Deep in the heart of Texas, the second round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) kicked off in Arlington. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem carried in the American Flag, following an oath of enlistment. The bright ballfield lights of Texas Ranger stadium are substituting for the bright lights of Las Vegas, which traditionally hosts the WNFR.
Minnesota Bareback Rider Tanner Aus rode Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez for 87 points. The five-time WNFR qualifier is chasing his first gold buckle. He is from Granite Falls, Minn. and won $26,230.77 for his eight second ride. Last year he finished eight in the world.
What was the ride like on a highly touted horse?
“That is a great big scary looking bay horse and he is great shape and he had a good trip. I was happy. There’s no better place to have a good ride than the National Finals and I was happy it worked out. I’m standing here in the winner’s circle in Round 2 against a tough field of competition this year. It means a lot to be here.”
What’s mean momentum-wise for you to get a win early in Wrangler NFR?
“It’s definitely a confidence-builder. Everyone wants to jump out there and win the first round and the second round. It helps to get momentum going. But it is 10 rounds long. Last year I put myself out of the average in the first round and I scraped my way back into the average by the 10th round. Anything can happen and you just have to focus on the one horse at a time.”
What’s it like getting to compete at the Wrangler NFR at Globe Life Field?
“It’s is awesome. I’m so thankful. I’m so proud of the (PRCA) for stepping up and putting on rodeos in a year when a lot of things couldn’t happen and all the committees that stepped up and made it possible. then for the (PRCA) to turn around and make this happen, thank you to everyone in Arlington and Texas for hosting us. This really means a lot.”
For compete details click here www.prorodeo.com
Written by Gretchen Kirchmann