Let's Rodeo in Oklahoma City

Press Release: April 12, 2014

National champs earn coveted titles

Press Release: April 12, 2014

Mote in position for another title

Press Release: April 11, 2014

Wright at the top of his game

Press Release: April 10, 2014

Peek wins Round 1 at RNCFR

Press Release: April 10, 2014

Gunderson gunning for national title

Press Release: February 20, 2014

Lazy E Arena offers new home to RNCFR

Press Release: February 17, 2014

Mote Leads List of Elite Cowboys

Press Release: February 15, 2014

Champs bring star power to RNCFR

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Champs bring star power to RNCFR

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Wesley Silcox and Cody Teel are about as different as two bull riders can be.

Silcox, 28, is from Utah and is now in his 11th season competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association; he is 5-foot-8 and has qualified to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo six times in his career. Teel is a 21-year-old, 6-foot-tall Texan who has competed at the NFR each of the last two years; this is just his third season in ProRodeo.

But they share something spectacular: the gold buckles awarded annually to world champions. Silcox won his in 2007, while Teel earned his in his first trip to Las Vegas in 2012. They’re two of the top bull riders in the game that will be part of ProRodeo’s National Championship, the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie.

They are joined by a number of the top bull riders in the game, including NFR qualifiers Brett Stall, Bobby Welsh, Steve Woolsey and Oklahoman Trevor Kastner. Welsh is the elder statesman of the group. When the competition begins, he will be 30 years old; he also has qualified for the NFR seven times, matched only by Woolsey.

Who holds the advantage inside the Lazy E? It’s tough to tell, because there are so many variables in bull riding, but Welsh is the only one of who has earned the title, doing so in 2012.

Can he do it again? The bulls will have something to say about it, and so will rodeo’s best.

Mote Leads List of Elite Cowboys

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Bobby Mote is one of the most decorated bareback riders in ProRodeo history.

The Oregon cowboy owns four world championships and 13 straight qualifications to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He also has found competing in central Oklahoma to his liking. You see, Mote has won two of the last three bareback riding national championships right here in the Sooner State.

He returns to the action at this year’s Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12. Mote, who represents the Columbia River Circuit, joins 23 other regional champions that have qualified to compete at ProRodeo’s National Championship, the home of year-end and circuit finals champions from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 12 circuits.

That field includes a who’s who of bareback riding greats, including other NFR qualifiers Joe Gunderson, Austin Foss, Casey Colletti, Wes Stevenson and Caleb Bennett. They bring a truckload of talent to the Lazy E, which for 30 years has been one of the most prestigious arenas in the sport.

Combined, those cowboys represent nearly 30 NFR qualifications. They bring a powerful pedigree and amazing talent to one of the most prestigious rodeos in the sport’s history.

Lazy E Arena offers new home to RNCFR

GUTHRIE, Okla. – ProRodeo’s National Championship has a new home.

The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is scheduled for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the fabulous Lazy E Arena, home of some of the greatest championships ever in rodeo.

This year’s RNCFR will be a true rodeo showcase, featuring the top two qualifiers in each event from the 12 ProRodeo circuits. From New England to Southern California, this is truly the sport’s National Championship. In addition, it’s three marvelous days of amazing entertainment all wrapped around one of the greatest competitions in rodeo.

With each ticket comes phenomenal action and amazing entertainment, including a couple of concerts that will be the perfect curtain call for one of the greatest Western events to hit the Oklahoma City metro area in some time. The Randy Rogers Band will perform at the conclusion of the Friday night performance, while Rodney Atkins will wrap the event Saturday night.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will conduct a mini convention that weekend, allowing volunteers from rodeos all across the country to gather together and gain important information about ways to make their events better. It also allows hundreds of people to enjoy central Oklahoma and to celebrate rodeo.

Packaged together, it all makes for a spectacular entertainment value for fans. In addition to the wild and Western action that comes with ProRodeo’s National Championship, including a chance fans to meet rodeo queens from across the country.

