Two Buckles won by Canada in Round 1 of Wrangler NFR

Trey Benton II rides VJV Whiskey Hands for 88.5 points to win Round 1 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 6th, 2018. PRCA photo by Phil Doyle. 

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A pair of round buckles will be making their way back to Canada after Day 1 of the 60th edition of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR).

Both the bronc riding and bull riding were won on Canadian bucking stock. Outlaw Buckers sponsored Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Nebraska rode Y U R Friskey from the Calgary Stampede for 86.5 points and $26,231.

In the bulls, another round buckle is coming to the Vold Rodeo homestead after Trey Benton III tamed VJV Whiskey Hand for 88.5 points and the first-place check.

Zeke Thurston of Big Valley, Alberta, 2016 World Champion, was the lone Canadian contestant to pull a check. thurston split fifth in the broncs for $5,500 courtesy of an 82-point effort on Griz from Frontier Rodeo. Clay Elliott (Nanton, Alberta) scored 80.5 points, out of the money.

Both Canadian bulldoggers received no times on Thursday night after much effort. Curtis Cassidy (Donalda, Alberta) remains No. 1 in the World Standings however No. 3 coming in, Scott Guenthner (Consort, Alberta) has slipped to No. 8.

Team Canada at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from L to R: Orin Larsen, Curtis Cassidy, Scott Guenthner, Carman Pozzobon, Zeke Thurston and Clay Elliott. PRCA photo by James Phifer.

Orin Larsen (Inglis, Manitoba) rode his horse for a ninth-best 82.5 but remains in the spot he entered the WNFR in, No. 4 in the World Standings.

Our final Canadian on the evening, only first-timer from Canada this year in Carman Pozzobon (Aldergrove, British Columbia) had a longer look that she probably deems necessary now on the second barrel. Her time of 14.24 seconds was 7/10’ths off the pace to leave her in the No. 11 spot in the round.

In addition to the round buckles, a pair of bucking horses earned stock of the night awards with the top marks. Calgary’s You See Me put up 44 points in the bareback against Texas man Bill Tutor who only scored 73 points. Former bareback horse, Kesler Rodeo’s Copper Cat was the top saddle bronc at 43.5 points against another Texas cowboy in Sterling Crawley. 

Four more checks were won on Canadian bucking stock in Round 1 to total $84,193.

Round 2 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo takes place on Friday December 7th, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Centre starting at 6:45pm Pacific. To follow along, watch live at, listen live at Live scoring is also available courtesy of the Wrangler Network.

Money won on Canadian bucking stock at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $84,193

Money won by Canadians at the 2018 Wrangler NFR: $5,500 plus $60,000 in qualification earnings.



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