A Run to the Northwest

CALGARY, Alberta — In what is the final six week stretch to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Northwest Run plays a huge part in the making or breaking of a season.

The most Canadians ever to qualify for the WNFR in one year is 11. That was back in 1992.

At this time, five Canadians sit inside the top 15 in the PRCA and another six are within $10,000 of the final spot that gets to Vegas.

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

On the inside are bareback riders Orin Larsen and Clint Laye who rank eighth and tenth both with over $60,000 in earnings; steer wrestler Tanner Milan who’s ranked fifth with nearly $60,000 earned along with bronc riders Zeke Thurston and Tyrel Larsen in 13th and 15th.

On the outside are bareback riders Jake Vold and Luke Creasy. Vold is only out by $2,000 and still has 18 rodeos to compete at this year. Creasy is off the mark by over $6,000 and has switched hands in an effort to make his first WNFR. Clayton Moore is outside of the top 15 in the steer wrestling by the same amount as Creasy. Moore ranks 19th of all bull doggers.

Team ropers Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler sit 21st and 20th respectively on their ends away from 15th by around $8,000. Bronc rider Clay Elliot is 16th by only a couple thousand dollars.

Other notable contestants outside the $10,000 mark from 15th still with a fighting chance include Ty Taypotat, Layton Green, Sam Kelts, Deb Guelly and Ty Pozzobon.

Kicking things off this week is Hermiston, OR where current number 13 man in the saddle bronc world holds down the lead after an 85 on Kesler Rodeo’s Navajo Sun. Thurston may or may not already be past the $50k mark on the year in the PRCA depending on which Canadian rodeos have been added to the standings so far. The Big Valley, AB man also sits second in Omak, WA after an 84 there.

Fellow bronc rider Clay Elliot could jump back into the top 15 as he’s splitting the win in Billings so far. In the team roping, Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler hold down the top spot thus far with a time of 4.7 seconds.

Clint Laye holds down the fourth spot in the bareback in Hermiston with a 79. Deb Guelly sits sixth in round one in the barrel racing there.

Stay tuned the rest of this week for further updates and always watch the Rodeo Connection each month for a full Pro Rodeo update.

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