Stetson Wright dazzles in Round 7, winning bull riding on second re-ride
LAS VEGAS –During his short PRCA career, Stetson Wright has become a household name winning back-to-back all-around world championships and last year’s bull riding crown.
Add Wednesday night to his list of great accomplishments.
Wright rode three bulls in less than 15 minutes and then won Round 7 on his second re-ride bull.
The Milford, Utah, cowboy had a 90.5-point ride on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Bloomer’s High Rise.
“The pain is going to go away and especially after the tenth round is up, so I figured I’d put everything on the line,” said the exhausted Wright. “I risked getting every bone in my body broke to win and right now it’s going good, but we have a few more to go.”
Wright, 22, said he never been on three bulls in one rodeo at the PRCA level.
“No, not this high up,” he said. “What a better place to do it than here (Las Vegas). This is insane. There weren’t many people in the crowd and that was the loudest I’ve heard it.”
Wright earned $46,374, counting ground money, since he and Josh Frost were the only two cowboys to make the whistle in Round 7. Frost, who had a 52.5-point ride on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Record Rack’s Viper, earned $40,713.
Wright second in the PRCA | RAM World Standings in bull riding with $302,494. Sage Kimzey leads with $321,983. He’s second in the saddle bronc standings with $264,492.
Wright is a virtual lock to win his third consecutive all-around world championship with $467,194. Caleb Smidt is second in the all-around with $212,866.
“Yeah, I mean every one of those 14 guys in that locker room are working just as hard as me,” Wright said. “So, if I’m going to come out on top, I have to try and hit them harder.”
Bareback rider Jess Pope takes home third round win of 2021 Wrangler NFR
In his Wrangler NFR debut a year ago, bareback rider Jess Pope won the average.
This season the Kansas cowboy has returned to the NFR, and he’s continued to ride a tidal wave of momentum.
Pope had an 88.5-point trip on J Bar J’s All Pink to win Round 7. This was his third round win of the 2021 Wrangler NFR as he also won Round 1 and Round 2.
“I had never been on that horse before and I was really excited to have her,” Pope said. “I knew she would be really good one to have in this pen. I just had to use her up. I was absolutely terrified to double grab. I have seen her yank a lot of guys down and she is definitely a lot harder to ride two-handed than she is one-handed.”
Pope is thrilled to be on the heater he’s currently on.
“It feels awesome. I have prepared for this stage my whole my life,” Pope said. “There are three bucking horses left and there is three days left. I’m going to get one tomorrow and I’m going to take it one at a time. I’m not going to get in a hurry. Whatever happens, happens. God’s plan is awesome and I’m just excited that this is it for me right now.”
Pope has earned the most money of anybody in one event at this year’s NFR – not counting ground money – with $129,890.
Tyler Waguespack nails down steer wrestling win in Round 7
Steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack has had a strong Wrangler NFR, placing in four of the first six rounds.
On Wednesday, the Gonzales, La., cowboy won Round 7 with a blistering 3.3-second run.
“I knew I could be fast on him,” Waguespack said. “I just had to take a really good start at him and make sure and not break the barrier.”
Waguespack honestly wasn’t sure if he did get too early of a start.
“Usually, I hear someone say that I got out, but on that run, I didn’t hear anyone say anything and I knew I had a good start, but just had to look and make sure,” he said.
Waguespack has had a ton of success on Tyler Pearson and Kyle Irwin’s horse Scooter at past NFRs, but things are different now since Scooter retired this season.
“Oh, I would love to have Scooter here, when we picked up the horses at Tyler’s place in Oklahoma, Scooter was running around the pasture like he was ready to get in the trailer.” Waguespack said. “Casper is the third horse of Tyler Pearson’s that I have used, he does such an amazing job training horses and Casper is working fantastic. Casper stands in the box great and gives you a great go every time.”
Saddle bronc rider Wyatt Casper gets first round win of 2021 Wrangler NFR
Through six rounds of the 2021 Wrangler NFR things weren’t going Wyatt Casper’s way. He placed in just one round – second in Round 4.
Casper changed his luck in Round 7, claiming the win with an 89-point ride on Big Bend Rodeo’s Broken Camp.
“It feels good to finally get a round win here,” Casper said. “My week started off terribly slow, I screwed up three times. That ride tonight, that horse is really strong, so I just worked on getting a good mark out, setting my feet harder every jump, and it worked out.
“I guess I just had a brain lapse on my first one and rolled off that one. I thought I made a really good ride on Maple Leaf the second night, but I missed her out… I just finally had to sit down and block everything out. I took my mind back to the basics and focused on getting a good start.”
Tie-down roper Haven Meged captures Round 7 title
Back in 2019, Haven Meged was the world champion and average winner at the Wrangler NFR.
Meged displayed his great skills in Round 7, capturing the win with a 7.1-second run.
“That’s the thing just relaxing,” Meged said. “I could only do so much thinking about it, just had to hit the barrier, as long as I caught her, I knew she was going to be great on the ground.”
Meged has placed in four rounds and is fifth in the world standings with $184,691.
“I guess I’m glad I got the 19 in an earlier round, it lit a fire under me, made me mad, I was sick of missing the barrier,” Meged said. “I took a hit for trying to win a gold buckle, but I am just trying to battle back right now.”
Meged’s star horse Beyonce was once again a key to his success.
“She is amazing, she never takes your throw away from you, she’s easy at the barrier, as long as I do what I’m supposed do, she’s going to let me win.”
Team ropers Egusquiza/Graves, Tryan/Long split win
Team ropers Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves and Clay Tryan/Jake Long shared the Round 7 win as they had identical 3.7-second runs.
“It has been a long week, for me. I felt like I have been making it pretty hard on Travis this week to heel two feet,” Egusquiza said. “I pulled the steer a little bit better tonight and as long as I do that, I know he’s going to catch two feet every time.”
Graves was thrilled about the round win.
“This run is huge,” Graves said. “When you are 3 it is a great feeling. To win the round after we have had a long week, we can turn things around. Hopefully that’s what we have going, and I’m ready for the next three.”
Tryan and Long have had a decent week, earning $78,146 each.
“Anything that just doesn’t go left you have a chance on,” Tryan said. “He was straight down the middle. These rounds start getting tough down toward the end and we are going to try and go as fast as we can.
Long kept his team’s run is perspective.
“Obviously you want to do good in the average but when your week isn’t going like you want it to, you go as fast as you can every night and try and win as much money as you can,” he said.
Hailey Kinsel grabs top honors in barrel racing
Barrel racer Hailey Kinsel has her eyes focused on another world championship and that goal became a little clearer on Wednesday.
Kinsel clocked a 13.45-second time to snare the Round 7 title.
Kinsel is first in the world standings with $213,664.
“Sis started out really good and just feel like she has gotten stronger every night,” Kinsel said. “She has been really consistent. Getting to come for a round win is great but winning second is just as good, just a little less money. A round win always makes it a little sweeter.”
Kinsel said there was no big secret to her success Wednesday.
“It felt awesome tonight and the ground has been amazing,” she said. “I just took what had been going well and crossed off what I was doing wrong, and it worked out tonight.”
-all information is courtesy of the PRCA-