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Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Round 1 Results and Highlights


2008 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Round 1 Results and Highlights
Thursday, December 4th

The National Finals Rodeo has begun and this year over 5.6 million dollars in prize money is available to the World's best cowboys and cowgirls at this prestigious and honorable rodeo where the World Champions in all seven events will be crowned. 27 rookies will take the arena along with the seasoned veterans.

This year marks a special milestone for the rodeo, its silver anniversary. That's right, the National Finals Rodeo is fifty years old in 2008.

The National Finals Rodeo isn't just another rodeo; it's where you match your skills against the best in your event and the best stock in the business. It's always a battle of nerves for even the most hardened and experienced cowboy when you ride into Las Vegas and enter the Thomas and Mack for Round 1!

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Bareback Riding Results:

1 Chris Harris - 88.5 points on Power Play
2 Steven Dent - 86.5 on Lunitic Fringe
3 Justin McDaniel - 86.0 on Free Fall

Chris Harris spoke about the horse that took him to his first NFR round victory in over 6 years.

"I think it was in Longview, Texas, at one of the Heartland rodeos this year (when I had him - Power Play)," Harris said. "He hadn't proved himself yet then, he is just a colt, and he was outstanding. I picked him up, kind of like I did tonight, got my feet into him and went to him. He's just done nothing but gotten steadily better, better and better. I was excited to have that horse. I knew the horse and had just seen Justin McDaniel on him in Dallas too. I kind of thought he was the sleeper of the pen. Nobody knew who he was, and I was kind of like, 'I've got the sleeper, and nobody's even looking at me. They don't even have a clue that this horse is going to do what he's going to do.'"

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Steer Wrestling Results:

1 Luke Branqhinho - 3.6 seconds
2 Curtis Cassidy - 3.7
3 Cash Meyers - 4.1

The steer wrestler Luke Branquinho took over the top spot from stalwart Wade Sumpter after his round 1 victory. This year promises a close race between the big boys of rodeo.

"It actually didn't feel like a very good run," said Branquinho, who was riding 2008 AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Willy. "I ran that steer in Dallas, and I was 3.8. Tonight, I got off a little early and my feet ran on me, but he was good enough and I got his nose, so it worked out OK."

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Team Roping Results:

1 Garrett Tonozzi / Kinney Harrell - 4.6 seconds
2 Trevor Brazile / Patrick Smith - 4.8
3 JoJo LeMond / Martin Lucero - 4.9

Tonozzi and Harrell went first in the first round, perhaps the worst place to start your NFR, but their time held up and the took down the victory.

"It was nerve-racking sitting down there watching the 14 best teams in the world go, and we were just hoping it was going to work out for us tonight," Tonozzi said. "We're going to win as many rounds as we can and just keep going for first every night."

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Saddle Bronc Results:

1 Bryce Miller - 89.0 points on Knife Money
2 Billy Etbauer - 85.5 on Aces Full
wild card 3 Rod Hay - 85.0 on Good Times

Another close race is the saddle bronc riding this year with Billy Etbauer surpassing Cody Wright for the #1 spot in the classic event. Etbauer will tie legendary bronc riders Casey Tibbs and Dan Mortensen with 6 world titles if he can pull off a win this year.

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Tie-Down Roping Results:

1 Hunter Herrin - 7.5 seconds
2 Tyson Durfey - 7.7
3 Stran Smith - 7.8

"We knew there were two or three calves in the pen that were really good, and I was fortunate to get one of them," said Herrin, who also won the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship, presented by Texas Stampede, in Dallas last month. "From then on, you just have to make sure you get out of the barrier, get your calf roped and just go and do what I did. I'm very lucky and fortunate to be here and that it happened that way."

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Barrel Racing Results:

1 Jill Moody - 14.02 seconds
2 Cassie Moseley - 14.06
3 Maegan Reichert - 14.07

"In the (indoor) buildings, this mare (Dolly) is just hard to keep barrels up on," Moody said. "She is really hit and miss, especially in the small pens. So, I just take it one run at a time. To me, the NFR is 10 really awesome rodeos rolled into one week, and I don't have to drive to get to them all. I just am thrilled to be here and have this one under my belt."

National Finals Rodeo
Round 1 Bull Riding Results:

1 Bobby Welsh - 89.5 on Reeces Pieces
Tie for Second
2 J.W. Harris - 88.5 points on Swamp Donkey
2 Shawn Proctor - 88.5 on Black Gold
4 Mike Moore - 86.0 on Big Rig

"I couldn't have started any better," Welsh said. "I talked to J.W. (Harris) and he said he was one of his favorite bulls. They said he was going to be right there to the gate and don't be late. He comes out real strong and kicks hard. Praise God I matched him jump for jump. I have had a good feeling for the last month. I couldn't wait to get here, and this is what I was expecting – not necessarily to win a round – but to ride my bull."

(All Quotes are Courtesy of the PRCA.)

Next stop Round 2...I'll see you there!

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