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Champions crowned at Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Las Vegas, Nev. – The 63rd Annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) took place Dec. 2-11 at the Thomas and Mack Center.  

 Several contestants from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were in attendance, and the 2021 WNFR champions have been crowned.  

Bareback riding 

Caleb Bennett from Corvallis, Mont. entered the WNFR fourth place in the world standings. He tied for fourth place in round seven with Clayton Biglow after an 86-point ride, winning $9,144 in the round. In round eight he placed seventh, round nine he placed first and round 10 he tied for sixth. Bennett finished the WNFR in ninth place, winning $188,532 and finishing 13th in the average. 

Richmond Champion from Stevensville, Mont. started the WNFR in seventh place. He tied with Tim O’Connell and Tanner Aus for seventh place in round one, placed second in round three with an 88.5-point ride and placed third in the seventh round. Champion finished the WNFR in eighth place with $188,739, a fourth-place finish in the average.  

Cole Reiner from Buffalo started his journey eighth place in the world standings. He placed second in round one with an 88.5-point ride, third in round two, entered into a three-way tie for third place in round four with an 86-point ride, fourth place in round five and sixth place in round six. Reiner finished seventh in the world standings with $190,187 in earnings and placed ninth in the average.  

Kaycee Fieid took home the gold buckle as the WNFR Bareback World Champion. Field earned $357,420 in prize money, and Jess Pope won the average world title.  

Saddle bronc riding 

Chase Brooks from Deer Lodge, Mont. started out in seventh place in the world standings. He tied for first place with Zeke Thurston in round one, tied for second with Spencer Wright in round two, placed third in round three and tied for eighth with Dawson Hay in round four. In round eight, Brooks placed fifth, third in round nine and tied for third with Ryder Wright in the 10th round. Brooks finished his WNFR in fourth place with $259,355 and earned second in the average. 

Sage Newman from Melstone, Mont. started out in 11th place in the world standings.  He placed fourth in round six after an 87-point ride earning $11,321 in the round and placed second in round seven with an 87-point ride, earning $21,336 in the round. He finished the WNFR in 11th place with $125,375 and placed 13th in the average.  

Brody Cress from Hillsdale started in third place in the world standings. Throughout the WNFR, he placed third in round one, first in round two with an 87.5-point ride on C5 Rodeo’s Kitty Whistle, fourth in round three, seventh in round four, tied for fourth place with Kolby Wanchuk in round five, eighth place in round six and third place in round seven after tying with Spencer Wright. Cress won the ninth round with a 91-point ride on Summit Pro Rodeo’s Kangaroo Lou and in placed eighth in round 10. Cress finished the WNFR in third place in the world standings with $325,746, in addition to winning the average saddle bronc world championship.  

Stetson Wright of Nephi, Utah won the saddle bronc riding to earn $343,524. He was crowned the WNFR all-around champion.  

Steer wrestling 

  Stetson Jorgenson from Blackfoot, Idaho entered the WNFR sitting in eighth place in the world standings. Throughout the WNFR, he placed eighth in round one and round four. In round eight, Jorgenson tied for 10th place with Riley Duvall, in round nine he tied for first place with Jesse Brown, Stockton Graves and Tyler Waguespack and in round 10, he tied for ninth place with Jesse Brown. Jorgenson ended his WNFR placing 12th with $128,913 in earnings and placed sixth in the average.  

Dirk Tavenner from Rigby, Idaho entered the WNFR in 10th place. Tavenner tied for first place with Riley Duvall in round one, won round two with a 3.4-second run, tied for third place with Will Lummus in round four and won round six. Tavenner placed fifth in the seventh and ninth rounds and split the 10th round with Curtis Cassidy with a 4.0-second run. Tavenner finished fourth in both the world and average standings with $202,059.  

The three-time, 2021 WNFR steer wrestling world champion is Tyler Waguespack from Gonzales, La. He finished the finals with $289,791 in prize money. Will Lummus from Byhalia, Miss. won the average world title.  

