2023 Wrangler NFR presented by Teton Ridge Round 1 Highlights

Bareback rider Rocker Steiner rocks the House in his Round 1 win

LAS VEGAS – Rocker Steiner’s second-consecutive trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo couldn’t have started any better Friday night.

 

Steiner won Round 1 with an electric 87-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Risky Business before 17,675 spectators at the Thomas & Mack Center.

 

“I was a little worried about my draw, but it seems like when you’re worried is when you do the best,” Steiner said. “I watched a video from earlier this year, and it turned back and jumped high in front of the chutes. I knew if it did that tonight it was going to be a big score and I could win.”

 

With the $30,706 first-place payout, Steiner jumped from seventh to third in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $183,830. This was Steiner’s second career NFR Round win as in 2022 he won Round 6 with an 88.5-point ride with on Wayne Vold Rodeo’s True Grit.

 

And Steiner’s latest triumphant had a special meaning.

 

“Yeah, it’s actually my dad’s birthday today,” said Rocker, whose father Sid was the 2002 PRCA Steer Wrestling World Champion. “A year ago today, I was getting bucked off a horse and tonight it’s a different story, coming back with a win and heading down to the South Point (Casino) for his birthday dinner.”

 

The Las Vegas Events Board of Trustees and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Board of Directors announced Thursday morning that the first round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo® would take place Friday. To maintain the tradition of the ten rounds of the NFR, an additional make up-round has been added on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) There will be no public access to this round.

 

Due to the tragic events that occurred on the UNLV Campus on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the original starting date – Dec. 7 – was cancelled. The Wrangler NFR will now run through Saturday, Dec. 16, with the ten full rounds set to determine the PRCA World Champions. The original $11.5 million purse will remain in place and be paid out in full over the nine days of competition and ten rounds.

 

As for the younger Steiner, he’s ready to keep things rolling.

 

“Honestly, I’m not stressed out about the next nine rounds or really anything,” he said. “I’m here to prove that I am the best bareback rider in the world and show people that last year was not a symbol of who I am.”

 

Steer Wrestler Dalton Massey shines in Round 1

 

It’s a safe bet that Dalton Massey will never forget the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

 

Massey, who was making his NFR debut, took things to the next level by winning his first round of competition ever in the Thomas & Mack Center.

 

The Hermiston, Ore., cowboy made memories by winning Round 1 with a 3.5-second run.

 

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself. I knew when I walked in the building that it was going to be electric and it was,” Massey said. “I just tried to back in there, make my run, and stop the clock quick. It was good.

 

“I’ve waited my whole life for this moment, so it really is a dream come true. But there’s ten rounds and you have to back in there and do it every night. I tried to tell myself that. When I backed in the box, there were obviously some butterflies that come with this arena, but I just tried to go at the barrier, and it all worked out.”

 

As cool as this moment was for Massey, he’s keeping things in perspective. Massey, who came in as the season leader after setting the PRCA regular-season steer wrestling earnings mark before the NFR at $193,430, now sits atop the world standings with $234,136.

 

“There are ten rounds here, so it’s a marathon and a heavyweight fight all at once. I’m just going to prove myself here every day,” he said.

 

John Douch is tops in tie-down roping in Round 1

 

The third trip of the NFR started off in grand fashion for John Douch.

 

Douch clocked a 7.7-second run to capture the Round 1 win. It was the Huntsville, Texas, cowboy’s first career NFR round victory.

 

“It feels really good. You’re going against the Top 15 in the world, a heavyweight fight. It means a lot to get the first go-round win and I’m looking forward to the next nine rounds,” Douch said.

 

With his first-place win, Douch moved up from 13th to seventh in the world standings with $155,761.

 

“You’re up against guys that have been roping well all-year long. I’ve been roping well, and I just wanted to go out and make a good run and see where I end up.

 

“It’s good to get the early win because it takes a lot of the pressure off. I’m excited to go out there and compete here in the next few rounds.”

 

Ky Hamilton captures Round 1 bull riding title

 

Ky Hamilton has become a standout PRCA bull rider, and no one stood out more than the Mackay, Australia, cowboy.  

 

Hamilton wowed the crowd with his 86.5-point Round 1 victory ride aboard Cervi Championship Rodeo’s Vitalix Theodore.

 

“I knew that bull could go either way and I didn’t really know what he was going to do at the start, but I knew if I stayed in the middle of him, he would take me wherever. It’s an awesome bull and it was special to get the first round out here,” Hamilton said.

 

Hamilton took a determined approach into Round 1.

 

“Well, not many other people thought I had the bull to win but I did, so that’s all that matters. I mean if you stay on and do your job, the judges and everything else will take care of itself,” he said.

 

Despite his Friday success, Hamilton knows he has to have a short-term memory about that result.

