Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp have had a quiet week in Las Vegas—until Round 7, when they made a 3.6-second run worth $26,230.77 a man.
That's the fastest run of the rodeo, and four tenths faster than they've been so far this week. It moved them to first in the NFR average with a time of 28.7 seconds on six head, and puts them at numbers four and seven, respectively, in the PRCA's world standings. Snow, from Los Olivos, California, has $157,938.14 won on the year, while Thorp, from Throckmorton, Texas, has won $150,180.61. If the rodeo ended tonight and their average money were calculated into the earnings, Snow and Thorp would finish second in the world—behind Clay Smith and Jade Corkill.
"It turned around fast," Thorp said. "We started out just placing along. And that was good. We drew a couple strong steers at first, and I kind of was a little more conservative on a couple of them than I should have been. But it was mainly just the position I rode. Tonight we drew a great steer and it helped out a lot getting the round win. I knew some breaks went our way for the average the past night or two, and it really went our way after tonight. But there's still a lot left, and it's hard to give up round opportunity with as much as there is to win in the rounds...And obviously if you do good in both, you have a shot at the world title. I won't let it get to me too much because these guys are so good. It's hard to believe we even have a chance."
They were 10th out, in a soft round that saw the former average leaders Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan take a no-time with an illegal head catch. Before they roped, there were four legs and two no-times, and a 4.3-second run by Tate Kirchenschlager and Tyler Worley was winning the go.
"I just saw that a couple teams ahead of us, well, Brenten (Hall) went out," Snow said. "We were sitting second in the average, and I knew that I didn't need to take too chancy of a run, you know, make sure I caught. But we had such a good steer, I didn't want to also safety up and not win a good check. So I just tried to kind of block it all out and make the same run I've been making this whole week. This steer was better and he let us win."
So far they've won $62,884 a man over seven rounds in Las Vegas, but this is their first round win, and first since they split Round 6 in 2017.
"I've got inside a couple nights, that if I was a little farther down the arena, it could have came together faster and placed us a notch higher or two in the round," Thorp said. "But also, in my defense too, it was at the end of the round and it was soft, and we still placed. With one or two more breaks, we'd have placed higher in the round as it was. It sure could have went my way a little better too, but our run has felt good and it feels controlled and we're getting to do what we want to do. It helped to draw a lot better tonight, too."
With three rounds left, Snow and Thorp said they'll stick to their game plan of making the best run the steer will let them make.
"The arena is so small that you can't just let them out farther and go catch or the run is messed up," Snow said. "So I just try to get a good start and turn them, and however it shapes up is how fast we'll be. We'll either win good money, or we'll still make a good run. I don't want to try to make something happen and cause Wesley to take a shot and take us out of the average or me try to be faster and take us out of the average or bump us down. If we hold our spot, we're going to get a good check at the end. If we keep catching we'll win along the way."
Snow rode his 10-year-old mare Annie—registered as Ima Fresnos Dee and by the stud Fresnos Ima Master and out of the mare Dee Bars Lust. Thorp was on his good brown 14-year-old gelding Million Dollar Lexus, a grandson of Freckles Playboy by the stud San Tule Freckles and out of the Docs Hickory mare Doc Drives A Lexus.
Smith and Corkill didn't win a check in the go with their 11.2-second run that included a leg, but they are fourth in the average and remain first in the world standings and projected world standings.
In the all-around race, tie-down roper Tuf Cooper won third in the go-round to inch closer to Smith and standings leader, bull rider Stetson Wright. Wright bucked off and has $247,576.41 in season earnings in bull riding and saddle bronc, while Smith has $245,402.34 across the heading and the steer roping. Cooper, who also qualified for the National Finals of Steer Roping, now has $222,640.18—less than a go-round win out of first in the standings. TRJ
1. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 3.6, $26,230.77 each
2. Ty Blasingame and Travis Graves, 4.2, $20,730.77 each
3. Tate Kirchenschlager and Tyler Worley, 4.3, $15,653.85 each
4. Luke Brown and Paul Eaves, 5.0, $11,000 each
5. Matt Sherwood and Hunter Koch, 7.5, $6,769.23 each
6. Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison, 9.0, $4,230.77 each