Bubba Buckaloo and Chase Tryan won Round 8 of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a 3.6-second run, the fastest time of the week, worth $26,230.77.
"We found out we had the steer that they were 3.6 plus 5 on in Round 5, and we were really excited to have him," Buckaloo, who rode his grey gelding Silver, said. "I got out of the barrier amazing it felt like, and he was right there. I didn't have to reach much at him, maybe just a coil. The steer took it really good, and Chase just heeled the crap out of him first him."
Buckaloo and Tryan have won $86,083.33 each after catching four of the eight steers in 17.20 seconds, but this is their first go-round win of the week.
"I've been working on my position going down the arena," Chase said. "I really studied the guys that heel good in this arena, and it seems like everybody who does well gets down the arena farther. Last night, I got so much to the inside, and Bubba's horse couldn't pull him and my horse couldn't get off him and it showed in my heel loop. Tonight was a different story. The header don't even have to pull them if you're in a good spot."
This is Buckaloo's first NFR appearance and Tryan's second. In his last trip to the Finals, Tryan placed in five rounds and finished second in the average with Keven Daniel. This is both men's first NFR go-round win.
"I've never caught four steers and won $86,000," Tryan, who rode his horse Friendly, said. "I'm going to try to ride a good corner again. If I do that, it seems like it's a lot easier."
The go-round win bumped Buckaloo to third in the average and Tryan to fourth. If the rodeo ended tonight and average money were calculated, Buckaloo would finish fifth in the world standings while Tryan would finish seventh.
"I'm thinking about going as fast as we can go and letting the chips lay where they fall," Buckaloo said. "It's been an amazing week. I wish I'd have turned a few more of them and had a chance in the average. Who knows, maybe some guys might fall off or something."
Clay Smith and Paul Eaves came in clutch with a 4.1-second run after taking a no-time in Round 7, splitting second, third and fourth in the go-round with Dustin Egusquiza and Kory Koontz and Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp. That paid them $15,794.87 each. Erich Rogers and Clint Summers were fifth with a 4.2-second run, worth $6,679.23 each. Rhen Richard, who made a horse change tonight, and Quinn Kesler were sixth with a 4.6 worth $4,230.77 each.
As per the PRCA's "WHAT IF" report, Smith and Eaves would be the 2018 World Champion header and heeler if the rodeo ended tonight and average winnings were calculated into the standings. They would have $244,652.24 a man, while Driggers and Nogueira would be second with $233,541.40 and $234,525.25, respectively. Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates, who lead the average with a 59.40 on eight head, would finish third with $205,736.80 and $220,131.25, respectively. Snow and Thorp would finish fourth with $179,003.75 and $175,314.42 each.
Tsinigine and Yates are the only team with eight steers down, while Driggers and Nogueira and Richard and Kesler are the only teams with seven times. Smith and Eaves, Masters and Harrison, Snow and Thorp, Begay and Petska and Rogers and Summers have all gotten six qualified times.
In the all-around, Richard got the last-place check in the team roping and failed to place in the tie-down. Tuf Cooper split second and third with a 7.4-second tie-down roping run, worth $18,192.31. Trevor Brazile's 8.3-second run failed to place, but Brazile is currently sixth in the average while Cooper is eighth and Richard is second.
Team Roping Results Round 8:
1. Bubba Buckaloo and Chase Tryan, 3.60 seconds, $26,230.77 each
2/3/4. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 4.10 seconds, $15,794.87 each
2/3/4. Dustin Egusquiza and Kory Koontz, 4.10 seconds, $15,794.87 each
2/3/4. Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, 4.10 seconds, $15,794.87 each
5. Erich Rogers and Clint Summers, 4.20 seconds, $6,769.23 each
6. Rhen Richard and Quinn Kesler, 4.60 seconds, $4,230.77 each