 

“No one remembers what you did yesterday so (Saturday) is the same mindset as tonight. Just show up, do your job, and the rest of it will take care of itself,” Hamilton said. “I can’t wait (for the final nine rounds). I’ve been waiting for this for the last two months. I’ve been ready to get here and ride great bulls, so I’m looking forward to it.”

 

Team ropers Summers/Long take Round 1 title

 

In a star-studded NFR team roping field, it was Clint Summers/Jake Long who shined the brightest on Friday night.

 

Summers/Long took home the Round 1 victory with a 4.2-second run.

 

“Jake and I have been practicing quite a bit back at the house with the ring setup and we’ve put together quite a few runs just trying to get ready for this moment,” said Summers, who is making his third NFR appearance. “It moves fast here, and I think if we continue to make our run, it’s going to be a great week.”

 

Long, a veteran of 13 NFRs, was glad to his part in the win.

 

“Well, like Clint said we got to rope a lot back at the house and truthfully it was the first time in my career that our practice rounds were harder there than they were here,” Long said. “I didn’t get around quite like I wanted to, but Clint made him really easy to heel and we got a really good finish.”

 

Summers is hopeful the duo can use this as a springboard for more success in Vegas.

 

“If we can just do our run that we’ve worked at so hard, it will be a great week. Coming off a great run during Sioux Falls at the end of the year, it gave me a lot to build off. The start is fast and as long as I do my part setting him up, I have full faith in my partner to have a great week,” Summers said. 

 

Zeke Thurston, Kade Bruno split saddle bronc win

 

This was shared glory for saddle bronc riders Zeke Thurston and Kade Bruno.

 

Thurston had an 86.5-point ride on Legacy Pro Rodeo LLC’s Vein Reflections and Kade Bruno had the identical score on Brookman Rodeo’s Ragin’ Lunatic to split the Round 1 win.

 

“It was so fun, and I love it here. I couldn’t wait to nod my head in the yellow bucking chutes and just jump out and hit him in the face, let him know you’re here. It’s a good Round 1 win and I’m real excited for the rest of the week,” Thurston said.

 

A year ago, Thurston won his third career PRCA Saddle Bronc Riding World Championship and took home the Top Gun Award by earning $256,078 in Vegas. That was the most of any single-event competitor at the 2022 NFR.

 

“Super nice horse from the Legacy (Pro Rodeo LLC),” Thurston said. “I got on her a couple of years ago when she was younger and now, she’s grown up and really come into her own. Yeah, it was an electric, good-riding horse.”

 

Bruno, who was making his second career NFR appearance, captured his first career NFR round win.

 

“I was really excited to get on that horse. I’ve never been on it before but when I saw the draw, I was happy with my matchup,” Bruno said. “On top of it, to split the win with Zeke (Thurston) is special. I’ve always looked up to him and never thought I would be riding alongside him let alone splitting the go-round win.”

 

Sissy Winn zooms to barrel racing victory in Round 1

 

Barrel racer Sissy Winn is far from an NFR veteran, but the cowgirl rode like one in the opening round of her second career appearance in Vegas.

 

The Texas cowgirl clocked a 13.71-second run to claim the Round 1 glory.

 

“When I came out of that tunnel, I knew it was going to be a good run, but I didn’t know how good it was. I heard the time, and I started bawling like a baby,” Winn said.

 

“I want to enjoy every bit of this moment and this whole night. My family and everyone around me have sacrificed so much throughout my career to help my dreams come true and I like to say that my dream is now their dream too. It just shows that all the hard work paid off.”

 

Winn knows this is just night one in the marathon that is the NFR.

 

“Well, it’s a long nine days. I just want to stay smart and smooth on Snoop by keeping him comfortable and happy,” Winn said. “But I also need to be the best I can to compete against this field.”

 

2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Results

Round 1, Dec. 8

Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

Bareback Riding: First round: 1. Rocker Shane Steiner, 87 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’s Risky Business, $30,706; 2. Clayton Biglow, 85.5, $24,268; 3. Jess Pope, 85, $18,325; 4. (tie) Keenan Hayes, Leighton Berry, Jayco Roper and Richmond Champion, 83.5, $6,438 each; 8. Mason Clements, 83; 9. Jacob Lees, 82.5; 10. Tanner Aus, 82; 11. (tie) Tim O’Connell and Cole Reiner, 80.5; 13. Kade Sonnier, 79.5; 14. Orin Larsen, 78.5; 15. Dean Thompson, 77.5. World Standings: 1. Keenan Hayes, $282,334; 2. Clayton Biglow, $197,006; 3. Rocker Shane Steiner, $183,830; 4. Leighton Berry, $174,394; 5. Kade Sonnier, $170,469; 6. Tim O’Connell, $169,326; 7. Orin Larsen, $157,237; 8. Jess Pope, $155,373; 9. Jayco Roper, $144,406; 10. Dean Thompson, $141,452; 11. Mason Clements, $136,166; 12. Tanner Aus, $129,897; 13.   Cole Reiner, $128,220; 14. Richmond Champion, $128,126; 15. Jacob Lees, $127,808.

