Utahn fails to retain saddle bronc title, but finishes strong.
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Las Vegas » Milford's Cody Wright did little wrong in the final round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Saturday night.
Although Wright failed to repeat as world saddle bronc champion, he finished second in Round 10 and wrapped up third place in the NFR average.
In the world standings, Wright started the National Finals in 14th place. But by earning $79,339 over the last 10 nights, he moved up to sixth.
Wright completed the seventh NFR of his career in style.
He drew the famous horse Painted Valley, and, together, they posted a score of 86.
Wright placed behind Billy Etbauer in Round 10, but he snapped a streak of four straight performances without a top-six finish. After his only no-score in the ninth round on Friday night, Wright spoke of bouncing back.
"I'm going to go after it," he said. "There's a bunch of money still left out there. Everybody's going for it. I might as well try to get some of it, too."
Utah's other three NFR qualifiers experienced a mixed bag of results in Round 10.
Payson bull rider Steve Woolsey placed fifth and cashed a check for the second night in a row. Coming off a foot injury that sidelined him for the final three months of the regular season, Woolsey did not score in the first eight rounds.
"I'm not going to blame it on my foot," Woolsey said. "I actually started off good. I was [thrown] right at the whistle the first couple [rounds]. Then, it seemed like something a little different every day."
As he struggled, Woolsey realized he had plenty of friends.
"You get everybody in the country calling you, telling you how to ride bulls and telling you what you're doing wrong," Woolsey said, smiling.
In the end, Woolsey finished 11th in the average and seventh in the world standings with earnings of $126,412.
In the bareback, Elk Ridge's Kaycee Feild capped an otherwise successful National Finals with a disappointing 12th place finish.
Still, Feild placed third in world standings with earnings of $172,176. He ended up tied for fourth place in the average.
In tie-down roping, Spanish Fork's Clint Robinson finished a non-paying seventh in Round 10 with a time of 8.2 seconds.
Robinson placed 10th in the average, but his $56,072 in NFR earnings helped him secure fourth in the world standings.
A no-time in Round 6 compromised Robinson's chances for a top-three finish.
"Nine times out of 10, I'm going to take the same throw," Robinson said, referring to his misstep in the sixth round. "I don't regret it, that's for sure. It's the throw I took and just didn't work out."
With season earnings of $346,779, Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, wins his seventh world all-around championship, matching Ty Murray's all-time record.
» J.W. Harris of May, Texas, becomes the first bull rider to win consecutive world championships since Blue Stone of Ogden did it in 2001 and 2002.
» Bareback rider Kelly Timberman, team roper Travis Tryan and steer wrestler Curtis Cassidy go over $1 million in career earnings at the 2009 National Finals.
Injured bull rider's regular-season points earn title. » www.sltrib.com.