Champions are set to be crowned Monday in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The roughstock portion of the Junior National Finals Rodeo completes its five-day run at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena, with winners to be determined in four division each of bull riding, bareback bronc riding and saddle bronc riding.
Five cowboys are looking to claim a title for the second year in a row, although only three – bareback riders Tuker Carricato from Saratoga, Wyoming; and Kash Loyd from Cleburne, Texas; and bull rider Chris Villanueva from Mesquite, Texas – enter Monday’s final go-round leading the average in their respective events.
Carricato, last year’s junior bareback champ, had an 82-point ride Sunday to give him a total of 158 points on two head. That gives him a six-point lead in the average on Kash Martin from Pollok, Texas. Loyd, who won the peewee division last year, followed his 83-point ride Thursday with an 84 Saturday for a 167. Braunson Sims from Evanston, Wyoming, who had a 90-point ride Saturday, sits second in the average with a 164. Eian Smith from Pinedale, Wyoming, is third with a 159.
Other average leaders in the bareback competition are Hayes Weinberger from Breien, North Dakota (peewee, 153); and Brent Applegarth from Yuba City, California (novice, 163). Weinberger has a 14-point advantage on Layn Claxton from West, Texas, while Applegarth leads Bradlee Miller from Huntsville, Texas, by four points. Miller won championships last year in the 12-13 bull riding and senior bareback.
Sims has also made his mark in junior saddle bronc, with scores of 77 and 80. His 157 in the average gives him a commanding 27-point lead over Holden Atkinson from Canada. Sims and Atkinson were the only competitors in the junior division to cover two head.
Other average leaders in saddle bronc are Cy Webb from Byrdstown, Tennessee (peewee, 149); Brandon Lansford from La Salle County, Texas (novice, 143); and Tate Wells from Cochise, Arizona (122, senior).
Webb posted scores of 74 and 75 to give him an 18-point lead on Elvis Bishop, the only other competitor in the peewee division to cover both his horses. Lansford’s lead in the novice division is just one point, however, as Dylan Wade Stevenson from Crandall, Texas, has a 142. The race in the senior division is even tighter as Mason Stuller from Veneta, Oregon, has a 121 and Cooper Cano from Carlton, Oregon, has a 120.
In the bull riding, Villanueva, who won the junior division last year, is tied for the average lead with Dylan Grant from Pavillion, Wyoming. Both cowboys posted scores of 159 points on two head. Avery Mullins from Phoenix won the 10-11 division last year, but enters Monday’s short go third in the 12-13 division. Hagen Braswell from Telegraph, Texas, leads the division with a 158.5, followed by Clay Guiton from Cherryville, North Carolina, with a 152. Mullins has a 146 on two head.
In the 10-11 division, Cade Chatham from Woodland Park, Colorado, tops the average with 153 points for a 12-point lead. Claydyn Jolly from Liberty Hill, Texas, is second with a 141, followed closely by Jayce Sorensen from Greybull, Wyoming, with a 140.5 and Ryder Carpenetti from Ashville, Alabama, with a 140.
Chris Wilcox from New South Wales, Australia, sits atop the 14-15 division with 151.5 points on two head. Texas cowboy Cutter Kaylor and Cody McCandless from New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, are tied for second with 143.5 points.
The roughtstock finals begin at 9 a.m. with the 10-11 and 12-13 divisions of bull riding, followed by all of the bareback and saddle bronc finals. The day concludes with the 14-15 and 16-18 divisions of bull riding.