Steer Wrestling: First round: 1. Dalton Massey, 3.5 seconds, $30,706; 2. Tyler Waguespack, 3.8, $24,268; 3. (tie) Ty Erickson and Don Payne, 4.3, $15,601 each; 5. Dakota Eldridge, 4.5, $7,924; 6. (tie) J.D. Struxness and Nick Guy, 4.6, $2,476 each; 8. (tie) Jesse Brown and Stephen Culling, 4.9; 10. Dirk Tavenner, 5.5; 11. Will Lummus, 6.3; 12. Stan Branco, 8.1; 13. Jacob Talley, 11.3; 14. (tie) Cody Devers and Bridger Anderson, NT.

World Standings: 1. Dalton Massey, $234,136; 2. Tyler Waguespack, $180,915; 3. Jesse Brown, $171,613; 4. Will Lummus, $153,988; 5. Ty Erickson, $149,876; 6. J.D. Struxness, $134,873; 7. Dakota Eldridge, $133,972; 8. Dirk Tavenner, $117,839; 9. Cody Devers, $114,132; 10. Stephen Culling, $114,026; 11. Jacob Talley, $111,453; 12. Don Payne, $110,213; 13. Nick Guy, $108,793; 14. Stan Branco, $108,290; 15. Bridger Anderson, $95,511.

Team Roping: First round: 1. Clint Summers/Jake Long, 4.2 seconds, $30,706 each; 2. Jake Cooper Clay/Tyler Worley, 4.3, $24,268; 3. (tie) Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nunes Nogueira and Nelson Wyatt/Jonathan Torres, 4.6, $15,601 each; 5.  Clay Smith/Paden Bray, 4.8, $7,924; 6. Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 5.2, $4,953; 7. Tyler Wade/Wesley Thorp, 6.2; 8. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 6.3; 9. Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler, 9.5; 10. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 10.1; 11. Luke Brown/Hunter Koch, 10.3; 12. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, Dustin Egusquiza/Levi Lord, Erich Rogers/Paul Eaves and Marcus Theriot/Cole Curry, NT.

World Standings (Headers): 1. Kaleb Driggers, $185,745; 2. Nelson Wyatt, $170,684; 3. Tyler Wade, $164,926; 4. Dustin Egusquiza, $148,348; 5. Derrick Begay, $148,115; 6. Coleman Proctor, $143,487; 7. Clint Summers, $141,229; 8. Jake Cooper Clay, $134,395; 9. Tanner Tomlinson, $133,659; 10. Rhen Richard, $133,484; 11. Erich Rogers, $129,654; 12. Andrew Ward, $124,765; 13. Clay Smith, $121,079; 14. Marcus Theriot, $112,164; 15. Luke Brown, $107,752.

World Standings (Heelers): 1. Junior Nunes Nogueira, $185,745; 2. Wesley Thorp, $182,153; 3. Colter Todd, $163,282; 4. Jake Long, $154,730; 5. Levi Lord, $148,348; 6. Logan Medlin, $143,487; 7. Patrick Smith, $133,659; 8. Jeremy Buhler, $133,484; 9. Paul Eaves, $130,005; 10. Tyler Worley, $128,251; 11. Buddy Hawkins II, $124,765; 12. Jonathan Torres, $120,510; 13. Paden Bray, $116,480; 14. Hunter Koch, $107,752; 15. Cole Curry, $104,987.

Saddle Bronc Riding: First round: 1. (tie) Kade Bruno, on Brookman Rodeo’s Ragin’ Lunatic and Zeke Thurston, on Legacy Pro Rodeo, LLC’s Vein Reflections, 86.5 points, $27,487 each; 3. Ryder Wright, 86, $18,325; 4. (tie) Chase Brooks, Tanner Butner and Brody Cress, 85, $8,585 each; 7. Lefty Marvel Holman, 84.5; 8. Damian Brennan, 83; 9. (tie) Layton Green and Ryder Sanford, 82.5 each; 11. (tie) Sage Newman and Wyatt Casper, 81.5 each; 13. Ben T. Andersen, 78; 14. Dawson Hay, 77; 15. Stetson Dell Wright, NS.

