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Arena Chatter

Top 15 in the WPRA Headed to Las Vegas

This is the UNOFFICIAL list of the top 15 barrel racers in the WPRA who should be heading to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo this December in Las Vegas, thanks to Miles McNarland, who keeps tabs on this all year long! As official results come in from the WPRA, I will update this post!

The number one cowgirl, Tiany Schuster and her horse Showmance, are ahead of Stevi Hillman who is occupying second position by $65,319, unofficially. The next closest by money won in the rough stock and timed events is bull riding sensation Sage Kimzey, who has won $234,136.27 in his 2017 season, then Tuf Cooper with $211,927.32.

Canada will be sending 9 of their best south of the border for finals, including Jordan Hansen, Tanner Milan, Scott Guenther, Jake Vold, Orin Ellis, Clay Elliot, Zeke Thurston, Layton Green, and Jeremy Buhler who will not be competing with his roping partner Levi Simpson as Simpson fell into the crying hole. Buhler will be roping with Tom Richards. Thanks to Ted Stovin with Everything Cowboy for the update. To learn more, check out his story here.

1 Tiany Schuster Krum, TX $250,016.98 90
2 Stevi Hillman Weatherford, TX $177,791.92 92
3 Nellie Miller Cottonwood, CA $130,536.75 46
4 Amberleigh Moore Salem, OR $120,852.11 50
5 Kassie Mowry Dublin, TX $115,162.81 24
6 Kathy Grimes Medical Lake, WA $111,785.38 45
7 Hailey Kinsel Cotulla, TX $97,778.87 66
8 Lisa Lockhart Oelrichs, SD $93,438.32 57
9 Taci Bettis (R) Round Top, TX $93,222.32 66
10 Sydni Blanchard Albuquerque, NM $91,376.73 74
11 Tillar Murray Fort Worth, TX $86,019.79 88
12 Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi Victoria, TX $83,741.30 90
13 Kellie Collier Hereford, TX $83,342.23 96
14 Ivy Conrado Hudson, CO $77,490.74 83
15 Kimmie Wall Roosevelt, UT $73,819.70 58


16 Sherry Cervi Marana, AZ $73,015.80 76
17 Emily Miller Weatherford, OK $71,704.09 79
18 Jana Bean Ft Hancock, TX $70,654.26 92
19 Jackie Ganter Abilene, TX $68,758.99 96
20 Ari-Anna Flynn Charleston, AR $62,607.25 86

Arena Chatter Results

Oh Canada

The grin said it all.

As Jake Vold made the first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo victory lap of his career, the three time Canadian champion’s grin lit up the Thomas and Mack Arena. And why not—his 89.5 score on the back of Flying U Rodeo’s Lil Red Hawk was the highest marked ride to date in the bareback riding and netted the Airdrie cowboy a cool first place cheque for $26,230 to raise his total WNFR earnings to $48,782 and jump him to fifth place in the average.

But Vold made it clear that it’s the go-round buckle that is the icing on the cake. “I was close a couple of times the last time I was here but didn’t quite get there,” Vold admitted.

“I saw some of the guys this week with their buckles and I thought to myself, I want one of those,” the 29 year old superstar added. “Canada will be pretty excited about this. It’ll be quite the night over there.” (at the nightly buckle presentation at the South Point Casino).

Inglis, Manitoba’s Orin Larsen had his best result to date, posting an 83 on J Bar J’s Pass the Hat to finish just one half point out of the bareback riding money.

On the best night so far for ‘TeamCanada’, a pair of saddle bronc riders enjoyed a lucrative round four as well. Jake Watson of Hudson Hope, British Columbia put together a solid 84 point effort on the Calgary Stampede’s Tokyo Bubbles to split 3/4 and collect $13,326 on the night. Right behind  Watson was Zeke Thurston whose 83.5 on United Pro Rodeo’s Ropin Dreams netted the Big Valley cowboy a 5/6 split and $5500. The third Canadian bronc rider fared less well. Canadian champion, Clay Elliott was unable to navigate eight successful seconds on the back of United Pro Rodeo’s Pow Wow Nights.

The dream sequence that has been the Ryder Wright story of the WNFR continued as the 18 year-old became just the second rough stock cowboy in the history of the event to win four consecutive rounds outright. (The other was two time world champion Robert Etbauer in 1991). In round four, the amazing teenager who is riding here with his brother, his dad, and three uncles (qualifier CoBurn Bradshaw married into the family in 2013) spurred out an 85.5 points on Flying Five Rodeo’s Sundance.

The Utah teenager, who cam to the Finals in 14th place, is now just a thousand dollars out of the lead for the world and sits comfortably in the lead in the average while season leader and defending champion, Jacobs Crawley, bucked off his round four horse.

