Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 | 11:56 a.m.
2013 Wrangler NFR Round 3
By tying for fifth place in Round 3 of tie-down roping with Tuf Cooper, world champion Trevor Brazile kept his lead in the all-around world standings at $125,168 over Tuf as he piles on the pressure for a record-breaking 19th world championship gold buckle.
Tuf could earn $196,816 by winning the remaining eight rounds of the tie-down roping and the average, but nobody has ever done that at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and Trevor is competing in team roping and tie-down roping here. Best guess by the WNFR experts? Trevor will clinch his 11th all-around title in Round 5, just as he did a year ago.
Nearly 17,700 fans watched Saturday night’s action at our Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV, with the national anthem performed by Rylee Werth. A kid’s specialty act with Melissa Navarre and her daughter Shyla provided entertainment with Madison MacDonald and Cora Corteau.
After a disastrous Round 2 penalty of 10 seconds for breaking a barrier, 40-year-old Cody Ohl, who won tie-down roping world titles in 1997-98, 2001, 2003 and 2006 and also claimed the world all-around championship in 2001, bounced right back to win Round 3.
With that win of $18,630 in the round, it put him third in the world standings with $113,573, trailing tie-down roping leader Tuf by $28,502. However, Trevor holds the record for round wins with 54 and is close to clinching his eighth consecutive world all-around championship, 11th overall and record-breaking 19th gold buckle.
For a second consecutive night, Steven Peebles continued to star in the bareback riding, and his double win boosted his 2013 WNFR earnings to $37,260, putting him fourth in the world standings with $119,060. He trails leader Kaycee Feild, the two-time defending champion, by $21,247.
The 24-year-old resident of Redmond, Ore., said: “It feels awesome. I just want to keep rolling and not think about it too much. My new strategy this year is to not get too wound up. I try to stay calm and treat every ride the same just like I do all year long. It was always too much on my mind in years past, and I’d overthink it.”
Steven said winning Friday night helped his attitude going into Saturday night’s Round 3: “Last night did help my confidence. I hadn’t been on in two weeks, so I felt like I came in a little rusty. I feel great now. I just want them to keep bucking for me.”
WNFR rookie Cody Campbell captured bull riding with 90 points on Wild Card Rodeo’s Magic. World standings leader J.W. Harris was second with 88.5 points. Rookie Cooper Davis was third with 86.5 on Kitty Shack, only the second time the bull had been ridden all year.
Team roping produced a three-way tie for first among the partnerships of Riley Minor and Brady Minor, Drew Horner and Buddy Hawkins II and Brandon Beers and Jim Ross Cooper. They all clocked in at 4.2 seconds.
Barrel racer Taylor Jacob, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Rookie of the Year, equaled Sherry Cervi’s Round 3 record of 13.65 seconds. Sherry had won the first two rounds and tied for fourth Saturday; she holds a $39,749 lead in the world standings over defending champion Mary Walker. Sherry leads the race for the Ram Truck Top Gun Award with $43,570, which goes to the contestant who wins the most money at WNFR.
Our thanks to L.E. Baskow of the Las Vegas Sun for his Round 3 photo gallery and WNFR for this Sunday report. Check back Monday for coverage of Round 4.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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