But there’s so much more. Each of the five performances will feature two world-class rodeo entertainers, specialty act Max Reynolds and clown Keith Isley, the most decorated funnyman in the PRCA. They are an excellent extension to the tournament-style competition that will crown the National Champions in each of the eight rodeo disciplines: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (heading and heeling), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

The RNCFR is a magnificent opportunity for weekend warriors – those who have full-time jobs and compete on their time off – to battle with ProRodeo’s elite, those that are regulars at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This is where cowboys like Oklahoma bareback rider Brian Leddy will test their talents against world champions like Bobby Mote, who owns four bareback riding gold buckles.

The field is stacked with 192 contestants, including a handful of rodeo’s greatest stars: world champions Mote, Jake Barnes, Nick Sartain, Cody Wright, Sherry Cervi and Cody Teel.

The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is the championship true fans want to see; it’s the championship they deserve to see.

Gunderson gunning for national title

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Joe Gunderson can taste one of ProRodeo’s most prestigious titles.

Now in his seventh trip to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, Gunderson is ready put a defining statement to a pretty stellar rodeo career by adding the coveted national championship.

“It would be awesome to win this thing,” said Gunderson, a bareback rider from Agar, S.D. “I’ve been here seven times, but I haven’t been able to put it together. I left home wanting it, and I just hope to have a good rest of the week.”

He started pretty strong Thursday afternoon during the first performance of this year’s championship, matching moves with Rafter H Rodeo’s Storm Cloud for 84 points to take the first-round lead. He was one of 12 contestants in each discipline to compete in the afternoon showcase and will watch from the sidelines as the remaining dozen bareback riders tries to better that score.

“I was pretty happy to have him,” Gunderson said of Storm Cloud. “That little sucker bucks. He kind of got me a little out of shape (at the start). It was a fight, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

“I had to stay aggressive; you either buck yourself off trying or get bucked off not trying.”

Gunderson has been one of the elite bronc busters in the game for a number of years. He qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2010 and has been on the verge of making it every year since.

“I blew my knee out in 2011 and was close to making it to the finals,” he said, referring to finishing the regular season among the top 15 in the standings in order to qualify for the NFR.

In 2012, he finished 18th; last year he won eight rodeo titles – including the Ram Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo average championship to earn his qualification to the RNCFR – and finished among the top 30.

“I’d like to ride as long as I can,” said Gunderson, 29. “It’s getting harder and harder to leave home. Increasing the money is great, and it’s great for the sport of rodeo. It lets you live your dream. That’s what everybody wants to do when they’re little, and they’re making it possible.”

Many things are possible for Gunderson. With the lead firmly in place for the first round, he hopes to parlay that into a strong second round and a chance to compete Saturday night for his first national title.

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.

First round leaders

Bareback riding: 1. Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., 84 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Storm Cloud; 2. Morgan Wilde, McCammon, Idaho, 81; 3. Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 79; 4. George Gillespie, Placerville, Calif., 77; 6. Kyle Brennecke, Grain Valley, Mo., 75; 6. Evan Jayne, Marseille, France, 72.

Steer wrestling: 1. Will Lummus, Union City, Tenn., 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., and Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 4.2; 4. Bray Armes, Ponder, Texas, 4.7; 5. (tie) Pep Arballo, Wittmann, Ariz., and Sterling Lambert, Fallon, Nev., 4.8.

Tie-down roping: 1. Jesse Clark, Portales, N.M., 8.3 seconds; 2. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., 9.0; 3. (tie) Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, and Tim Pharr, Resaca, Ga., 9.3; 5. Chris Neal, Muldrow, Okla., 9.8; 6. (tie) Caddo Lewallen, Morrison, Okla., and Ryle Smith, Oakdale, Calif., 10.5.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D., 82 points on Korkow Rodeo's Wiggle Worm; 2. Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, 80; 3. (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, and Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., 79; 5. Ryan Mackenzie, Jordan Valley, Ore., 78; 6. (tie) Casey Maddox, Wichita Falls, Texas, and Curtis Garton, Lake Charles, La., 73.

