Joyce Whitis

Well, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has come and gone with some cowboys making history and others shaking it off and thinking about next year. For those of us who are true fans of cowboys and cowgirls, it is time to take a break.

 Trevor Brazile has set the pace of rodeo for the last few years riding a good horse and throwing a loop. He finished the season with earnings of $346,779 about $100,000 ahead of Josh Peek, his closest competitor. Trevor also tied Ty Murray’s record of seven All-Around Championships and is also tied with Dean Oliver and Charmayne James for third place on the all-time list with 11 career gold buckles.

 Trevor led the tie-down roping race going into the Finals and finished in fourth place in the average. Tuf Cooper, son of Roy “super looper” Cooper, won the Average with 10-head total of 84.5 seconds. That finish moved Tuf to finish second in the world standings with $174,349 behind his brother-in-law, Trevor’s final total of $188,343.

 The Finals was filled with surprises and one in particular for Josh Peek and his fans as he won the all-around in calf roping after earning $113,802.

“I want to thank the Lord for everything this week,” he said, as he was handed a saddle.

Bareback rider Bobby Mote just had to stay on his bronc for eight seconds to clinch his third world title. Just to make his win exciting he rode Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Wonderland for 87.5 to win the round and secure his place as “best in the world in 2009”.

The 10th round was going to be easy for two-time World Champion Luke Branquinho but to everyone, including Luke’s amazement, the popular steer-wrestler lost his grip while throwing the steer to the ground.  The steer got back up and ran away taking Luke’s hopes of a third gold buckle with him. The judge didn’t think Luke had a hand on the steer, a call that might have been reviewed in the NFL but his ruling stood making way for Lee Graves to claim the championship.

 There was lots of interest locally when it came to the team roping round as Luke Brown/Martin Lucero had been leading the average race but the steady team had no time in round 10 along with the teams of Chad Masters/Jade Corkill, and  JoJo LeMond/Randon Adams.  Travis Tyran/Michael Jones won a couple of rounds and Kelsey Parchman/Richard Durham posted a 3.7 to win the 10th and final round.

Five-time World Champion Billy Etbauer ended his 21st NFR by winning the 10th round with an 89 point ride on Three Hills Rodeo’s Ace’ Full. Shaun Stroh won his first NFR saddle bronc riding average after scoring 732.5 on nine head.

Barrel racing came down to the end with 2007 World Champion Brittany Pozzi and 2008 World Champion Lindsay Sears neck and neck for the gold. Sears finished 5th in the round and dropped to second-place. Pozzi was the winner.

In bull riding, Kanin Asay was the average winner. He finished 2nd in the world standings to J.W. Harris.

World Standings: Bareback Bobby Mote; Steer Wrestling Lee Graves; Team Roping Nick Sartain/Kollin VonAhn 2nd Luke Brown/Martin Lucero; Saddle bronc Shaun Stroh; Tie-Down Roping Trevor Brazile; Barrel racing Brittany Pozzi; Bull riding J.W. Harris.