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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — One day after suffering a no-time Ellensburg’s Riley and Brady Minor were in more comfortable surroundings on Sunday: the cashier’s office.

The team roping duo bounced back from Saturday’s no time to rope a 4.3-second steer to split fourth with Clay Smith and Jade Corkill during the fourth round of the National Finals Rodeo. The place earned then $8,885 apiece.

“I was happy with the run, and I was hoping to win a little more, but 88-hundred is not a bad night,” Riley said.

The steer wasn’t the best, but it certainly wasn’t the worse on the night.

“The steer didn’t handle really good in the corner, skidded a little bit, but Brady did a heckuva job getting the legs (on the heel side).”

It’s a check and a change in momentum that was going the other way the night before.

“I was super upset, couldn’t sleep last night, but it’s something you’ve got to over with rodeo,” Brady said of Saturday’s no-time. “Tonight we had one of the stronger steers out there and got a check. I’ll take fourth or fifth to get us back on the board of placing and get things turned around.”

It looked as though 4.3 seconds would possibly take second or maybe third, but that’s before long 3-second runs started showing up on the clock.

“We barely got out of the arena and then Chad Masters is a 3.7,” Riley said of Masters’ and Joseph Harrison’s go-round winner. “I mean a 4.4 wins the last check of the round, that shows you how good the round went.”

With so much money won each night, the world standings change nightly. The Minors were fourth in the world after Friday’s third-place run, but now they’re seventh in the header and heeler standings with more than $134,300 won.

The duo is seventh in the average as well. Their 13.7 on three runs is the fastest on three. Every team ahead of them in the early standings have four runs. However, it’s not uncommon at all to see every team take at least one no-time during the 10-day event. If that’s the case, and the Minors stay consistent, it’s not out of the realm of imagination to expect them to climb significantly.

“The average is gonna get won on nine head, so I feel I’m in good shape for the average even though we took a no time. It’s a little bit of a long shot, but anything can happen.

“Unless something goes real haywire, I’m just gonna stick to the game plan and just make a good run every night. If we draw the right steer then maybe we’ll try and win the round, but if we just keep catching them, then we’ll just climb up in the standings. You’ve just got to make your run and you just win what you win.”


One lady winning a lot of money — in fact she’s the top money winner so far in the NFR — is NFR rookie Emily Miller. Miller won her second go-round with Sunday’s 13.64-second pattern, netting her $26,231. Miller has $88,846 in earnings in the initial four days. She came into the NFR having won $98,144 on the entire year.

With two firsts, a second and a third, Miller is also leading the average by nearly a second over Jessica Routier.

Fellow NFR rookie Stetson Wright also won his second round on Sunday. The rookie bull rider covered Painted Pony’s Holy Holly for 91 points. Brothers Sage Kimzey (five-time defending world champion) and Trey Kimzey (NFR rookie) went 4-5 on Sunday, both picking up checks, the first for Trey Kimzey. Sage is third in the average and his $11,000 check pushed him to more than $300,000 in season earnings.

The Wright family had a great day at the pay window, as Rusty Wright won the saddle bronc with an 89.5 on Diamond G’s Miss Nancy. His uncle, 2014 world champion Spencer Wright, was second with an 84.5.

In tie-down roping, 2013 world champion Shane Hanchey won his second round of the NFR with a 7.5-second calf. His second-round no-time puts him way down in the average, however NFR rookie Taylor Santos has earned a check each night and leads the average with a 32.8 on four.

Canadian bareback champion Orin Larsen’s 90-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Night Fist earned the Alberta cowboy the win. Bridger Chambers won Sunday’s steer wrestling with a 3.6-second run.

Tonight’s round begins at 7 p.m. and signals the halfway point of the NFR.

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