Team roping  

Trey Yates, the only Colorado cowboy, started the WNFR in the seven hole on the heeling side. Throughout the WNFR, Yates placed first in round one, seventh in round three and tied for fourth place in round seven with partner Tyler Wade and the team made of Eric Rogers and Paden Bray. Yates finished the WNFR in 10th place, ending with $151,659 in prize money and placing 15th in the average.  

Chase Tryan from Helena, Mont. also competed in the team roping event on the heeling side. Chase was sitting in eighth place at the start of the WNFR and placed seventh in round two, sixth in round four and eighth in round five. In round eight, he placed ninth. Chase ended the WNFR 15th in the world with $89,130 and finished ninth in the average.  

Clay Tryan from Billings, Mont. roped on the heading side and was sitting in fifth place at the start of the WNFR. In round two, he tied for fourth place with partner Jake Long and the team comprised by Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins II, sixth in round four, third in round five, tied for second with the team of Quinn Kesler and Joseph Harrison in round six and tied for first place in round seven with the team of Dustin Equisquiza and Travis Graves. In round nine, Clay tied for sixth place with the team of Derrick Begay and Brady Minor, and in round 10 he placed seventh. Clay finished the WNFR sixth in the world header standings with $198,087 and fifth in the average.  

Kaleb Driggers is the WNFR header world champion with a total earnings of $263,227 and the world champion heeler is Junior Nogueira with $277,612. The average champions were Header Andrew Ward and Heeler Buddy Hawkins II. 

Tie-down roping  

The WNFR tie-down roping and average champion is Caleb Smidt from Bellville, Texas. He won $318,456 in prize money throughout the week. Smidt tied for fourth place in round one with Taylor Santos, first in round three, tied for second in round four with Tuf Cooper, tied for second in round five with John Douch and placed fifth in round six. In round eight, Smidt placed third, sixth in round nine and fourth in round 10.  

Barrel racing  

Molly Otto of Grand Forks, N.D. began her journey in 15th place in the world standings. She placed 11th in round one, 10th in rounds two, three and six. In round seven, Otto placed sixth, was 10th in rounds eight and nine and 11th in round 10. Otto finished her WNFR in 10th place in the world standings with $134,698 and second in the average. 

Jessica Routier from Buffalo, S.D. entered the WNFR fifth in the world. Routier’s WNFR highlights included placing seventh in round three and 10th in round seven. In round eight, she placed fourth and seventh in round nine. Routier finished the season in 14th place with $100,169 and ended up 10th in the average. 

Lisa Lockhart from Oelrichs, S.D. started in 14th place. She placed 10th in round one, second in round two and sixth in round six. In round nine, Lockhart placed ninth and in round 10 she placed third. Lockhart finished 12th in the world and 13th in the average standings.  

Amanda Welsh from Gillette had a successful appearance at the WNFR. Welsh tied to win round one with Cheyenne Wimberley, placed eighth in round three, second in round four, ninth in round five and eighth in round seven.  In round nine, Welsh placed third and made a solid run to place seventh in round 10. Welsh ended her WNFR sitting seventh in the world with $155,065 in WNFR earnings and finished eighth in the average.  

Bull riding 

Ruger Piva entered the WNFR in 12th place and tied for fourth place with Trey Benton III in round one and placed third in round six. In round nine, he placed second with an 82-point ride. He finished the WNFR in 10th place in both the world and average standings with $154,859. 

Roscoe Jarboe from New Plymouth, Idaho was 15th place in the world standings at the start of the WNFR. He placed 10th in the first round. Jarboe finished 15th in both the world and average standings with a total of $105,778.  

Sage Kimzey is the WNFR Bull Riding Champion. Kimzey won his seventh bull riding world championship and finished with $411,465 in prize money. Josh Frost from Randlett, Utah won the average title.  

Brittany Gunn is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock. Send comments on this article to

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