The inaugural Cowboy Channel Jr. NFR finals results
Here is a look at the results of the Jr. NFR finals at AT&T Stadium Saturday afternoon. Six cowboys and cowgirls qualified for the finals of each event.
Colorado cowboy Keenan Hayes scored 84 points on Fringe Jacket to win the bareback riding, finishing 3.5 points clear of second-place Mason Stuller.
“It’s awesome,” Hayes said. “Awesome facility, awesome horses.......I couldn’t ask for more.”
(Jake Link Photography)
Hayes credits his experiences as a high school wrestler for helping him prepare for the rigors of bareback riding.
“I think wrestling has helped me out a lot, it’s got me in shape,” he said. “With having to make weight every weekend, wrestling all the time; it takes a lot determination and I think that helps a lot in rodeo.”
Hayes is 17 and graduates high school in May so he hopes the jump straight to ProRodeo is in his future.
Texas cowgirl Jade Kenney won the breakaway roping with a time of 3.10 seconds and was the only one of the six finalists to have a qualified run.
(Jake Link Photography)
“You’ve got to make a good run on the good calves and a great run on the even better calves,” she said. “I just tried to use my calf and go out and play my game.”
Just like in breakaway roping, the team ropers struggled to notch qualifying times as well.
Cayden Harmon/Hayden Powell had the winning time of 5.71 seconds, ahead of Will Faris/Tristan Sullivan’s run of 6.04 seconds.
“When the first [three] teams had a little trouble, we just went to make a good run,” Harmon said. “But when we won it, it felt pretty good.”
Ryan Nettle was the top bulldogger at the Jr. NFR finals and his time of 4.27 seconds but because he qualified for the finals of RFD-TV’s The American, John Mayes was named the Jr. NFR steer wrestling champion with a run of 4.52 seconds.
The steer Mayes originally drew was accidentally turned out early by an official, so his winning run came on a steer he had no time to study, so he relied on muscle memory.
“I studied that first steer that I had, then they gave me that extra steer,” he said. “I didn’t have a clue what it did. I just hoped that it ran.”
After finishing fifth in the bulldogging, Quade Hiatt didn’t have much time to rest as he turned right around to have the top time in the tie-down roping with 6.97 seconds. However, because Hiatt was in the finals of RFD-TV’s The American as well, he was ineligible to the Jr. NFR champion, meaning the title went to Trevor Hale.
Hale had a run of 7.41 seconds.
“It was really tough and a great group of guys,” Hale said. “I just got lucky and had a good calf and a great run......I got out good at the barrier, and my horse ran to the calf just right and gave me a good shot, I just had to turn the calf around and I had to make great ground work and not make any mistakes. I had to make a really smooth run”
Hiatt can still win plenty of money as he is one of eight cowboys still alive in the tie-down roping and one of six still eligible for the $1,000,000 prize.
At just 14-years-old, Patton Ann Lynch won the barrel racing championship at the Cowboy Channel’s Jr. NFR and she did so on her 10-year-old horse Nos.
“He’s good at everything,” she said. “He’s consistent and I can trust him.”
Lynch notched a time of 16.114 seconds to claim the title, more than three-tenths ahead of second-place Paige Jones.
|Patton Ann Lynch
Saddle Bronc Riding
Texas cowboy Gus Gaillard was one of just two young cowboys to have a ride of 70 points or better and the only one to have more than 75 points as he rode Shallygaster for 75.5 to become the Cowboy Channel Jr. NFR champion.
“I felt like I had a big advantage knowing what I was getting on,” he said. “I just kept hustling and moving me feet.”
Frank Florez was the other cowboy who scored better than 70, riding Blueeyes for 71.5 points.
Caden Bunch, 16, was the only cowboy over 80 in the bull riding. He scored 81.5 points on Cowboy Cool to win the Jr. NFR title.
The only other 8-second ride belonged to Koltin Hevelow, who had 76.5 points on Mini Me.