Team roping: 1. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla./Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla., 4.9 seconds; 2. Ty Blasingame, Sugar City, Colo./J.W. Borrego, Weston, Colo., 5.0; 3. Justin Davis, Madisonville, Texas/Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 5.4; 4. Jade Stoddard, Rexberg, Idaho/Ike Folsom, Dillon, Mont., 5.6; 5. Jeff Johnston, Thedford, Neb./Levi Tyan, Wallace, Neb., 5.7; 6. Jake Stanley, Hermis

ton, Ore./Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Calif., 6.1.

Barrel racing: 1. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 17.31 seconds; 2. Kassidy Dennison, Tohatchi, N.M., 17.35; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, Aubrey, Texas, 17.44; 4. Ann Peterson, Avondale, Colo., 17.48; 5. Nicole Yost, Mt. Morris, Pa., 17.50; 6. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 17.59.

Bull riding: 1. Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas, 85 points on Silver Creek Rodeo’s Rising Sun; 2. (tie) Cody Campbell, Summerville, Ore., Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., and Mike Adams, West Grove, Pa., 83; 5. Jeff Bertus, Avon, S.D., 82; 6. Tustin Dave, Lumpton, Ariz., 79.

Peek wins Round 1 at RNCFR

GUTHRIE, Okla. – A strong work ethic pays off for the world’s greatest athletes.

Tie-down roper Josh Peek fits nicely in that category. The pains of labor gave birth to grand success Thursday during the second performance of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Lazy E Arena. Peek, a six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Pueblo, Colo., roped and tied his calf in 8.1 seconds to win the first round and $4,525.

“The run was phenomenal,” said Peek, who has been working recently with Scotty Shelton getting a firm grasp on all the techniques that go into top-level roping. “We’ve been working faithfully for 10 straight days. Scotty’s been awesome to be working with me. It’s a blessing.”

Another blessing is Buck, the calf horse owned by Peek’s brother Jon.

“When you have a horse like that and it gives you a chance every single time, it makes it easy,” he said. “I just went through the motions.

“Good horses make it very, very easy to win.”

Peek understands that as well as anyone. Of his trips to the NFR, three were in steer wrestling. He won the NFR all-around title in 2009 and finished second in the all-around world standings. Having the chance to win the national championship is important to the Colorado cowboy, who won the tie-down roping average championship at the Ram Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo last fall to qualify for the RNCFR.

“I’m just glad to make it here; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo,” he said. “Anytime you can back in the box with a setup like this with the pressure and a national title on the line, it helps you for your future and your maturity. There’s definitely a stiff competition with a lot of great ropers. To go out and clock first place in the first go-round, it’s a lot of confidence for me.

“This would be a great opportunity. I’ve never had a chance to win a national title.”

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.

First round results

Bareback riding: 1. Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., 84 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Storm Cloud, $4,525; 2. Caine Riddle, Vernon, Texas, 83, $3.428; 3. Morgan Wilde, McCammon, Idaho, 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Seth Hardwick, Laramie, Wyo., and Jessy Davis, Power, Mont., 80, $1,303 each; 5. (tie) Austin Foss, Terrebonne, Ore., and Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 79, $343 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. Will Lummus, Union City, Tenn., 4.1 seconds, $4,525; 2. (tie) Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., and Nick Guy, Sparta, Wis., 4.2, $2,948 each; 4. Bray Armes, Ponder, Texas, 4.7, $1,645; 5. (tie) Pep Arballo, Wittmann, Ariz., and Sterling Lambert, Fallon, Nev., 4.8, $823 each.

Tie-down roping: 1. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 8.1, $4,525; 2. Jesse Clark, Portales, N.M., 8.3, $3,428; 3. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.4, $2,468; 4. Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas, 8.7, $1,645; 6. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., 9.0, $960; 6. Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 9.2, $686.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 83 points on Sutton Rodeo’s Real McCoy, $4,525; 2. Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D., 82, $3,428; 3. Brandon Biebelle, San Lorenzo, N.M., 81, $2,468; 4. (tie) Sterling Crawley, Stephenville, Texas, and Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 80, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, and Joe Lufkin, Sallisaw, Okla., 79, $343 each.

