Heeler Wesley Thorp Heads to Eighth NFR With Sights on a Second Gold Buckle
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Wesley Thorp put together his best regular season since his 2019 World Title season by earning 172,153 and will enter the NFR in the No. 1 spot on the heel side.
He holds a $12,000 lead over back-to-back World Champion Junior Nogueira much thanks to a huge summer with new partner Tyler Wade that took him from No. 9 to the top spot by season’s end.
Cinch Playoffs Governor’s Cup (South Dakota), $17,000
It was a strong finish to the season for Thorp and his partner Tyler Wade. After winning the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo (Texas) the weekend before, he headed to the Governor’s Cup where they would earn $17,000. In Round 1, the pair placed third with a 4.0-second run. They would fail to place in the next two rounds, but in the Finals, Wade/Thorp would stop the clock at 3.7 seconds to place third and win another $12,000.
Puyallup Cinch Playoffs (Washington), $15,513
As precursor to the Governor’s Cup, Thorp/Wade had a great showing at the Cinch Playoffs first leg of the Cinch Playoffs. The two earned over $15,000 thanks to a second-place finish in the First Round and a win in the Finals. They were 4.9 seconds in the Finals to win a bulk of their money in Puyallup.
Cinch Playoffs Governor’s Cup (South Dakota), 3.7 Seconds
Their final run of the 2023 Regular season was tied for their fastest. Wade and Thorp stopped the clock at 3.7 seconds, and while it would be the fastest of the year for them, it was only good enough for a third-place finish in the round with a 3.4 and a 3.6-second run beating them out for the top two spots.
Lewiston Roundup (Idaho), 3.7 Seconds
While a 3.7-second run at the Governor’s Cup wouldn’t get them a win, 3.7 was good enough at the Lewiston Roundup. It earned Wade/Thorp a win and a check for over $3,500.
Caldwell Night Rodeo (Idaho), 15.7 Seconds on Three
It was a strong showing at the Caldwell Night Rodeo where Wade/Thorp placed third in the Final Round and took the Average after going 15.7 on three. They opened the rodeo with a 4.0-second run which won him the round. In Round 2, he they to earn a check with a 6.1-second run, but in the Finals, they did what he had to and placed third to take the Average with a 5.6-second run. They earned nearly $10,000 for their victory.
Ogden Pioneer Days (Utah), 8.5 Secons on Two
Thorp put together two solid runs at the Ogden Pioneer Days to go 8.5 seconds on two head. Wade/Thorp opened the rodeo with a second-place finish in Round 1 after a 4.2-second run. They followed that up with a third-place finish in the Second Round to place third and get the win in the Average. The pair made it a very lucrative weekend in Utah by winning an additional PRCA Playoff Series Rodeo in Spanish Fork during the same trip. The two wins combined to add more than $16,000 to their season earnings and marked when they really knew their partnership was clicking.
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