LAS VEGAS — The scores were large at the halfway point of the National Finals Rodeo.
It took a score of 91 points or better to win the bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding competition in the fifth round Monday night at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The 10-round, $10 million rodeo continues through Saturday. The NFR will determine the 2018 world champions.
A pair of Montana cowboys making their first appearance at the NFR cashed checks again.
Bridger Chambers of Butte was 3.7 seconds in steer wrestling to place third and earn $15,653. The 3.7 is the fastest run for the former Montana Western basketball player who has earned more than $29,000 in Las Vegas. He also placed in the first round.
Deer Lodge’s Chase Brooks put together a stellar 88-point ride to place sixth in saddle bronc riding for $4,231. Brooks also won money in the fourth round.
It took 90 points or better to finish in the top four against a saddle bronc pen. Skeeter Thurston, a former world and Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit champion from Canada, was 90 points on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Marquee and finished fourth.
Brody Cress, of Hillsdale, Wyoming, had a no score.
Three-time world champion Clay Tryan of Billings and partner Travis Graves had a no time in team roping, as did Bubba Buckaloo and Helena’s Chase Tryan.
Parker Breding of Edgar took a no score in bull riding, while Circle native Lisa Lockhart was bumped out of the money by .06 of a second by Jessica Routier. Lockhart finished in 13.91. Routier, the last barrel racer out, was 13.85 for sixth.
Fifth-round winners were: Clayton Biglow, bareback, 93 points; Will Lummus, steer wrestling, 3.3 seconds; Wade Sundell, saddle bronc, 92 points; Trevor Brazile, Reese Reimer, Ryan Jarrett, tie-down roping, 7.5 seconds; Ivy Conrado, barrel racing, 13.51 seconds; Eli Vastbinger, bull riding, 13.51 seconds.
Biglow's 93-point ride aboard C5 Rodeo's Virgil is an arena record. Virgil is the 2018 PRCA bareback horse of the year.
Sundell was aboard the former PRCA saddle bronc horse of the year, Medicine Woman. He was one point off the arena record, 93, held twice by former world champion Billy Etbauer. Saddle bronc average leader, former Montana State University cowboy Cort Scheer, was bucked off.
It was the second performance in a row that Brazile won or earned a share of first place in tie-down roping.