Team roping: 1. Dustin Bird, Cutbank, Mont./John Robertson, Polson, Mont., 4.5 seconds, $4,525; 2. Nick Sartain, Dover, Okla./Reagan Ward, Edmond, Okla., 4.9, $3,428; 3. Ty Blasingame, Sugar City, Colo./J.W. Borrego, Weston, Colo., 5.0, $2,468; Paul David Tierney, Oral, S.D./Jared Bilby, Bridgeport, Neb., 5.1, $1,645; 5. (tie) Travis Bounds, Grand Junction, Colo./Ryan Zurcher, Torrington, Wyo., and Justin Davis, Madisonvil

le, Texas/Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 5.4, $823 each.

Barrel racing: 1. June Holeman, Arcadia, Neb., 16.97 seconds, $4,525; 2. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 17.31, $3,428; 3. Kassidy Dennison, Tohatchi, N.M., 17.35, $2,468; 4. Ann Scott, Canyon Country, Calif., 17.36, $1,645; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, Aubrey, Texas, 17.44, $960; 6. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 686.

Bull riding: 1. Aaron Pass, Dallas, 88 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Spec, $4,525; 2. Reid Barker, Comfort, Texas,85, $3,428; 3. (tie) Cody Campbell, Summerville, Ore., Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo., Taygen Schuelke, Newell, S.D., and Mike Adams, West Grove, Pa., 83, $1,440 each.

Wright at the top of his game

GUTHRIE, Okla. – In all his years of competing in professional rodeo, saddle bronc rider Cody Wright had never been to the storied Lazy E Arena before this week’s Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

He may have found a second home.

On Friday night, Wright rodeo Korkow Rodeo’s Painted Chip for 83 points to take the second-round lead at ProRodeo’s national championship. It’s great timing, coming just 24 hours after his first-round winning, 83-point ride Thursday.

“It’s a great start,” said Wright, a two-time world champion from Milford, Utah. “To win the first round and to be winning the second round … is a good thing.”

Of course, Painted Chip had quite a bit to do with. The South Dakota-raised horse is known for being solid.

“He just turned out of there really good and jumped and kicked,” Wright said. “He felt like he was hanging in the air and giving me time to set my feet and make a ride the judges are looking for.”

The Utah cowboy knows what it takes to ride broncs. He has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 11 straight years. He earned rodeo gold in 2008 and 2010. This weekend’s festivities mark the eighth time he has qualified for the RNCFR. Now he’s leader in the average with a two-ride cumulative total of 166 points. He owns a three-point advantage of the No. 2 cowboy, Brandon Biebelle of San Lorenzo, N.M.

It’s important to be at the top of the pack, especially in this format, which features 24 contestants in each discipline. When the second round wraps after the performance that begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, only the top eight in each event advance to the semifinals, which begins at 7:30 p.m. The scores are then erased, and only the top four from that round move on to the finals. The contestants in each event with the best score or fastest time in the final round will be crowned national champions.

“I’ve done the best I could with what I had,” said Wright, whose brother, Jesse, is a two-time RNCFR bronc riding champion. “I’m not trying to compare myself with him. He’s way better than I am. I just try to be the best I can and win where I can.”

He’ll get another chance on the final night to see how it all plays out.

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.

Second round leaders

Bareback riding: 1. (tie) Caleb Bennett, on Korkow Rodeo’s Bambino Vold, and Tyrel Nelson, on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sadies Gal, 83 points; 3. Jared Smith, 82; 4. (toe) Shon Gibson, and Seth Hardwick, 81; 6. Caine Riddle, 79. Average leaders: 1. Caine Riddle, 162 points on two rides; 2. (tie) Tyrel Nelson and Seth Hardwick, 161; 4. Caleb Bennett, 158; 5. (tie) Shon Gibson and Jared Smith, 157; 7. Jessy Davis, 152; 8. Austin Foss, 151.

