Round 3: ‘Blue Shirt Bonus’-’21 WNFR

Header Rhen Richard and Canadian heeler, 2016 World Champion Jeremy Buhler won Round 3. PRCA Phill Kitts.

Round 3 Results

In today’s ‘what have you done lately’ world, I heard a classy comment from Kolby Wanchuk. I can’t remember who the commentator was, but they quizzed Kolby about the wave of young Canadian bronc riders, and he replied, “Clay Elliott and Zeke Thurston opened the door for us.” Good stuff!

Now to Round 3.

The eliminators were in full force tonight, and when things go right when you are mounted that rank, you get big scores. It took at least 90 points to win a riding event tonight.

Five-time Bareback king Kaycee Feild fit a 90-point ride on Full Baggage for the big cheque.

Rnd 3-Richmond Champion earned 88.5-pts on Mr Harry. PRCA photo Phill Kitts.

Richie Champion was 88.5 to grab second, Orin Larsen rode a previously unridden one for 83.5 points but ended up in the crying hole.

Cole Reiner was 79.5 on 156 Illegal Smile from Legends Rodeo, and Zach Hibler marked 76.5 on Duane Kesler’s 96 Nitelife.

In the big man’s event, Tristen Martin got the flag in 3.7 seconds. Two-time Canadian Champion Steer Wrestler Scott Guenthner split 5/6 with a nice 4.3. Curtis Cassidy was 5 flat.

Fear the Beard! World Champion Heeler Jeremy Buhler claimed the first outright win ($26,997) by a Canadian at NFR ‘21. (Zeke Thurston split round 1.)

Tegan Smith earned an outstanding 91-pts on Calgary’s Y-38 Yesterday’s Delivery. PRCA photo by Phill Kitts.

The Saddle Bronc Riding was rank with nine hard-earned scores, two MOs (missed out) and four Bos (buck offs). Tegan Smith topped the leader board with an outstanding 91-point tour of duty on Calgary’s Y-38 Yesterday’s Delivery.

2017 Canadian Champion Layton Green scored 85 on Dakota Rodeo’s hard-to-ride appy 208 Cash Deal and cashed a fifth-place cheque. Zeke was 82 in the crying hole, and Ben Andersen got past his rookie jitters with a 75.

Kolby Wanchuk and Dawson Hay were amongst the buck off victims, as was Sage Newman, who parted ways with Wayne Vold’s 53 One More Reason.

At the buckle presentations, Calgary rep Keith Marrington introduced trucker and flank man Ken (Goose) Rehill and ranch manager Tyler Kraft and his wife, Vanessa. At Keith’s suggestion, Vanessa took the mic and gave a shout out to their three kids who were watching at home.

Buckle presentation co-host Flint Rasmussen then opened a can of worms that I’ll gladly address.

Onstage, in front of a big crowd and on live television, Flint told NFR rookie Tegan Smith that he would have been three points more if he had two or three more NFR qualifications on his resume. The truth of the matter is there was still two Wrights to go, and the judges always leave room at the top for them. I call it the ‘Blue Shirt Bonus’, and when those judges see those blue shirts buzzing around the chute like heel flies, they know that a Wright is about to ride, and they (judges) are intimidated. They always give them some bonus points. It hasn’t shown up as much as usual at this NFR, mainly because two of them have been kind of messing up. But Spencer has benefited from the ‘Blue Shirt Bonus’ in all three rounds. Three times he’s placed at least one notch higher than he rode. That means other guys are getting shafted, and extra points on every ride really add up on a 10 head average. Thanks, Flint.

Two-time World Champion Tie-Down Roper Caleb Smith stopped the clock in 7.1 seconds for the big cheque. Shane Hanchey clocked a 9.4 on Peso.

Texan Stevi Hillman toured the barrel pattern in a first-place time of 13.70

Sage Kimsey being helped out of the arena by the sports medicine team. PRCA photo by Clay Guardipee.

After the wreck last night, I certainly didn’t think I’d see J.B. Mauney competing tonight, but he did. He was one of 11 that bucked off. There were only four whistles in the Bull Riding, and Creek Young was one of them, but he was offered a re-ride, and he turned down a sure cheque to get on another one. The gutsy move paid off to the tune of 92 points for the victory. Ward Macza’s 15 OLS Tubs Sunny bucked off Trey Benton lll.

Not sure why, but the PRCA webpage still hasn’t posted the draw for Round 4, so I’ll sign out and do another blog when I get the draw.