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NFR Day 10: Chase Brooks closes final round with a win

Chase Brooks NFR
Posted at 10:53 PM, Dec 10, 2022

LAS VEGAS — Montana competitors failed to claim any world titles at the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, but several turned in impressive performances nonetheless during Round 10 of rodeo’s premier event.

In saddle bronc, Deer Lodge cowboy Chase Brooks closed his NFR with an 89.5 point ride on Sutton Rhodes’ “South Point” to split first place with Alberta cowboy Kolby Wanchuk. Brooks placed in six of 10 rounds, finishing No. 10 in the average and No. 9 in the world standings with $204,126.17 in earnings.

Melstone’s Sage Newman had a bit of a disappointing NFR. He entered the rodeo ranked No. 1 in the world in just his second qualification, but failed to place in six of 10 rounds. Newman finished 11th in the average dropped to No. 5 in the world with $320,474.16 in earnings. Newman did earn a fourth place check on Saturday with an 88.5 point ride on Korkow Rodeo’s “Joker Poker”.

Zeke Thurston from Big Valley, Alberta claimed his third world title and also won the average with 10 successful rides and nine round checks.

In bareback, Corvallis resident Caleb Bennett rode Pickett Pro Rodeo’s “Night Gazer” for 86.5 points but finished one place out of the money. Bennett finishes his NFR No. 9 in the average and No. 12 in the world standings.

Kansas cowboy Jess Pope won the average and a first world title with more than $390k in 2022 prize money.

Helena’s Ty Erickson, the 2019 world steer wrestling champion, closed his NFR with a 4.2 second ride and a sixth place check. But despite two round wins in Vegas, Erickson finished 11th in the average and No. 8 in the world.

Fellow Helena bulldogger Timmy Sparing did not record a time on Saturday and finished No. 15 in both the average and world standings.

Tyler Waguespack of Gonzalez, LA won his fourth world championship with more than $268k in earnings for the calendar year.

Billings header Clay Tryan and his heeling partner Jade Corkill failed to catch a steer in Round 10, dropping Tryan to No. 7 in the average. Tryan, a three-time world champion, finished No. 3 in the world standings with more than $264k earned in 2022.

Kaleb Driggers on the head and Junior Nogueira on the heels claimed team roping world titles.

In tie-down roping, Miles City cowboy Haven Meged failed to place on Saturday with an 11.7 second run. But the 2019 world champion finished No. 4 in the average and No. 8 in the world.

Caleb Schmidt of Bellville, TX claimed his second straight world title and fourth overall with more than $374k.

In barrel racing, Circle native Lisa Lockhart finished one-hundredth of a second out of the money on Saturday with a 13.66 second ride. Despite no check, Lockhart turned in an impressive 10 days at the Thomas & Mack center.

After entering the rode No. 14 in the standings, she placed in seven rounds to finish No. 3 in the average and No. 4 in the world with just under $200k. Lockhart has qualified for the NFR 16 times, but is still searching for her first gold buckle.

Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, TX won her fourth world title with more than $237k in earnings.

Stetson Wright continued his dominant streak in the rough stock events. The 23-year old Milford, UT cowboy finished No. 1 in the average and world standings in bull riding and No. 4 in the saddle bronc standings to run away with his fourth straight All-Around title. Wright amassed more than $758k in earnings.