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Feb 25th
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Home Things to Do Rodeos Brazile Clinches Record Eighth PRCA All-Around World Title

Brazile Clinches Record Eighth PRCA All-Around World Title

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At long last, Trevor Brazile stands alone. The Decatur, Texas, cowboy finished second in the team roping and sixth in the tie-down roping in Round 2 of the 52nd Wrangler National Finals Rodeo being held in Las Vegas, Nev. to clinch a record eighth all-around world championship.

On Dec. 3, Brazile earned $16,665 in the two events in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,197 to pass ProRodeo Hall of Famer Ty Murray and become the first cowboy in rodeo history to win eight all-around gold buckles.

"That's got to be the slowest victory lap I've ever done in my life, because I didn't want it to end," said Brazile, who has earned $323,527 so far this season. "It's a special night for rodeo, as well as my family. It really hasn't set in yet, and I don't want it to set in because I don't want it to end. I love this sport, I love to be able to make a living doing what I love to do and the winning is just a bonus. What a feeling!"

Canadian steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy, the PRCA World Standings leader, was still mathematically alive heading into the second round, but did not earn a check for the second consecutive night after a 5.5-second run. Brazile's lead over Cassidy in the all-around is $186,066, and Cassidy can only win $185,006 if he wins the remaining eight rounds and the Wrangler NFR average.

Brazile needed to finish in the top six in the tie-down roping after his second-place finish in the team roping, and his 8.1-second run held up enough for sixth place. That check left him $1,060 clear of Cassidy's maximum potential money total for this year's Finals and clinched the title. His 12th career world title moved him to third all-time behind ProRodeo Hall of Famers Guy Allen (18) and Jim Shoulders (16) for total world championships.

In the bareback riding, Kaycee Feild won his third round in the third Wrangler NFR of his career after riding Stace Smith Pro Rodeo's RD Mercer for 88 points. That score was two points clear of three-time and reigning World Champion Bobby Mote and put another $17,512 in Feild's pocket. Feild, of Payson, Utah, has earned $26,409 in two days and crossed the $100,000 mark in season earnings ($100,557) with his second-round triumph.

He was happy with his draw in Round 2 and was able to keep pace with the talented horse.

"When I saw the draw, I was really happy with it," said Feild, who is tied with Mote for the Wrangler NFR average lead with 172.5 points. "I knew I was going to be in the top five, because every time they win a lot of money on him. On about the third jump, I kind of hit low with my feet. So, I really had to start hustling after that, and I got back in good shape real quick and finished strong. Once you start winning in the first of the week, it just keeps on carrying on and snowballs. I've never been stronger and have never been this fit."

PRCA World Standings leader Ryan Gray suffered a lacerated liver after being stepped on by Beutler & Son Rodeo's Golden Dream. He was helped out of the Thomas & Mack Center arena by members of the Justin Sportsmedicine Team and taken to University Medical Center, where he has been admitted for observation. He is out for the remainder of the Wrangler NFR, ending his chances of winning his first world title.

The first tie of the 2010 Wrangler NFR came in steer wrestling in Round 2, with two-time World Champion Luke Branquinho and Wrangler NFR rookie Ethen Thouvenell tying with a pair of 3.9-second runs. They each earned $15,676 checks, and Branquinho not only moved to third place in the world standings, but also crossed the $100,000 mark in season earnings in the process ($105,818).

"I'm feeling good," Branquinho said. "Last night, Gunner left the box pretty hard, and I almost fell out the back of the saddle. I was lucky not to fall off, and I was happy I got the steer thrown down the way I did. Tonight, he worked great. I split the round with Ethen, so you can't ask for much better."

Thouvenell, of Napa, Calif., has placed in both rounds of this year's Finals. He finished sixth in Round 1.

"Man, I'm really excited," said Thouvenell, who is riding two-time and reigning World Champion Lee Graves' two-time AQHA/PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Jessie in Las Vegas. " I've been working hard at it for a long time, and I finally got the opportunity to be here. It's awesome."

Three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Luke Brown and 11-time qualifier Martin Lucero took the team roping with a 3.9-second run, four-tenths of a second faster than the team of Brazile and 2005 World Champion Heeler Patrick Smith. Lucero, of Stephenville, Texas, crossed the $100,000 mark in season earnings with $100,542 thanks to the $17,512 first-place check.

"This is my 13th year here, and the sixth time I've won a round, and it never gets old," Lucero said. "It's probably my favorite thing to do. I equate my job to being the receiver in football. My job is to catch the ball regardless. Luke does the hard part, and I just have to make sure I catch two feet. When I do that we generally win."

Brown was happy to get a win on the board so early in the 10-day competition.

"It's the most amazing thing I've ever gotten to do," Brown said. "It's been an incredible year. We've done well all year long at the rodeos and the big ropings, and now to get to do that ... I don't know how you top this."

Everything was all "Wright" in Round 2 for saddle bronc riding brothers Cody and Jesse Wright, as Cody - the 2008 world champion - won the round and his younger brother finished tied for second. Cody Wright rode Burch Rodeo's Friendly Fire for 87 points to earn the $17,512 first-place check, while Jesse Wright tied J.J. Elshere for second with an 85.5-pointer on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo's Big Jet. Elshere, the 2006 Wrangler NFR average winner, scored his 85.5 aboard Carr Pro Rodeo's Miss Congeniality.

"It's awesome to be in the winner's circle with (Jesse)," Cody Wright said. "He had some back luck the first night (when he sustained a left ankle sprain). It was discouraging for him, but I knew he could ride. It is great."

Cody Wright became the third PRCA World Standings leader in the saddle bronc riding this week, supplanting Wade Sundell, who took over the lead from Bradley Harter after Round 1. He leads with $120,476, with Sundell in second with $116,777.

Six-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper Fred Whitfield tied Jerad Hoffstetter for the Round 2 victory after both cowboys finished with 7.6-second runs. The share of first place put Whitfield, of Hockley, Texas, into the Wrangler NFR average lead and third place in the PRCA World Standings with $110,432.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Whitfield said. "To come here last year and watch a couple performances and sit in the stands, it's an uneasy feeling. I told my wife I'll never come back to a Finals in a year when I rodeoed all year long and didn't qualify. There's eight calves left to run, so I'm going to put myself in a position to have a chance (at a world title). That's all I can ask for."

Two-time and reigning World Champion Bull Rider J.W. Harris won Round 2 with an 89.5-point ride on Andrews Rodeo's Red Onion. That put the Mullin, Texas, cowboy 1.5 points clear of Cody Whitney.

"I'm just glad to be staying on, and it feels good to be riding bulls again," said Harris, who became a father for the first time on Nov. 30 when his wife, Jackie, gave birth to daughter Aubrey Lee. "Man, life can not be any better than it is right now. I thought those two gold buckles were the most important things to me, but after having that little girl, those two gold buckles kind of go back there a little bit."

Kelli Tolbert won the barrel racing in 13.68 seconds, three-hundredths of a second faster than Jill Moody. The win came a night after Tolbert and her mare, Cleo, knocked over the third barrel in Round 1 and finished out of the money.

"That buckle is a big deal," Tolbert said. "It's a memorial that is something you'll have forever, but the money will be gone before you know it. After I hit the third barrel (in Round 1), I guess I decided I had had to change some things up. I was more aggressive coming in the alley, and I was more aggressive getting her to that first barrel. It didn't really feel any different tonight than it did last night, but I think I rode her better tonight."

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