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WNFR wraps up in Las Vegas

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Las Vegas, Nev. – For 10 days at the beginning of December, the best cowboys and cowgirls in the  Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) competed for world titles and $10 million in cash and prizes at the 58th Annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR).

Wyoming’s favorite bullfighter Dusty Tuckness was once again awarded the honor of Bullfighter of the Year, marking five wins for the Meeteetse man.

Tuckness told the Las Vegas Sun,  “I’ll keep doing this as long as the good Lord allows me. I know it’s a sport where anything can happen, so I take it day-by-day, rodeo-by-rodeo. I still feel like I have a handful of years left, and I’m going to make the best of them.”

The 2016 NFR brought several historic moments, including the first all-around gold buckle win by a Brazilian, with Junior Nogueria’s top spot as a team roping heeler.

Nogueria is one of only three all-around champs since 2002, joining Trevor Brazile and Ryan Jarrett for the title.

Tyler Waguespack also made history in steer wrestling at the 2016 NFR with the most money earned in steer wrestling at the event. Waguespack earned $213,218, which also earned him the RAM Top Gun Award for the contestant with the most money earned in a single event.

Bareback rider Tim O’Connell also set a PRCA record for most money won in any event in any year, with $374,272.

Inside the results, Wyoming’s sole competitor, JR Vezain of Cowley ended eighth overall in the world standings and tied for second and third in the average at the NFR.

Vezain also had some impressive showings during the event. In the third round, Vezain placed sixth with a score of 81, and he ended fourth in the seventh round, with a score of 81.5. He also tied for third and fourth in the eighth round with a score of 85. 

Behind the scenes, Dan Hubbell of Hubbell Rodeo Photos in Casper also celebrated a milestone, as he marked 20 years photographing the NFR.

This article was compiled by Saige Albert, managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, from Send comments on this article to

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