Posted 3 months ago
By John Axtell
Chad Ferley of Oelrichs is the World Champion saddle bronc rider for the second time in his career, claiming the honor Saturday night at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas with more than $204,000 in earnings this year.
Ferley was sitting in 3rd place going into the final round, but jumped to the top spot with a 3rd-place finish to add to his 2006 title.
“Heck, I don’t know what took so long in-between,” Ferley said of his two world titles. “If I could just win it every year, that would be great.
I think the second one is sweeter, because they don’t just hand out world champion buckles and saddles; it’s a lot of work. I won my first title my first time here, and then it took another seven years, so this one means the most.”
Ferley entered the WNFR in third place behind Cody Wright and Jesse Wright, but made $100,661 at the Finals and totaled $204,432 for the year.
“My mindset coming in here was that I didn’t do very well here last year, so I wanted to improve this year,” Ferley said. “My main goal here was to make as much money as I could to feed my family, and at the end it worked out and I won.
“This is the best and now I get to take home a gold buckle and start again from square one next year. The person I texted first was my wife to tell her I won it, and there’ll be a celebration when I get home.”
Nebraskan Cort Scheer of Elsmere finished 2nd in the average and 5th in the world while Cole Elshere of Faith, SD, ended 11th in the world standings.
48-year old Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs made a statement for the older competitors at the NFR by winning the last 2 rounds and finishing 3rd overall. Lockhart won 3 rounds and placed in 7 in Las Vegas
Trula Churchill of Valentine placed in 3 rounds, but not Saturday night’s, and ended the season 13th in the world standings.
Gering resident and 1998 Alliance High School graduate Dean Gorsuch finished a disappointing 7th in steer wrestling.
Gorsuch, the World Champion in both 2006 and 2010, had ranked as high as 3rd after winning 2 rounds at the NFR but didn’t place in 2 of the last 3 rounds and was bucked off in the final round
Another steer wrestler from the Tri-State region, Jason Miller of Lance Creek, Wyo, failed to place in the last 5 rounds and ended 13th in the world standings.
Bareback rider Steven Dent of Mullen didn’t place in the final round and ended the year 13th in the world.
24-year old Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, LA, came into the 10-day WNFR in 10th place in tie-down roping, but set records for average and earnings to sweep to the top and claim the gold buckle.
Hanchey won $134,766 to break Cody Ohl’s 2006 record by $2,114 and broke Fred Whitfield’s 16-year-old average record of 84.0 seconds on 10 head with a time of 80.10 seconds.
Trevor Brazile, second in the average, also broke Whitfield’s mark as part of a record-setting NFR that saw him earn the All-Around title and become the first ProRodeo cowboy to go over $5 million in earnings.
The 37-year old Brazile, who ran his record world champion total to 19, won $426,011 this season…the 2nd-highest ever. He has the 7 highest totals in history, topping $400,000 three times.
Bareback rider Kaycee Feild won his 3rd straight world title and 3rd straight average title, the first rider to to that. His father is Lewis Feild, a two-time bareback riding and three-time all-around champion.
Team ropers Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill each won their second world championship. Tryan won his first gold buckle in 2005, while Corkill claimed his last year.
Steer wrestler Hunter Cure won his first gold buckle, in just his third Finals. The 30-year-old Texan came in 7th, but earned $108,348 at the WNFR, more than any other bulldogger.
J.W. Harris clinched his fourth bull riding world championship Friday by sharing the Round 9 win. He was second in the average and finished the season with $252,829.
The amazing Sherry Cervi won the barrel racing world championship, breaking the average record along the way as she won 3 rounds and cashed checks in all 10. The 38-year old has won 4 buckles over 18 years (1995, 1999, 2010, 2013).