Steer wrestling: 1. Stockton Graves, 4.0 seconds; 2. Beau Franzen, 4.3; 3. (tie) Dirk Tavenner, Justin Morehouse and Olin Hannum, 4.4; 6. Wade Sumpter, 4.8. Average leaders: 1. Beau Franzen, 9.3 seconds on two runs; 2. Wade Sumpter, 9.7; 3. Ryle Smith, 10.10; 4. Joe Brown, 20.4; 5. Stockton Graves, 4.0 on one run; 6. Will Lummus, 4.1; 7. (tie) Nick Guy and Trevor Knowles, 4.2

Tie-down roping: 1. (tie) Adam Gray, and Cameron Elston, 8.9 seconds; 3. J.C. Malone, 9.1; 4. Josh Peek, 10.4; 5. Seth Opper, 11.2; 6. Jason Schaffer, 11.4. Average leaders: 1. Adam Gray, 18.1 seconds on two runs; 2. Josh Peek, 18.5; 3. J.C. Malone, 18.9; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, 20.6; 5. Jason Schaffer, 24.3; 6. Justin Thigpen, 31.6; 7. Cameron Elston, 33.7; 8. Chad Johnson, 47.0.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 83 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Painted Chip; 2. (tie) Brandon Biebelle, Jacobs Crawley and Heith DeMoss, 82; 5. (tie) Josh Reynolds, Lyle Welling and Ty Thompson, 73. Average leaders: 1. Cody Wright, 166 points on two rides; 2. Brandon Biebelle, 163; 3. Jacobs Crawley, 156; 4. Heith DeMoss, 155; 5. Josh Reynolds, 153; 6. Lyle Welling, 149; 7. Joaquin Real, 145; 8. Ty Thompson, 143.

Team roping: 1. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.6 seconds; 2. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 4.8; 3. Troy Boone/Derrick Peterson, 5.1; 4. Tadd Thomas/Dusty Morse, 10.7; no other qualified times. Average leaders: 1. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 9.7 seconds on two runs; 2. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 10.8; 3. Troy Boone/Derrick Peterson, 11.5; 4. Tadd Thomas/Dusty Morse, 16.3; 5. Dustin Bird/John Robertson, 4.5 seconds on one run; 6. Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward, 4.9; 7. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 5.0; 8. (tie) Tra

vis Bounds/Ryan Zurcher and Justin Davis/Ryan Motes, 5.4.

Barrel racing: 1. Sherry Cervi, 17.26 seconds; 2. Kenna Squires, 17.38; 3. Laura Kennedy, 17.39; 4. Ann Scott, 17.47; 5. Cindy Woods, 17.50; 6. Lisa Lockhart, 17.61. Average leaders: 1. Ann Scott, 34.83 seconds on two runs; 2. June Holeman, 34.89; 3. Laura Kennedy, 34.92; 4. Lisa Lockhart, 35.06; 5. Cindy Woods, 35.33; 6. McKale Hadley, 35.51; 7. Lindsay Kruse, 35.65; 8. Taylor Young, 35.68.

Bull riding: 1. Aaron Pass, 78 points on D&H Cattle’s Fire Show; 2. Brady Portenier, 75; no other qualified rides. Average leaders: 1. Aaron Pass, 166 points on two rides; 2. Reid Barker, 85 points on one ride; 3. (tie) Cody Campbell, Bobby Welsh, Mike Adams and Taygen Schuelke, 83; 7. Jeff Bertus, 82; 8. Tustin Daye, 79.

Mote in position for another title

GUTHRIE, Okla. – Bobby Mote is starting to like the way the format works at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Mote, a four-time world champion bareback rider from Culver, Ore., has won two of the last three national championships, including the 2012 RNCFR title. On Saturday afternoon, he an 86-point ride on Pickett ProRodeo’s Scarlett Fever to win the second go-round and the two-ride average.

“There was a long stretch there where I couldn’t place here,” said Mote, an 11-time qualifier to the national circuit finals rodeo. “Then it seemed like a few years ago, I did good.

“The last couple of years, it’s been really good for me.”

Yes, it has.

His ride in the matinee was the highest marked bareback ride of the rodeo through four performances. Mote has pocketed $9,392 and awaits the final performance to decide the overall outcome. Of course, it helps to have a good dance partner when playing on one of the biggest stages in the game.

“We’ve had that horse in the TV pen at the NFR,” Mote said, referring to the group of electric horses that are featured annually at the sport’s year-end championship, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Scarlett Fever is out of a champion dam, Scarlett, and sired by the great Night Jacket. With those great animals combined as parents, the younger horse seemed destined to excel.