World Standings: 1.Kade Bruno, $262,746; 2. Stetson Dell Wright, $261,626; 3. Zeke Thurston, $259,406; 4. Sage Newman, $257,264; 5. Ryder Wright, $178,727;

6. Dawson Hay, $165,974; 7. Ben T. Andersen, $160,940; 8. Chase Brooks, $157,806; 9. Tanner Butner, $153,873; 10. Wyatt Casper, $152,421; 11. Brody Cress, $151,328; 12. Layton Green, $146,829; 13. Damian Brennan, $139,744; 14. Lefty Marvel Holman, $138,955; 15. Ryder Sanford, $135,388.

Tie-Down Roping: First round: 1. John Douch, 7.7 seconds, $30,706; 2. Blane Cox, 7.9, $24,268; 3. (tie) Ty Harris and Westyn Hughes, 8.4, $15,601 each; 5. (tie) Riley Mason Webb and Cory Solomon, 8.7, $6,438 each; 7. (tie) Haven Meged and Tuf Case Cooper, 8.8 each; 9. Shane Hanchey, 8.9; 10. Hunter Herrin, 9.2; 11. Shad Mayfield, 10.0; 12. Kincade Henry, 12.1; 13. Caleb Smidt, 16.8; 14. Brushton Minton, 19.8; 15. Beau Cooper, NT.

World Standings: 1. Riley Mason Webb, $296,843; 2. Shad Mayfield, $216,604; 3. Haven Meged, $205,068; 4. Shane Hanchey, $166,660; 5. Ty Harris, $165,282; 6. Westyn Hughes, $162,048; 7. John Douch, $155,761; 8. Blane Cox, $153,876; 9. Cory Solomon, $145,544; 10. Caleb Smidt, $143,128; 11. Kincade Henry, $137,481; 12. Beau Cooper, $127,417; 13. Brush Minton, $126,551; 14. Hunter Herrin, $124,552; 15. Tuf Case Cooper, $124,326.

Barrel Racing: First round: 1. Sissy Winn, 13.71 seconds, $30,706; 2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 13.75, $24,268; 3. Kassie Mowry, 13.90, $18,325; 4. Paige Jones, 13.97, $12,877; 5. Jessica Routier, 14.05, $7,924; 6. Jordon Briggs, 14.10, $4,953; 7. Lisa Lockhart, 14.16; 8. Sue Smith, 14.17; 9. Wenda Johnson, 18.65; 10. (tie) Ilyssa Riley and Stevi Hillman, 18.87; 12. Taycie Matthews, 18.98; 13. Summer Kosel, 19.12; 14. Hailey Kinsel, 19.18; 15. Emily Beisel, 23.83.

World Standings: 1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $304,831; 2. Jordon Briggs, $175,777; 3. Emily Beisel, $168,752; 4. Kassie Mowry, $162,127; 5. Taycie Matthews, $154,161; 6. Sissy Winn, $149,729; 7. Lisa Lockhart, $144,592; 8. Jessica Routier, $136,897; 9. Wenda Johnson, $130,506; 10. Paige Jones, $125,845; 11. Summer Kosel, $125,682; 12. Ilyssa Riley, $121,473; 13. Stevi Hillman, $119,015; 14. Hailey Kinsel, $115,776; 15. Sue Smith, $115,644.

Bull Riding: First round: 1. Ky John Hamilton, 86.5 points on Cervi Championship’s Vitalix Theodore, $30,706; 2. Josh Frost, 85.5, $24,268; 3. Creek Walker Young, 84.5, $18,325; 4. Cody Teel, 84, $12,877; 5. Trey Holston, 83.5, $7,924; 6. (tie) Trey Kimzey and Sage Steele Kimzey, 82.5, $2,476; 8. Jared Parsonage,80.5; 9.       T Parker, 78; 10. (tie) Stetson Dell Wright, Tristen Hutchings, Hayes Weight, Jordan Hansen, Jeff Askey and Cullen R. Telfer, NS.

World Standings: 1. Stetson Dell Wright, $378,630; 2. Ky John Hamilton, $294,871; 3. Josh Frost, $266,302; 4. Trey Holston, $196,468; 5. Tristen Hutchings, $191,192; 6. Creek Walker Young, $184,611; 7. Hayes Weight, $164,695; 8. Trey Kimzey, $163,191; 9. T Parker, $162,792; 10. Cody Teel, $158,548; 11. Sage Steele Kimzey, $157,497; 12. Jordan Hansen, $154,223; 13. Jared Parsonage, $149,552; 14. Jeff Askey, $145,244; 15. Cullen R. Telfer, $138,245.

All-Around: 1. Stetson Dell Wright, $479,620; 2. Nelson Wyatt, $169,735; 3. Caleb Smidt, $143,424; 4. Brushton Minton, $142,688; 5. Jake Cooper Clay, $135,417; 6. Paden Bray, $130,871; 7. Taylor Santos, $128,504; 8. Coleman Proctor, $123,610; 9. Paul David Tierney, $118,342; 10. Marcus Theriot, $114,875. 

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