Scott Guenthner – PRCA photo by James Phifer.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A pair of Canadian athletes stood-out in Round 3 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Centre on Saturday night in Sin City.
After taking a no-time and going out of the aggregate in Round 1, Scott Guenthner (Consort, Alberta) came back to split third in Round 2. In Round 3, he matched his Round 9 winning time from one year ago, 3.3 seconds to take home his second WNFR victory lap and the No. 1 spot in the PRCA World Standings.
“I just want to keep going for the round [wins] because if you back off, you’re not going to win the world,” Guenthner said. “I’m was riding Tyson, Curtis Cassidy‘s horse. I won the Canadian Finals Rodeo on him. The first night here he wasn’t on his game, I’m not sure what was up, but he has been awesome since and he felt great tonight.
For his work, he earned $26,231, moving his total to $49,558 already, including the $10,000 qualification payday. Today, he sits just over $8,000 ahead of world No. 2 and reigning champ Tyler Pearson.
The beginning of the run is important on every night here in Vegas in the bulldogging.
“You can’t even think about the start because if you do, you’re late,” Guenthner said. “I knew my steer was not as hard of a runner as the other ones, and I knew if I got a good start I would catch up and be good on the ground. It’s a cool feeling to have a run like that. A lot guys have been here many years and not won a round, so to win a round is a privilege.”
When he hits, he hits big. 👊
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Despite spraining his MCL while breaking in the cattle before the finals, Cassidy won his first check at his sixth WNFR. Cassidy registered a time of 4.1 to earn $15,654 and now ranks No. 3 in the world $10,200 behind Guenthner, who’s 10th in the aggregate. Cassidy is 11th.
A four-legged Canadian athlete was the other standout in Round 3. Spilled Perfume from the Northcott/Macza bucking string looked more like the legendary Bodacious than any other bull that’s been here in the last 15 years. X81 set up Utah cowboy Mason Clements and brought him down on his face for the top marks of any animal on the night. All four judges agreed at 24 points meaning the animal scored 48 of a possible 50 on the sheets. This very well could be one of, if not the highest score ever for a bareback horse at the Wrangler NFR.
Next highest on the list for Round 3 was Manitoba’s Orin Larsen. It looked like he may have the round win until two-time champ Tim O’Connell stole the buckle with the last ride of the night. Larsen rode T-29 Trail Dust from the Calgary Stampede for 87 points, second place on the evening and $20,731. The check puts him back up to No. 4 in the world but he’s No. 11 in the aggregate after a buckoff in Round 2. Still, he sits $60,000 behind world leader O’Connell.
In the bronc riding, 2016 World Champ Zeke Thurston (Big Valley, Alberta) earned his third check in as many nights. They haven’t been for first, but he’s quietly brought in $18,192. In Round 3 it was an 86 for a split of fifth and $5,500. He’s sixth in the world this year and splitting fourth in the aggregate thus far. Clay Elliott was 84.5 points on Big Tex from Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo but eighth on the night and sixth in the aggregate so far.
Carman Pozzobon (Aldergrove, British Columbia) and Ripp clocked a 13.87 on Saturday for ninth but moved up to No. 8 in the aggregate.
Money won on Canadian bucking stock at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $162,463
Money won by Canadians at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $103,434 plus $60,000 in qualification earnings.
Round 4 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo takes place on Sunday December 9th, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Centre starting at 6:45pm Pacific. To follow along, watch live at ProRodeoTV.com, listen live at ProRodeoLive.com. Live scoring is also available courtesy of the Wrangler Network.