“That bloodline makes up 10 of the 15 best horses going,” he said. “When you have one that’s bred that way, you’re pretty sure it’s going to be pretty good.

“Dynamic genetics.”

His two national titles are just added flavor to an already distinguished career in which the Oregon cowboy has qualified 13 straight times to the NFR. Still, it’s an important piece of the pie for a man who makes his living on bucking horses.

“It’s the end of a season,” Mote said, referring to the RNCFR’s status in ProRodeo. “You went to all the circuit rodeos. When our (Columbia River) circuit starts up, that’s the place to be for everybody, so those are tough rodeos to win. It does mean a lot to not only have the Columbia River Circuit year-end title, but to come here and capitalize on this opportunity.

“It’s a big deal. They only give one out. There are lots of cowboys shooting for it.”

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.

Second round results

Bareback riding: 1. Bobby Mote, 86 points on Pickett ProRodeo’s Scarlet Fever, $4,525; 2. (tie) Caleb Bennett and Tyrel Nelson, 83, $2,948 each; 4. (tie) Jared Smith and Evan Jayne, 82, $1,303 each; 6. (tie) Shon Gibson and Seth Hardwick, 81, $343 each. Average: 1. Bobby Mote, 165 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Caine Riddle, 162, $3,428; 3. (tie) Tyrel Nelson and Seth Hardwick, 161, $2,057 each; 5. Caleb Bennett, 158, $960; 6. (tie) Shon Gibson, Jared Smith, Joe Gunderson and George Gillespie IV, 157, $171 each.

Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Stockton Graves, 4.0 seconds, $3,976 each; 3. Kyle Irwin, 4.1, $2,468; 4. Pep Arballo, 4.2, $1,645; 5. Beau Franzen, 4.3, $960; 6. (tie) Dirk Tavenner and Justin Morehouse, 4.4, $343 each. Average: 1. (tie) Bray Armes and Trevor Knowles, 8.7 seconds on two runs, $3,976 each; 3. (tie) Pep Arballo and Will Lummus, 9.0, $2,057 each; 5. Beau Franzen, 9.3, $960; 6. Nick Guy, 9.5, $686; 7. Wade Sumpter, 9.7; 8. (tie) Kyle Irwin and Ryle Smith, 10.10 (Irwin advances via tie-breaker).

Tie-down roping: 1. Caddo Lewallen, 8.1 seconds, $4,525; 2. Kevin Peterson, 8.8, $3,428; 3. (tie) Adam Gray and Cameron Elston, 8.9 seconds, $2,057 each; 5. Trevor Thiel, 9.0, $960; 6. J.C. Malone, 9.1, $686. Average: 1. Adam Gray, 18.1 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Josh Peek, 18.5, $3,428; 3. Caddo Lewallen, 18.6, $2,468; 4. Jesse Clark, 18.7, $1,645; 5. J.C. Malone, 18.9, $960; 6. Shane Erickson, 19.1, $686; 7. Tim Pharr, 19.6; 8. Jerome Schneeberger, 20.6.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. Cody Wright, 83 points on Korkow Rodeo’s Painted Chip, $4,525; 2. (tie) Brandon Biebelle, Jacobs Crawley and Heith DeMoss, 82, $2,514 each; 5. (tie) Casey Maddox and Sterling Crawley, 80, $823 each. Average: 1. Cody Wright, 166 points on two head, $4,525; 2. Brandon Biebelle, 163, $3.428; 3. Sterling Crawley, 160, $2,468; 4. Jeremy Meeks, 159, $1,645; 5. Jacobs Crawley, 156, $960; 6. Heith DeMoss, 155, $686; 7. Josh Reynolds, Casey Maddox and Jake Wright, 153 (Reynolds and Maddox advance on tie-breaker).

