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CNFR Sunday

Gillette College bareback rider Casey Breuer rides Pepsi Valley on Sunday, June 9, 2013 during the first day of the College National Finals Rodeo at the Casper Events Center. (Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune)

Alan Rogers

Casey Breuer wasn't sure when he first heard his bareback score announced over the Casper Events Center speakers.

It's not that the Gillette College cowboy expected a big number from his ride on Harry Vold's Pepsi Valley. But he thought he rode better than the 63 that was initially told to the crowd on Sunday.

"A guys never knows," Breuer said. "Sometimes it feels better than it is."

But Breuer was relieved when his corrected score -- an 81.5 -- was later announced, giving him the first go-round title at the College National Finals Rodeo.

"I'm pretty glad they changed it," Breuer said.

And with the first go win, Breuer finally got the start at the CNFR he's been searching for the past two years. Last year, Breuer failed to notch a qualified ride out of the gate. The year before, while he covered four, he finished seventh after fading in the final two rounds. Breuer will take both his second and third rides on Tuesday.

"That's going to be a big day and hopefully the week keeps rolling," Breuer said.

It was Breuer's Gillette teammate, Devan Reilly, a former Casper College cowboy who set the pace to start Sunday afternoon's sections after a lackluster morning. Reilly took Betty White (Harry Vold) for a 77-point spin on the very first ride of the Sunday afternoon session.

"It was the way I really wanted to start the finals," Reilly said.

West Hill's Casey Meroshnekoff posted an 80-point ride on Sun Glow (Harry Vold) to overtake Reilly and finish second in the go. But both of the Gillette teammates said watching the other ride big to open provided some fire.

"You're only as good as your competition," Breuer said. "You know you've got to go for it and you love seeing your buddies do good."

Added Reilly: "Him making a ride like that just gives me more fuel to try to go catch him."

Contact sports reporter Clint Robus at clint.robus@trib.com or 307-266-0615. Follow him on Twitter @ClintRobus

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