trust in God and know that he has a plans for your life.”  Joe Beaver previously mentioned on television “Win the average, win the world.”   Tuf’s dad, Roy flashed three fingers for the camera with a grin from ear to ear.  Matt Shiozawa went for the world championship win but dropped his arm and missed with his first loop making a $48,000 mistake and opening the door for Cooper to follow.  Cooper’s brother-in-law Brazile aka King of the Cowboys tied his calf in 10.3 with impressive skills when the calf slipped the leg loop.  Making history was Cody Ohl with a 6.8 second run to claim his 52nd go round win.  Saddle Bronc Rider Billy Etbauer previously held the record at 51 rounds.  “Cody just struck him down and put a wrap and hooey on him,” mentioned Beaver as the play-by-play timed event commentator. 

Fashionable Fallon Taylor strikes Gold in Cowboy Town

Fallon Taylor Victory Lap

Fallon Taylor Victory Lap

Baby Flo carried Fallon Taylor around three tight turns to finish in 13.96 seconds.  Women rodeo all season and it came down to one round at the WNFR for the world championship title.  Lisa Lockhart and Louie were extremely consistent winning the average title.     

The second place finish in the go-round propelled her to the WPRA World Championship.  Taylor was also voted the Best Dressed Cowgirl at the WNFR.  In an interview earlier this week, Taylor told Cowboy Lifestyle Network she was wearing helmets for her young fans.   She admitted to having a plate and four screws in her head. She encourages fellow barrel racers especially young girls to look at the helmets as safety and make it fashionable.  The world champion wore a gold helmet on Saturday night.   Almost 20 years later she won the world championship.  “Go fast girlfriend, go fast because the world is not going to wait,” Fallon said were her thoughts going into her last run. 

Rookie Sage Kimzey wins the 2014 World Bull Riding Championship

Sage Kimzey Victory Lap

Sage Kimzey Victory Lap

Trevor Brazile Awards

Trevor Brazile Awards

Sage Kimzey wrapped up the world title mathematically in the 8th Round of the WNFR.  He continued to add notches to his rodeo belt by winning the Top Gun Ram Truck award.  He rode into Las Vegas a rookie in the PRCA and left a decorated World Champion, average winner, multiple time go-round winner and in the driver’s seat of a new truck.   

“Everything I’ve accomplished this season and this week in Vegas has been pretty surreal.  It’s special enough to make it here during your rookie year, but to do everything I’ve been able to do feels amazing. That truck (won for the Top Gun Award) will be at the house, an on a farming ranch we can always use another truck.” 

Each world champion cowboy all proved consistency is worth a big paycheck in Las Vegas.  Beaver said “Gotta have a chance on Saturday for two checks,” when he described the importance of the average and competing in the 10th Round. 

A dozen, Trevor Brazile wins 12th All Around title in 2014

The King of the Cowboys surpassed winning $400,000 in the 8th Round and continued to cash paychecks all week long.  When asked what his 2014 All Around buckle meant, he told fans it means more the older he gets.  He thanked his savior Jesus Christ, acknowledged his wife Shada for being his rock since they were 17-years-old and praised the rodeo fans for supporting the sport. 

Cowboy Lifestyle Network’s – 12 Days for Cowboy Christmas

One – (Partridge in a pear-tree)  “Sage Mckinzey in a new Ram Truck”
Two – (Turtle Doves) Turtle/Dakota
Three – (French Hens) Canadians  
Four – (Colly Birds) Bareback Titles, Feild
Five golden buckles for Luke Branquito
Six – (Geese a laying) Figures paychecks for Tryan/Corkill
Seven – (Swans a swimming) Wright Brothers in total
Eight – (maids a milking)  Rookies crowned
Nine – (Drummers drumming) 9.2 Tuf Cooper
Ten– (Pipers piping) Rounds of Competition
Eleven – (Ladies dancing) Spencer Wright wins gold
Twelve – (Lords a leaping) Fashionable Fallon Taylor

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Gretchen Kirchmann is a veteran journalist covering a variety of events across the country each year. She founded Kirchmann Media Group in 2009 and works as a marketing consultant with a forte for the western lifestyle industry, festivals, fairs and rodeo world. Her work includes 15 national communication awards plus coverage of Nashville's CMT Awards and CMA Fanfest. A favorite assignment was attending the all cast reunion of the Dukes of Hazard in 2006 and 2007 at Dukesfest. In December you will find her covering the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Miss Rodeo America pageant live from Las Vegas. Her favorite color is orange, favorite song "Rocky Top" and she loves to dance especially clogging.

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