DALLAS – Steer wrestler Matt Reeves knew he "had to win a round" at the $550,000 Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship, presented by the Texas Stampede, to have a chance of extending his season, and he got it done in Friday's opening session at the American Airlines Center.
Reeves had a 3.8 second run to earn $4,898 and move from 17th to 14th in the Crusher Rentals World standings, guaranteeing himself a berth in the Dec. 6-15 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
"That's a good feeling," Reeves said. "There was a lot of pressure coming in here and it's great to have this settled right away."
Reeves didn't get in the Dallas field until Matt Shiozawa withdrew to compete at this week's Canadian National Finals, and Reeves didn't know until Wednesday whether his number of rodeos was within the allowable amount so his Dallas results would count in the standings.
Having gone through all that, Reeves was not about to let the opportunity slip away from him. He was aggressive at the barrier, got to his steer quickly and got him turfed in 3.8 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than Shawn Greenfield and Casey McMillen, who tied for second place.
"That was the tough part about going first," Reeves said. "I did what I could, I put pressure on the guys, but then I had to sit there and watch nine guys take a run at it."
An 84 point ride on Bad Company's Crazy Train gave University of Nevada-Las Vegas student Colin McTaggart the win in the bull riding and moved him from 17th to 13th in the Crusher Rentals PRCA World Standings. A trip to the Wrangler NFR in his adopted hometown is within his grasp.
"I was just out of it (the Wrangler NFR) coming in here and needed to make a couple of checks," McTaggart said, "so this has me in there now and if I can just stay in there through the end of the weekend … it would be cool to go to class all day and then walk on over and go to the rodeo."
Tie-down roper Clint Cooper, who just got into the Dallas field on Wednesday when Barry Burk had to withdraw due to injury, also made good on an unexpected opportunity. Cooper finished second to Jake Hannum (7.4 seconds) and moved within striking distance of the 15th and final Wrangler NFR berth, just $2,965 behind Joseph Parsons.
Cody Wright used an 89-point ride on Beutler & Son's Night Latch to win first-prize money of $4,898 to move into first place in the world standings for the first time in his career with $115,298.
"I've thought of a million things to say at this moment," Wright said, "but I can't think of any of them now. I am just so excited to be in this position, to be right at the top."
Wright's good friend, Rusty Allen, had been in the lead since winning the $50,000 first prize in Houston in March and Wright didn't know if he could ever make up the ground.
"I never really worried about that," Wright said. "It was out of my control. I just kept competing and hoped that things might fall in my favor."
Terra Bynum, of Colorado City, Texas, set an arena record on a slightly modified cloverleaf pattern with a time of 11.74 seconds, edging out Jill Moody of Letcher, S.D., in 11.81 seconds and Molly Powell of Stephenville, Texas, in 11.84 seconds.
Seven-time world champions Jake Barnes and Clay O'Brien Cooper won the team roping with a time of 4.5 seconds, beating Chad Masters and Allen Bach by three-tenths of a second.
Ryan Gray of Cheney, Wash., moved up one spot to third in the bareback riding world standings by posting an 88-point ride on Cervi Championship's Thrill Ride.
Wrangler ProRodeo Tour Championship
American Airlines Center
Bareback Riding: First round: 1. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., 88 points on Cervi Championship's Thrill Ride, $4,898; 2. (tie) Jason Havens, Prineville, Ore., Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas, and Tom McFarland, Wickenburg, Ariz., 85, $2,449 each; 5. Kelly Timberman, Mills, Wyo., 83; 6. Chris Harris, Itasca, Texas, 82; 7. (tie) Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., Jason Jeter, Mansfield, Texas, and Justin McDaniel, Porum, Okla., 81; 10. Royce Ford, Briggsdale, Colo., 79.
