LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jesse Wright closed on his first saddle bronc season title Wednesday night at the National Finals Rodeo, winning the seventh round with an 84-point ride on Gold Coast.
Wright, from Milford, Utah, leads the season standings with $206,274.
"I was tasting it last year and I missed it by just a little bit," Wright said. "All I had to do was place in that last round, and I didn't have the horse to do it and it killed me to lose it by a couple grand. When I started this season I was bound and determined to win it all, and that's still the goal I'm focused on."
Wright also tops the NFR saddle bronc money race and is second overall with $73,176.
"I know there's a lot on the line and the pressure is there," Wright said. "I'm not going to lie, it hangs over my head a little bit. But what can I do about it? If I don't ride good it won't matter. I really try not to think about it because if you let that stuff bother you, it will hurt you."
Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, was shut out in the round after failing to finish in the top six, leaving him second at $163,458. Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La., leads the NFR aggregate standings race with 548 points for seven rides. He's the lone cowboy with seven successful rides.
In barrel racing, Mary Walker of Ennis, Texas, won her fourth NFR round in 13.72 seconds to extend her season-leading total to $222,406. Second-place Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, remained at $191,280.
Walker leads all NFR competitors with $95,114. Kaley Bass of Kissimmee, Fla., fourth in 13.87, is the NFR aggregate standings leader at 97.73 for seven rides.
In steer wrestling, three-time and defending champion Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., was second at 3.7 seconds to remain atop the standings for the third day in a row. He has earned $147,184.
Ethen Thouvenell of Napa, Calif., second in the standings with $120,192, and two-time world champion Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb., third with $116,067, were shut out in the round.
Todd Suhn of Hermosa, S.D., won with a 3.6-second run.
In bareback riding, standings leader Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, finished sixth with a 79 on Assault. The defending champion and standings leader has earned $204,018. Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, who was fifth with a 79.5 on Long Ago, remained second with $167,854.
Feild also leads the NFR aggregate standings with 585 points for seven rides.
Caleb Bennett of Morgan, Utah, won the round with an 85 on Times Up.
In team roping, header Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and heeler Patrick Smith of Lipan, Texas, remained the leaders with $182,903 for Brazile and $184,403 for Smith. They no-timed in the round after a rope snapped.
Header Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., who has earned $149,834, and heeler Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., who has made $145,743, are second in the standings after placing fifth with a time of 4.5.
Header Clay Tryan of Billings, Mont., and heeler Travis Graves of Jay, Okla., won the round in 3.6.
In tie-down roping, Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, remained in first place in the standings despite failing to place in the top six with a time of 10.10. Cooper has earned $176,543, while second-place Justin Maass of Giddings, Texas, who also didn't place among the top six, has made $170,798.
Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, La., won the round in 7.6.
In bull riding, J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, remained the standings leader despite being bucked off B Tuff Tayler Malsam. Harris has earned $192,971, while Cody Teel, the Kountze, Texas, cowboy who placed fifth with an 83 on Glory Days, was second at $190,494.
Beau Schroeder of China, Texas, leads the NFR aggregate standings race with four successful rides for 343.5.
Brett Stall of Detroit Lakes, Minn., won the seven with an 88.5 on Cowboy Compactor.
In all-around, Brazile, clinched his record 10th world championship Monday night, and has earned $298,626.