Team roping: 1. Jake Stanley/Justin Davis, 4.4 seconds, $4,525 each; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.6, $3,428; 3. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 4.8, $2,468; 4. Ryan Von Ahn/J.W. Beck, 5.0, $1,645; 5. Troy Boone/Derrick Peterson, 5.1, $960; 6. Ty Blasingame/J.W Borrego, 5.2, $686. Average: 1. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 9.7 seconds on two runs, $4,525 each; 2. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 10.2, $3,428; 3. Jake Stanley/Justin Davis, 10.5, $2,468; 4. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 10.8, $1,645; 5. Jade Stoddard/Ike Folsom, 11.1, $960; 6. Ryan Von Ahn/J.W. Beck, 11.3, $686; 7. Troy Boone/Derrick Peterson, 11.5; 8. Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward, 12.8.

Barrel racing: 1.Shelly Anzick, 17.16 seconds, $4.525; 2. Sherry Cervi, 17.26, $3,428; 3. (tie) Kenna Squires and Sammi Bessert, 17.38, $2,057 each; 5. (tie) Laura Kennedy and Shelby Janssen, 17.39, $823 each. Average: 1. Shelly Anzick, 34,82 seconds on two runs, $4,525; 2. Ann Scott, 34.83, $3,428; 3. Gretchen Benbenek, 34.84, $2,468; 4. (tie) June Holeman and Kassidy Dennison, 34.89, $1,303 each; 6. Nicole Yost, 34.91, $686; 7. Laura Kennedy, 34.92; 8. Ann Peterson, 34.94.

Bull riding: 1. Parker Breding, 87 points on D&H Cattle’s Hotwired, $4,525; 2. Cody Campbell, 85, $3,428; 3. Jeff Bertus, 84, $2,468; 4. Aaron Pass, 78, $1,645; 5. Sage Kimzey, 77, $960; 6. Brady Portenier, 75, $686. Average: 1. Cody Campbell, 168 points on two head, $4,525; 2. (tie) Aaron Pass and Jeff Bertus, 166, $2,948 each; 4. Parker Breding, 87 points on one head, $1,645; 5. Reid Barker, 85, $960; 6. (tie) Bobby Welsh, Mike Adams and Taygen Schuelke, 83, $229 each.

National champs earn coveted titles

GUTHRIE, Okla. – If saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley lacked any confidence prior to his appearance at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, he’s leaving with a truckload.

Crawley, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stephenville, Texas, rode two broncs Saturday night during the final performance of RNCFR and walked away from the Lazy E Arena with the coveted title of national champion.

“I’m just excited, happy and riding confident,” said Crawley, who won the NFR average championship four months ago in Las Vegas. “I think that’s what every bronc rider and cowboy wants is to get confident and feeling good. Summer’s just around the corner, so this is the kind of momentum heading into three straight months of rodeoing.

“Hopefully I can win some money (over the summer run) and get close to that gold buckle.”

The rodeo’s format featured 24 contestants competing in two go-rounds. The top eight cumulative times or scores advanced to Saturday night’s semifinals, where the scores were then wiped away. The top four from the semifinals advanced to finals; the top score in was crowned national champion.

In the final round, Crawley rode J Bar J Rodeo’s Sweatin Bullets for 83 points and tied two-time world champion Cody Wright, who matched moves with Lancaster and Pickett’s Total Equine Angel. Crawley won the title because he posted a better score in the semis; he was 79, while Wright was 77.

“That’s a really nice horse,” Crawley said of Sweatin Bullets. “I had that horse at the NFR and had some luck on her. I was comfortable and confident with that animal.”

It showed. In all, he won $13,689. He was joined on the national championship stage by steer wrestler Kyle Irwin of Robertsdale, Ala.; tie-down roper Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo.; team ropers Ty Blassingame of Sugar City, Colo., and J.W. Borrego of Weston, Colo.; bull rider Parker Breding of Edgar, Mont.; barrel racer Gretchen Benbenek of Aubrey, Texas; and bareback rider Caleb Bennett of Morgan, Utah.

Like Crawley, Bennett made his way to the title through the tie-breaker. Of the four cowboys who rode in the championship round, three scored 84s: Bennett; Bobby Mote of Culver, Ore.; and Joe Gunderson of Agar, S.D. Bennett, who won the semifinals, with an 84-point ride on Korkow Rodeo’s Inky, claimed the RNCFR crown.

