LAS VEGAS – In the fifth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Monday at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, team ropers Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill of Fallon split first place with Erich Rodgers and Cory Petska.
After Round 8 on Thursday, Tryan and Corkill made their second trip to South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa for the awards ceremony – once again sharing the honor with another team.
They roped their steer in 4.1 seconds, matching the time set by Luke Brown and Jake Long.
Each man earned $23,480.77 for their efforts.
“It feels pretty good, really, especially since I thought I broke the barrier,” Tryan said. “The steer wasn’t very good. He kind of came left, so it was good to win the round. We kind of lucked out tonight.”
Corkill, the three-time world champion heeler, has now jumped to seventh in the world standings with $153,998.73 in earnings from the season and the WNFR after entering the rodeo in ninth place.
After taking no-times on three steers, Tryan and Corkill are still three spots out of an average check, but only 10 teams have caught six steers and more may fall.
“We came in here with around $50,000 (before Round 8), so I’m thinking about making a living, so now whatever happens, I’m able to make a good living financially,” Corkill said.
Corkill has won two of his three straight world titles (2012-014) while heeling for Tryan.
“It’s good, because it’s kind of like gambling for a living. If you don’t have a good partner, that’s what you are counting on,” Corkill said. “It’s hard to find a good partner sometimes, and just to have somebody that you can count on, that can do a good job and do everything they need to do, there’s a lot of stress that’s taken away from that.”
Elko steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge continued to make his late-WNFR charge in Round 8, throwing his steer in 4.1 seconds and tying for third place.
He pocketed another $13,326.92 in the round, upping his season total to $157,333.13.
Eldridge jumped to fourth in the world standings and rose to third in the WNFR average race, stopping the clock in 36.7 seconds in eight runs. He was just half of a second from second place in the average, but his lead over fourth place was just .2 seconds going into Round 9 on Friday night.
Tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa of Chubbock, Idaho, had another tough run Thursday in Round 8.
He chased his calf down the pen and caught his first loop in three rounds, but when he dismounted and ran down the rope, the calf got around him to his right.
After straightening things out, he finished with a time of 12.7 seconds and placed 10th in the round.
He has fallen to 13th in the average and 15th in the world standings.
Anyone who has seen Shiozawa rope, especially the WNFR (2011 average winner), knows he is fully capable and dangerous in Round 9 and Round 10.
Minden bareback rider Wyatt Denny came down before the eight-second whistle on Thursday on Northcott Macza’s “Spilled Perfume” in the eliminator pen of horses.
After entering the WNFR in fifth place, Denny has dropped to 11th in the world standings and 14th in the average.
In the ninth round on Friday night, Denny was pitted to climb aboard Sankey Pro Rodeo’s “Thunder Monkey,” a horse which had not bucked out of the chutes thus far in the WNFR.
The ninth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Friday on CBS Sports Network.
The WNFR will wrap up with the 10th and final round at 7 p.m. Saturday on Dish Network Channel 158 or DirecTV Channel 221.