Team roping: First round: 1. Jake Barnes, Scottsdale, Ariz./Clay O'Brien Cooper, Morgan Mill, Texas, 4.5 seconds, $4,898; 2. Chad Masters, Clarksville, Tenn./Allen Bach, Weatherford, Texas, 4.8, $3,674; 3. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont./Walt Woodard, Stockton, Calif., 5.6, $2,449; 4. Tommy Edens, Gatesville, Texas/Coby Jones, Gatesville, Texas, 5.9, $1,225; 5. Colter Todd, Marana, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 6.8; 6. Keven Daniel, Franklin, Tenn./Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo., 9.1; 7. Coleman Proctor, Miami, Okla./Jake Long, Coffeeville, Kan., 9.5; 8. David Key, Caldwell, Texas/Kory Koontz, Sudan, Texas, 10.1; 9. Jimmy Edens, Gatesville, Texas/Ryan Motes, Weatherford, Texas, 13.1; 10. Speed Williams, Deleon, Texas/Dean Tuftin, Prineville, Ore., 19.7.
Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Matt Reeves, Pampa, Texas, 3.8 seconds, $4,898.44; 2. (tie) Shawn Greenfield, Lakeview, Ore., and Casey McMillen, Craig, Colo., 3.9, $3,061.61 each; 4. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 4.1, $1,224.55; 5. Todd Suhn, North Platte, Neb., 4.3; 6. Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 4.4; 7. Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.8; 8. Joey Bell Jr., Malakoff, Texas, 5.6; 9. Stockton Graves, Newkirk, Okla., 7.7; 10. Luke Branquinho, Los Alamos, Calif., 13.4.
Saddle Bronc Riding: First round: 1. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah, 89 points on Beutler and Son's Night Latch, $4,898; 2. Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas, 85, $3,674; 3. Jeff Willert, Belvidere, S.D., 84, $2,449; 4. Cody DeMoss, Heflin, La., 83, $1,225; 5. (tie) Ryan Mapston, Belt, Mont. and Billy Etbauer, Edmond, Okla., 80; 7. (tie) Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., and Anthony Bello, Oakley, Utah, 78; 9. Chad Ferley, Oelrichs, S.D., 77; 10. Isaac Diaz, Stephenville, Texas, 0.
Tie-down roping: First round: 1. Jake Hannum, Ogden, Utah, 7.4 seconds, $4,898; 2. Clint Cooper, Decatur, Texas, 9.3, $3,674; 3. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 9.9, $2,449; 4. Hunter Herrin, Apache, Okla., 10.2, $1,225; 5. Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas, 11.4; 6. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 13.9; 7. Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., 17.7; 8. Mike Johnson, Henryetta, Okla., 19.0; 9. (tie) Blair Burk, Durant, Okla., and Trent Creager, Stillwater, Okla., no time.
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Terra Bynum, Colorado City, Texas, 11.74 seconds, $4,898; 2. Jill Moody, Letcher, S.D., 11.81, $3,674; 3. Molly Powell, Stephenville, Texas, 11.84, $2,449; 4. Brittany Pozzi-Pharr, Victoria, Texas, 11.90, $1,225; 5. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 11.95; 6. (tie) Vickie Solmonsen, Riverton, Utah, and Brandie Halls, Carpenter, Wyo., 12.05; 8. Tana Poppino, Big Cabin, Okla., 12.10; 9. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 12.16; 10. Sherrylynn Johnson, Henryetta, Okla., 17.19.
Bull riding: First round: 1. Colin McTaggart, Las Vegas, Nev., 84 points on Bad Company's Crazy Train, $4,898; 2. (tie) Dave Samsel, Haslet, Texas, and J.W. Harris, May, Texas, 82, $3,062 each; 4. Richard Echols, Frierson, La., 80, $1,225; 5. (tie) Ted Bert, Modesto, Calif., Cody Buller, Glendive, Mont., Steve Woolsey, Payson, Utah, Brad Pierce, Snyder, Texas, Cooper Kanngiesser, Zenda, Kan., Logan Knibbe, Rockdale, Texas, 0.