Local cowboys among those competing for national rodeo titles Dec. 7-16

Tuesday , November 28, 2017 - 5:15 AM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

Four local cowboys are among those who will seek world championship titles next week at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Among the top professional cowboys vying for national titles Dec. 7-16 are two former Ogden residents — Tim Bingham, 26, of Honeyville, a bull rider in seventh place and Caleb Bennett, 29, of Tremonton, a bareback rider in sixth place.

Both of these cowboys have won more than $106,000 so far this season.

“When you win the gold buckle, that’s the best you could do in the lifestyle I chose to live,” Bingham said. “To get the very top dog award that I could possibly ever achieve would be amazing. It’s something I’m going to continue to try to do.”

Joining Bingham and Bennett in their quest for a gold buckle are Baylor Roche, 28, of Tremonton, a steer wrestler in sixth place with $99,000 in winnings and J.C. Malone, 32, a tie-down roper from Plain City with $86,000 won.

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Competitors from elsewhere in Utah include three members of the Wright family of Milford, all competing in the saddle bronc riding contest. They are Ryder Wright, 19, in 8th place with $99,000, Jake Wright, 28, in 10th place with just less than $92,000 and Jesse Wright, 28, in 14th place with just less than $77,000.

All three have bested Cody Wright, 40, Ryder’s father, who was the 2008 and 2010 world champion in this event, who finished 17th this season with just less than $70,000.

RELATED: Losing never felt so good: World champ Utah bronc rider gets bested by sons

Utah residents joining the Wright family at the Wrangler NFR are CoBurn Bradshaw, 23, of Beaver, in third place in the saddle bronc riding with $124,000 won, Joe Frost, 25, of Randlett, in fifth place in the bull riding with nearly $121,000 won, Mason Clements, 25, of Santaquin, a bareback rider in 15th place with $86,000 in winnings, and Kimmie Wall, 37, of Roosevelt, in 15th place in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing with $76,000.

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the season-ending championship event for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and is widely acknowledged to be the world’s premier rodeo, according to prorodeo.com.

Held annually since 1959 – and since 1985 in Las Vegas – the Wrangler NFR is ProRodeo’s richest and most prestigious rodeo, and it showcases the very best cowboys, barrel racers and livestock in the world, says the website.

The rodeo is telecast to more than 55 million households on CBS Sports Network, says the website. Each performance of the Wrangler NFR is broadcast live from 7:45-10 p.m. on CBS Sports Network — DISH channel 158 or DirecTV channel 121, according to news releases from the rodeo.

The Top 15 contestants in the standard rodeo events — bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping headers and heelers, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing and bull riding — qualify to compete at the Wrangler NFR based on money won during the regular season, says prorodeo.com.

At the conclusion of the Wrangler NFR, world champions are determined based on total season earnings, including the Wrangler NFR, says the website.

The Wrangler NFR consists of 10 rounds – one round on each of 10 consecutive days. Each contestant competes once each day.

Cowboys and barrel racers earn money by placing first through sixth in any round and pick up more money by placing first through eighth in the average with their cumulative times or points earned during the 10 rounds.

While tickets for the Wrangler NFR are sold out, individuals are selling tickets on both a website of the Thomas & Mack Center and an NFR ticket exchange at the Las Vegas Convention Center, said a rodeo promoter. 

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.

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