After hiccups in the second round for the team of Riley and Brady Minor, as well as fellow Ellensburger Jake Pratt, the trio got back on track with all three of them earning money in the weekend’s third and fourth rounds at the National Finals Rodeo.

The Minor brothers split second place (4.1 seconds) for $18,192 in Saturday’s team roping, before splitting fourth (4.3) for another $8,885 on Sunday.

“Sunday’s steer, it’s a quality time,” Brady Minor said by phone Sunday night. “We won nine thousand, that doesn’t happen that often in my line of work.”

Pratt’s 7.3-second calf in the third round split second three ways in Saturday’s tie-down roping for $15,795, with his 7.7-second run earning sixth-place money for $4,231 on Sunday night.

Too soon to count out average

While both the Minor brothers in team roping and Pratt in tie-down each have a no-time, with six rounds still to go, it’s too early to start going for broke as if the average was out of reach.

“We’re still in the average,” Brady said. “Every night is a game changer. We’re not out of the average. In the team roping last year, second, third and fourth were won on nine head.

“Every round, something changes,” he continued. “People tumble or fall out of the average. It’s just round by round.”

The brothers are eighth in the average (which pays eight deep at the end of the 10th round). Four out of 15 teams have times on four steers and just two of them (led by world leaders Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira) are without penalties.

In tie-down roping, Pratt shrugged off Friday’s no-time (he was penalized for the jerk down rule, which the judge felt made it unfair for the calf) to earn checks in the next two rounds. The NFR rookie is 13th in the average, but can improve with quality runs along with some miscues by those in front of him.

The King puts on a clinic

Trevor Brazile may be retiring from year-round rodeo, but he’s not ready for the recliner yet. The 23-time world champion roped a 6.9-second calf on Sunday, winning his 69th go-round at the NFR or National Finals Steer Roping for $26,231.

“It’s fun, I’ve never had a six-second run I didn’t like, but they always feel better in the Thomas & Mack (arena) with this crowd,” Brazile said in a PRCA release.

Brazile and his brother-in-law Tuf Cooper are not only among the leaders in the tie-down world standings, they also lead the All-Around standings as well. Brazile’s $26,231 moved him ahead of Cooper in the All-Around ($270,385 to $263,184). While he’s $78,000 behind Brazile in the All-Around, Rhen Richard is fourth in the tie-down and team roping averages and is very much a part of the All-Around conversation.

Elsewhere around the arena

Amberleigh Moore and Cort Scheer continue to show consistency in their respective events. Moore — who has won more than $300,000 in two years at the National Finals — looks to significantly add to that in her third year in Las Vegas. Moore picked up another $15,636 for her third-place run (13.64 seconds; Jessie Telford’s 13.49 won the round) on Sunday and is less than $7,000 away from $100,000 this year already. She’s placed in all four rounds so far.

Scheer won the first two rounds and then placed fifth on Sunday (behind go-round winner Rusty Wright’s 87) and he’s earned $69,231 in four nights.

Both Scheer and Moore lead their respective averages.

As consistent as Moore and Scheer have been, Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins have been everything but that, however, the team ropers won Sunday’s fourth round with a 4.1-second steer. It was their first qualified run of the NFR.

In steer wrestling, Blake Knowles leads the average by sixth-tenths of a second over Will Lummus (16.8 to 17.4) and the Alberta bulldogger, Curtis Cassidy won Sunday’s round with a 3.6-second turfing of his steer.

He’s riding like it’s 2011 to 2014 again. Kaycee Feild has placed in all four rounds of bareback riding and leads the average by 3.5 points over Tilden Hooper. Feild won the NFR average in each of his four straight world championship years. Caleb Bennett won Sunday’s round with an 86.5 on Three Hills Rodeo’s Just Peachey.

Just three bull riders made the eight-second whistle on Sunday, with Garrett Tribble picking up the win and another $7,300 in ground money for a $33,564 payday. Tribble bested Lancaster’s Black Hammer for 87 points. Joe Frost still leads the average with world leader Sage Kimzey third with two qualified rides. Kimzey was bucked off in the chute and was awarded a re-ride before he was bucked off at six seconds.

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