LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jesse Wright edged Cody DeMoss by $797 in the saddle bronc season standings for his first world title, finishing fourth with an 80.5-point ride on Pedro on Saturday night in the 10th and final round of the National Finals Rodeo.
"I didn't have that great of a finals, but to come down to the end of it and to ride my horses and win the world title without being high up in the average (NFR aggregate) feels outstanding," Wright said. "I had a great regular season and everything panned out enough here for it all to work out.
Wright, from Milford, Utah, earned $226,887.
"This is better than what I ever thought it would feel like," he said. "It hasn't come close to sinking in yet, and I can't comprehend it. To be classified as a world champion and to be in the same category as my brother (Cody), who is a great bronc rider, is a dream I've had since I've started riding broncs."
DeMoss, from Heflin, La., won the round with an 86 on Painted Feather and earned a $46,821 bonus by topping the NFR aggregate standings with 798.5 points for 10 rides.
Cody Wright led the NFR saddle bronc earnings race with $121,322. He was second with an 85 on Resistol's Top Hat, and finished second in the aggregate with 740.5 points for nine rides.
In bull riding, Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, passed J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, in the final round to take the title. Teel earned $11,484 with the sixth-place NFR aggregate standings bonus to take the title with $201,978. Harris was second with $200,922. Both were bucked off in the final round.
"This is what you work all year to do and I think right now that it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you get the job done," Teel said. "It's my first gold buckle and I just couldn't stop staring at it when they handed it to me."
Beau Schroeder of China, Texas, won the aggregate race with five rides for 423 points.
Defending world champ Shane Proctor of Grand Coulee, Wash., won the round with an 86.5 on Squawk Box.
In barrel racing, 53-year-old Mary Walker of Ennis, Texas, won the season title in her first NFR, finishing sixth in 14.01 seconds. She earned $274,233, and finished with an event-best $146,941.
Carlee Pierce of Stephenville, Texas, won the round in 13.57.
In bareback riding, Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, repeated as the champion and aggregate standings winner by tying for third with an 85.5 on Scarlett's Web. Feild earned $276,850, and Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, was second with $220,269. Feild is the first bareback rider to win consecutive titles since Lowe in 2006-07.
"I'm friends with a lot of past world champions, and they always say the second one is a little more tough than the first one," Feild said. "I don't know why, but I found that to be true. To come here and stay on top the whole time in Vegas and stay strong was tough. Bareback riding is simple. It's just having the right mindset."
J.R. Vezain of Cowley, Wyo., won the round with an 86.5 on Top Flight.
In steer wrestling, Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., won his second straight season title and fourth overall, finishing with $147,184. He tied for fifth in the round with a 4.2.
Branquinho is the first to win two straight titles since Ote Berry in 1990-91, and tied Berry and Jim Bynum for second place on the career steer wrestling title list with four.
"You hear that stuff coming up before you even get in that situation," Branquinho said. "It's great. You just don't think about it. You just go out there and try to win as much money as you can. Now, to be able to say that I'm in that elite group, it's an honor. Four is just unbelievable."
Les Shepperson of Midwest, Wyo., won the aggregate standings race at 48.60.
Gabe Ledoux of Kaplan, La., won the round in 3.3.
In team roping, there was a split world championship for the first time since 2007 when Chad Masters of Cedar Hill, Tenn., won the header title with $196,099, and Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., took the heeler crown with $190,797. Clay O'Brien Cooper of Gardnersville, Nev., who is Masters' partner, was second for heelers with $189,666, while Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., who ropes with Corkill, was second among the headers with $194,888.
Driggers and Corkill won the round in 4.0, and Masters and Cooper finished fifth in 5.2. Masters and Cooper won the aggregate standings race at 73.40 to earn the $46,821 bonus.
Header Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and heeler Patrick Smith of Lipan, Texas, who led for the first nine rounds, broke the barrier and failed to earn a check after finishing outside the top six.
Brazile, who was seeking his NFR record-tying 18th gold buckle, finished with $182,903, and Smith ended up with $184,403, which put both of them in third place in the world standings.
In tie-down roping, Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, won the title by finishing sixth in 7.9.
Cooper earned $232,885, while second-place Justin Maass of Giddings, Texas, made $197,594.
Adam Gray of Seymour, Texas, was the aggregate standings champion with a time of 87.80 over 10 rounds. Cooper was second at 90.60.
Five-time world champion Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, won the round in 7.0.
In all-around, Brazile clinched his record 10th world championship and seventh in a row Monday night, and finished with $298,626.