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August 22, 2014

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2012 Wrangler NFR photos: Trevor Brazile, Patrick Smith, Lindsay Sears — and the Romneys

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Mike Copeman/PRCA Rodeo

Lindsay Sears competes during Day 8 of the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.

2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo: Day 8

Kaycee Feilds during Day 8 of the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Launch slideshow »

2012 NFR Day 8

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and wife Ann are rodeo fans, and they whooped and hollered alongside another record crowd of 17,480 on Day 8 of the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

Who knew the venture capital bankers were a cowboy and a cowgirl at heart?

In a sense, since it was Canada night, the spotlight was on Alberta barrel racer Lindsay Sears. She scored a fast speed of 13.69 seconds on that cloverleaf pattern, as you can see in the video.

Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith held onto their lead in the world standings despite a broken barrier causing them severe problems.

It’s the rookies who are really on a roll after eight nights of performances: So far among the 29 newcomers, they’ve won a total of $863,000, or 23 percent of the total prize money awarded so far. Of those 29, 27 have picked up at least one check, 15 have won at least one round and 24 have won more than $14,000.

World saddle bronc leader Jesse Wright was surprisingly bucked off, and that means a nail-biter ending for the remaining two nights. It gives an opportunity to Wade Sundell in 2nd and Cody de Moss in 3rd to overtake in the last stretch.

Brad Bynum, the only NFR rookie in tie-down roping this year, and saddle bronc rider Tyrell Smith each won Day 8 victories.

With two remaining nights, the pressure is on: There could be some last-minute shocks and surprises as the rookies pile on the pressure. Check out the 2012 NFR coverage by our colleagues at the Las Vegas Sun.

We’ll have reports and photo galleries over the weekend and on Monday will post the gold buckle presentations.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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