“I don’t think it’s really hit yet,” said Bennett, who rode Pickett Rodeo’s Delta Glamorous in the final round. “It’s still kind of floating through the air, and I’m still floating on clouds.

“This is one of the biggest wins of my career.”

Bennett, a two-time NFR qualifier who earned nearly $64,000 in Las Vegas last December, said the momentum will come in quite handy as he prepares to embark on the busiest stretch of the ProRodeo season.

“Wins like this just help a guy out throughout the rest of the year, with their confidence, their pocketbook,” he said. “I want to be the best I can and as great as I can for my whole entire career. I hope this is a stepping stone in my wins, and I hope it continues to grow.”

Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo

April 10-12, Guthrie, Okla.

Final results

Bareback riding: Semifinals: 1. Caleb Bennett, 84 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Inky, $ 5,484; 2. Bobby Mote, 81, $4,113; 3. Seth Hardwick, 78, $2,742; 4. Joe Gunderson, 77, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Caleb Bennett on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Delta Glamorous, Bobby Mote on J Bar J’s Smack Daddy and Joe Gunderson on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Top Flight, 84 points, $4,113 each. 4. Seth Hardwick, 78, $2,742. National champion: Caleb Bennett.

Steer wrestling: Semifinals: 1. Beau Franzen, 3.8 seconds, $5,484; 2. Bray Armes, 4.1, $4,113; 3. Pep Arballo, 4.3, $2,742; 4. Kyle Irwin, 4.4, $1,371. Finals: 1. Kyle Irwin, 3.3 seconds (ties Stockton Graves’ 2011 record), $5,484; 2. Bray Armes, 3.9, $4,113; 3. Beau Franzen, 4.1, $2,742; 4. Pep Arballo, 6.5, $1,371. National champion: Kyle Irwin.

Tie-down roping: Semifinals: 1. Adam Gray, 7.6 seconds, $5,484; 2. J.C. Malone, 8.3, $4,113; 3. Josh Peek, 8.4, $2,742; 4. Jerome Schneeberger, 8.6, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Josh Peek and Jerome Schneeberger, 7.7 seconds, $4,799 each, 3. J.C. Malone, 9.5, $2,742; no other qualified runs. National champion: Josh Peek.

Saddle bronc riding: Semifinals: 1. Jeremy Meeks, 81 points on Rafter H Rodeo’s Spade, $5,485; 2. Jacobs Crawley, 79, $4,113; 3. Cody Wright, 77, $2,742; 4. Brandon Biebelle, 71, $1,371. Finals: 1. (tie) Cody Wright on Lancaster and Pickett’s Total Equine Angel and Jacobs Crawley on J Bar J’s Sweatin Bullets, 83 points, $4,799 each; 3. Jeremy Meeks, 79, $2,742; no other qualified rides. National champion: Jacobs Crawley.

Team roping: Semifinals: 1. Jake Barnes/Cory Petska, 4.1 seconds, $5,484 each; 2. Paul David Tierney/Jared Bilby, 4.2, $4,113; 3. (tie) Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward and Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 4.6, $2,057 each. Finals: 1. Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego, 3.9 seconds, $5,484 each; 2. Nick Sartain/Reagan Ward, 4.4 seconds, $4,113; no other qualified times. National champions: Ty Blasingame/J.W. Borrego.

Barrel racing: Semifinals: 1. Kassiday Dennison, 17.41, $5,484; 2. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.42, $4,113; 3. (tie) Shelly Anzick and June Holeman, 17.43, $2,057 each. Finals: 1. Gretchen Benbenek, 17.13 seconds, $5,484; 2. June Holeman, 17.21, $4,113; 3. Kassidy Dennison, 17.23, $2,742; 4. Shelly Anzick, 17.45, $1,371. National champion: Gretchen Benbenek.

Bull riding: Semifinals: 1. Parker Breding, 84 points on D&H Cattle’s Fire Show, $5,485; no other qualified rides. Finals: 1. Parker Breding, 88 points on Silver Creek Rodeo’s Rising Sun; no other qualified rides. National champion: Parker Breding.

Circuit team champion: Prairie Circuit.