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NFR Day 6: Miles City's Haven Meged sets new arena record on historic doubleheader day

Haven Meged
Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 13, 2023

LAS VEGAS — A historic day at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo saw Miles City's Haven Meged make history of his own.

Rounds 6 and 7 were contested on the same day Wednesday at the NFR, a scheduling tweak that was the result of last week's deadly shooting on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas that postponed the start of the 10-day rodeo until Friday.

Despite the doubleheader schedule, Meged came through in a big way in Round 7, winning the tie-down roping competition with a 6.4-second run, which set a new event record at the Thomas & Mack Center. For his efforts Meged earned a $30,706 check.

The previous record of 6.5 seconds was set by Cody Ohl in 2003.

Shad Mayfield of Clovis, N.M., immediately followed Meged with a 6.1-second run, which would have shattered the mark Meged had just set. But Mayfield's calf did not stay on the dirt and the time was negated.

Meged, the 2019 world champion, also placed third earlier Wednesday in Round 6 with a run of 7.4 seconds, which earned $13,042. Meged came away with a total of $43,748 for the day. He remains the leader in tie-down roping average.

The Round 6 winner in tie-down roping was Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, with a 6.8-second run.

In steer wrestling, Ty Erickson of Helena took third place in the sixth round morning session with a 4.0-second run. That was good for a $13,042 check. In Round 7, Erickson, also a 2019 world champion, struggled with an 18.4-second time.

Former Montana State University cowboy Jesse Brown, who hails from Baker City, Ore., was left out of the money in Round 6 of steer wrestling with a 4.4-second performance. Brown had a run of 4.9 seconds in Round 7, which also failed to place.

Tyler Waguespack of Gonzales, La., and Stan Branco of Chowchilla, Calif., shared the steer wrestling win in Round 7 with times of 3.8 seconds. The Round 6 winner was Dirk Tavenner of Rigby, Idaho, with a 3.6-second clocking.

Melstone saddle bronc rider Sage Newman took home $21,296 after scoring 86 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos' Chester during Wednesday morning's sixth round. Newman followed that with 77.5 points atop Big Rafter Rodeo's Wild Valley, which left him out of the money in Round 7.

Chase Brooks of Deer Lodge finished out of the money in Round 6, riding to 79 points on Brookman Rodeo's Ragin' Lunatic. In Round 7, Brooks did not score riding Four Star Rodeo's Wall Street.

The Round 6 saddle bronc winner was Kade Bruno of Challis, Idaho, who scored 88.5 points. In Round 7, Australian Damian Brennan and Ryder Wright of Beaver, Utah, shared the victory with matching rides of 87 points.

Circle-area native Lisa Lockhart took sixth atop her horse Levee in Round 7 of barrel racing, finishing with a time of 13.70 to pocket $4,953, Lockhart and Levee had a run of 13.95 in Wednesday morning's sixth round, finishing out of the money.

Emily Beisel of Weatherford, Okla., was the Round 6 winner in barrel racing with a run of 13.60 seconeds. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi of Lampasas, Texas — the world No. 1 and also the leader in the average — won Round 7 in 13.47 seconds.

In bareback riding, Stevensville's Richmond Champion began his day with 84 points on Pickett Pro Rodeo's Night Delta in Round 6, then followed it up with a 76 atop Rafter G Rodeo's Ankle Biter in Round 7. Neither score was good enough to earn a paycheck.

The Round 6 bareback winner was Tanner Aus of Granite Falls, Minn., with 87 points. The Round 7 winner was Clayton Biglow of Clements, Calif., with 88 points.

Round 6 of team roping saw Eric Rogers (Round Rock, Ariz.) and Paul Eaves (Lonedell, Mo.) win with a time of 3.5 seconds. The competition was split at the top in Round 7 in the Wednesday night session between three duos — Derrick Begay (Seba Dalkai, Ariz.) and Colter Todd (Willcox, Ariz.), Clay Smith (Broken Bow, Okla.) and Paden Bray (Stephenville, Texas), and Clint Summers (Lake City, Fla.) and Jake Long (Coffeyville, Kan.), all with a time of 4.0 seconds.

Summers and Long have now won or split victory in four of seven rounds at this year's NFR.

In bull riding, Sage Kimzey of Salado, Texas, won the morning Round 6 session with a ride of 86.5 points. Australian Ky Hamilton had a big comeback with a victory in Round 7. Hamilton had the round's only qualified ride, scoring 88 points.

Hamilton returned to competition in both rounds Wednesday, one day after spending a night in the hospital for suffering what was reported as a concussion, broken ribs and a bruised lung following a bad fall from his bull Tuesday night.

The NFR returns to its regular schedule with Round 8 Thursday night at the Thomas & Mack Center at 7 p.m. Round 9 is Friday night and Round 10 will close the rodeo Saturday night.