December 2, 2011–All season, the words, ?world title, world title? echoed through Kaycee Feild?s head as the chute cracked open at rodeos across North America.
Since the regular season ended on Sept. 30, he has been thinking constantly about joining his ProRodeo Hall of Fame and five-time World Champion father, Lewis Feild, in the gold buckle club. After a season in which he won more than $140,000 and carried the world standings lead into the 53rd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center, Feild took yet another step toward his goal with an 89-point ride aboard Bar T Rodeo?s Bitter Robin. Feild won Thursday?s Round 1, topping Wrangler NFR rookie Casey Colletti by 1.5 points in front of 17,001 rodeo fans.
?I?ve been on that horse twice this season and was 86 and 87 on him those times and won both rodeos,? Feild said. ?I won St. George (Utah) and Tremonton (Utah), and those were outdoor pens. I was excited to have that horse in an indoor pen because from what I?ve seen, he’s better in an indoor pen. I think, just like cowboys, the horses can hear the crowd and feel the excitement and they get a little pumped up, too.?
Feild extended his pre-NFR lead over three-time World Champion Will Lowe as the Texan failed to place in the money with his 80.5-point ride on Flying 5 Rodeo?s Spotted Mountain. Feild picked up $17,885 for the win and now holds a $20,910 lead in the world standings.
?I’m always thinking about winning the world title,? Feild said. ?The last two months, not a day went by that I didn’t think about it. I don’t think you can get too pumped up when it comes to riding bareback horses. I was definitely ready to go.
Feild could be the man to watch on Friday, as he’s won Round 2 twice in his three previous trips (2008 and 2009) to the Wrangler NFR.
Tie-down roper Cody Ohl is always a man to watch in Las Vegas. For the seventh time in 16 Wrangler NFR qualifications, Ohl won Round 1 when he stopped the clock in 7.5 seconds. He entered the Wrangler NFR with the goal of winning the average.
?Soon as I rode in there, (the announcer) said, ?$60,000 behind? (then it was) blow the barrier and wrap and a hooey,? Ohl said. ?My whole philosophy changed.?
Ohl has now won a Wrangler NFR event record 41 rounds in tie-down roping. Thanks to his $17,885 check, he moved to third place in the world standings.
In steer wrestling, Trevor Knowles and Jason Miller rode the same horse ? two-time PRCA/AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie, owned by Canadian Lee Graves ? to identical 3.9-second runs. Both gained ground on world standings leader Dean Gorsuch, whose 4.5-second effort was just out of the money. Miller moved to within $796 of the lead thanks to the $16,010 each cowboy win for the first-place split.
?You?ve got to have a lot of confidence in your horse, and Trevor and I have a lot of confidence in Jessie,? Miller said. ?He?s going to win us a lot of money this week.?
Knowles expressed a similar sentiment.
?He?s 99 percent of it,? Knowles said. ?That horse doesn’t screw up unless it’s pilot error nine times out of 10. He lets you get close to the barrier and lets you get to the steer and do your job. As long as you don’t screw up, that horse will take care of the rest.?
After watching Bradley Harter post an 84.5-point ride to take the lead, Iowa?s Wade Sundell followed it right up with an 85.5-point effort on Stace Smith?s Goin South to win Round 1 and $17,885.
?It made me try a little harder,? Sundell said of watching Harter ride right before him. ?I?ve known that horse for a little while, and he was a little more than I expected him to be, so I really had to bear down and it worked out good.
?My goal was to come in and get the first one, and it takes a little of the pressure off. Now we can just have fun and do what we do.?
Team roper Matt Sherwood has a pretty good history at the Wrangler NFR. Twice he’s qualified for Las Vegas, and twice he’s earned a gold buckle. Sherwood and heeler Cory Petska roped their steer in 4.1 seconds Thursday to earn $17,885 each. Sherwood trails world standings leader Clay Tryan by $23,597. Petska is even closer ? less than $13,000 behind Travis Graves.
?We roped toward the end of the round, so I got to watch most of the other teams go,? Sherwood said. ?Some guys were late at the barrier tonight, and that puts you in real trouble in this short arena. I knew I didn’t want to be late; if I broke the barrier, so be it. You have to be aggressive here.?
Petska agreed that the Thomas & Mack Center takes a special approach.
?It’s very different here than most places,? said Petska. ?I usually let the steers start before I do, but here I have to watch Matt nod and go. Even doing that tonight, I was a little late. Everything just happens so fast here.?
Wyoming?s Seth Glause topped Five Star Rodeo?s Gangster for 86.5 points to win Round 1 and a $17,885 check that moved him to sixth in the world ? up two spots from his starting position.
?I?ve been here a couple of times now, so I know the drill and the pressure, and I decided I was going to relax and have fun and try to stay as focused as I could,? said Glause, who had ridden just one of 20 bulls in his two previous Wrangler NFR appearances.
World standings leader Shane Proctor took second with an 84.5-point ride on Four L & Diamond S Rodeo?s Crunch Time. The $14,135 he earned pushed his lead over three-time World Champion J.W. Harris to $54,849.
Two-time World Champion Brittany Pozzi and 2008 World Champion Lindsay Sears split the barrel racing win with identical 14.03-second runs. The two entered the Wrangler NFR first and second in the world, respectively, and remain there after claiming $16,010 each.
