Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 | 6 p.m.
2013 Wrangler NFR Round 10
2013 Wrangler NFR champions
It was the final blowout night of the 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo world championships, and who better than The Charlie Daniels Band to kick off the excitement of Wrangler National Patriot Night with his golden fiddle and the fire-and-brimstone band. Emily Faith Watson performed the national anthem for the record crowd of 18,242 enthusiastic fans packed into our Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.
It was the night that belonged to new and old champions: All-around world champion Trevor Brazile became the first Pro Rodeo cowboy to surpass $5 million in earnings. The 19-time world champion now has $5,029,313 in career winnings.
The 37-year-old cowboy won $426,011 this season, the second highest in PRCA history behind his 2010 total of $507,921. Trevor has the seven highest totals in history and has eclipsed $400,000 three times. Counting his National Finals steer roping winnings, Trevor won $197,285 during his 10-days in Las Vegas.
Proving the tortoise vs. the hare tale was 24-year-old Shane Hanchey. He arrived here for the 10 rounds in 10th place in tie-down roping, more than $62,000 behind the leader, his good friend and two-time defending champ Tuf Cooper.
Slowly but surely, Shane worked his way from the bottom to the top, setting a record as he won the average and also broke the record in earnings for tie-down roping at the WNFR. He credited his grandmother who died in June for being his angel and looking over him.
Shane won $134,766 and broke Cody Ohl’s record of $132,652 set in 2006. He also broke Fred Whitfield’s 16-year-old average record of 84.0 seconds on 10 head in 80.10 seconds. Trevor, second in the average, also broke Fred’s mark with 83.20 seconds on 10 head.
Kaycee Feild, another second-generation world champion ¬— he’s the son of Lewis Feild, a two-time bareback riding and three-time all-around champion — has won three consecutive world titles and also became the first cowboy to accomplish three average titles in a row.
Kaycee is the first bareback rider to win three consecutive gold buckles since Joe Alexander earned five from 1971-75. He’s now just two shy of the most bareback riding titles shared by Joe and Bruce Ford. Bobby Mote has four and Will Lowe owns three.
“I want to keep going and win more. I’m still young and want to win six gold buckles,” said 26-year-old Kaycee. “Winning never gets old. … Each one gets better for me. I want to break records, and I want to set my own records. I want to do things nobody’s done.”
Team ropers Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill each won their second world championship. Clay won his first gold buckle in 2005, and Jade won his last year. Clay topped team-roping headers with $179,688, and Jade led with $178,057.
“This was the toughest competition there’s ever been,” said Clay. “This is a very satisfying win for me. It was really important to finish strong. Getting it done at the finish line is very important.”
Jade was ecstatic to earn his second gold buckle in a row. “Winning it back-to-back means a lot,” he said. “Roping’s tough, and it’s just gotten so much tougher. To get it done two years in a row means everything.”
Now his hope is to challenge the record of eight consecutive world championships by Speed Williams and Rich Skelton. “Whether it’s a realistic goal or not, the bar is nine in a row,” Jade said.
The amazingly consistent Sherry Cervi won the barrel racing world championship and broke the average record with 138.15 seconds on 10 runs, eclipsing the mark of 138.26 set by Jill Moody in 2010. It’s the fourth gold buckle for 38-year-old Sherry spanning 18 years (1995, 1999, 2010 and 2013).
Shada Brazile, Trevor’s wife, kept the family reputation intact, taking second in the average in her first WNFR with 140.3 seconds on 10 runs. She earned $130,278 for the season to finish eighth in the world.
Sherry won three rounds and cashed a check in every round, the fifth time that was accomplished by a barrel racer and the first time since Kristie Peterson and her great horse Bozo did it in 1997. Sherry now has 23 career NFR round wins, two shy of Charmayne James’ WNFR event record.
“It is special because getting around these barrels 10 times and being faster than anyone else here is so very, very hard to do,” she said.
Sherry also won the Ram Truck Top Gun Award with $155,899 as the top money winner in a single event at the WNFR. It’s the second year in a row that a barrel racer won the award.
“It’s just all so special,” she said. “This has been such a great year for me. Winning the world and also the Top Gun Award — I’m a bit overwhelmed.”
Earlier in the day, world champion cowboy Trevor met his idol, NFL legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana. The two were at Lagasse’s Stadium in the Palazzo for lunch with star chef and Bravo’s “Top Chef” judge Emeril Lagasse.
Who knew Joe started out as a cowboy cutter at the rodeo years ago? Joe signed a football for Trevor, who promptly presented him with his championship winning ropes.
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo galleries and Wrangler NFR for its assistance with this report. Check back Monday for a report of the gold buckle presentations.
Today our town goes a little quiet in advance of the holidays as the cowboys and cowgirls leave town. We’ll miss their Stetsons and boots. We love having them here, look forward to having them back in 2014 and hope that they’ll be with us for a long time to come and not slip away in 2015 to Oklahoma City.
I just can’t imagine Las Vegas without the rodeo and its world champions. I just can’t imagine a rival town providing what Las Vegas does best with entertainment, restaurant and hotel accommodations.
So hurry back, y’all — the welcome mat is always out for you!
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.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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