BY BRETT NIERENGARTEN 

Shane Hanchey enters his 12th consecutive Wrangler NFR as the cowboy to beat, sitting first in the world with Westyn Hughes about $42,000 behind him and reigning World Champion Shad Mayfield around $45,000 back. 

Hanchey won The American Rodeo in March and since then there has been no looking back, he has been No. 1 or No. 2 in the PRCA Tie-Down Roping World Standings the whole way in 2021. 

SHANE HANCHEY'S WINNING RUN AT THE AMERICAN

After The American, his next two big wins came in Oklahoma. He was 8.7 seconds and 9.6 seconds to place in both rounds and win the Average at Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo which concluded on May 2 and then he was 8.4 seconds to win the one-header at the Woodward Elk Rodeo on June 12. Both wins earned him more than $5,000 each. 

HANCHEY IN GUYMON 

He closed the month of June by winning the Lehi Roundup (Utah) and placing in the Greeley Stampede (Colorado) and the Alamo City Motorplex Rodeo (Texas) the same weekend and he would go on to win the Spanish Fork Fiesta Days in July. In Spanish Fork, his two runs were 7.2 and 7.6 seconds, which allowed him to pocket $10,963. He and Shad Mayfield were almost three seconds clear of the rest of the field in Spanish Fork as both cowboys were 14.8 seconds on two head.  

Hanchey was No. 1 in the World Standings after his win in Spanish Fork, but he wasn't thinking much about that. 

"At the end of the day, at the 10th round of the NFR is when (being No. 1) is gonna matter, I can get all of the likes on Facebook and Instagram for being No. 1 right now, but that don't really matter. It comes down to the 10 days in Vegas," he said afterward. 

HANCHEY IN SPANISH FORK 

Following his triumph in Spanish Fork it looked for awhile that Hanchey may go winless in August, but he changed that on the last weekend of the month by winning not one, but two rodeos. 

He stopped the clock at 7.4 seconds to win $3,393 at the Golden Spike Rodeo (Utah) and then was 7.9 to snag a victory (and $2,715) at the Gem State Stampede from Aug. 26-29.

He closed the year by winning the Lewiston Roundup (Idaho) and the Pendleton Round-Up in September. In Pendelton, Hanchey won nearly $11,000 and placed second in the Short Round. He also finished in the Top 4 at the Ellensburg Rodeo and Walla Walla Frontier Days, earning about $10,000 combined at those two prestigious Washington rodeos. 

HANCHEY IN PENDELTON 

Hanchey enters the Wrangler NFR with a total $175,079. The most he has ever won in a season is $244,832 in 2019 when he was the Reserve World Champion. Hanchey's average time of 10.23 seconds and 36 Go-Round wins in 2021 are both the second-highest marks of his career. 

After winning six rodeos in 2019 and 2020, he won 12 in 2021.  

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