Clayton Biglow rides C5 Rodeo’s Virgil for 93 points on Monday night in Las Vegas. PRCA photo by James Phifer.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — After Monday, the PRCA history books for the Wrangler NFR have a pair of Canadian bucking horses on the right side of the top marks in both saddle bronc and bareback.
In 2003, Billy Etbauer rode Kesler Rodeo’s Cool Alley for 93 points to set the arena record in the bronc riding. The next year, in 2004, he rode the same horse again for the same score.
This evening, California’s Clayton Biglow tamed the incomparable Virgil from C5 Rodeo for 93 points and a new arena record in the bareback riding.
“I’ve been wanting to get on him since the first time I saw him,” Biglow said of the two-time and reigning PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year. “Before the NFR even started I thought to myself, ‘Well, if there’s a place to draw him, it’d be here, that’s for dang sure.’ Last night when I got the draw and I saw his name next to mine I couldn’t sleep at all. I sat there as happy as could be.”
First place was worth $26,231 moving Biglow to No. 3 in the world standings, $35,000 behind No. 1 Tim O’Connell.
“I had seen that horse all year long and last year and in videos,” Biglow said. “Every time a record is broken it’s on Virgil. You see him all the time, I knew if I went and did my job, everything would work out. I didn’t know I was going to be 93, but I knew I had a good chance to win the round, that’s for sure.
“In my mind I was thinking 89, 90, but I did not think it was going to be 93.”
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For being in contention for a world title, Biglow is keeping a cool head.
“It’s awesome and humbling. I’m just happy my name’s up there right now with all the other greats,” he said. “To be in that group of guys it’s what I’ve always dreamed of. It gives me that boost of confidence that I can ride against those guys and win.”
If setting a new arena record in the bareback riding wasn’t enough, we may have all witnessed the greatest round of bronc riding ever. Wade Sundell won the round at 92 points in Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman. After that, Ryder Wright took on Resistol’s Top Hat for a 91. Third place went to Rusty Wright on Andrews Rodeo’s Fire Lane.
Fourth on the night was a score that would have won nearly any other of the rounds in the 60-year history of the Wrangler NFR. Canada’s Zeke Thurston rode Marquee from Sankey Pro Rodeo for 90 points and only ended up being fourth for $11,000. Clay Elliott was looking pretty as the fourth man out for 89.5 points on Stampede Warrior from the Calgary Stampede to earn $6,769.
Rounding out Canadians in the money in Round 5 was Manitoba’s Orin Larsen. Larsen tamed Painted River from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo for 87 points and $4,231.
Carman Pozzobon of Aldergrove, British Columbia continues to throw down solid runs. She clocked a 14.06 which was 2/10th’s out of the money but puts her third in the aggregate thus far. Staying there this time Saturday would pay $43,154 USD.
World No. 1 Curtis Cassidy walked away with a no-time in Round 5 and is now only trailed by World No. 2, aggregate leader and Round 5 winner, Will Lummus, by $3,500. Provost, Alberta’s Scott Guenthner was 5.1 and sits third in the world. Both Canadian steer wrestlers lead the way with WNFR earnings having surpassed the $50,000 mark on Sunday night in Round 4.
Money won on Canadian bucking stock at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $222,117
Money won by Canadians at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $162,665 plus $60,000 in qualification earnings.
Round 6 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo takes place on Tuesday December 11th, 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.