Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 | 4:56 p.m.
2013 Wrangler NFR Round 5
It’s a back-and-forth battle between red-hot saddle bronc riders Wade Sundell and leader Cody Wright, and Monday night in Round 5 at our Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV, Wade won out. He’s now back in serious contention to win a world championship, and actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was among the fans watching the exciting action.
Wade won Rounds 3 and 5 and moved to just one round win behind Cody, who beat him out of the world title in 2010. It’s the halfway point of the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and an enthusiastic crowd of 17,418 cheered on his 87.5 victory, 2 points better than brothers Cody and Jake Wright, who tied for second.
It was “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night, and Mirage headline entertainer and ventriloquist Terry Fator sang the national anthem. The evening opened with a tribute to two of the sport’s most decorated families: the Wrights of Utah and the Coopers of Texas.
World champion Trevor Brazile was ready to claim his 19th gold buckle world championship, but it didn’t quite happen, so it’s likely tonight. He was in second place all set to earn enough money to clinch the title, but his brother-in-law(!) Clif Cooper tied him for second place with 7.4 seconds.
Tie down roper Cody Ohl won and took over the world-standings lead from two-time defending champion Tuf Cooper. Lisa Lockhart won barrel racing by the narrowest margin ever over defending world champion Mary Walker — by one-hundredth of a second.
Congratulations to Miss Rodeo Mississippi Paige Nicholson, who was crowned 2014 Miss Rodeo America on Monday at South Point by 2013 Miss Rodeo America Chenae Shiner. Miss Colorado Sara Wiens was runner-up. Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo galleries today and NFR for its assistance with our daily coverage.
The glamour of the rodeo world comes to life Wednesday night at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore with the cast of A&E’s “Rodeo Girls.” It stars a longtime friend of mine, model turned rodeo queen Darcy LaPier, and they are celebrating the first of a two-night series premiere.
Darcy, who has been married to actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, former Hawaiian Tropic suntan king Ron Rice and Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, is among the five female barrel racers who pack up their lives and their horses to test their skills at rodeos across the country.
A new TV show is broadcasting this year from Las Vegas with “The Cowboy Shopping Network” to take the Stetson Cowboy Christmas Experience into homes across the country. The show is broadcast live from Sands Expo and The Roper Cowboy Marketplace at Mandalay Bay throughout the run of Wrangler NFR.
“We host over 700 unique western-lifestyle vendors with more than 2,000 booths, which showcase everything from custom jewelry, western clothing, furniture, equine products and more,” said Chris Woodruff, executive producer. “It’s an endless supply of cowboy shopping live.”
The daily hourlong show, hosted by “Wild” Wendy Brown, Katie Bartlett, Brandon Woodruff and Chris Woodruff, runs every evening at 7 ET through Sunday.
The launch of the Cowboy Shopping Network is in preparation for RFD-TV’s “The American” presented on March 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It will be the richest rodeo in the history of western sports with a $2 million payout. Winners from the semifinals will compete against the Top 10 athletes after the PBR World Final standings and WNFR final world standings here this week.
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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Located South of the Strip, South Point is a hot spot frequented by locals. The hotel-casino is decorated in a Pacific Coast feel, with golds, reds and browns, mixing an island feel with the ambiance of Southern California.
Guests rooms feature 42-inch flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and plush linens. Outside, the property features landscaped gardens, a hospitality to entertain poolside and a sand volleyball court.
When it comes to gaming, the South Point has more than 120,000 square feet of casino games, as well as a separate race books and sports books, a bingo and poker room. South Point also has some family friendly features, like a 64-lane bowling center, an arcade and a 16-screen movie theater.
Dining options range from an upscale meal at Michael's Gourmet to ice cream at Kate's Korner. The 24-hour Coronado Cafe is the perfect spot for a late-night craving, which include six midnight to 6 a.m. "graveyard" specials. Other restaurants include the Big Sur Oyster Bar, Don Vito's, Garden Buffet, Seattle's Best Coffee House and the Del Mar Deli.
One of South Points more unique features is the Equestrian Center and Arena, a first for Vegas. The Equestrian Center holds a variety of events, from college basketball to Championship Bull Riding.