Driver's Seat

Tyler Wade & Wesley Thorp Throw Down with 3.5 to Win Round 9, Lead World Into Final Night ’23 NFR
Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp are in the driver's seat for the 2023 team roping world title.
Tyler Wade Wesley Thorp
Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp blast their second-straight go-round win in Round 9 to put themselves in the driver's seat for the gold buckle. | James Arviso Photo

Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp are on a mission heading into the final round of the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, winning a high-speed Round 9 and taking control the PRCA world standings with one more steer left in the rodeo.

Thorp and Wade made a 3.5-second run at second to last out, knowing a pair of 3.6s by Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler and Tanner Tomlinson and Patrick Smith were winning the go-round.

“Nobody had done any good on him, but he was straight,” Wade said of their Round 9 steer. “It literally doesn’t matter how fast he is. If he’s straight and hops OK, then you’re good. The left gets a little tricky for the most part.”

Wesley Thorp gets around their Round 9 steer to heel him on the first hop to win $30,706.41 a man. | Jamie Arviso Photo

“He looked, from the front angle, just medium right down the middle,” Thorp said. “I could tell he was sharper than that. I watched from the back angle, and I was going to try to get a good start. I knew he was strong and left good, but he was really good patterned down the middle.”

Both Wade and Thorp nailed the start, with Wade getting it on him fast without much reach and Thorp getting out around the steer to square up and throw fast.

“My horse has been doing good,” Thorp said of Little Hickory Boon, his 14-year-old gelding that he’s ridden at the Finals the last few years. “I worked on getting him on go a lot before I came out here, getting him calm enough in the box where I didn’t get a delay. Sometimes he will give me a little bit of delay in the past, so I’ve spent a lot of time getting him relaxed and moving off my feet. I felt like the last few nights he’s done a great job getting going, and it’s really made a difference.”

Wade and Thorp enter Round 10 first in the PRCA world standings with $257,540.18 and $274,767.45 won, sitting third in the average with a 53.50 seconds on eight head. If the rodeo ended after Round 9, they’d pick up a $50,516.99 aggregate prize and have $308,057.17 and $325,284.44 won, respectively.

Second in the world would go to Derrick Begay and Colter Todd, who lead the average and would hypothetically collect a cool $78,747.07 each and move to $264,172.41 and $279,339.61 with that average win. They made an aggressive 3.9-second run in Round 9, earning $4,952 a man for sixth to keep their spot at first in the average, too.

Begay and Todd could fall as far as fourth in the average with a no-time in Round 10. Fourth in the average pays $37,144.85 a man, so that deficit would theoretically keep them from a gold buckle.

Luke Brown and Hunter Koch are third in the average right now with a time of 47.8 on 8 head, and they’re sixth in the world with $196,404.84 a man. If the rodeo ended after Round 9, they’d finish fourth in the world with $260,293.98 a man.

In ProRodeo’s projected standings, Summers and Long would finish the world third in the world standings with $261,743.13 and $275,244.37, respectively.

NFR 2023 Round 9 Team Roping Standings

Team SteerRound 9 Time
Jake Clay / Tyler Worley373.7
Marcus Theriot / Cole Curry544.0+5
Clay Smith / Paden Bray11NT
Clint Summers / Jake Long603.8
Andrew Ward / Buddy Hawkins594.6+5+10
Tanner Tomlinson / Patrick Smith393.6
Erich Rogers / Paul Eaves494.1
Rhen Richard / Jeremy Buhler183.6
Coleman Proctor / Logan Medlin404
Dustin Egusquiza / Levi Lord50NT
Nelson Wyatt / Jonathan Torres45NT
Derrick Begay / Colter Todd143.9
Kaleb Driggers / Junior Nogueira 58NT
Tyler Wade / Wesley Thorp283.5
Luke Brown / Hunter Koch286.3

— TRJ —

Stories covering all things NFR team roping are made possible by sponsor support from by Resistol.

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