Team ropers Levi Simpson of Ponoka and Jeremy Buhler of Arrowwood kept their solid run going despite catching one leg on the backside to incur their second five second penalty in a row. Tonight, however, saw several teams struggle with six no times and a broken barrier leaving the Alberta duo splitting 6th for a $2115 payday per man. The ‘go-round from hell’ , while costly for  so many, including Barrhead’s Kolton Schmidt and his Texas partner, Shay Carroll, was especially beneficial for Simpson and Buhler as the first all-Canadian team to qualify for the NFR team roping climbed all the way to second place in the cash-rich average. The round was won by the Minor brothers, Riley and Brady Minor of Ellensburg, Washington with a 4.4 second run.

In the steer wrestling, the big man from Appleton, Minnesota, J.D. Struxness, followed up a 1/2 split in the third round with a 3.8 run in round four to win it outright this time around. And in the tie down roping, Marty Yates, the Stephenville, Texas hand was just two tenths of a second off Cody Ohl’s arena record to pocket the big cheque. Yates who qualified for the WNFR in 15th place was 6.8 seconds for the go-round victory. The barrel racing got blazing fast as Michelle McLeod of Whitesboro, Texas smoked a run of 13.49 to post her first go-round win of the 2016 Finals.

Jake Vold wasn’t the only Canadian to collect the go round buckle on this night. The Calgary Stampede’s Wranglers Extreme was top bull of the round as he carried Sulphur, Oklahoma’s Brennon Eldred to 86.5 points and the win. The seven year-old bull was purchased by the Stampede in the spring from Todd Braithwaite and just three weeks ago carried eventual Canadian Champion, Jordan Hansen to a second place go round result with an 85 score.

The performances of Stampede stock added to an already productive week for the organization’s stock contracting division. Earlier in the week, it was announced that the Stampede had been named the primary stock contractor for Horse Heaven Round Up in Kennewick, Washington.

“We already have a major presence in the Pacific Northwest at that time,” Stampede spokesman Keith Marrington related, “so this fits really well with our program. Kennewick is a very progressive committee; they have $20,000 added and a short round so we’re very excited to become the primary stock contractor there.”

Outlaw Buckers’ Rodeo’s No Good Deed was also outstanding in the round as he bucked off NFR rookie Rory Maier from Timber Lake, South Dakota.

Courtesy of the CPRA*

Arena Chatter

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Qualifiers

Here are the top 15 in the WPRA heading to the WNFR! Viva Las Vegas!

Congrats to Cayla Melby making it her Rookie Year, also qualifying for her second Canadian Finals Rodeo! Also very excited to watch Miss Jackie Ganter compete at the CFR this November in Edmonton, Alberta!

1 Mary Burger Pauls Valley, OK $190,976.61
2 Jackie Ganter Abilene, TX $116,386.69 96
3 Mary Walker (G) Ennis, TX $112,815.95 72
4 Ivy Conrado Hudson, CO $111,160.15
5 Kimmie Wall Roosevelt, UT $107,795.17 53
6 Stevi Hillman Weatherford, TX $104,642.98 93
7 Lisa Lockhart Oelrichs, SD $100,244.19 38
8 Sarah Rose McDonald Brunswick, GA $89,364.42
10 Michele McLeod Whitesboro, TX $87,745.05
9 Cayla Melby (R) Burneyville, OK $87,736.63
11 Pamela Capper Cheney, WA $87,504.95
12 Sherry Cervi Marana, AZ $83,678.73 68
13 Carley Richardson Pampa, TX $80,875.33 63
14 Jana Bean Ft Hancock, TX $80,335.73
15 Amberleigh Moore Salem, OR $79,068.01
*standings include Pasadena, Tx money won*

Mary Burger will be sporting the #1 back number in Vegas as she is the high money earner from the season in the PRCA & WPRA with $190,772.61! Tim O’Connell in the Bareback is #2 with $179,013.20!

Canada will be sending off 8 Canadians to Vegas for their chance to spur some necks, cash some checks and bring home a Gold Buckle or two.

Recently engaged Orin Larsen from Inglis, Manitoba is 2nd in the Bareback with $138,295.67 won in the 2016 season. Ponoka’s own Jake Vold is 10th with $74,821.33. Team Ropers, Kolton Schmidt from Barrhead, Alberta finished in 4th place with $96,147.35,  Levi Simpson sits 14th with $63,133.31, and Jeremy Buhler on the heeling side is 12th with $72,311.13. Our Saddle Bronc qualifiers are Big Valley, Alberta’s Zeke Thurston finishing 4th with $105,045.60, Clay Elliot out of Nanton, Alberta at 8th place with $80,048.26, and  Jake Watson out of Hudson Hope, BC in 15th with $68,095.35, pulling a 6th place cheque in Pasadena, Tx this week to secure that final  spot! Jake is also heading to his first CFR!

The Cinch Pro Rodeo Canada Series Finals are this weekend in Calgary, Alberta which could change the standings a bit still in the CPRA.
All the best to those who are running!

*Please note, these standings could still change and are from Sept 30th 2016 from prorodeo.com & wpra.com *