Former Gillette College cowboy Chason Floyd picked up his first go-round victory at the National Finals Rodeo on Thursday, winning the eighth round of steer wrestling with a 3.7-second run.
Floyd pocketed $28,231 for the win to increase his NFR earnings to more than $66,000. After entering the NFR 15th in the world standings, the South Dakota bulldogger is now eighth with more than $135,000 on the year.
Hillsdale saddle bronc rider Brody Cress had an 83.5-point ride to finish just out of the money in seventh place. And with CoBurn Bradshaw placing fourth with an 87, Cress dropped to second in the average. Cress has totaled 670 points on eight head while Bradshaw has 671.
Cowley bareback bronc rider JR Vezain had an 85-point ride and tied current world standings leader Tim O’Connell for fourth place in the round. Vezain is now third in the average with 671 points; O’Connell leads with 683 points and eighth-round winner Richmond Champion is second with 682.5.
Former Sheridan College cowboy and defending world champion saddle bronc rider Zeke Thurston had his second no-score of the NFR and dropped to fourth in the world standings and 11th in the average. Former Central Wyoming College cowboy Ty Breuer scored 81.5 points in bareback bronc riding to tie for eighth place in the round. Breuer is now tied for seventh in the average and 13th in the world standings.
The big move Thursday came in saddle bronc, with Ryder Wright overtaking Jacobs Crawley for the top spot in the world standings with just two rounds remaining. Wright won the round with a 92 to raise his earning for the year to more than $247,000. Crawley finished out of the money and trails Wright by more than $20,000.
Also Thursday, Caleb Smidt and Cory Solomon tied for the tie-down win with identical runs of 7.6 seconds, Amberleigh Moore had a 13.54-second run to post her third victory of the week and Jordan Hansen had an 86 to win the bull riding. In team roping, Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill and Luke Brown and Jake Long split the round win as both teams posted times of 4.1 seconds. It marked the fourth time in five nights there were dual winners in the event.
The NFR runs through Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.