NFR Round 4: Hunter Cure Wins Another Round, Stetson Wright Ties a Round Record and More
BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN @PRORODEOBRETT
Hunter Cure is making the most of what is likely his final NFR.
The 39-year-old who hadn’t advanced to the National Finals since 2019 now has the two fastest steer wrestling times of the rodeo after a 3.4-second run on Sunday night.
Cure, a two-time World Champion, now leads the Average and is up to No. 2 in the PRCA World Standings.
“Because it’s a long marathon of 10 days, I feel like getting a great start and being able to get my feet moving sure helps,” Cure said.
While Hunter Cure is on the tail-end of his career, Stetson Wright seems to rewrite the record book every night at the NFR. In Sunday night’s bull riding, he was 92 points aboard Belly Dump of Salt River Rodeo to tie the Round 4 record.
The ride also pushed Wright to $413,842 in earnings in the bull riding, giving him a lead of almost $140,000 on No. 2 Josh Frost. He is also 3-for-4 and No. 1 in the NFR Average.
“I was more focused on letting myself know that I can’t let off the gas,” Wright said. "(Saturday night), I let it slip away so tonight I wanted to come back and redeem myself.”
Cole Reiner kept up with Jess Pope in the World Title race by winning Round 4 with an 89-point ride on Southland’s Shoutin Shoes. Pope leads Reiner by about $32,000 and they are currently projected to finish No. 1 and 2 in the final World Standings.
1. Cole Reiner, 89, $28,914
T2. Cole Franks, 87, $20,053
T2. Garrett Shadbolt, 87, $20,053
T4. Caleb Bennett, 85.5, $6,063
T4. Tilden Hooper, 85.5, $6,063
T4. Kaycee Feild, 85.5, $6,063
T4. Jess Pope, 85.5, $6,063
After Hunter Cure’s round win and Stetson Jorgensen’s 21.2-second run to drop him from No. 1 to No. 9 in the Average, the steer wrestling World Championship is as wide open as ever. Jorgensen is still No. 1 over Cure by about $36,000, but Cure is No. 1 in the Average.
1. Hunter cure, 3.4, $28,914
T2. Tyler Waguespack, 3.8, $20,053
T2. Rowdy Parrott, 3.8, $20,053
T4. Dakota Eldridge, 4.1, $9,793
T4. Will Lummus, 4.1, $9,793
6. Tristan Martin, 4.3, $4,665
Tyler Wade/Trey Yates pulled their first check of this year’s NFR with a 3.9-second run to win the round. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira have placed in all four rounds and remain the heavy favorites in the Gold Buckle race on each side.
1. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 3.9, $28,914
2. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 4.5, $22,851
T3. Lightning Aguilera/Jonathan Torres, 4.7, $14,960
T3. Jr. Dees/Levi Lord, 4.7, $14,960
5. Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 5.0, $7,462
6. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 8.8, $4,664
SADDLE BRONC RIDING
Zeke Thurston got his first round win of the 2022 NFR and now leads the Average. Thurston, a two-time World Champion, has finished in the Top 5 of the NFR Average the last three years. The World Title race also got much more interesting Sunday night when World No. 1 Sage Newman bucked off, which will make it much more difficult to place in the Average.
1. Zeke Thurston, 88.5, $28,914
2. Chase Brooks, 88, $22,851
T3. Kolby Wanchuk, 86.5, $14,960
T3. Stetson Wright, 86.5, $14,960
5. Logan Hay, 84.5, $7,462
T6. Wyatt Casper, 82, $2,332
T6. Lefty Holman, 82, $2,332
Marty Yates, who has made nine NFRs in a row, finally got in the money in the 2022 edition with a 7.4-second run. Known for wanting to go fast, Yates said that was the plan for the rest of the NFR.
“One swing, one wrap and a victory lap, every night that’s what we’re after,” he said.
1. Marty Yates, 7.4 $28,914
2. John Douch, 7.7, $22,851
3. Riley Webb, 7.8, $17,255
T4. Caleb Smidt, 8.1, $9,793
T4. Haven Meged, 8.1, $9,793
6. Kincade Henry, 8.4, $4,664
Emily Beisel stopped the clock at 13.60 seconds to pick up her sixth career Go-Round win in just 34 NFR runs. She has now won a round in each of the last 4 NFRs.
1. Emily Beisel, 13.60, $28,914
T2. Margo Crother, 13.65, $20,053
T2. Lisa Lockhart, 13.65, $20,053
4. Hailey Kinsel, 13.66, $12,125
5. Stevi Hillman, 13.67, $7,462
6. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 13.73, $4,664
Stetson Wright was three points clear of anyone else in the field and became the first bull rider to strike for multiple round wins. Six bull riders made the whistle Sunday and all of them were 85.5 points or better.
1. Stetson Wright, 92, $28,914
2. Trevor Kastner, 89, $22,851
3. Trey Kimzey, 87.5, $17,255
T4. Ky Hamilton, 86.5, $9,793
T4. Josh Frost, 86.5, $9,793
6. Cole Fischer, 85.5, $4,664