NFR Round 5: Recap, Highlights and Payouts


At the halfway point of the 2023 NFR, round records fell and several events saw its biggest score or fastest time of the rodeo.

In bareback riding, it was two cowboys splitting the new high mark as Jayco Roper and Clayton Biglow were both 89.5 points. It was Roper’s first career NFR round win and Biglow’s first since 2019.

In steer wrestling, JD Struxness jumped to No. 2 in the World with a 3.3-second run, the fastest of the NFR so far. He had placed second in two of the previous three rounds before breaking through to take his first victory lap.

Luke Brown/Hunter Koch took the team roping in Round 5 and moved to No. 5 in the NFR Average in the process. They were 3.8 seconds to get the win after Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin had a 3.1 wiped off the board by a crossfire.

The first 90 of the rodeo came in the saddle bronc riding courtesy of two Canadian crowd favorites - Zeke Thurston and The Calgary Stampede’s Xplosive Skies. Thurston was marked 91 points to take a four-point lead in the NFR Average Standings and a $15,000 lead in the World Standings.

“They named her correctly, my hat goes out to her, that’s an incredible animal,” he said. “There’s not a lot that make you nervous, and she does.”

In tie-down roping, 6.9 seconds was the magic number for the third straight round as reigning World Champion Caleb Smidt made his second trip to the South Point in 2023.

Barrel racing was the event that saw a new round record with Summer Kosel stopping the clock at 13.42 second to barely best Emily Beisel’s 13.43 from Round 5 a year ago.

“I knew it was coming sooner or later,” she said. “I knew if I stayed out of his (her horse Apollo) and God’s way, it would happen.”

And in bull riding, seven-time World Champion Sage Kimzey was terrific once again, this time going for 92 points on Polar Express of Stace Smith Pro Rodeo, who was previously unridden. It was the second straight night only two cowboys rode so Kimzey has picked up more than $99,000 in the last two rounds thanks to ground money.

“I’ve been seeing him for awhile, I knew he’d fit my style to a T, he really bucks, I mean if you could just tailor-make a bull, he would be the exact model that I would make,” Kimzey said. “He’s built perfect, bucks awesome, just a dream draw really.”


Round 5: 1. (tie) Clayton Biglow, on Pickett Pro Rodeo Co ‘s Night Crawler, and Jayco Roper, on C5 Rodeo’s Virgil, 89.5 points, $27,487 each; 3. Jess Pope, 88.5, $18,325; 4. Mason Clements, 87.5, $12,877; 5. (tie) Jacob Lees and Cole Reiner, 87, $6,438 each.


Round 5: 1. J.D. Struxness, 3.3 seconds, $30,706; 2. Jacob Talley, 3.6, $24,268; 3. (tie) Stan Branco and Ty Erickson, 3.7, $15,601 each; 5. Dalton Massey, 4.0, $7,924; 6. Jesse Brown, 4.1, $4,953.


Round 5: 1. Luke Brown/Hunter Koch, 3.8 seconds, $30,706 each; 2. (tie) Rhen Richard/Jeremy Buhler and Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 4.0, $21,296 each; 4. Dustin Egusquiza/Levi Lord, 4.1, $12,877; 5. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.7, $7,924; 6. (tie) Jake Clay/Tyler Worley and Clay Smith/Paden Bray, 8.9, $2,476 each.


Round 5: 1. Zeke Thurston, 91 points on Calgary Stampede’s Xplosive Skies, $30,706; 2. Ryder Wright, 89.5, $24,268; 3. Lefty Holman, 88.5, $18,325; 4. (tie) Damian Brennan and Wyatt Casper, 87.5, $10,401 each; 6. Brody Cress, 87, $4,953.


Round 5: 1. Caleb Smidt, 6.9 seconds, $30,706; 2. Riley Mason Webb, 7.4, $24,268; 3. Shad Mayfield, 7.8, $18,325; 4. Haven Meged, 8.1, $12,877; 5. Kincade Henry, 8.3, $7,924; 6. Shane Hanchey, 8.7, $4,953.


Round 5: 1. Summer Kosel, 13.42 seconds; 2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 13.58, $24,268; 3. Sissy Winn, 13.59; 4. (tie) Emily Beisel, Jordon Briggs and Paige Jones, 13.60, $8,585 each.


Round 5: 1. Sage Kimzey, 92 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos ‘s Polar Express, $52,746; 2. Trey Kimzey, 87.5, $46,307.