2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Kaycee Feild, Payson, Utah, 89 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Bitter Robin, $17,885; 2. Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., 87.5, $14,135; 3. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 86.5, $10,673; 4. Brian Bain, Culver, Ore., 86, $7,500; 5. Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho, 85, $4,615; 6. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., 84, $2,885; 7. Clint Cannon, Waller, Texas, 83; 8. (tie) Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., and Tilden Hooper, Carthage, Texas, 81 each; 10. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, 80.5; 11. Jason Havens, Prineville, Ore., 80; 12. Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 77.5; 13. Matt Bright, Azle, Texas, 77; 14. Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., 74.5; 15. Royce Ford, Briggsdale, Colo., 69.5.
Steer wrestling: 1. (tie) Jason Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., and Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 3.9 seconds, $16,010 each; 3. (tie) Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., and Shawn Greenfield, Lakeview, Ore., 4.2, $9,087 each; 5. (tie) Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., and Stockton Graves, Newkirk, Okla., 4.3, $3,750 each; 7. (tie) Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., and Jake Rinehart, Highmore, S.D., 4.4 each; 9. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 4.5; 10. Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.8; 11. Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., 5.0; 12. Sean Mulligan, Coleman, Okla., 6.4; 13. (tie) Olin Hannum, Malad, Idaho, Casey Martin, Sulphur, La., and Mickey Gee, Wichita Falls, Texas, NT.
Team roping: 1. Matt Sherwood, Pima , Ariz./Cory Petska, Marana, Ariz., 4.1 seconds, $17,885 each; 2. (tie) Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., and Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas/Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 4.3, $12,404 each; 4. Jake Barnes, Scottsdale, Ariz./Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas, 4.8, $7,500; 5. Kaleb Driggers, Albany, Ga./Brad Culpepper, Poulan, Ga., 5.5, $4,615; 6. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas/Patrick Smith, Midland, Texas, 5.9, $2,885; 7. Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn. /Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 6.3; 8. Colby Lovell, Madisonville, Texas/York Gill, Memphis, Tenn., 9.6; 9. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 9.7; 10. Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz./Kory Koontz, Sudan, Texas, 15.4; 11. (tie) Luke Brown, Stephenville, Texas/Martin Lucero, Stephenville, Texas; Spencer Mitchell, Colusa, Calif./Broc Cresta, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Brady Tryan, Huntley, Mont./Jake Long, Coffeyville, Kan.; Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, Ore./Jim Ross Cooper, Monument, N.M., and Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash./Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., NT.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 85.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Goin South, $17,885; 2. Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas, 84.5, $14,135; 3. (tie) Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, S.D., and Tyler Corrington, Hastings, Minn., 84, $9,087 each; 5. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 83, $4,615; 6. Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D., 82.5, $2,885; 7. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 82; 8. (tie) Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, and Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 79.5 each; 10. Ty Atchison, Jackson, Mo., 79; 11. Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, 75.5; 12. (tie) Chuck Schmidt, Keldron, S.D., and Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., 75 each; 14. Jacobs Crawley, College Station, Texas, 69.5; 15. Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., NS.
Tie-down roping: 1. Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, 7.5 seconds, $17,885; 2. (tie) Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, and Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 7.7, $12,404 each; 4. Ryan Jarrett, Comanche, Okla., 7.8, $7,500; 5. (tie) Tuf Cooper, Decatur, Texas, and Tyson Durfey, Colbert, Wash., 7.9, $3,750 each; 7. Timber Moore, Aubrey, Texas, 8.1; 8. Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 8.3; 9. (tie) Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, and Clif Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 8.4 each; 11. Cory Solomon, Prairie View, Texas, 9.0; 12. Jerrad Hofstetter, Portales, N.M., 9.2; 13. Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 9.8; 14. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 18.8; 15. Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., 20.1.
Barrel racing: 1. (tie) Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, and Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, 14.03 seconds, $16,010 each; 3. Tammy Fischer, Ledbetter, Texas, 14.05, $10,673; 4. (tie) Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., and Jane Melby, Backus, Minn., 14.08, $6,058 each; 6. Jeanne Anderson, White City, Kan., 14.19, $2,885; 7. Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 14.24; 8. Jill Moody, Letcher, S.D., 14.27; 9. Jody Sheffield, Ogden, Utah, 14.36; 10. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 14.58; 11. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 19.02; 12. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 19.04; 13. (tie) Sue Smith, Blackfoot, Idaho, and Britany Fleck, Mandan, N.D., 19.31 each; 15. Angie Meadors, Blanchard, Okla., 19.45.
Bull riding: 1. Seth Glause, Cheyenne, Wyo., 86.5 points on Five Star Rodeo’s Gangster, $17,885; 2. Shane Proctor, Grand Coulee, Wash., 84.5, $14,135; 3. Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah, 84.0, $10,673; 4. Tyler Willis, Wheatland, Wyo., 82.5, $7,500; 5. Trevor Kastner, Ardmore, Okla., 77.5, $4,615; 6. (tie) Jacob O’Mara, Prairieville, La.; J.W. Harris, Mullin, Texas; Wesley Silcox, Santaquin, Utah; Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo.; Clayton Foltyn, El Campo, Texas; Chandler Bownds, Lubbock, Texas; Clayton Savage, Cheyenne, Wyo.; L.J. Jenkins, Porum, Okla.; Tate Stratton, Kellyville, Okla., and Cody Whitney, Asher, Okla., NS.